Innovation York builds suite of services to support growth in research agreements

With research agreements at York University on the rise by approximately 54 per cent over the past six years, Innovation York is building a suite of comprehensive services to help researchers develop and obtain agreements on appropriate terms, to facilitate industry partnerships and commercialize innovation.

Now, with the introduction of an industry liaison manager and a commercialization manager to the unit, in addition to the existing research agreement staff, Innovation York is better able to develop relationships with companies at a much earlier stage in the research process to effectively facilitate research collaborations and the negotiation of agreement terms.

As the commercialization and industry liaison office for York University, Innovation York offers services to faculty, trainees and industry within four service streams: agreements, industry liaison, commercialization, and entrepreneurship and start-up acceleration. Within the agreements stream, Innovation York manages the agreement process on behalf of researchers and York to effectively facilitate research projects.

Through the agreements stream, Innovation York works with the Office of the Counsel to negotiate with third parties to protect the researchers’ right to publish, protect confidential information, protect researchers from liability, clarify intellectual property rights for researchers and their students and ensure that the collaboration is aligned with university policies.

The number of research agreements at the University is on the rise. In 2006, York facilitated 226 research agreements compared to 348 in 2011. To date in 2012, 356 research agreements have been completed and $28 million in research funding has been transferred to York through research agreements managed by Innovation York.

headshot of Robert Hache“The increase in the number of research agreements at York is a good indication of the growth in research activity,” said Robert Haché (right), York’s vice-president research & innovation.  “We are seeing a larger number of faculty members who are receiving funding and working in collaboration with external partners.  Innovation York is committed to helping researchers facilitate these agreements, through its suite of comprehensive services.”

Agreements enable the receipt and transfer of funding, the sharing of research materials, data and confidential information, participation in collaborative research projects, partnering with commercialization organizations and out-licensing innovations to industry.

The majority of the agreements executed by the Innovation York agreements stream are funding agreements, bringing money into the University for research projects. Of those funding agreements, the following was the breakdown of funding sources for 2011:

Funding Sources 2011 graph

Research agreements may be warranted when researchers want to send material to an external party, send information or data to an external party, send money to an external partner for participation in a research project (excluding the transfer of tri-council grant funding, which is completed by the Grants & Applications unit in the ORS), have a confidential conversation, or collaborate with another researcher or research partner.

For more information, contact Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York at or ext. 20579.