ELLA’s Founder Fundamentals workshop series kicks off Sept. 14

businesswoman FEATURED

This fall, York University’s entrepreneurship hub, YSpace, is partnering with the Markham Small Business Centre and ELLA, York’s community for women entrepreneurs, to host a special edition of its 11-week Founder Fundamentals virtual workshop series.

Founder Fundamentals is designed to help participants kickstart their entrepreneurial careers by teaching them the basic skills necessary to launch a business. The ultimate goal is to provide participants with an educational platform, while connecting them with local resources for potential next steps as they progress in their entrepreneurial ventures. Running from Sept. 14 to Nov. 30, the ELLA edition of Founder Fundamentals will feature women facilitators hosting workshops designed to support a diverse community of aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs.

ELLA Founder Fundamentals banner

Individuals who attend at least nine out of the 11 workshops will receive an Innovation York Certificate of Completion, illustrating their dedication to learning about the essentials of launching a successful business.

The following workshops will be included in the series:

  • How to Write a Business Plan, Sept. 14;
  • Building a Social Enterprise, Sept. 21;
  • Legal Basics for Entrepreneurs, Sept. 28;
  • Finance 101, Oct. 5;
  • Attracting Your Dream Client, Oct. 19;
  • CRM, Oct. 26;
  • Pitching and Storytelling, Nov. 2;
  • Mental Health for Founders, Nov. 9;
  • Work Life Harmony, Nov. 16;
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Nov. 23; and
  • Goal Setting, Nov. 30.

Workshops will be held on Zoom on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. EST. The Zoom link will be accessible on the Order Confirmation page emailed after registration (click on “Go to Online Event”).

To register for the Founder Fundamentals: ELLA Edition workshop series, click here. For more information about each of the workshops, visit yspace.yorku.ca/events.

Financial tech startup goPeer wins top prize in York’s LaunchYU Accelerator program

A financial technology startup that makes non-traditional lending accessible on a peer-to-peer platform has won the top prize in York University’s LaunchYU Accelerator program this year.

Randy Williamson, partner, Aird & Berlis LLP and Marc-Antoine Caya, goPeer co-founder

As the first prize winner, goPeer will receive the $25,000 Aird & Berlis StartupSource Market Entry Award that includes $12,500 in cash and an equal amount in Aird & Berlis LLP legal services. It will also receive a $10,000 LaunchYU Accelerator Award.

“Aird & Berlis has been delighted to sponsor the LaunchYU Accelerator program for the last four years. As a firm, we know we will succeed if new businesses can develop to their full potential. And that potential needs support,” said Randy Williamson, partner, Aird & Berlis LLP, who is also a York University alumnus and a member of the Board of Governors. “If we can help these businesses set up effective business structures and relationships among their owners, investors and business counterparts, it will allow these great entrepreneurs to focus on building their business’s products and customers. By providing legal services and funding, we help play a small role in their success.”

Innovation York’s LaunchYU Accelerator program supports entrepreneurs at different stages of growth. It assists emerging entrepreneurs through dedicated workshops with hands-on experience, one-on-one mentorship, investor office hours and various networking resources.

“At York University, we are committed to encouraging and supporting motivated, emerging entrepreneurs who have innovative approaches to creating products and services that make an impact in their local communities and around the world,” said Sarah Howe, assistant vice-president, Innovation & Research Partnerships. “Partnering with organizations such as Aird & Berlis, we are able to meaningfully support promising entrepreneurial ventures and see them succeed.”

Since it was started in late 2014, LaunchYU has supported more than 320 ventures and hundreds of entrepreneurs. These ventures have raised more than $18 million in funding and have generated over $3.6 million in revenues.

This year’s program included 14 participants, who have created entrepreneurial ventures from a social app for postsecondary students to an AI and quantum computing based platform that taps wireless market.

Founders of goPeer were among the five finalists who showcased the viability of their businesses, pitching to a panel of judges, private investors and partners, which concluded the four-month accelerator program.

“As a financial technology company, goPeer is built on trust, and winning this prize is a great validation from respected members of the startup community. We look forward to working with the teams at Innovation York and Aird & Berlis to achieve our goal of helping individuals to attain financial wellness,” said Marc-Antoine Caya, goPeer co-founder.

Lactiga, a biotherapeutics company that has patented an anti-infective therapy to help immunocompromised patients placed second. The third place went to Spot App, a social enterprise mobile app that facilitates employers and employees to access the gig economy, online. Both ventures will receive a LaunchYU Accelerator Award of $10,000.

This year’s judging panel included Snita Balsara, investment manager at MaRS IAF & StartUP Ventures; Susan Sim, digital specialist at McKinsey & Company; and Althea Wishloff at Panache Ventures.

Funding for Innovation York’s YSpace will support local food businesses


Innovation York’s YSpace is one of three community organizations named as a recipient of York Region’s 2019 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund (EIF), which supports local innovation and entrepreneurship.

Known as York University’s community innovation hub, YSpace was selected in the EIF non-profit community partners stream recognizing its Food Accelerator program, a five-month program designed to help scale high-growth food and beverage companies. It will receive a grant of $10,000.

YSpace was selected in the EIF non-profit community partners stream recognizing its Food Accelerator program

The YSpace Food Accelerator is Ontario’s first program dedicated to scaling consumer packaged goods ventures into mass retail and global distribution. The program was chosen out of hundreds of applications and will allow YSpace to support a new cohort of ventures starting in August 2020. The new cohort also includes three ventures led by York University alumni:

  • Culcherd, creator of artisanal, plant-based dairy alternatives made with cheese and butter; founded by Elizabeth Gallagher;
  • Choose Life Foods, a plant-based, vegan Jamaican patty made with fair trade ingredients; founded by Carolyn Simon;
  • got Ballz, grain-free, sugar-free, and low-carb snack products including buns and energy bites that are keto friendly; founded by Pooja Rao.

Innovation York also received recognition in the small business and entrepreneurs stream, with an alumni venture in its LaunchYU Accelerator program, Biosa Technologies, being selected as one of the three EIF recipients. Biosa Technologies is a Toronto polymer-based biotech company that specializes in optimizing enzymes. Its technology increases the longevity of and enhances the properties of enzymes.

“Biosa is immensely grateful to LaunchYU for the strategic aid and knowledge which this program provided,” said Nicholas Ledra, founder and CEO of Biosa Technologies Ltd. “We were extremely impressed with the organization of the program especially in terms of mentoring, presentations, and mental health aspects. There is no program available such as this in Ontario and we highly recommend participating if you are serious about growing your small business.”

Read more about the EIF and its recipients in this Betakit article.

York works to advance careers of women entrepreneurs through ELLA accelerator program

Two Black women talk together
Black women in business

A four-month program led by York University that supports women entrepreneurs and works to reduce the gender gap is accepting applications for until Aug. 9.

ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance) – a community and accelerator for women, by women – runs in partnership with Small Business Enterprise Centres across York Region to provide training and support programs, free of cost, to women entrepreneurs. It is led by York University’s Innovation York.

Launched in March, the initiative offers two programs to help women accelerate their business growth through access to a network of other women founders, top experts, mentors and supporters.

ELLA Altitude is a four-month program for women-led ventures that have sales of over $250,000 and are moving towards national and international expansion. With one-on-one advice and support, entrepreneurs are able to create a step-by-step plan to bring their business to the world stage.

The program, which runs October to February, is accepting applications until Aug. 9.

ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance) is a community and accelerator for women, by women, that provide training and support programs, free of cost, to women entrepreneurs

Program participants can expect to receive:

Individualized expert advice

• Advice, mentoring and coaching will come from entrepreneurs-in-residence (bi-weekly one-on-one meetings), the Fractional Executive Program (expert help for a specific challenge or project), subject matter experts (connections with industry experts), masterminds (peer-to-peer mentoring) and leadership workshops (developed by industry leaders for growing organizations).

Step-by-step strategic plan

• Through the program, participants will have access to the expertise needed to develop a growth plan for national and international expansion. Program participants are held accountable with progressive milestones and bi-weekly progress check-ins.

A network of industry professionals

• Participants will gain access to curated networking opportunities with a vast portfolio of professionals. This will help participants grow their network of contacts for present and future needs and connect with peers to broaden the scope of resources available.

Those interested are eligible to apply for ELLA Altitude if:

  • you are a woman entrepreneur with at least 50 per cent ownership of an incorporated business or a registered non-profit or social enterprise, and you are working full-time on your venture;
  • your business earns at least $250,000 in revenues annually*;
  • you have significant traction in your industry and are ready to scale nationally or internationally within one year;
  • your business is located in southwestern Ontario;
  • you are open to change, looking to step out of your comfort zone and willing to give back to the ELLA community in some way.

*Special considerations can be made for non-profit organizations and social enterprises.

The program is supported through funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

To apply, visit ella.yorku.ca/altitude-apply-now.

Jane Finch partnership addressing historical research relationships with York

The Jane Finch Community Research Partnership (JFCRP) is a group of residents, stakeholders and non-profit organizations within the Jane and Finch area, with partners at York University, that works to address the historical research relationships that have existed and continue to exist between the Black Creek/Jane and Finch community and the University.

Through community leadership and consultations, the JFCRP seeks to better inform the processes and manner in which research and data collection activities impact the Jane and Finch neighbourhood and seeks to ensure the well-being of the community is at the forefront of research.

In a series of gatherings since 2016, the JFCRP has been developing “Principles for Conducting Research in Jane Finch” to shape and guide how researchers should conduct their work within the area. The group says this process prioritizes community’s perspective, knowledge and expertise, and addresses the ethical and respectful behaviours researchers should undertake. These principles can be used by researchers to improve their work and build meaningful research partnerships, and can be accessed on the JFCRP website.

“The JFCRP is exciting because it’s a cultivation of advocacy the community has been doing for more than four years,” said project lead Talisha Ramsaroop. “We’ve had so many conversations on how we can reclaim research and ensure it’s done is a way that meets our community’s expectations and now we finally have systems and policies in place to support this. I’m excited to see the rich, informed and diverse research that comes out of this new community developed process.”

JFCRP Symposium
JFCRP Symposium. Photo credit: Errol Young

The JFCRP is also creating the Jane Finch Collections, an extensive, open-access, easily discoverable database containing research about the community. The Collections will make research, reports, documents and other forms of published knowledge regarding Jane and Finch more readily accessible for community members. JFCRP members are connecting with local organizations to collaborate on the development of the Jane Finch Collections.

“The Jane Finch community is diverse, vibrant and constantly changing,” said Shon Williams, a research coordinator at the JFCRP and third-year Business and Society student at York University. “Thus, no one narrative, document or process can represent and speak for all residents and the community.”

According to members, the JFCRP is a response to the long and complex research history between York and the Jane and Finch neighbourhood, which they say has seen the community over-researched, over-analyzed, stigmatized and objectified.

“Within the context of the harm research, we want to ensure that researchers inside and outside the community can perform ethical and respectful research that highlights the perspective and experiences of residents,” Williams continued.

Innovation York’s Knowledge Mobilization unit has had a long-standing relationship with the JFCRP through the York University-TD Community Engagement Centre.

“Our work is focused on supporting collaborative research partnerships,” explained Krista Jensen, a knowledge mobilization officer at Innovation York who has been closely involved with the project. “Too often, research results are not shared with community members at the end of a research project in a meaningful way and we think the Principles document, the training modules and the Jane Finch Collections will help to create a more equitable relationship between researchers and Jane Finch community partners.”

Jensen says the JFCRP provides clear guidelines for researchers on how to work with the Jane Finch community in ways that benefit both the community and researchers, and ensures better access to research that has been done in the community.

New webinar series explores innovation and the human element of the ‘new normal’

Person working on a computer
Person working on a computer

The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has forced innovators and entrepreneurs to redefine the norm and adapt to a completely new and unprecedented environment. As schools, businesses, and industries evolve seemingly overnight to cope with the social distancing measures, Innovation York is focusing on the individuals in its entrepreneurial community who are braving this storm.

Innovation York has partnered with the City of Markham’s Small Business Centre to develop the “COVID-19 Innovators Series” to help the community gain the necessary tools and support needed during this time. This webinar series explores both the innovation and human element of the new normal, aiming to drive positive conversations and helpful insights to support communities with adjusting to the new realities of social distancing and virtual connectivity.

Topics will include:

  • “Adapting Your Social Media Strategy” will help entrepreneurs develop a marketing strategy to develop the right tone during this challenging time.
  • “Fundraising Tips and Tactics to Practice During COVID” will help entrepreneurs understand how they can position themselves for funding during COVID.
  • “Remote Work Health & Wellbeing Tips” will help the community at large create a healthy fitness routine while maintaining social distance.
  • “Mental Health & Mindfulness” will help the community understand the potential effects of social distancing and self-isolation for others.

The COVID-19 Innovators Series kicked off last week and but space is still available for some of the upcoming workshops posted on the YSpace website at  https://yspace.yorku.ca/events/. The remaining workshops are in development and will be launched in the upcoming weeks.

To learn more, sign up for the Innovation York our newsletter at https://mailchi.mp/4fa3361bfb19/yspace. The newsletter is a great way to stay up to date on the release of these workshops.

All sessions are free and open to all entrepreneurs, students, and staff.

Call for applications: Innovation York and NRC-IRAP’s Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund

Innovation York and the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) are offering a fifth round of the Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund program to support artificial intelligence (AI) collaborative research projects for industry and York University researchers.

This is a unique opportunity for faculty members and their students to work with innovative companies to execute industry-driven research projects in Artificial Intelligence. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and technologies to real-world situations and employ their research to further extend the knowledge base within AI. The research project must be jointly supervised by the faculty member and the industry partner, with the work being performed by Masters, PhD or PostDoc.

Faculty members are encouraged to use the funding to initiate a new partnership or continue the support provided to their industry partners. For small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have not pre-identified a research partner, Innovation York will work to find an appropriate faculty member partner.

Applicants: Canadian SMEs that are (or will be) partnered with York faculty members. The industry partner must be in business for a minimum of one year and have assigned NRC IRAP industrial technology advisor (ITA).

Application Deadline:  June 15 by 4 p.m. EST.

Funding Amount: Up to $12,000 per selected research project (no funding to industry partners; no funding required of industry partners).

Project Length: Two to four months.

Use of Funds: To execute industry-driven research projects in AI. The funds can only be used towards student stipends. Travel, living expenses and seminar costs are ineligible.

For those requiring assistance finding a partner, contact Rachel Sung, Mitacs specialist, at rsung@yorku.ca, as soon as possible.

For more information and to apply for this grant, visit innovationyork.ca/partnership-grant.

York engineers develop innovative technology for roadside cannabis testing

research graphic
featured image for research stories

Engineers at York University have developed a technology that uses a light source and a simple cellphone infrared camera to detect the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in saliva. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis. The new technology is a form of active thermography that enables quicker and more accurate reading of THC rapid tests compared to the current portable technologies being used for roadside detection.

With recent changes in the legalization of cannabis around the world, there is an urgent need for rapid, yet sensitive, screening devices for testing drivers and employees under the influence of cannabis at roadside and workplace, respectively. Lateral flow immunoassay (LFA) rapid tests are low-cost paper-based devices that can be administered at point-of-need for detecting the presence of drugs in saliva. However, the accuracy and sensitivity of these rapid tests are limited. York University’s innovation, led by Professor Nima Tabatabaei, enables the low-cost tests to offer the accuracy and sensitivity needed for proper enforcement of the law at roadside and workplace.

Nima Tabatabaei
Nima Tabatabaei

The new technology detects and quantifies concentrations of THC in the rapid test devices based on thermal signatures of gold nanoparticles once exposed to light illumination. Sensing of thermal signatures is carried out with infrared cameras that are normally bulky and expensive, limiting commercial adaption of active thermography. In this study, York University researchers examined the possibility of performing reliable and accurate active thermography with cellphone infrared cameras that are 10- to 100-fold less expensive than infrared cameras used in research and development platforms.

“This study will pave the way for development of hand-held rapid testing devices that are both cost-effective and accurate,” says Tabatabaei, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lassonde School of Engineering at York University.

To determine the viability of the technology for detecting THC at point-of-care, researchers conducted experiments with commercially available saliva-based lateral flow immunoassay test strips. These simple paper-based devices are used for the detection and quantification of analytes in a complex mixture. A developed LFA test strip shows two coloured bands: the test and the control bands. The intensity of color at the test band correlates with the amount of target analyte – for example, THC – present in the solution, while the presence of the control line ensures the validity of the experiment. This study used commercially available oral fluid LFA strips for detection of THC with a nominal detection limit of 25 nanograms per milliliter (25 ng/ml).

The goal of the study was to show how a simple cellphone attachment with an infrared camera can do a more accurate test to detect THC in saliva. By studying a large number of the strips spiked with different concentrations of THC and a rigorous statistical analysis, researchers successfully demonstrated their new technology can detect THC at an unprecedented low detection threshold of 2 ng/ml – something that has not been achieved by any commercially available point-of-need device in the market. In addition, researchers showed that their technology can quantify the concentration of THC in sample through calibration.

“Withdrawal of blood by police officers at roadside is not feasible and taking blood samples at medical centres is not accurate because THC concentration in blood dramatically drops by the time the suspect gets to the hospital for blood sampling. Our innovation can be administered by officers at roadside and offers the accuracy and sensitivity needed for proper enforcement of the law,” says Tabatabaei.

Law enforcement requires the detection of THC at legally relevant concentrations. In Canada, this limit is 2 ng/ml in blood. Given the fundamental problems in withdrawing blood at roadside, law enforcement is currently sampling saliva; however, none of the existing solutions in the market can detect THC in saliva at the 2 ng/ml limit required by law. York University’s new portable innovation, on the other hand, can detect THC at concentrations as low as 2 ng/ml with 95 per cent accuracy.

Current LFA-based technologies rely heavily on the reflection and scattering of visible light from gold nanoparticles to determine results. When conducting rapid tests, a coloured line can be seen to indicate the presence of THC and that colour is a result of gold nanoparticles which can be seen by the naked eye because they reflect light.

“In our technology we don’t look at the light that is being reflected or scattered from GNPs. Instead, we shine a laser on those gold nanoparticles, and they go on surface plasmon resonance and produce heat. We capture the heat with an infrared camera. With this approach, we only see signals in areas that have gold nanoparticles without any background signal. The absence of background signals allows us to sense very small thermal signatures in samples with low concentrations of THC,” says Tabatabaei.

Tabatabaei and his team, with support from Innovation York and VISTA (Vision: Science to Applications), are actively pursuing commercialization of the technology and are also attempting to adapt for it for early and accurate detection and quantification of COVID-19 antibodies.

The study is published in Scientific Reports.

York University’s ELLA program kicks off in advance of International Women’s Day

From left: Nicole Troster, Jenise Lee (Ella participant), Rhonda lenton, minister ng and Sarah Howe

An accelerator program supporting 54 women entrepreneurs from York Region and the Greater Toronto Area was unveiled at a launch event March 3, which featured Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng.

ELLA (Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance) – a program created by women, for women – starts just days before International Women’s Day on March 8.

Federal Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and Member of Parliament for Markham–Thornhill, Mary Ng, spoke at the event, along with York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton and Jenise Lee, founder of PurPicks and CertClean who is a York alumna.

From left: Nicole Troster, manager of the Ella Accelerator; Jenise Lee, founder of PurPicks and Certclean and a York alumna; York President and Vice-Chancellor  Rhonda L. Lenton, Federal Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade Mary Ng; and Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York

Many of the 54 women entrepreneurs in ELLA attended the kick-off event for the program, which supports existing women entrepreneurs by providing them with one-on-one mentoring with top entrepreneurs, hands-on workshops, leadership training, and a community of experts, peers and supporters.

The federal government is providing $1.8 million in funding for ELLA, which is led by York’s Innovation York, in partnership with the small business enterprise centres of Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and York Region. The program will also have several corporate partners; Shopify has signed on as the premier partner in support of ELLA.

Mary Ng

“Initiatives like York University’s ELLA program help women entrepreneurs gain the knowledge, tools, and connections they need to start and grow their businesses,” said Ng. “Our government is also working to advance these goals through Canada’s first-ever Women Entrepreneurship Strategy. Together, we will ensure women-led businesses in the York region – and across the country – have access to the supports they need to start up, scale up, and access new markets.” 

Launching ELLA during the same week as International Women’s Day is fitting, given the global need for opportunities and conditions for women to thrive and succeed.    

“The ELLA program for women business owners is an example of York University’s focus on new educational approaches – like entrepreneurship and work-integrated learning – that equip our graduates to thrive in the competitive global knowledge economy,” said Lenton. “It is especially important that we give women access to the skills, supports and tools needed to build their businesses as part of our work to build a more gender-equal world.”

The 10-month training and support program is tailored to help the 54 women who are participating to accelerate their business growth. They will be given access to a network of other women founders, top experts, mentors and supporters. Tuesday evening’s event marks the first time that the participants are in one room, along with supporters.

Sarah Howe

In Canada, women entrepreneurs account for only 16 per cent of business owners. For Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York, the statistics are evidence that women business owners need to be supported. ELLA is especially targeted to women entrepreneurs in York Region because the community is considered underserved, given the region’s large geographically-disbursed population, with some rural and remote areas.

Each of the 54 women entrepreneurs owns 50 per cent or more of their business, has a business with sales and initial traction, and lives in York Region or can travel to York Region for the training and workshops.  

This program is meant for women founders who are ready to hustle and grow their business,” explained Howe. “These women will get access to a community of other women founders, mentor and experts who can give them solid business advice and more connections, everyone from better suppliers to more investors.”

When York University alumna Stephanie Florio and her brother realized that students were still applying to jobs by printing a stack of resumes and walking around the mall to hand them out store by store, it sparked an idea.

Florio co-founded Swob Inc., a mobile recruitment app believed to be the first-of-its-kind to help students find part-time, seasonal and entry-level jobs more easily. It also makes the hiring process more efficient for employers.

“The app has similar functionality to Tinder. Once job seekers create their profiles, they swipe right to apply to jobs and swipe left to ignore jobs,” said Florio, a 30-year-old Woodbridge resident. “I joined ELLA to continue to learn and grow my business.”

Another participant is Zuly Matallana, owner of TIARA Bliss Inc. The Vaughan woman created TIARA Shower Cap, a reinvented, patented shower cap that blocks water and humidity. She’s had a successful pitch on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, was chosen as a 2019 gift pick by Good Morning America and is currently developing new products.

Cherrie-Marie Chiu is the executive director of ALS Double Play whose not-for-profit foundation was born after her brother Christopher was diagnosed with ALS. An ELLA participant from Markham, Chiu’s charity raises awareness and funds to support ALS research to find a cure.

Administrative changes in the Office of the Vice-President Research & Innovation

Vari Hall in the winter
Vari Hall in the winter

Interim Vice-President Research & Innovation (VPRI) Rui Wang is pleased to announce that David Phipps and Sarah Howe will take on the roles of assistant vice-president, Research Strategy & Impact, and assistant vice-president, Innovation & Research Partnerships, respectively. These appointments took effect March 1 and are a result of the review of their current roles and responsibilities.

“The proposed changes will benefit the University in research intensification and the expansion of our innovation ecosystem facilitating the fulfillment of the Strategic Research Plan (SRP) and the new University Academic Plan (in development) as well as enhancing research services,” said Wang.

The assistant vice-president positions will enable the University to enhance York’s innovation and knowledge transfer landscape, identify and support increased research partnerships with industry, governments and private sector, and continue to scale up administrative support to the University’s researchers so they can focus on increasing their research activities.

David Phipps

David Phipps is promoted to assistant vice-president, Research Strategy & Impact. Reporting to the VPRI, Phipps will be responsible for the strategic planning, implementing and evaluating pan-University research services, including internal and external research grants, strategic and institutional research initiatives, research impact and international research to increase York’s research performance. His work will focus on: development, delivery, evaluation and impact of research services as assessed by research participation, research income and research impact; enhancing institutional reputation and ranking; and increasing the number of prestigious, team-based research grants. Phipps will act as the principal University liaison for all major provincial and national research funding organizations and research collaboration with international organizations for the purpose of research services.

Sarah Howe

Sarah Howe is promoted to assistant vice-president, Innovation & Research Partnerships. Reporting to the VPRI, Howe will be responsible for strategic direction, objectives, growth and operational and financial performance of innovation activities through Innovation York. She will ensure innovation opportunities are available for undergraduates, graduates, post docs, researchers and faculty members. Howe’s other responsibilities include working with academic leaders to develop strategic plans and grow campus-wide innovation and entrepreneurship, and business development and research partnerships with industry and other public and private sectors, focusing on increasing industry research income for the University.