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York University becomes 17th member of MaRS Innovation

York University becomes 17th member of MaRS Innovation

York University has become the latest member of MaRS Innovation, the commercialization agent for many leading Toronto-based universities, hospitals and research institutes.

“York has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing centres for research and innovation,” said Stan Shapson (right), vice-president research & innovation at York University. “We typically get 10 to 20 discovery disclosures a year. Joining MaRS Innovation allows us to deliver the most competitive commercialization services to the researchers making these discoveries. We’re confident that membership in MaRS Innovation will boost that number and accelerate the commercialization of York’s most promising research.”

Earlier this year, York University launched its Innovation York office. Based in York Region, Innovation York works with other partner organizations in the Markham Convergence Centre to build upon research partnerships between York researchers and life science and technology companies based in York Region and the Greater Toronto Area. It’s also making York’s research and infrastructure more accessible to industry, government agencies and community partners.

Joining MaRS Innovation will further extend York’s commercialization contacts. In less than two years, MaRS Innovation has assessed more than 400 research disclosures from members such as the University of Toronto and its 10 affiliated teaching hospitals, as well as Ryerson University.

MaRS Innovation has begun to line up investment funding to take the discoveries with the greatest commercial potential to market, creating companies and jobs, and starting industries. In 2011 alone, MaRS Innovation has spurred the creation of five new enterprises based on the groundbreaking discoveries of its members.

“We’re thrilled that York University has decided to become one of our members." said Rafi Hofstein, president & CEO of MaRS Innovation. "York’s national and international reputation for groundbreaking discoveries is growing quickly, and many of their research initiatives are highly complementary to the technologies that we’ve been helping to commercialize over the past two years.”

To become a member of MaRS Innovation, an academic and research organization must have intellectual property in life sciences (drug discovery, medical devices, diagnostic imaging, etc.), information and communications technologies (ICT), cleantech and digital media.

MaRS Innovation is supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence Program (NCE) to focus on turning inventions into real commercial opportunities. Both the Province of Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) and Ottawa have provided essential financial support for Proof of Principle programs – NCE, through the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research, funded the turning of inventions into real commercial opportunities; and MRI, through Ontario Centres of Excellence, has been supporting MaRS Innovation’s Proof of Principle (PoP) program.

Posted by Elizabeth Monier-Williams, research communications officer, with files courtesy of MaRS Innovation Public Relations department and Media Relations at York University.