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UBC Announces Strategy to Help Boost Economic Impact of Innovation in BC

Published on Friday, September 13, 2013

UBC President Stephen Toope addressed the Vancouver Board of Trade on Sept. 11. Photo: Kim Stallknecht

VANCOUVER, BC on SEPTEMBER 11, 2013: UBC President Stephen Toope speaks to the Board of Trade luncheon crowd (Photo by Kim Stallknecht)

Prof. Stephen Toope, president of the University of British Columbia, has unveiled a five-point strategy to help the University drive forward innovation in the B.C. economy.

The plan includes an overhaul and expansion of the University’s e@UBC entrepreneurship program, the creation of a “concierge” service for the business community as well as a new faculty consulting agency, and a re-engineered and streamlined process to bring to market new discoveries and technologies.

“B.C.’s innovation ecosystem is being driven by a technology sector with much potential,” said Prof. Toope in an address today to the Vancouver Board of Trade. “But we lag behind in productivity compared to the rest of Canada. We need to work together to produce the kind of results we’re seeing in thriving hubs like San Diego’s CONNECT or London’s Tech City.”

UBC is already a technology powerhouse, said Toope, referring to the University’s success in terms of number of spin-off companies, patents received and achieving the highest income among Canadian universities from licensed intellectual property.

He added improvements require new ways of working with business and government, and noted that an increase in size of the B.C. tech sector from 5.9 per cent of GDP to the Canadian average of 7.5 per cent would create for B.C. an additional 23,000 jobs and $5.1 billion in industry revenues.

“Universities are not the only player in the game,” said Toope. “We need to work together to create much stronger pathways for the transfer of technology, and this is our effort to help push B.C. forward.”

BACKGROUND

To view the remarks: http://president.ubc.ca/files/2013/09/VBOT-2013Sept11_FINAL2.pdf

The strategy’s five components are:

• A new corporate relations office to work more closely with the business sector

• The creation of a central UBC agency to support faculty consulting by 2014 • Growing the current “Campus as a living lab” model beyond campus • Expanding and integrating UBC’s e@UBC entrepreneurship activities from education to venture creation to seed funding • Re-engineering and streamlining the activities of the University Industry Liaison Office to accelerate the technology transfer process.