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MaRS Innovation to act as commercialization agent for York’s life sciences and technology discoveries, leveraging new potential for York’s existing $70 million in research initiatives

TORONTO, May 9, 2011 York University has become the latest member of MaRS Innovation, the commercialization agent for many leading Toronto-based universities, hospitals and research institutes.

Stan Shapson, vice-president Research & Innovation, York University
Stan Shapson, Vice-President Research & Innovation, York University

“York has become one of Canada’s fastest-growing centres for research and innovation,” said Stan Shapson, 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 over 400 research disclosures from members such as the University of Toronto and its ten affiliated teaching hospitals, as well as Ryerson University. MaRS Innovation has begun to line up investment funding to take those 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.

Raphael Hofstein
Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation

Said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, President and CEO of MaRS Innovation, “We’re thrilled that York  University has decided to become one of our members. 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 supported MaRS Innovation’s Proof of Principle (PoP) program.

About MaRS Innovation

MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for the exceptional discovery pipeline of 16 leading Ontario academic institutions. As a single entry point to total member research activity of $1B of annual research and development, MaRS Innovation represents an easy gateway for investors and licensees who wish to gain access to technology assets in Ontario. MaRS Innovation was conceived as a vehicle to integrate the discovery assets and resources of its members, with significant further leverage from government and private sector, in an effort to turn the most promising technologies from its members into products and services for local and global markets. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence and its member institutions, MaRS Innovation is a partnership that is truly transformational and focuses on turning research strengths into real commercial opportunities. MaRS Innovation builds a portfolio of the most promising assets and advances commercialization into global markets through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation.

About York University

York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 200,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 10 Faculties and 28 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit  corporation.

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