Established in 2011 in response to the changing global economy and an increasing demand for world-class technologies in Asia and operating out of offices in in Hong Kong and Nanjing of Jiangsu province, WD Asia is the first permanent technology commercialization entity in Asia ever created by a Canadian organization.
Over the years, WD Asia has achieved a series of successes in facilitating licensing deals, research collaborations, and the creation of start-ups for London’s researchers valued at $30 million CAD total.
By early 2019, with the support from many strategic partners and years of development, WD Asia has grown into a successful professional services provider dedicated to helping research institutions and high-tech small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ontario form intellectual property and innovation partnerships in China.
Western Medical Innovation Fellows Bashar Yafouz, Wagner H. Souza, and Maryam Majedi participated in the fifth annual Proteus Innovation Competition and through their abstract, business plan proposal and business pitch grabbed one of the top three $5,000 prizes and the chance to license and market the technology.
The Fellows, part of Western’s Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) program which immerses early career scientists, engineers and clinicians in a training and research-heavy environment with the goal of developing future leaders and innovators of world-class medical technologies.
The skills learned from their program gave them a competitive advantage when they decided to participate in the Proteus Innovation Competition – an intense, four-month competition that takes three newly developed technologies from Ontario research institutions and challenges teams to plan their commercialization. It is a partnership among WORLDiscoveries, Western Entrepreneurship, Western Research Parks, TechAlliance, McMaster University and the University of Windsor.
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The Ontario government has set up an Expert Panel on Intellectual Property with the mandate of the panel being to protect home-grown innovation and maximize commercialization. The panel is looking at various opportunities to improve in the post-secondary education sector including at incubators, accelerators, technology transfer offices, and innovation centres.
The panel is looking to make recommendations to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to improve the generation and commercialization of research and intellectual property.
ecommWestern University: Growing The Ontario Economy
Left to right: Ibrahim Marwa, MPH’16, Souzan Armstrong, Director of the Medical Innovation Fellowship, Bartosz Slak, Maryanne Siu, Mahmoud Ramin, and Jacob Reeves, PhD’18. The 2018-19 cohort of Western Medical Innovation Fellows received two BURST funds valued at 70k each to fund their new medical device startups.
The Western Medical Innovation Fellowship (MIF) immerses talented young scientists, engineers and clinicians in training and research environments that build innovation leaders and create novel medical technologies. Now at the end of their 10.5 month program, the 2018-19 Western Medical Innovation Fellows are looking to move onto their next adventure – entrepreneurship. As part of their program, the fellows consulted with clinicians across the local healthcare industry and developed two projects to address needs they discovered throughout the process that fit within their areas of expertise. These two projects are being spun-off into two London-based innovative medical startups thanks to the support of BURST, an incubation program for high-potential medical technology startups through the TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario.
ecommWestern Medical Innovation Fellows awarded two BURST funds
FDA, Special to Western News, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the use of Azedra, a new compound developed by Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., for patients with rare tumours of the adrenal glands. Chemistry professor emeritus Duncan Hunter developed the compound with his Western lab team and applied for the patent 30 years ago.
Duncan Hunter chokes up a little when it is suggested that work he began at Western three decades ago will now, finally, be applied to saving hundreds of lives. “It’s a good thing,” said the Chemistry professor emeritus after a long pause. “It took 30 years and had its ups and downs. So, yes, it’s emotional.”
Last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Azedra, a new compound developed by Progenics Pharmaceuticals Inc., for patients with rare tumours of the adrenal glands.
A well-maintained laboratory notebook is an important tool for documenting experimental progress and keeping researchers organized. Maintaining a comprehensive laboratory notebook can also be a valuable resource when patenting a discovery. As discussed below, despite recent changes to the patent system in the United States, properly detailing experimental progress in lab notebooks remains relevant to the patent process and researchers would be well advised to be diligent in their record keeping.
There is increasing pressure on Canadian universities to produce research with translational or commercial potential. In this regard, researchers typically work with the technology transfer offices at their university to identify technologies with commercial applicability and if appropriate, secure patent protection for such technologies. Rarely have academic institutions been concerned with infringing third party patents, assuming the nature of their work immunized them from such concerns. For the reasons discussed below, academic institutions may wish to pay greater attention to patent infringement issues and be mindful of using patented inventions in their research to avoid incurring potential legal liability as the shift towards commercial research continues.
Financial ripples from a successful, London-led business development initiative in Asia may soon be felt across the province.
In 2011, WORLDiscoveries Asia – a partnership among Western University, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute – became Canada’s first technology transfer initiative to establish a physical presence in China, as it opened offices in Hong Kong and, eventually, Nanjing, which is London’s ‘sister city.’
Supported by $300,000 from the Ontario government, the initiative has now grown to the point of leveraging its expertise to promote, facilitate and manage technology-based alliances with Asian organizations as a service to other research institutions, NGOs and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the province.