Our Process

Strategically, we follow a 6-step process in turning your innovations into profitable consumer-ready products.

The first step of our commercialization process is to submit a Report of Innovation (ROI).

The innovations that transform our world emerge from the work being done at universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions. Whether your research is an early-stage technology or you have worked further into the development, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible through a ROI so that we can help you strengthen the commercial potential of your work.

This confidential document helps you articulate your findings and discuss the background to the innovation, while allowing our team to evaluate its commercial viability. You can find the ROI form templates in the sidebar of this page.

If you have any questions about the ROI we invite you to contact the Business Development Manager (BDM) serving your research area. To view a list of our BDMs, click here.

Our team quickly assesses the strength of its market potential and considers a strategy for intellectual property protection.

Once an innovation is disclosed, our team quickly assesses the strength of its market potential and develops a strategy for appropriate intellectual property protection. During this time, technologies are evaluated for novelty, technical viability and intellectual property position.

Once the assessment is complete, we will issue a letter to you presenting our recommendation on whether, and how, to proceed with commercial development.

You should keep in mind that this recommendation is a business decision and not an assessment of the academic merit of the innovation.

In evaluating the business potential of your innovation, we will either:

  1. Accept the innovation for protection and commercialization;
  2. Return the innovation to the inventor for further research and development
  3. Decline the innovation due to limited market potential or other reasons

To successfully deliver your innovation to the market, we are committed to directing approved innovations to companies.

Protecting Your Intellectual Property

Public disclosure may be in the form of a manuscript, an abstract, a poster, a public lecture, a thesis, website information, e-mail correspondence, etc. For further advice on protecting your intellectual property, read the latest version of the Canadian University Intellectual Property Group’s A Guide to Protecting Intellectual Property.

The Basis Of Our Relationship With You

We search for appropriate companies that have suitable expertise, resources and business networks for your innovation. If your invention has been identified as an excellent candidate for commercialization through us, we will invite you to sign a legal agreement that will establish the working relationship between you and WORLDiscoveries®, to allow us to approach those companies with your innovation.

Assignment Agreement

The Assignment Agreement enables us to legally represent the invention, invest in statutory protection (typically patent protection) and prototype development, and conduct other commercialization activities.

This document transfers ownership of the intellectual property to one of our member institutions – The University of Western Ontario or Lawson Health Research Institute. Without it, we cannot extend our full resources and work on your behalf to commercialize the innovation.

Sharing Agreement

The Sharing Agreement confirms legally how future net returns generated by the commercialization process will be shared between you and your parent institution.

Some factors that may come into consideration include:

  • The inventor’s employment contract or collective agreement
  • The contributions of multiple inventors (where some inventors may have contributed more than others)
  • The wishes of the lead inventor (to share profits with their faculty, for instance)
  • The proposed method of commercialization (i.e. spin-off vs. licensing)

We combine your leading-edge discovery with our skills, experience and knowledge to turn your research into a marketable product.

Your discovery will generally follow one of the three commercialization methods:

  • License to Industry
  • Collaborative Development
  • Startup

Whatever the method, the primary objective remains the same: to transfer your work to society to address an identified need or problem in a worthwhile and cost-effective manner. We will introduce you to prospective industry partners that have the necessary expertise, resources and business networks to bring your discovery to the market. We will strive for commercial partnerships that are biased towards you and are still beneficial to all parties.

In addition to valuable industry connections, we also offer intellectual property expertise (covering patents, copyright, trademarks, domain registration, etc.), business and legal documents, in-depth market analysis, on- and off-line marketing, extensive web development as well as many other ad hoc services as necessary.

License to Industry

Licensing allows us to provide rights to your innovation to one or more of the interested companies that need it. We will find licensees and convey terms that properly reflect the value of the discovery to the company. In addition, we will monitor the relationship on your behalf.

Collaborative Development

An existing company may be interested in your invention. With the assistance of the Research Contracts Office, we broker a collaborative relationship between you and the company. If this partnership is thriving, a license to the company may follow. In addition, we will monitor this relationship on your behalf.


We may initiate a startup company to maximize the potential of an innovation. With this method, we can assist with business plan development, find investors and license the technology into the startup. We can continue to help through recruitment of the right team to manage the company and guide your discovery towards the market.

We are focused on a beneficial working relationship and will legally represent your innovation.

We negotiate the agreements that provide rights to your intellectual property to receptors and licensees. In those negotiations, we are focused on protecting your interests and your need to continue your research and other academic requirements such as publication. We also have to recognize the development stage of the innovation and the risk that the licensee might be taking on. We will also seek to protect your parent institution and its interests going forwards. We must try to find a point that balances all those demands and delivers an agreement that benefits all parties involved.

These agreements can take many forms. Initially there will likely be confidentiality agreements. A term sheet or memorandum of understanding might follow, with a license agreement thereafter. That can often be amended over time as circumstances and needs change. There are also research agreements, commercialization grant agreements and other partnerships that may be appropriate.

Executing an agreement is only the first step.

An agreement will contain obligations for both parties. That might simply be upfront delivery of information for you, ongoing joint development of a larger/better/faster prototype, provision of research data or other support. The licensee on the other hand will have likely made financial and reporting commitments but also there are often performance milestones to be achieved.

Our responsibility to you and the institutions continues beyond execution of an agreement; we must ensure that all parties deliver on the promises they made. That might be financial monitoring, maintaining communication to ensure that reports are provided and milestones are met. It may even have to include audit rights in certain situations.

For Innovators

Drawing upon a mix of industry connections, sector-specific market knowledge and business development expertise WORLDiscoveries serves as an enabler to help you, the inventor, find a path to commercial success through licensing or a new company startup.

To learn more, click here.

For Industry

We work with a wide range of industry verticals to help overcome their technical challenges and/or open new and exciting market opportunities. Our team is dedicated to helping both industry and the inventor(s) find the solution that could make a difference to a company and a community.

To learn more, click here.

ecommOur Process