New Innovation Matchmaking program supports collaborative entrepreneurship

Image of someone injecting a substance into a tube. with word over it saying Innovation Matchmaking

The program is designed to advance multi-disciplinary innovation, help McMaster researchers generate valuable intellectual property, and support the creation of investable startup companies.

Are you a faculty member looking to commercialize your health and technology innovations?

McMaster’s Innovation Matchmaking program – hosted in partnership with Hamilton Health Sciences and the Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton, and with funding support from the Faculty of Engineering – connects research teams from across campus and affiliated hospitals and provides them with an equivalent of $75,000 in prep-funding that can be used to build investable ventures.

The program is designed to advance multi-disciplinary innovation, help McMaster researchers generate valuable intellectual property, and support the creation of investable startup companies, says Leyla Soleymani, Associate Vice-President, Research (Commercialization & Entrepreneurship).

“Collaboration is key to advancing ideas, innovations and creating companies with impact. This program gives our entrepreneurs a chance to build strong multi-disciplinary connections and combine their strengths to tackle global health challenges with cutting-edge tech solutions,” she says.

Heather Sheardown, Dean of Engineering, says the initiative aligns closely with the Faculty’s mission to empower agile and globally conscious leaders in engineering who collaborate to create a brighter future.

“The program will help participants along their entrepreneurial journeys, giving them access to mentorship opportunities and support from McMaster’s business development experts, and it also has the capacity to nurture long-lasting collaborations,” she says.

The Innovation Matchmaking program plans to launch calls in Strategic Focus Areas. The first round of the program, which launched this spring, calls on faculty to propose a project with commercialization potential that tackles a health challenge using a tech solution, including, but not limited to, health and AI, digital health, health and materials, and medical devices.

In order to receive the full amount of prep-funding, successful applicants must submit a proposal to a formal commercialization grant program within six months of the project start date.

Those interested in applying for the program may participate in matchmaking sessions, where they can build a team and propose projects with commercialization potential. Existing multi-disciplinary research teams may also apply for the program.

The program is one of several McMaster Entrepreneurship Academy initiatives led by the Office of Vice-President, Research, the Office of the Provost and Vice-President, Academic and the McMaster Industry Liaison Office. The Academy is designed to enhance support for McMaster’s entrepreneurs through additional time and resources, increased multi-disciplinary collaboration, mentorship opportunities and access to lab space.

“Each initiative aims to inspire, support and reward faculty and researchers – both established and aspiring entrepreneurs – as they transform their research breakthroughs into high-value products and services,” says Soleymani.

Want to attend a matchmaking session? The next virtual matchmaking session will be held on April 23rd and is focused on connecting those who conduct health care research with those who are working on applicable artificial intelligence-based solutions. Register here.

Interested in applying for the Innovation Matchmaking program? Learn more and apply online by May 7th, 2024.

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