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Connecting innovation and the marketplace: Commercializing research at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia

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Canada’s innovation performance is lagging behind other developed countries. The need for universities to commercialize their research is growing. University spinoffs (USOs) have emerged as the preferred mechanism by which universities transfer technology to the commercial realm. The problem, however, is that university research does not automatically generate economic growth. This study proposes and evaluates policy options available to the provincial government to support the commercialization of university research in BC. An overview of the relevant literature and current government programs is provided. A thematic analysis of the fifteen semi-structured interviews is conducted to identify the challenges associated with creating a USO. An evaluation framework is developed under which each policy is analysed. This study recommends that the provincial government: provide patent funding to SFU and UVic; expand the Venture Capital Program (VCP); and reform the BC Innovation Council (BCIC).
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