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Panel 7: Industry-academic partnerships in Canada

Audio: 
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Collaboration and partnerships are the order of the day. From “public-private partnerships” at the level of government agencies, to industry-academic research collaborations that drive technology transfer and commercialization, many of our public and private institutions are under pressure to initiate or expand strategic partnerships. This includes public universities eager to grow programs and student experience, corporations interested in leveraging intellectual property and know-how flowing from research institutes and government labs, and not-for-profits seeking expert support in basic or applied research, and pathways to greater engagement with consumers, the Canadian citizenry, or a global audience.

But what is the nature of a strategic partnership? How we dig beneath the buzzwords to get at real value, lessons learned, and cautionary tales? How are they devised, created, and sustained? This panel will address these broad themes by drawing on the expertise of seasoned veterans of the industry-academic interface in Canada. In the spirit of the CSPC 2014 theme of “Innovation and Partnerships: A recipe for success”, this panel will cover a few key sub-questions, including:

What can Canada learn from other nations in this domain?
Do regional, national, and international frameworks catalyze partnerships, or do they begin with one-on-one relationships between individuals?
What is the role of direct investment from government and private capital, including philanthropy, in seeding and sustaining sustainable partnerships?

Moderator Details

Director of Government & Corporate Partnerships at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering
University of Toronto

Dr. Marcius Extavour is an engineer and physicist working across the fields of technology innovation, clean energy, and science policy. As Director of Government & Corporate Partnerships at the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto, he develops research partnerships and philanthropic relationships that support R&D, students, and technology commercialization. His past work has included research at the Council of Canadian Academies in Ottawa, political staffing and policy development at the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources in Washington, D.C, and electricity market risk analysis Ontario Power Generation.Dr. Extavour is a graduate of the Department of Physics at the University of Toronto, where he received the PhD in atomic and optical physics, and of the Division of Engineering Science, where he earned the BASc.

Panelist Details

Marianne Romansky

Dr. Romansky has over 15 years of experience in the electronics manufacturing services industry, in assembly materials research and development, failure analysis, technical project management, and technical services operations. Under her leadership, Celestica’s laboratories earned an industry-wide reputation as the premiere captive electronics manufacturing services providing metallurgical R&D, product failure analysis, expert consultation and reliability predictions to hundreds of commercial customers. Her current focus areas are innovation portfolio development and the creation of customized strategies and techniques for quality and functionality improvement in new products, including new materials development. Marianne is a coauthor of over 30 publications and conference presentations, primarily related to lead-free implementation and analysis. She earned postgraduate degrees in physical chemistry at the University of Toronto following undergraduate studies at the University of Waterloo.

David Tweddell
Senior Consultant (Strategic Initiatives)
Western University

David Tweddell, MASc., P.Eng. is Senior Consultant (Strategic Initiatives) at Western University. In his current role, David works with stakeholders across the research value chain, including researchers, industry partners, funding agencies and other knowledge consumers to develop long-term, sustainable partnerships focused on moving research into practice. He is particularly interested in research partnerships that set the stage for local and regional economic development, and sustainable, resilient communities. Prior to coming to Western in 2007, he spent 10 years in the private sector at an engineering software company and a Canadian Tier 1 automotive supplier. David earned his degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo.

Stephen Perelgut
Senior Relationship Manager for Academic Relations
IBM Canada

Stephen Perelgut is currently IBM Canada’s Senior Relationship Manager for Academic Relations. He joined IBM in 1995, and he held various senior positions including manager of special projects in IBM Canada Advanced Studies Group. Prior to joining IBM he was the Vice President and one of the founders of Holt Software Associates. He focuses on key university partnerships and, in particular, on bringing mutual value to the relationship through connecting roles in recruiting, sales, collaborative research and access to technology and people. Mr. Perelgut has a B.S in engineering sciences and a M.Sc. in Computer Science both from University of Toronto. He was the Chairman of the Board of Directors of CSER, and he sits in the advisory committees of various university programs and initiatives.

Edward Thomas
Industry Partnerships Manager
Queen’s University

Edward Thomas, BSc.Eng., MASc., is an industry partnerships manager in the Queen’s University research portfolio. Located at Innovation Park, he facilitates engagements between faculty, students, industrial R&D professionals, business executives and public sector managers across the entire innovation cycle: from basic research, to startup acceleration, to product enhancement. He has more than 20 years of experience as a senior communications and project-management professional as a business journalist, analyst, engineering researcher, communications consultant and university administrator.