| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Youtube RSS Feed

Innovation & Job News

MaRS Innovation receives $15 million in funding

Toronto is known for its cutting edge academic and medical research facilities, but the path from the lab to the marketplace isn't always short or direct.

In 2008, with the goal of making the most of the findings coming out of those facilities, 16 leading institutions including Ryerson University, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and OCAD University joined forces to create MaRS Innovation, a collective commercialization agent. (The MaRS Discovery District, the innovation centre for entrepreneurs, is also a member, though they are often confused, MaRS DD and MaRS Innovation are two separate organizations.)

MaRS Innovation was started with the help of a five year, $15 million federal investment, and this month they were glad to announce they've been awarded a new $15 million grant. The new round of funding comes from the federally run Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program.

MaRS Innovation was created, says president and CEO Raphael Hofstein, "to address a very interesting challenge for Canada, which is 'how do you turn outstanding research into something that directly helps the economy?'"

The initial five year period of support, he goes on, was to establish a foundation for the organization. "Now in the next three or four years, we will build the tower on top of the foundation." The first five years gave them a good start, he explains, but it's "a bit of a challenge" as far as the timeline for development with still-emerging technologies. By the end of this second five year period, MaRS will have "meaningful operations"--businesses that have emerged from the research innovations coming out of the member institutions. This funding program, he concludes, "is a game-changer."

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Raphael Hofstein, President and CEO, MaRS Innovation
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts