Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who owns the intellectual property developed at York?

Subject to Article 23 of the YUFA Collective Agreement and the Faculty of Graduate Studies Intellectual Property Policy, all intellectual property developed by a researcher(s) and/or graduate student(s) is owned by that researcher(s) and/or graduate student(s).

2.  What are some of the benefits of working with Innovation York?

  • Access to sources of funding to develop proof of concepts or prototypes.
  • Strategic, intellectual property protection and management leveraged by strong relationships with external commercialization organizations and intellectual property firms.
  • Partnership with MaRS Innovation.
  • Partnership with VentureLab.
  • Working relationships with Innovation York, MaRS Innovation, and VentureLab staff members who have in-depth technical expertise and business development experience.
  • Technology due diligence and market research expertise, including access to market research data from leading analyst organizations.

3. When I disclose intellectual property to Innovation York, do I have any choice in the external commercialization partner (if any) that is engaged?

When an inventor discloses intellectual property to Innovation York there is no obligation to commercialize with Innovation York or any of York’s external commercialization partners. Innovation York will work with each inventor to determine the most effective mode of commercialization for that inventor and the intellectual property. All decisions are made collaboratively with the inventor.

4. What is the difference between Innovation York, MaRS Innovation and VentureLab?

Innovation York is the technology commercialization, industry-liaison, and research agreement unit at York University. MaRS Innovation is a federally funded Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research and VentureLab is a provincially funded Regional Innovation Centre in Ontario’s Network of Excellence.

Both Innovation York and MaRS Innovation will support the commercialization of an invention, through a collaborative, hands-on process that provides inventors with the following services:

  • develop proof-of-principle grant applications;
  • develop commercialization plans;
  • create and initiate marketing campaigns to find industry partners;
  • lead contract negotiations and manage contractual relationships with industry; and
  • provide financial resources to protect your inventions;

In addition, MaRS Innovation will:

  • provide access to their 20 business development professionals to assist in commercializing an invention;
  • assist with startup company creation; and
  • provide financial investment for the commercialization of an invention.

VentureLab provides a set of services to entrepreneurs, who wish to commercialize their invention independently and assists in the creation of academic-industry research partnerships. VentureLab will:

  • identify industry partners to work with York researchers;
  • provide advice;
  • provide entrepreneurial education;
  • provide direction to funding and investment; and
  • support entrepreneurs through their BUILD program in order to provide consistent and effective support in building technology companies.

5.  What is the Markham Convergence Centre?

The Markham Convergence Centre (MCC) is an innovation hub that houses resources to assist local, national, and multi-national business in York region. It is home to a number of organizations that contribute to business growth, including one of York’s commercialization partners, VentureLab. In addition, York has leased space at the MCC for use by faculty and student entrepreneurs to accelerate the growth of startup companies founded on intellectual property created at York University.