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Finding alignment to accelerate research to commercialization

Waterloo panellists at the Canadian Science Policy Conference explore where to focus startup support to accelerate industrial productivity

December 8, 2023

As more high potential startups grow out of university research, it’s critical to understand how government, industry and academia can align to accelerate commercialization. 

A panel discussion at the Canadian Science Policy Conference was held last month, with industry experts in the Canadian startup ecosystem. Panellists included Bettina Hamelin, president and CEO of Ontario Genomics, Farnoud Kazemzadeh, co-founder and VP Engineering at Vital Bio, Maura Campbell, president and CEO of Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO), and Akash Vaswani, general partner at Velocity Fund, where they explored how to increase the likelihood for Canadian startups to succeed in order to boost Canada’s industrial productivity.

Panellists sitting at a long table
(L-R Adrien Côté, Bettina Hamelin, Maura Campbell, Farnoud Kazemzadeh, and Akash Vaswani.)

Panel moderator Adrien Côté, executive director at Velocity, said that year-over-year, Canada is becoming less competitive amongst global indices related to productivity according to multiple studies. 

“Canadian companies are not investing in new technologies and equipment to help employees be more productive and research and development at Canadian businesses is in the bottom quartile of OECD nations,” Côté said. “One antidote to this decline is to inject high-growth innovative, research and development intensive companies into the Canadian economy.” 

As it stands, there are influences hampering startups from finding their footing to flourishing into profitable companies that could otherwise have a large, positive impact on the Canadian economy.

Read more on Waterloo News.