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New Panel To Commercialize Alberta Post-Secondary Research

Institute will push diversification of province’s economy

EDMONTON – Alberta’s new institute to commercialize university research moved ahead Friday with the appointment of ten international experts, businesspeople and academics to an organizing panel.

All panel members, including panel chair Daniel Roos from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, are involved in similar agencies across the globe and are also well-acquainted with Alberta’s research environment, said Enterprise and Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, who announced the panel.

“They are all familiar with Alberta and they say the time is right to set this up,” said Lukaszuk.

Roos, for instance, has been working for the University of Alberta for about 18 months on the issue and has written a report, so he will “hit the ground running.”

“(The) U of A has been very instrumental in putting this process forward,” Lukaszuk added.

The panel will consult business, the research community and post-secondary colleges and universities to see what is needed and should have recommendations on how to proceed ready in a matter of weeks, he added.

The institute will be an independent entity that will facilitate work between researchers and private sector companies, will help find venture capital, and deal with issues such as intellectual property and royalties.

The goal is to push the diversification of Alberta’s economy, he added.

Roos, an expert in industry-university relations who set up a similar commercialization entity in Portugal, will meet with the panel next week.

The panel also includes, from Alberta, Bob Fessenden, a former deputy minister in the Alberta government, Dr. Carlo Montemagno of the national nanotechnology institute at the U of A, and from Calgary, Lori Stewart, senior strategy adviser at Innovate Calgary and formerly a key leader in eBay’s expansion to 22 countries.

Two other panellists are from the U.S.