There is a vast body of knowledge, expertise, and innovation available in our Atlantic Canadian post-secondary institutions. For years these resources were left untapped. From time to time, some of these products saw the light of public recognition beyond a scientific publication by being commercialized. More often though, the world-class innovations created by our researchers remained untapped and on the shelf.
To change that, Springboard Atlantic was established in 2004 and incorporated as a non-for-profit organization in 2005. Our main objective is to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of technology and knowledge transfer in Atlantic Canada. We connect skilled professionals in academia with like-minded contacts in industry to build new collaborations and to support research commercialization, accelerating the competitiveness of Atlantic Canadian companies.
The Springboard network is comprised of 19 members – 14 universities and 5 colleges from Atlantic Canada and with support from the Government of Canada (through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency), we are the only regional commercialization network in Canada that has public post-secondary universities and colleges working together under a common commercialization mandate.
Springboard’s Innovation Mobilization (IM) Funding, available to our members, plays a very important role in bridging the gap between a new idea and getting that idea to market. Technology Readiness Levels (TRL), are the 9 stages of technology/knowhow development that categorize how close the innovation is to being commercialized. The work done in our post-secondary institutions usually centers around TRL 1-3 and in recent years more often also around TRL 4. However, funding for TRL 5-7, the crucial stage between moving from the initial prototype to commercial prototype to market goes beyond what most granting agencies fund and, remain too early in development for most startup companies to fund directly.
To ensure that this gap is bridged Springboard provides Proof of Concept, Patent & Legal and Marketing Support Funds to our members so that more research and innovations developed in our member institutions reach the market.
Over the course of this series we will celebrate Springboard’s success bridging the gap and #springboarding innovations forward; and explore the ways this work personally impacts you, your neighbours, and your communities. Make sure to follow us, connect with us and do not hesitate to reach out to us.