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Teaming up and Showcasing Research

Sometimes two things are just made for each other: peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, shoes and socks.

The Creative Destruction Lab (CDL) is a national seed-stage program that helps massively scalable science-focused companies and startups. Its intense program works with early-stage business to help grow ideas through commercialization.

When the CDL opened the doors to its new Atlantic division in the Spring of 2017, we at Springboard Atlantic saw an opportunity for another pairing that goes together like, well, peanut butter and jelly.

“There is a great fit between the innovative research that’s going on in our institutions and CDL,” said Katrin Sommerfeld, Springboard’s Programs Manager.

“CDL Atlantic’s Site Lead, Jeff Larsen reached out to Springboard’s President & CEO, Daryl Genge because Springboard is the conduit where CDL can learn what kind of innovative research is available at all of our institutions. Given our network and the deep connections that our ILO’s have with the researchers we’re in an ideal position to showcase the most relevant researchers to CDL.”

Springboard and CDL-Atlantic have now developed a promising partnership. The fruits of our collective labour was unveiled at the end of October/early November in 2018 when we debuted our first round of LabCrawls at the University of Prince Edward Island, Memorial University, the University of New Brunswick and Dalhousie’s Halifax and Truro campuses.

Our second round of LabCrawl tours took place in May 2019. During these crawls, the CDL-Atlantic team visited labs at Cape Breton University, Acadia, St. Francis Xavier.

These mini-tours are designed to showcase our networks lab spaces and research projects and to introduce CDL to Springboard’s network.

“Through the lab crawl partnership with Springboard, CDL-Atlantic has been able to increase awareness of our program, plant the seed of commercialization for researchers, and create excitement for scaling these innovations into something massive.  Most importantly, our visits have also allowed us to identify prospective ventures, scientists, and mentors who are a good fit for CDL.” – Leslie McNabb, Associate Director, Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic

To fully appreciate what it takes to do academic research and the impact it can have on our lives, these LabCrawls provided a peek into the world of applied research and industry engagement and unveiled the altruistic motivations behind research.

“A lot of the researchers are interested in real world problems and they want to find solutions to those problems,” explained Sommerfeld.

“Sometimes they must go in a direction that might not lead to anything but often they come across results that with further development will bring a strong, real world outcome. There is outstanding potential for commercialization in our institutions. The research that has been presented at the LabCrawls was very diverse and groundbreaking.”