Technology Commercialisation and Universities in Canada (Entrepreneurship and Higher Education)

This chapter describes the institutional arrangements and policy structure of the Canadian university sector as they relate to transferring technology to industry and promoting entrepreneurship among students and the community. In addition to teaching and research, Canadian universities are increasingly expected to be agents of economic development and to commercialise the outcomes of research. Universities experience tension in trying to fulfil this expectation. They are keen to diversify revenue, but debate the fit of commercialisation with their mandate. Further, traditional systems of collegial governance and tenure-based incentives can inhibit commercialisation. The University of Waterloo's successful record of spinning out companies and interacting closely with its community serves as an example of good practice. There is increased interest in entrepreneurship-related courses, and substantial growth in the number and diversity of offerings. The Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology programme introduced by the University of Waterloo serves as an example. Finally, the policy implications of the Canadian experience are discussed.
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