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Laurentian formalizes agreement for innovation cluster

Sudbury university joins Lakehead, Nipissing and Trent in signing MOU
Laurentian University campus 1
The Cliff Fielding Research, Innovation and Engineering Building at Laurentian University in Sudbury

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been struck between four Ontario universities to lead innovation in the commercialization of critical minerals, cleantech, and battery electric technologies.

Announced in May, the innovation cluster is being led by Laurentian University in Sudbury, in partnership with Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Nipissing University in North Bay, and Trent University in Peterborough.

The cluster is designed to help mining entrepreneurs move their products more easily from R&D to commercialization.

“Having previously collaborated with Lakehead, Nipissing, and Trent as members of a commercialization network, we are excited to renew discussions with these partners to explore opportunities for resource sharing,” Gisele Roberts, Laurentian’s director of research and innovation, said in an Aug. 24 news release.

“This will leverage the expertise within our institutions to maximize the research and commercialization impacts of our universities and allow us to quickly adapt to rapidly changing research policy requirements.”

The MOU identifies four areas of concentration: research and commercialization support, knowledge sharing, access to professional expertise and advanced facilities, and ecosystem partnerships.  

“In particular, the four universities will be focusing efforts and attention on projects related to intellectual property and entrepreneurship, research data management and security, policy development, course/curriculum development, networking and joint symposia, and government relations, such as engaging with provincial and federal ministries and funding agencies,” noted the release.

Funding for the initiative comes through Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON), a provincial agency struck last year to help postsecondary education and research and innovation sectors generate, protect, manage and commercialize intellectual property (IP).