Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

The Foundry: A Program Based on the Complementarity of Research and Student Innovation

Together with Queen's University Office of Partnerships and Innovation, DDQIC hosted its first information session for researchers to learn more about the Foundry

January 2, 2018  | By Joanna Tinus

Last month, the Dunin-Desphande Queen’s Innovation Centre, in partnership with the Office of Partnerships and Innovation, hosted the Foundry Show and Tell. Several faculty and PhD students from the Applied Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Computing, and Arts & Science were present at the event to learn more about the program. This provided a unique opportunity for attendees to learn about how the Foundry can create meaningful relationships that will deepen the societal impact of scholarly research.

Over the past 4 years, Queen’s has been working hard to maintain its reputation as a well-balanced university that is recognized equally for its research excellence and its transformative student learning experience.[1] By placing the student learning experience at the forefront of their strategic mandate, Queen’s has emphasized to faculty, staff and other stakeholders that student engagement and skill development is essential to its success. As the university shifts its focus to this more nuanced understanding of education, it becomes important to establish strong programs that will bring this vision to life. The Foundry is a recent initiative that was developed as a collaborative effort between the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre and the Office of Partnerships and Innovation. This program provides the opportunity for researchers who have intellectual property (IP) to work with students who are interested in and motivated to pursue entrepreneurship. By bringing researchers and students together, the Foundry program will create amazing opportunities to commercialize both formal and informal IP, and transform these ideas into successful business ventures.

How Does it work?

Researchers from various departments and schools at Queen’s University will present their ideas to student entrepreneurs who have been selected to participate in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) program. Students who are interested in pursuing a venture founded on this valuable IP will then dive-in on the project to develop a coherent business plan and help the researcher’s intellectual property reach its commercial potential. Foundry companies that participate in QICSI are given access to training, seed funding, mentorship, office space and the opportunity compete for significant seed funding in the Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition. Piloted over the past two years, the Foundry program is now being rolled out in full form for 2018.

Why Choose the Foundry?

As a research intensive university that emphasizes an exceptional student learning experience and outstanding student engagement, Queen’s is very well-positioned to support the Foundry program. The Foundry creates a relationship between students and researchers that represents a collaborative effort to house research and development within a university setting. This joint effort presents an opportunity for students to continually engage with the Queen’s community while keeping at least part ownership of intellectual property within the university.

In alignment with university-wide objectives, the Foundry will provide a number of new opportunities for experiential and entrepreneurial learning.[2] Ultimately, our goal is to help those that are not well-versed in entrepreneurship bring their ideas to life by partnering them with creative, motivated and innovative students who are well-suited to take on a start-up with valuable IP and reach commercial success. In pairing student talent with promising research projects, we aim to foster positive relationships that have the potential to keep research and development in house here at Queen’s. Through these relationships Queen’s can expand its impact both regionally and internationally by working with Kingston-based industrial partners and promoting research on a global scale.