New approach to technology transfer

Article Date: February 6, 2017

A recent external review of the university's support for technology transfer and commercialization was undertaken to guide the university in developing a response to a recommendation by the board of directors of PARTEQ Innovations (PARTEQ) that the university consider integration of PARTEQ services within the university.

PARTEQ currently acts as the technology transfer agent for Queen’s. Its mission is to provide researchers with intellectual property and commercialization expertise they need to advance their discoveries to benefit the public.

The external reviewers observed that PARTEQ’s self-funded business model faces challenges due to changes in government grant funding in recent years. Furthermore, universities increasingly view technology transfer as a support service for researchers, rather than a for-profit endeavour.

Based on those observations, technology transfer capabilities are now being integrated as a shared service within the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio in order to service the research needs of faculty members and enhance experiential learning opportunities for students. Furthermore, the external review recommended seamlessly integrating technology transfer capabilities with industry engagement and entrepreneurship services.

Queen’s is implementing those recommendations by integrating the PARTEQ, Industry Partnerships, and Innovation Park teams as a shared service within the Vice-Principal (Research) portfolio. In conjunction with this announcement, Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research), has asked Jim Banting, CEO and President of PARTEQ, to lead the transition process as the new assistant vice-principal (partnerships and innovation).

“Supporting researchers who seek to engage in knowledge translation or commercialization activities remains a high priority for the university,” says Steven Liss, Vice-Principal (Research). “This new structure will allow us to build on our strengths and enhance our collaborations with industry, investors, community organizations, and other universities, both nationally and globally.”

Dr. Banting has more than 15 years of business development experience, with a particular focus in the life science sector. He joined PARTEQ as President and CEO in 2014 after spending several years working the biotech sector in the United States.   

After graduating from Queen’s in 1993 with an honours degree in Life Sciences, Dr. Banting went on to earn his doctorate in pharmacology at Queen’s. His career began as a co-founder of the Queen’s spin-off company Vaxis Therapeutics.

“Dr. Banting and his team will provide strategic direction to enhance and grow partnerships and collaborations with industry, and to support knowledge translation and the various avenues for the commercialization of research,” Dr. Liss says. “Within this new structure, we will seek to enhance our support to faculty – and increasingly undergraduate and graduate students – to secure Queen’s position as a dynamic and innovative institution.”

More information about the External Review of Technology Transfer and Commercialization is available on the Office of Vice-Principal (Research) website.