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Research Guides

Campus Startups 101

A starting point for University of Toronto students looking for entrepreneurship opportunities and resources on campus

Research commercialization

Port with shipping containersAccording to the Office of the VP of Research and Innovation, "Commercialization refers to a broad set of activities that add value to a discovery by bridging the gap between an idea and the creation of a definable and marketable product or process." In other words, it's one way to take the research that faculty and students produce at the university and put it to use in the marketplace.

The university has policies and guidelines that pertain to student and faculty inventions and copyright, managed by the VPRI.

To find out more, visit Research and Innovation Office | Commercialization at U of T




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Intellectual property

A lot of startups at U of T come from ideas developed through course work or research in the lab, an entrepreneurship course, or design capstone projects. When these ideas, inventions and processes can be copyrighted, patented or trademarked, they are known as intellectual property or IP.

IP and campus startups

"While the main purpose of a university’s interaction with students is in the delivery of education, there are times when these students develop intellectual property. These inventions can occur, for example, when students are working on entrepreneurship projects, when they are working in the lab as part of a research experience, or during industry-sponsored Capstone projects. In some cases these inventions have real value, and there are many examples of student activity — including that of undergraduates — resulting in the formation of viable businesses."
Source: Association of University Technology Managers "Managing Student Intellectual Property Issues at Institutions of Higher Education: An AUTM Primer" Technology Transfer Practice Manual 2014

University of Toronto policy on intellectual property

The School of Graduate Studies puts out the Intellectual Property Guidelines for Graduate Students & Supervisors

Check with your advisor or professor to understand how intellectual property issues might apply to you and your research.

Read the University's Copyright Policy, Inventions Policy, and Publications Policy, all found here: Policies and forms for graduate students


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