New Alberta institute aims to turn research into revenue

May 6, 2013

A new institute that will help colleges and universities commercialize their research in partnership with private companies and other agencies is underway, says Alberta Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk. The institute, as yet unnamed, will be open to researchers and students from any campus in the province, and eventually generate a stream of royalties for schools and businesses, he said. The institute, which will be associated with Campus Alberta and under Advanced Education, will eventually spin off companies and “help start a new economy for Alberta,” and future royalties streams could help fund the budgets of PSE institutions, added Lukaszuk. However, some worry that funding for the new institute will come from cuts to other areas, including more cuts at universities. The head of the University of Alberta’s faculty association said there are serious questions in these commercial partnerships. Private companies may not like the results of research arrived at, or might want to keep negative results under wraps. In a university setting, researchers are not beholden to a company or agency that might be looking for a certain outcome, she said. Edmonton Journal