Events and Training

The Innovation Bridge Series

Our graduate student professional development events, workshops, and conferences will help you cultivate a teaching portfolio, learn more about research ethics, and prepare for a career outside academia.

Featured Workshops and Events

The Innovation Gap Series: What Is the World of Creativity, Innovation, and ET?
Date: October 28, 2020 from 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM | Register here

While words like creativity, innovation and ET may grab your attention, when graduate students and postdocs see a phrase include "entrepreneur" they often skip to the next page. In this case, ET stands for entrepreneurial training rather than extra-terrestrial! Your research training is also building your entrepreneurial mindset - one that can develop new policies, innovate new ways on doing things, promote best practices for organizations, and, for a select few, create a new product or service. This session will provide a larger picture of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, help you understand how you can have an impact on society, and entice you to continue to explore your business acumen.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are in a unique position - talented, creative, analytical, problem solvers, innovators - yet, they rarely rank themselves high in their business acumen. Having an entrepreneurial mindset has a far greater scope than starting a business that sells a product. Innovation, creativity, and an entrepreneurial mindset are what is needed to create solid policies, develop new processes and establish best practices. These are the skills that research builds and can be transferred to any organization. The Innovation Bridge Series will take you on a journey of exploring questions that relate to the entrepreneurial mindset and will help you bridge your research skills with the larger entrepreneurial ecosystem that needs you. Participants will be eligible to use their attendance at sessions towards a new Innovation recognition initiative to be announced by the VP Research and Innovation Office as well as for Professional Development credit.


Dr. Deborah James leads the University of Alberta's Innovation Office that delivers initiatives aimed at enhancing the capacity, profile, culture and success of innovation, entrepreneurship and commercialization across campus. This includes oversight of the University's technology transfer and business development services. Dr. James has more than 15 years of academic, executive and consulting experience in life sciences and healthcare. As the former Executive Director of Innovation for the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, Dr. James worked extensively across the public and private sector to create, connect and implement large-scale initiatives that demonstrate value to care providers, industry and the University. Her particular interests are in translating new disruptive innovations into health systems, with a focus on precision diagnostics, point-of-care testing, and digital health. She received her degree in clinical pharmacy from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta and completed her PhD (UAlberta) studying the neuro-immunological basis of airways disease. She held previous positions as a Clinical Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and has taught extensively in the fields of therapeutics, toxicology, pharmacology, immunology and disease mechanisms.

Dr. Anthony R. Briggs is an Executive Professor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Strategic Management and Organization Department at the Alberta School of Business and the Executive Director of the Technology Commercialization Centre. He is the Co-Founder of eHuB, Entrepeneurship@UAlberta, and the University of Alberta Venture Mentoring Service. Tony holds a Doctor of Business Administration in Information Systems from Boston University's Graduate School of Management where he studied how some of the world's top technology entrepreneurs identify and develop breakthrough innovations. In 2014 he received the Donald and Margaret MacKenzie Undergraduate Distinguished Teaching Award. Tony was a patent licensing officer in Canada and the US, most recently at Harvard Medical School. Prior to his doctorate, Tony received an M.S. from MIT Sloan, where he researched the impact of patent constraints on innovation, and also assisted in the design of the Intellectual Property Owners Association and the Licensing Executives Society surveys. He also holds an MBA in Finance from University of British Columbia, and a B.Sc. Hons. in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta.


Now what? Developing your Innovation
Date: November 12, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. | Register here


Part of the Innovation Bridge series, this session takes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on the journey to explore how a concept can move from a research idea to reality using a business model - whether this is a social enterprise, a service, a policy, or a new way of doing something. eHub is a campus organization that can help you better understand the steps to make your ideas gain real traction using a series of 5 modules. Using personal anecdotes and case studies, participants will leave the session with greater confidence about their own skillset and possibly viewing their research with a new perspective. You will hopefully see that you have what it takes to make the first steps towards being an innovator and understanding the entrepreneurial process - skills highly desirable by all stakeholders.


Luke Butterworth's role with eHub provides students and postdocs guidance in moving their innovative ideas forward and potentially obtaining financing for their business ventures. Luke is the founder and CEO of Trioova™, a telehealth company that has been expanded across Canada. He also was the COO with Nuport Robotics, a company building autonomous trucks for short-haul logistics. Previously he worked for CBI Health Group and MedPoint which created the foundation for understanding clinical processes and referrals. His work experiences have required him to develop business agreements, partnerships, office software sourcing, and bids for contracts. Luke is currently completing his MBA in Executive Education.