Innovation is the creation of new ideas and solutions that advance, contribute to and improve society, our lives and our world. The innovation process starts with research and experimentation. This in turn leads to new discoveries, knowledge and ideas that drive new innovations, ideas and solutions. These solutions can take various forms including new or improved methods, processes, programs, policies or products that create value above existing alternatives. As such, innovation involves the full spectrum of research, across all disciplines and activity resulting in economic, social and/or cultural improvements and advancements.

Transferring discoveries, ideas and innovations out of the university is just one way our research helps shape the future, improve life, drive the economy and create new jobs, and serve the public who help fund our research.

Driving the economy, creating new companies and jobs
The university has a long and record of pioneering research discoveries and innovations, many of which have spawned new companies and products. In fact, our company creation record goes back almost 60 years, spinoffs R&L Molecular Research (1962) and Raylo Chemicals (1966) helped launch Alberta's emerging biotech economy. In 2006, what began as Raylo Chemicals was acquired by global biotech company Gilead Sciences. Gilead chose to remain in Edmonton, and expanded its footprint and payroll, which is now over 400 high tech employees.

Commercialization: from idea, to market, to you
Commercialization is one way new discoveries make their way to you. To commercialize intellectual property and innovations created at the university, there are two main commercialization pathways:

  • Create a spinoff company to transfer and develop research discoveries directly. Today, the university has 120+ spinoffs still operational. 
  • License a technology to an existing company to develop and market that technology.