red fireworks

Jan. 31, 2023

UCalgary is once again the No. 1 startup creator among research institutions in Canada

2021 rankings from Association of University Technology Managers puts university on top for 2nd year in a row

The January release of the Association of University Technology Manager’s (AUTM) 2021 Canadian Licensing Activity Survey once again shows that the University of Calgary is the top startup creator out of 32 Canadian academic and non-profit research institutions.

The 2021 survey had the highest response rate from Canadian institutions since 2014, allowing for a clearer picture of technology transfer activity in Canada. Through Innovate Calgary, the university’s technology transfer office, 18 startups were formed out of six faculties in the 2020/2021 fiscal year.

“This ranking shows the impact UCalgary’s research community is making by taking the steps to translate their discoveries into real-world solutions,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “The university continues to be successful due to the supports offered through our rich innovation ecosystem.”

Logan and Marcus stand in a green house with their arms crossed

Dr. Logan Skori, PhD, left, and Dr. Marcus Samuel, PhD, professor, Department of Biological Sciences are co-founders of AgGene. Skori recently graduated from Innovate Calgary's Life Sciences Fellowship program.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

The Innovation@UCalgary ecosystem includes mentorship, training, funding, and services to support at any stage of the innovation journey to move research-to-impact.

Of the 18 startups, two from the Faculty of Science:
AgGene, an agriculture biotechnology company improving protein content in plant tissues, and Vital XR which uses mixed reality, 3D printing, and expert-guided teaching algorithms to provide simulated medical training, are both recent graduates from Innovate Calgary’s Life Sciences Fellowship program within the Life Sciences Innovation Hub.

Liminality Innovations out of the Faculty of Nursing provides evidence-based quality improvement initiatives and training for health and social service providers working with expectant mothers and parents of infants. The social enterprise won the 2021 TENET i2c competition.

Karen Benzies

Dr. Karen Benzies, PhD, RN, professor, Faculty of Nursing and adjunct research professor in the departments of Paediatrics and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, is the founder and CEO of Liminality Innovations.

Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

Two therapeutics-based startups from the Cumming School of Medicine include Taylored Biotherapeutics who are developing microbial-based therapies to treat mental illness, and Zymedyne, part of the UCeed investment portfolio, are developing treatments for chronic and neuropathic pain.

Bee Energy, whose electrochemical exfoliation process developed in the Schulich School of Engineering uses electrical energy to initiate water hydrolysis producing graphene from graphite, and Fluidome’s metabolomics-based platforms and software developed in the Faculty of Science both participated in the Academic Entrepreneurs in Residence mentorship program.

The university also ranked third in the AUTM survey with 130 intellectual property disclosures for inventions — the first step in the patent process. Canada is currently ranked seventh globally in the 2022 International Intellectual Property Index for the best intellectual property environment.

UCalgary is a leading destination for researchers to take action and move ideas toward implementation and community impact. The Innovation@UCalgary ecosystem supports these efforts through a culture of entrepreneurial thinking and determination.

Innovate Calgary is the innovation transfer and business incubator centre for the University of Calgary. As part of the Office of the Vice-President (Research) portfolio, and as a member of the UCalgary innovation ecosystem, we work closely with researchers, faculty, and students to help bridge the gap between discovery and creating economic and societal impact.

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