Peter Garrett is associate vice-president of research and innovation at the University of Calgary and CEO and president of Innovate Calgary.

Innovate Calgary is turning discovery into commerce

Peter Garrett

Calgary’s Business: What is Innovate Calgary and its purpose?

Garrett: Innovate Calgary is the knowledge transfer and business incubator centre for the University of Calgary. We help bridge the gap between discovery and innovation by offering commercialization services such as intellectual property management, licensing or company formation to University of Calgary researchers, entrepreneurs, students, faculty and staff.

CB: What kind of support do you offer research projects that are just starting out?

Garrett: Our focus is to help identify if there’s a commercial potential from the research and clinical work being done at UCalgary, either through licensing their discovery/tech to an existing company or working with them to create their own company.

CB: Can you give me a scope of how many research projects the organization is currently helping and how many since your inception?

Garrett: Currently we are working with over 240 researchers who are pursuing commercialization. Since our inception 32 years ago, we have worked with thousands of high-potential projects and that number keeps growing.

CB: What are some of the key challenges facing new companies on the market?

Garrett: I would say that finding the right talent is a challenge that most companies face today, especially in non-oil and gas industries such as information and communications technology and artificial intelligence. Advances in technology are happening much quicker than in the past and having the right talent to execute will prove an invaluable asset for your company.

CB: How important is innovation in Calgary’s economy in the future?

Garrett: It’s paramount. Diversification of our economy is key for our future and innovation plays an integral part in moving our economy forward.

There are many great examples of companies here in Calgary that are contributing to the diversification of our local economy: Benevity, SMART Technologies, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging and more.

Over the past few years, our innovation ecosystem has rapidly grown to support the advancement of innovation across many industries, including ICT, AI, biomed, medical and education. I encourage anyone working on an innovative solution to connect with our innovation ecosystem to help you get started.

– Mario Toneguzzi

Innovate Calgary is turning discovery into commerce

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