Commercialization Projects

Knowledge Translation is a dynamic and iterative process that includes the synthesis, dissemination, exchange and ethically-sound application of knowledge to improve the health of Canadians, provide more effective health services and products, and strengthen the healthcare system.

Commercialization and innovation refer to the component of knowledge translation that is focused on bringing intellectual property (IP) (new products, tools, or services; for full definition see below) to a state of use in the private, not-for-profit, or public sectors. CIHR is also committed to facilitating the commercialization of health research in Canada in support of its overall mandate to excel, according to internationally accepted standards of scientific excellence, in the creation of new knowledge and its translation into improved health for Canadians, more effective health services and products and a strengthened Canadian health care system.

Many of the inventions and discoveries arising through academic research are at a stage beyond discovery-driven research and yet are often of uncertain utility or insufficiently developed to be of interest to relevant receptor companies, organizations, and potential investors. Such IP may never be licensed, commercialized, or otherwise applied, without additional targeted research, market research, investment, and business development activities. These activities are of paramount importance, because they serve to validate, better define and add value to the IP but they require resources that typically cannot be obtained through the traditional funding mechanisms.

Commercialization projects can currently be considered for funding as part of the Commercialization Peer Review Committee of the Project Grant Competition.

Commercialization projects are designed to advance discoveries/inventions towards commercializable technologies, with a view to attract new investment, create new science-based businesses, organizations and initiatives, and ultimately improve health outcomes for Canadians.

For commercialization projects, the applicant should include a Research/Technical Plan and a Commercialization Plan.

Note that evaluation of applications reviewed in Commercialization committee will include the assessment of both Research and Technical plan and Commercialization plan based on the following criteria:

  1. Research and Technical Plan
    • Description, feasibility and appropriateness of the research plan;
    • Originality of the research plan and impact of the expected contributions;
    • Relevance and description of the scientific and/or technical requirements to move the invention/discovery toward commercialization;
    • Identification of potential hurdles and how they will be addressed;
    • Qualifications and track record of the applicants;
    • Applicants' familiarity with literature in the field and current competitive, or emerging, technologies;
    • How the proposed experiments will strengthen the IP position or generate new IP.
  2. Commercialization Plan
    • Description, feasibility and appropriateness of the commercialization plan;
    • Demonstration of a need for the research;
    • Impact of proposed product/service on the health of Canadians and/or the Canadian health economy;
    • Description of  IP protection strategy, freedom to operate, prior art, market evaluation and opportunity as appropriate;
    • Consideration of potential barriers to commercialization;
    • Industry/sector contacts, appropriateness of receptor company/organization;
    • Qualifications, track record of persons associated with the commercial aspects of the project and identification of business expertise needed to complete the plan;
    • Capacity and commitment of applicant's institution to take the project through the commercialization process;
    • Appropriateness of milestones and follow-on steps planned at conclusion of project.

Definition of Intellectual Property (IP): Intellectual Property means all materials, methods, concepts, products, processes, discoveries, genetic constructs, know-how, show-how, formulae, inventions, improvements, industrial designs, processes, patterns, machines, manufactures, compositions of matter, compilations of information,  whether or not legally protectable, including patents and patent applications, copyrights, trade secrets, technology, technical information, software, prototypes and specifications, including any rights to apply for protections under statutory proceedings available for those purposes, provided they are capable of protection at law.

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