PARTEQ set to capitalize on economic recovery
PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen’s, believes now is a great time to be in the “discovery development” business as the economy stabilizes and companies become less risk averse.
“The last few years have been very difficult in this business, but we’ve managed to get through the crunch. We are sitting on a lot of intellectual property that has a great deal of value,” says PARTEQ president and CEO John Molloy.
As the office responsible for helping researchers advance their discoveries to market, PARTEQ relies on its experts, resources and entrepreneurial approach to take advantage of innovative technologies generated in Queen’s labs. As prepared as PARTEQ is, though, luck still plays a small role in outcomes.
“If you can find a game-changing technology, you get over all those hurdles and you have a little bit of luck, you can have a huge impact and make a significant amount of money,” Mr. Molloy says.
PARTEQ has identified green chemistry as one market of the future, and in 2009 launched GreenCentre Canada, which offers a new, collaborative approach to commercialization. To date, 26 Canadian universities, including Queen’s, are sharing their green chemistry discoveries with industry partners and GreenCentre commercialization experts, who decide what’s relevant for the market. GreenCentre’s role is to transform green chemistry research breakthroughs into clean, sustainable products and processes.
“We have the right people, structure and deal flow in an area that’s really hot and very key strategically for this country,” Mr. Molloy says.
Although PARTEQ was founded in 1987, Queen’s role in commercializing research goes back to 1945, when it began protecting and licensing research. Today PARTEQ is one of the biggest university-based technology transfer organizations in the country.
Many stakeholders benefit from PARTEQ. Researchers don’t have to manage the commercialization process, which allows them to continue their work. PARTEQ also protects researchers’ intellectual property, one of the only offices in Canada with the in-house expertise to do so.
The financial returns PARTEQ generates are reinvested in Queen’s. Furthermore, research commercialization boosts the University’s reputation.
“When research is commercialized, the University is seen as a place to make meaningful discoveries and contribute to the public,” Mr. Molloy says.
Commercialization gives back to the general public that has supported university research through government funding.
“The public has paid for much of the research and it generally doesn’t get benefits from the research unless they are able to use it in some way,” he adds.
More information about PARTEQ can be found on its website.