Business & Academia Partnering for Profit

Businesses are always looking for an opportunity to increase profits, either through growth or cost reduction. Increasingly, they are turning to universities to help them find that edge. This is especially so when it comes to being digital and finding a technological advantage. It was the Canadian government’s investments into Artificial Intelligence years ago that lead to the development of “neural networks”, which has become the foundation of the greatest advances in AI and are now being used by Google, Apple, Microsoft and many others.

Today, the federal government in Canada is continuing this approach to bringing academia and business together to advance technology. Even small to medium sized businesses can now take advantage of small investment programs that multiply dollars spent significantly, or leverage grants for quick, smaller problems that deliver a business advantage and help a student move towards their masters or Ph.D., a win-win.

Universities across Atlantic Canada have also significantly increased their partnering with businesses across almost all sectors. From agriculture and oceans technology to data analytics and software development firms. Each university across Atlantic Canada has contact points to help businesses connect with the right faculty. Some universities have assigned a member of a faculty to be the main outreach and contact person to help a business coordinate their projects.

A common concern posed by businesses is around the anticipated amount of paperwork and administration required to access funds and manage the project. In reality, it’s actually quite easy. Some programs require only a one page form to be completed, while others are just a few pages.

Every business has at least one significant technology problem that could benefit from some research. Meeting with a university faculty member can be as simple as an initial cup of coffee. You may end up finding a whole new vertical market opportunity or taking your business to an entirely new level.

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