Funding Enhances University Technologies International's Technology Commercialization Capability

    CALGARY, Feb. 11 /CNW/ - University Technologies International (UTI) is
pleased to announce year two funding approval in the amount of $185,000 from
Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research (AHFMR). This funding is part
of AHFMR's ForeFront Program and includes: an $80,000 Executive in Residence
Award which allows UTI to continue to provide experienced and highly qualified
personnel for its company creation division "IGNITE"; and a $105,000 Block
Grants Award for Early Stage Commercialization Support which allows UTI to
identify, assess and strengthen commercialization opportunities in the
medical/health technologies sectors.
    "AHFMR's ForeFront Program addresses a critical need in commercializing
early-stage technologies in the province," says Paul Cataford, President & CEO
for UTI. "Alberta is fortunate to have an organization such as the AHFMR. They
are an engaged and supportive partner which not only supports researchers but
is committed to help bring these research outcomes to market."
    The Executive-in-Residence Award supports UTI's IGNITE group. IGNITE's
mandate is to identify and commercialize technologies through creating viable,
sustainable, early-stage technology-based companies, of which the Executive in
Residence (EIR) program is an integral part. EIRs act as the CEO or Managing
Director for IGNITE companies offering inventors and entrepreneurs the level
of commitment, engagement and expertise required to be successful. UTI's
current AHFMR Executive in Residence has made significant contributions over
the past year including: identifying three new opportunities for company
creation; providing executive management expertise and coaching and mentoring
for mid-level management talent for three companies; and engaging investors
for two companies.
    The Block Grants Award supports UTI's Licensing and Business Development
effort which focuses on screening technologies for feasibility and commercial
potential. UTI's Licensing and Business Development division currently
evaluates over 75 inventions annually, and markets a portfolio of over 150
technologies ready for licensing, collaborative research and joint
development. Last year, UTI was able to apply the AHFMR Block Grant funding to
eight technologies. Funds were used to enhance the commercial viability of
technologies by strengthening patent claims, leveraging other available funds
and increasing the attraction for licensees.
    "The ForeFront EIR support and IGNITE's services are a winning
combination," says AHFMR Interim President & CEO Dr. Jacques Magnan. "These
types of partnerships are crucial to accelerating innovation in Alberta and
beyond. We anticipate similar outstanding results from UTI in year two of this

    University Technologies International is the University of Calgary's
technology transfer, commercialization and incubation centre for inventors,
innovators and entrepreneurs. UTI's reach expands beyond the University
community to include the local business and inventor community. With 18 years
of experience and a proven track record of catalyzing the commercialization of
a wide variety of innovative technologies, UTI is dedicated to providing
services on all matters related to technology transfer, commercialization,
company creation and incubation.
    UTI's IGNITE program is currently funded by Alberta Heritage Foundation
for Medical Research, Alberta Advanced Education and Alberta Ingenuity Fund
through its Ingenuity Enterprise program. Ingenuity Enterprise is a joint
initiative of Alberta Ingenuity, TEC Edmonton and University Technologies
International to attract and develop technology-driven entrepreneurs who will
create new companies that maximize the value of scientific discoveries made in
Alberta for the benefit of Albertans.
    The AHFMR ForeFront Awards supports career, industry and innovation
development. The Executive-in-Residence Award enables the technology transfer
offices at Alberta's universities to recruit senior-level management who have
relevant industry experience and appropriate networks to assist university
spin-off companies with the commercialization of technologies. The Block
Grants Award for Early Stage Commercialization Support is provided to
facilitate and accelerate the application of the most promising technologies
originating from medical/health research.

For further information:

For further information: Kelly Sansom, Director, Marketing &
Communications, University Technologies International, (403) 270-2431,,

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