The Faculty of Engineering goes to market

Spring 2016
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Faculty Advisory Board member Côme Laguë, BEng’89, Founder & CEO of Zetta Research, chairs the board’s subcommittee on the Innovation Fund. He is pictured above at the Faculty of Engineering’s 2015 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Awards Evening.(Photo: Owen Egan)

McGill EngInE, the Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, would be the centrepiece of a concerted program at the Faculty of Engineering to enhance education, nurture innovative ideas and coordinate entrepreneurial efforts

Its education mission would include extensive, co-curricular and extracurricular activities that complement what students learn in classrooms and labs. “The overall objective,” says Engineering Dean Jim Nicell, “would be to show students how to create new opportunities, to be problem-solvers and to meet challenges head on.”

By offering physical space and seed money, McGill EngInE would help innovators to build prototypes and develop novel ideas and business ventures. An Entrepreneur-in-Residence program would form part of the strategy, too—to facilitate coordination between individuals having scientific and technical expertise with those having business credentials and training.

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“We see the McGill EngInE as playing a major role in bringing about a transformative culture change at our Faculty,” Nicell says.

“We want our students and professors to fully explore the potential of their imaginative and ground-breaking ideas by pursuing their commercial potential. In this way, they can directly benefit from increased impact of their work and through the creation of new career opportunities for graduates. To do this, they need to become more familiar with the basic requirements and resources needed to launch start-ups.”

“And by consolidating the many entrepreneurial endeavours now underway, we would simultaneously enhance education and foster a true entrepreneurial environment with close ties to the Montreal entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Professor Benoît Boulet, MEng’92, Associate Dean Research and Innovation, describes the proposed McGill EngInE as the nerve centre for all our Faculty’s entrepreneurial activities.

“It would also link academic strengths across McGill with the growing commercialization expertise and business know-how offered through specialized units such as McGill’s Dobson Centre for Entrepreneurship and the IDEA Team (Invention Development and Entrepreneurship Assistance) at the Office of Innovation and Partnerships.

quote1-market 1“It would signal in a very strong, very public way, the Faculty of Engineering’s commitment to entrepreneurship,” Boulet adds, “while stimulating student involvement in innovation and entrepreneurship very early in their education.”

Read more about the concept behind McGill EngInE in the article titled: “Resource centre for technology driven ventures”.

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