Election to NAI Fellow status is one of the highest professional distinctions accorded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.
Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 80 senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes.
Before taking up his current position as Vice President (Research) at the University of Alberta, Dr. Babiuk was a world leader in Canadian vaccine research at the University of Saskatchewan.
A vaccine he developed laid the foundation for a rotavirus vaccine for children. Before the vaccination, over 500,000 children died each year from rotavirus. His vaccine also saves the cattle industry in North America $300 million a year.
In Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan, Dr. Babiuk founded the internationally recognized Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) research institute. Under his leadership from 1993 to 2007, VIDO grew into an internationally recognized research powerhouse and launched a $140 million bio-containment facility—the only one of its kind in Canada.
As VP Research at the University of Alberta, Dr. Babiuk has championed the commercialization of research at the University of Alberta. He was instrumental in the collaboration of the University and the City of Edmonton in successfully growing TEC Edmonton as a joint venture to accelerate and incubate innovative companies from both the University and the community at large.
Dr. Babiuk was also awarded the prestigious Gairdner Award in 2012, and is a member of the Order of Canada.
“Scientific excellence, administrative excellence, a deep commitment to the application of research, and a strong enabler of people,” says TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “Dr. Babiuk is a most impressive person.”
The NAI Fellows will be inducted on 15 Apr. 2016, as part of the Fifth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors.
TEC Edmonton’s Technology Management team offers expert advice on intellectual property matters which often lead to new patents, licensing agreements and company spin-offs.
Microelectrode technologies for neural interfaces University of Alberta researcher: Dr. Anastasia Elias (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering), Dr. Vivian Mushahwar (Division of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry)
In collaboration with the Technology Management team, Dr. Anastasia Elias and Dr. Vivian Mushahwar were successfully awarded a $122,000 NSERC I2I phase I grant entitled “Microelectrode technologies for neural interfaces”.
The funding will facilitate continued developed of a novel flexible base electrode array that can be implanted into the human body and communicate electrically with the nervous system.
Electrical stimulation using implantable devices has been used as a viable treatment option for many patients in a diverse variety of therapeutic indications. The present electrode array is expected to display better tissue compatibility, enabling safer implantation in delicate neural tissue such as the spinal cord.
Such treatments may eventually restore the ability to stand, walk, reach, and grasp in patients with spinal cord injury.
Edmonton, AB – December 4, 2015 – TEC Edmonton is pleased to announce that its nominee Tom Fath has been named Startup Canada’s 2015 Senior Entrepreneur of the Year.
As president of The Fath Group – with six companies under its umbrella, including O’Hanlon Paving – Tom has been an entrepreneur, risk-taker and innovator most of his adult life.
Fath has been a major angel investor in Edmonton’s technology sector for some seven years. Angel investors are frequently the first investors in promising but still high-risk startup companies. Some of the companies in which Fath has equity positions include Exciton Technologies, MTI Metabolomic Technologies Inc., VibeDx, Radient Technologies, Quantum Silicon, Bertech, Picomole, Conematic and ProMIS Neurosciences.
“Tom Fath has founded and invested in numerous companies,” says Dr. Randy Yatscoff, TEC Edmonton Executive Vice-President of Business Development. “Tom has been integral in supporting innovation and diversification within Edmonton and Alberta.”
“I like things that are different,” says Tom. “It’s good for Alberta to have footloose and fancy-free companies. I like learning about their new technologies. I get excited by their market potential. I’m not a hunter, so this is my thrill of the chase.”
His belief in social enterprise led to starting a professional outdoor soccer team, FC Edmonton, a member of the North American Soccer League. “It’s a good way to give back,” says Fath. “It’s great for the community. If FC Edmonton ever makes money, it’ll go into the community.”
At 65, Fath is as interested and curious as ever about commercializing new technologies and supporting economic development in his hometown. “I support good products that start locally, where the entrepreneur wants to grow the company and keep it here. Supporting these folks is good business.”
Fath is part of TEC Edmonton’s TEC Venture Angels investment group, a group of high-worth individuals looking at angel investments in technology-driven startup companies. Since April 1, 2015, The TEC Venture Angels/VA network has secured $8.6 million of investment in 19 companies. TEC Venture Angels has held three public and eight private forums showcasing over 40 companies deemed investment-worthy by TEC Edmonton.
TEC Edmonton helps technology entrepreneurs accelerate their growth. In addition to being the commercialization agent for University of Alberta technologies, TEC Edmonton operates Greater Edmonton’s largest accelerator for early stage technology companies, including both university spinoffs and companies from the broader community.
TEC provides client services in four broad areas: Business development, funding and finance, technology commercialization and entrepreneur development.
TEC’s ~128 active clients are an outstanding group of companies. Since 2011, TEC clients have generated $472M in revenue, raised $232M in financing and funding, invested $142M in R&D, grown employment by 25% per year and now employ over 1750 people in the region. In addition, TEC has assisted in the creation of 22 spinoffs from the University in the last five years.
In 2015, TEC Edmonton was identified by the Swedish University Business Incubator (UBI) Index as the 16th best university business incubator in the world, and was also named Canadian “Incubator of the Year” at the 2014 Startup Canada Awards.
For more information, visit www.tecedmonton.com
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The University of Alberta’s business incubator is the 16th best in the world, according to the latest global ranking by the University Business Incubator Index.
The index is produced each year by the Swedish-based UBI Global, based on about 60 performance indicators that provide a benchmark for incubators around the world. About 1200 incubators were assessed, with 340 of them ranked by the UBI Index from 64 countries.
“The UBI Index awards are a key indication that Alberta’s university business incubators are effectively contributing to the diversification of Alberta’s economy, increasing our provincial economic growth and helping to build Alberta’s reputation as a great place to grow a business,” said Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton.
The UBI Index ranking took note of TEC Edmonton’s strong performance in providing value for clients and positively developing the local economy by catalyzing job creation.
The UBI ranking supports results from TEC Edmonton’s 2014-2015 annual client survey that shows its 128 active clients grow faster, raise more growth capital and have better survival rates than startups in the broader economy. With an average job growth rate of 25% per year, TEC clients significantly outperform Industry Canada’s benchmark job growth rates of 1% to 5% per year for early-stage entrepreneurial ventures.
As the commercialization engine for U of A developed technologies, TEC Edmonton has helped create 22 U of A spinoff companies in the last five years. Its clients have generated more than $470 million in revenue, raised over $230 million in financing and invested $142 million in research and development.
The U of A and TEC Edmonton’s focus is not just creating spinoffs, but also sustaining them by providing resources to help the new companies succeed and prosper. And the approach is working: the U of A currently has 88 spinoffs still operational.
“One way to ensure university research solutions provide the greatest benefit to society is via technology transfer and commercialization.” says Lorne Babiuk, U of A vice-president (research). “When TEC Edmonton was launched in 2006, no other North American business accelerator merged university innovation with civic and university-based services for entrepreneurs. A short nine years later, TEC Edmonton is named 16th in the world. We are very proud of this recognition and of our strong partnership with the City of Edmonton and TEC Edmonton.
“Congratulations to the TEC Edmonton team and thank you to our provincial and federal governments, industry and non-profit partners—and of course our researchers and innovators—all of whom have contributed to TEC Edmonton’s success.”
(Re-printed with permission from the UAlberta News, Nov. 25, 2015, edition)
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