March 20, 1997 * Vol . 8, No. 6

Calling all entrepreneurs...

Do you need a cash kickstart for that new invention, process, or idea that you'd like to get into the marketplace?

The university/industry liaison office (U/ILO) is holding its fourth annual prototype development fund competition, designed to make the transfer and commercialization of SFU inventions and ideas a lot easier.

The fund finances the development and testing of prototypes. Commercialization may occur through the creation of a new company, or licensing out to an existing company. Money can also be used to form collaborations with companies.

In its first three years, the popular competition has attracted a total of 86 prototype applications from faculty, staff and students. Of these, 50 have been funded for a total of more than $334,000, and most projects have resulted in a working prototype.

A total of $100,000 is available for the 1997 competition. Awards usually average about $7,000 each.

To be eligible, projects must involve SFU faculty, staff or students, and relate directly to knowledge or technology developed at SFU. The underlying research should be at an advanced stage and commercial application identified. The project must also have a "champion" who will be actively involved in the commercialization process.

Successful applicants must agree to work with U/ILO to commercialize the technology. This could involve prior assignment of the technology to SFU, or an agreement to share a portion of subsequent revenue with SFU.

The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m., April 11, with decisions expected in the first week of May. Anyone interested should consult U/ILO staff Bob de Wit at 291-5374, Daphne Gelbart at 291-1735 (outside line) or Teri Lydiard at 291-5844 before applying. Application forms are available on the U/ILO Web site:, or can be picked up in room 3150, Strand Hall.

The fund is sponsored by SFU, the B.C. government, NSERC, the National Research Council, and the Lohn Endowment Fund.

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