Research scientist Anat Feldman is ready to shift from academia to industry after completing the Invention to Innovation program.

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Lifelong learning leads to new career

June 11, 2018
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By Emma Keeler-Dugas

Sixteen years after celebrating her PhD from SFU and becoming a budding scientist, alumnus Anat Feldman has completed a new academic chapter, this time rooted in business, that has led to a new career.  

She convocates this month with a Graduate Certificate in Science and Technology Commercialization after completing the Invention to Innovation (i2I) program last fall. The Beedie School of Business program prepares research scientists and engineers to shift from academia to industry, and to commercialize their inventions.

“It is geared to people with a science background,” says Feldman who completed her PhD in biochemistry at SFU in 2002. “It was a great experience as, at the end, students must develop an investment pitch and convince the audience of the worthiness of their invention and path to market.”

Prior to entering the year-long, part-time program, Feldman worked in various research roles, including five years at the Fraser Health Authority where her experience included negotiating clinical trial agreements. That prompted her interest in learning more about the other side of the business.

“The program was great, and in perfect timing in my career,” she says. “It gave me the business tools needed to bring an innovation to market.”

It also led to a new job. She is now a senior business-development officer at STEMCELL Technologies Canada Inc., Canada’s largest biotechnology company.

“Since part of my role is to examine new technologies and make initial contacts with tech transfer offices, my science background comes in handy,” says Feldman. “The skills I learned in the program combined with my science training help me every day.”

“Invention to Innovation is a great program to get your foot in the door of the business world. It is surprising how much you learn in just one year,” she says. “It really prepares students for what needs to be considered to start a business, or to transition from academia to industry.”