About the Transition

Industry Engagement at SFU is undergoing a transformation to better serve the Simon Fraser University community. 

The following provides some frequently asked questions and answers regarding the transition and restructuring of this office. 

Why is a restructure happening?

  • Simon Fraser University‚Äôs Industry Engagement (IE) Office is a service for faculty, intended to give them support for protecting and commercializing intellectual property (IP). 
  • An external consultant was hired to review and make recommendations regarding the way the office is structured and how it does business, including an assessment of what roles/positions are in place.

What did we decide and when will changes take place?

  • After the external review of the IE Office, we decided to move forward with the consultant's recommendations for significant change. 
  • The office is being restructured to focus on IP protection and technology licensing. 
  • This new structure is planned to launch in February 2020. 
  • In the meantime, we have staff in place to serve SFU researchers. We are confident these changes will help us better serve the SFU community.

What happens in the interim? Will I still receive my license payments? Will my patent be renewed?

  • The office draws upon core staff from Research Operations for legal, clerical and financial work. These individuals remain in place to monitor and manage the patent portfolio, deal with license revenue and complete negotiations with licensees. 
  • We have also engaged an additional IP-specialist lawyer for the interim period.
  • The office will be able to receive and assess new disclosures, and will continue work on existing files where licensees have been identified. 

Why were faculty uninformed before changes took place?

  • Because the restructuring of the office included human resource issues, we were unable to consult with faculty in advance.  
  • We will be consulting with faculty over the next several months. While we are quickly moving ahead to classify and hire a particular set of positions, the operational policies of the new office are being refined. We are interested in what you would like to see in the new office. 


If you have further questions, please email SFU's Executive Director, Research Operations, Trevor Davis at trevor_davis@sfu.ca (Acting Director, IE).

An open information session about the IE transition occured on Thursday, November 21, 2019.

This was an opportunity for SFU faculty and others affected by the transition to hear more about the change, to ask questions, and to provide feedback on what they would like to see from the restructured office.

If you have any questions about the transition, please contact Trevor Davis, Executive Director, Research Operations.