Volker IP Fund

Simon Fraser University's (SFU) Volker IP Fund provides scientist entrepreneurs with funding to commercialize their science-based innovations, empowering our community to develop new products, processes and services that benefit our society and the economy.

About the Volker IP Fund

The Volker IP Fund opens doors for scientist entrepreneurs in the SFU community to commercialize their science-based innovations by funding the legal costs of pursuing patents or intellectual property (IP) protection. With this fund, successful applicants can receive up to $25,000 in repayable awards to reimburse legal IP costs. 

The Volker IP Fund was established in 2021 thanks to a generous donation from entrepreneur, angel investor and SFU community member Michael Volker


The Volker IP Fund is available to:

  • SFU employees (staff and faculty);
  • SFU students;
  • SFU postdoctoral fellows;
  • Research grant employees affiliated with SFU;
  • SFU alumni who graduated within five years of the application date; and
  • Invention to Innovation ("i2I") program students who were enrolled within the past five years of the application date.

How to Apply

To apply, submit a written proposal by email to the Volker IP Fund Committee at

The written proposal should include:

  • A summary of the science-based innovation;
  • A proposed commercialization plan for the science-based innovation; and
  • A description of the impact the science-based innovation could have from an economic or social perspective.

For the purposes of this fund, a science-based innovation is defined as the development and implementation of new products, processes or services based on emerging research in science or technology that implies both social and economic value creation and capture.

The Volker IP Fund Committee reviews all received proposals at a quarterly basis at minimum. Proposals may be reviewed on an on-going basis as circumstances permit.

Successful Candidates

Successful candidates will receive a repayable award of up to $25,000 (Canadian dollars) to reimburse present, future or past IP legal fees. The award will be in the form of a convertible debenture secured by a General Security Agreement, and must be paid back by the successful candidate in equity, cash, or any combination thereof at a payback date that is mutually determined by the successful candidate and the Volker IP Fund Committee.

The successful candidate must report financial details for their IP and/or related venture to the Volker IP Fund Committee by December 1 for every calendar year until the convertible debenture has been repaid.