News and Events


January 16, 2013 - The Globe and Mail

It's a myth that startups drive economic growth

Canada has a growing love affair with startups. Look around any city in the country, and it's easy to see why.

Any entrepreneur will tell you that launching a new venture is exciting. As a former entrepreneur myself, I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of bright-eyed, aspiring industry leaders as they take those critical first steps. It is an energizing experience and one that is filled with promise.

But creating significant value following the launch of a startup is riddled with challenges - and they are often several orders of magnitude greater than those associated with starting a new venture. These stumbling blocks have far-reaching impact. In Canada, too many companies 'start up' and stagnate and never 'scale up.'

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December 11, 2012

Moving from cooperation to collaboration in support of 'born globals'

A general consensus at the C3 event in Ottawa last week, was the need to now move beyond cooperation among innovation intermediaries to develop a collaborative project that helps remove some of the obstacles to growth faced by young companies and helps born global firms scale up and internationalize.

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November 28, 2012 - The Globe and Mail

Why startups need to start putting customers first

A company is not in business to create cool technology - it is in business to make money. And to make money, a company must have paying customers. It is a fundamental success factor in business. And it is one that is often overlooked particularly when a firm is just getting started. Many entrepreneurs focus solely on technology development dedicating little or no time to the customer until they have a finished product ready for sale. These companies often end up searching for a problem to solve with their cool technology.

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November 14, 2012 - The Globe and Mail

Why so many high-potential startups fail in Canada

In Canada, comprise more than 98 per cent of our economy and generate 43 per cent of private sector jobs, according to Industry Canada. Thousands of these high potential startups are created each year and many more entrepreneurs are waiting in the wings. These companies hold an important key to help us unlock greater productivity. So, why do so many promising early-stage firms fail to innovate?

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October 3, 2012 - The Globe and Mail

Our country's graveyard of great technology is overrun

Studies continue to show that Canada lags other developed countries when it comes to commercialization. Clearly there are many facets to this problem. If you ask an entrepreneur, lack of capital is almost always the first issue. But all the investment in the world can't help a company to succeed if the right management is not in place. Money doesn't establish the business strategy, identify the best markets and win customers - people do. This is the role of the business executive. And when time and money are most scarce, the right executive is critical. Every decision counts and in the early days of a company, these decisions can make or break a business.

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August 15, 2012 - The Globe and Mail

Why Canada needs to grow more 'born globals' 

In 2002, five aspiring entrepreneurs emerged from the hallways of the University of Waterloo with a vision. Their goal: to ease the pain of supply chain management for retailers that distribute products we use every day. With an easy-to-use logistics software solution emerging from the lab, these ambitious graduates eyed a lucrative market. This commercial opportunity wasn't bound by regional or domestic borders. This global industry is valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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March 21, 2012

Creating a Global Brain Trust on Commercialization to Build More Robust Companies around the World

TORONTO, Ontario - In the heart of one of Canada's most prominent financial districts, the second annual International Commercialization Forum welcomed 85 innovation leaders from 22 countries to Toronto. The two-day forum designed to help establish a global brain trust on the commercialization of publicly funded research is being hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence's federally funded Centre for Commercialization of Research (CCR) in partnership with the International Commercialization Alliance (ICA) on March 20 and 21, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario. The Forum enables participants to tap into a world of expertise on commercialization approaches, and put it to work in their respective countries. This event directly supports the overarching goal of CCR and the ICA: to improve the commercialization of research to grow more high-performance firms in Canada and around the world.

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October 17, 2011  

International Commercialization Alliance Announces the Creation of the Canadian Commercialization Consortium (C3)

TORONTO, Ontario - On the heels of its establishment as a non-profit corporation, the International Commercialization Alliance (ICA) is pleased to announce the creation of the Canadian Commercialization Consortium (C3). Building on a strong base of publicly funded research, the C3 will seek to combine Canada‟s commercialization expertise and resources among industry, academia and government; stimulate collaborative action that helps move more novel ideas and technologies from the lab to the global marketplace; and connects Canadian firms to international end-users and markets. The C3 will also gather and provide national input to the ICA; ensure Canada‟s full participation in the Alliance, and help Canadian innovators to gain the greatest benefit from this global commercialization community.

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Past Events

The Third Annual International Commercialization Forum

March 19 - 20, 2013

Toronto, Canada

Hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the International Commercialization Forum took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on March 19 and 20, 2013.

Click here to view the ICF 2013 Agenda


International Commercialization Alliance Working Advisory Board - Back row, left to right: Sean Conway (Chair, OCE Board of Directors and MC), Canada; Antonio Paz, Spain; David Barbe, USA; Jeffrey Crelinsten, Canada; Rowan Gilmore, Australia (has been replaced by John Kapeleris); Philip Lim, Singapore. Front row, left to right: Pedro Vilarinho, Portugal; Mario Thomas, Canada; Nava Swersky Sofer, Israel; Alan Barrell, UK; Jose Aluizio Guimaraes, Brazil. (Absent: Camille Saltman, USA)