Industry has an increasing role in McGill's research, education, and public service mission, not only in an advisory capacity on boards and committees, but as a sponsor of internships, fellowships and research projects. Also, a growing percentage of granting programs require industrial partners, such as NSERC, FQRNT, FRSQ and CIHR.
Multinationals and start-ups alike are seeking new sources of innovation, and partnering with them can be rewarding for both parties.
For university researchers, industry partnerships can provide resources and insight into ongoing research and potential areas for growth in research.
When working with industry, it is important to keep in mind the contrast between its needs and priorities and those of an academic setting. The table below illustrates some of the critical differences to be aware of.
|Objective||Solving an operational problem, reducing costs, competition, return on investment||New research program, real-world problems, student theses, publications, funding|
|Timeline||Months or weeks||Years|
|Deliverables||Products (software, data, designs, etc.), quarterly reports, progress meetings||Peer-review publications, theses, conference papers|
|Funding||Price, return on investment, R&D tax credits||Student salaries, miscellaneous costs, indirects|
|Payments||Upon receipt of deliverables||Up front and annual|
|Publications||None or subject to review and approval||As soon as possible|
|Confidentiality Period||Perpetual or more typically 3-5 years or more||None or more typically 2-3 years maximum|
|Intellectual Property||Belongs to the industry||Belongs to the university|