I want to license a technology or sponsor research

For companies looking for a competitive edge, or who lack the resources to undertake their own research, McGill University is your ideal partner. We have the tools and skills to put ideas into action, and to help find the solutions to your business problems. There are also special funding programs available that can help offset costs related to finding your next big hit. Among these are the NSERC Alliance Grants, which require academics to find external partners, or Mitacs, which also fosters partnerships between academia and industry.

For those with more specific needs in mind, we also can offer access to cutting-edge laboratory tools and equipment for your own research activities. This could include actual ground-breaking research (which requires a Research Agreement) or it could be more functional in nature, such as testing a specific device (which would require a Service Agreement).

There are also many technologies that already have been lab-proven and are ready to be put into application. McGill researchers have made hundreds of discoveries with commercial potential – you can see what is available for licencing here. Use of these technologies would require a license agreement, something that is handled by Innovation and Partnerships.

The ins and outs of collaborating with industry can be complex. Consult our FAQ below for more pertinent information:


Frequently asked questions

We want to sponsor research but want to know who will own the technology that comes out of it. What rights will the Professor retain?

Our starting position is that IP rests in McGill and we offer the sponsor an option to negotiate a fee-bearing license. That said, we are open to negotiation that goes beyond this, and if the McGill research team agrees, we can accept other ownership/licensing terms. Internally, IP at McGill is handled as per the McGill IP policy. It is co-owned by McGill and the inventors and, as such should any industry-sponsored research result in revenues through licenses discussed in the bullet above, then it is shared as described in the policy.

We just want access to specific machines to run some tests. Can our company use facilities at McGill without any faculty being involved?

Our preference is for McGill employees to use the machines and to perform the work under a service agreement. Despite this, it is possible to negotiate other conditions, but all work should be performed under the supervision of McGill employees. Note that this will also depend on the specific Faculty involved. For the testing of medical devices, click here for details.

What is the difference between direct and in-direct costs?

Direct costs are the actual costs (salaries, materials, equipment, etc.) that are specifically incurred to perform the research. Indirect costs are general organizational costs that are incurred by the university in support of the research.

I’ve been contacted by a company that wants to undertake research. Who do I contact to help me draw up a research agreement?

The Office of Innovation and Partnerships will help you to put in place the required agreement. Start by reaching out to giovanna.sebastiani [at] mcgill.ca (Giovanna Sebastiani), Associate Director, Industry Partnerships.
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