Collaborations and Working with Industry

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, FRQNT, FRQS 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
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