a man with a hard hat working in a factory

Working with Industry

In Canada, more than in other G7 nations, businesses turn to universities for research support, and there are many government programs – both federal and provincial – that provide leverage to these projects. This leveraged funding constitutes a significant portion of McGill’s annual research budget.

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.

Industry Partnerships

The Industry Partnerships team has years of experience working with businesses. Collaborations can range from indirect support of ongoing research activities to contracting very specific research projects and specialized services. The team can also facilitate access to expertise from highly qualified personnel, and to student interns as well. Other benefits of sponsoring research at McGill University include:

  • Priority access to technologies that result from research
  • Productive relationships with faculty members with relevant expertise
  • Federal R&D tax credits
  • State-of–the-art research facilities

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 these critical differences.

Objective Solving an operational problem, reducing costs, competition, return on investment New research program, real-world problems, student theses, publications, funding


Months or weeks



Products (software, data, designs, etc.), quarterly reports, progress meetings

Peer-review publications, theses, conference papers


Price, return on investment, R&D tax credits

Student salaries, miscellaneous costs, indirects


Upon receipt of deliverables

Up front and annual


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

Industry funding newsletter

Want to know when industry-related funding opportunities arise? Want to be the first to know when new programs on collaborating with companies are launched?

Get the latest news delivered to your inbox. Sign up fo the I+P newsletter today.

Back to top