WORLDiscoveries expands into China

WORLDiscoveries is open for business in China.

The organization, a partnership between The University of Western Ontario, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, will open an office in the Jiangsu province in southern China in November. The office represents a new era in the organization, which has expanded to what is tentatively called WORLDiscoveries International.

As the business development arm of London’s research network, WORLDiscovereis draws upon a mix of industry connections, sector-specific market knowledge and business development expertise to help researchers and local inventors commercialize their discoveries through licensing and new company spin-offs.

WORLDiscoveries is the first technology transfer organization in Canada to establish an office in China and already has plans to expand to a second office in Asia.

“We will have our own people on the ground in China to better work with that community on an ongoing basis,” says Paul Paolatto, WORLDiscoveries executive director. “It keeps our technologies front-and-centre in front of the industrial partners we are targeting for these opportunities.

“By investing in their communities, it helps us motivate them to invest in London,” he says, noting an announcement is expected later this year regarding a private sector deal involving two spin-off companies, funded by Chinese investors, which are setting up in London.

A group of delegates from Jiangsu’s Department of Science and Technology are visiting Western Thursday and Friday, July 21-22 to sign a memorandum of agreement with an expressed intent to help WORLDiscoveries and the university establish a presence in the province of Jiangsu.

This is the most recent step in an 18-month aggressive bid to establish a presence in China to introduce technologies into the Chinese market, and create economic returns and development for Western and the London area. To date, many lucrative relationships have been established with the Chinese government and private sector partners.

“We are not just introducing our university’s technologies, but we are helping represent London-based companies who have technologies and wish to enter the China market, but don’t necessarily know the most cost-effective means by way to do so,” Paolatto says.

Asia is more aggressive in moving technologies to the marketplace, he explains.

“Traditionally it’s been a tough market to crack. We’ve been able to establish this presence in just over 18 months and a lot of that has to do with Western’s exceptional reputation internationally,” Paolatto says. “Because of that, WORLDiscoveries has been able to move much more aggressively into the market and represent our technologies more effectively.”

The Jiangsu office may also be used for training with knowledge-based workers, research collaborations and student recruitment.