Ivey centre awarded $240,000 to train leaders in the lab

As part of Genome Canada’s Entrepreneurship Education in Genomics competition, the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation at The University of Western Ontario has been awarded $240,000 to run a business-training course for life scientists.

‘Leaders in the Lab’ is an intense education program focused on developing the business and commercialization skills of life scientists. The program utilizes expert faculty at the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation to deliver insights on strategic leadership, financial management, pharma-economics, business valuation, intellectual property (IP), financing, licensing and regulatory issues and the principles of business plan development.

“Educating and providing know-how advice and support to scientists to assist with the commercialization of their work is imperative to stay at the cutting-edge of science,” says Mark Poznansky, president and CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI), which is overseeing the program and funding.

“Canada is a global leader in genomics research, but our record on the commercialization front has much room for improvement. This program marks one step forward in improving our efforts in commercialization, and in increasing the impact genomics research has on the health of our economy.”

‘Leaders in the Lab’ is an open-enrolment program of three days consisting of classes of 40-50 scientists from across Canada. It will equip scientists with the business skills and knowledge of commercialization necessary to respond to market opportunities for Genomics research. In addition to the classes, participants will also have access to webinars that Ivey will host throughout the year.

Anne Snowdon, chair of the Ivey International Centre for Health Innovation, and leader of the ‘Leaders in the Lab’ program, says: “We are grateful to the OGI for supporting our ‘Leaders in the Lab’ program. This program will offer a new and innovative approach to executive and entrepreneurship education focused on the particular needs of health and life scientists working in the genomics fields.

“The program builds on a strong and proven foundation of executive leadership development at Ivey and uses a curriculum that is specifically developed to highlight the key issues and attributes needed to successfully bring a product to market and have it adopted across the health system,” Snowdon continues. “What is truly innovative about our approach is that it will bring senior life scientists together – and keep them together through an alumni network – to think and learn about commercialization.”