Who is this for?
External partners looking to engage in research activities with the University of Toronto (U of T).
What do I need before I can begin?
No information is required to begin. Please reach out to the VPRI contact listed below if you have questions regarding partnering with a University of Toronto (U of T) researcher.
The University of Toronto (U of T) has an excellent track record of building successful partnerships with local, national and global organizations. Ranging from small and medium sized enterprises to multinational corporations, along with government and not-for-profit organizations and community groups, the University seeks connections with local and global partners.
The number of research partnerships at U of T is a testament to the many benefits a partner can gain from working with the University. Organizations can connect with world-leading researchers to help address important challenges and to participate and support cutting-edge research in areas of interest. Additional benefits can include access to research infrastructure or specialized equipment at the University and experts that can facilitate knowledge transfer. Working with the University also exposes the organization to trainees and graduates entering the workforce.
Engaging with the University may provide access to funding opportunities through grants or other programs that help support the costs of a research project. For instance, certain organizations can leverage their contributions with government funding programs, including the following.
- Alliance program with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
- Ontario Research Fund: Research Excellence with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU)
- Sustainable Development Technology Canada
- Genome Canada
- Ontario Centre of Innovation
- and many more
Canadian companies are also eligible for federal and provincial tax credits based on their research expenditures. Programs such as the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program provide preferential credits and refunds for research expenditures, including those at postsecondary institutions.
Blue Door provides a single point of entry for organizations wishing to work with U of T, assisting by identifying academic expertise and pioneering research opportunities, as well as talent recruitment, all to provide a seamless partnership experience.
Divisions and Departments across the University may have business development professionals and other roles to support the creation of new research engagements, in addition to the Office of the Vice-President International and the Institutional Strategic Initiatives.
The Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) supports successful partnerships between industry and the U of T research community in the following key areas.
- The Business Development Team (part of the broader Blue Door team) can help facilitate introductions between an industry partner and interested researchers at U of T and identify funding programs and opportunities.
- The Partnerships Team supports the negotiation and execution of all industry research agreements and facilitates access to the funds for the research. The Partnerships Team also supports the pre- and post-award administration of industry and related government funding agencies.
- The Innovations Team receives invention disclosures, supports intellectual property protection and patenting, and negotiates licensing agreements to facilitate the transfer of the research output to an appropriate partner.
U of T engages in many forms of research partnerships and there is no “one size fits all”. The University takes a flexible approach in working with industry and other types of partners. Collaborative projects may range from a relatively short-term engagement to tackle a specific challenge, to larger multi-year engagements with more open-ended goals. Some partnerships may span a few months while others can extend for years, or even decades. Projects may also range from fundamental research to applied research with specific goals and commercialization objectives.
Many partnerships involve a single researcher or group working with a single company. Others may include teams of researchers across U of T and possibly other Canadian or international universities working as a network, which may also include a consortium of industry partners.
- Identify partners and programs to support research projects
- Assist with structuring partnerships for success
- Develop partnership contracts and agreements