Industry Collaborations

Collaborate With Us

Welcome to Western Engineering!  Western Engineering is actively working with business to the benefit of staff, students, faculty and our city.  With world-class researchers, students and facilities, Western Engineering is committed to the community and establishing and building relationships with partners in industry.  We are open for business!!!

Working with Us

There are many ways in which Western Engineering faculty, staff, and students engage with industry.  We offer internships and co-op programs for our students.  Our researchers lead outstanding programs with a balance of discovery-driven and applied projects.  Our institutes, centres and groups provide teams of expertise and unique facilities available to support you.  We also have a number of unique technical service oriented facilities, such as the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory, the Geotechnical Research Centre, Fraunhofer Project Centre @ Western, and University Machine Services.  For more information, or to find an expert, please contact: Tara MacCrone, Research Officer, Faculty of Engineering (tara.maccrone@uwo.ca or 519.661.2111 x 84469).

Stretching Your Research $

We encourage our researchers to meaningfully engage with industry partners in their fields - listening, learning, and partnering to solve science and engineering challenges in their business.  We bring access to specialized facilities, new knowledge and perspective, outstanding students and staff, and where possible, reduce the risk by sharing the costs.  There are a number of research partnership programs that Western Engineering researchers regularly access to help support our university-industry research projects and help to stretch that industry dollar a little bit further.  Here is a quick snap shot of a few of our most popular programs:

NSERC

Engage - Making a new connection? Engage grants are intended to foster the development of new research partnerships between an academic researcher and a Canadian company that have never collaborated before, by supporting short-term (6 month max.) research and development projects aimed at addressing a company-specific problem in the natural sciences or engineering fields.  NSERC may contribute up to $25,000 to the academic researcher to support the direct costs of the project.  Industry partners are an instrumental part of these projects and contribute in-kind.

Engage Plus - To further developments from an ongoing or recently completed Engage Grant project, or to continue the project while seeking longer-term support, applicants may apply for a subsequent Engage Plus Grant to support a project for an additional six months.  The project must involve the same academic researcher and the same industrial partner.  To demonstrate its commitment to furthering the project, the industrial partner must contribute cash to the direct project costs in an amount at least equal to the amount requested from NSERC.  NSERC will match the cash contribution of the partner up to a maximum of $12,500. 

Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants  - CRD Grants are intended to give Canadian companies (or those that operate from a Canadian R&D or manufacturing base) access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian post-secondary institutions and to train students in essential technical skills required by industry. CRD Grants support well-defined projects undertaken by university researchers and their private-sector partners. Projects may range from one year to five years in duration. CRD projects can be at any point in the R&D spectrum that is consistent with the university’s research, training, and technology transfer mandate. Direct project costs are shared by the industry partner(s) and NSERC and can range in size and scope (with no minimum or maximum project sizes). The mutually beneficial collaborations are expected to result in industrial and/or economic benefits to Canada. 

Idea to Innovation (I2I) - I2I Grants accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising  university technology and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company.  For additional information, please see WORLDiscoveries®.

Strategic Partnership Grants Strategic Partnership Grants fund research and training in targeted areas that could strongly enhance Canada’s economy, society and/or environment within the next 10 years. Please see the NSERC website for the current listing of targeted areas. 

  1. Projects - Strategic Partnership Grants for Projects fund early-state project research in targeted areas. Projects are typically one to three years in duration and involve an in-kind contribution from our industry partner.
  2. Networks - Strategic Partnership Grants for Networks fund large-scale, multidisciplinary research projects in targeted research areas that require a network approach and that involve collaboration between academic researchers and Canadian-based organizations. Strategic Networks are eligible for up to five years of funding from NSERC.

Industrial Research Chairs  - Industrial Research Chairs (IRC) are prestigious positions for our Faculty.  IRCs are funded jointly by NSERC and industry.  They are intended to:

  1. assist universities in building on existing strengths to achieve the critical mass required for a major research endeavour in natural sciences and engineering of interest to industry; and/or
  2. assist in the development of research efforts in fields that have not yet been developed in Canadian universities but for which there is an important industrial need; and
  3. provide an enhanced training environment for graduate students and, where appropriate, postdoctoral fellows by exposing them to research challenges unique to industry and the opportunity for significant ongoing interactions with the industrial partner(s).

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)  

Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP)  - The OCE VIP program helps eligible Ontario companies develop, implement and commercialize technological innovations by supporting collaborations between Ontario's industry and academia.  Projects funded through the VIP program enable the development of new products and/or processes, an increase in productivity improvements, and help generate new revenues and high-value jobs for Ontario.  There are two VIP program streams - VIP I and VIP II. To determine which OCE program is right for you, please contact Jeff van Heumen, our OCE Business Development Manager. 

Industrial Training Programs

Mitacs

Accelerate  - Mitacs Accelerate Internships support graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.  The program enables an intern to spend approximately half of their time on-site with the industry partner and the other half at the university.  Internships run in 4-month blocks allowing each internship to be tailored to the project scope.  Individual interns can be working on an Accelerate internship for anywhere from 4 months to 2 years.  Projects of broader scope can be facilitated by your Mitacs Business Development Director and can include multiple interns and academic supervisors, as well as multiple universities.  Mitacs Accelerate is a non-competitive program with no deadlines and a 96% success rate.  For further information, please contact Erin Azzopardi, the Western University Mitacs Business Development Specialist.

Elevate - Mitacs Elevate is a competitive program that develops skills of postdoctoral fellows in Canada and builds capacity for R&D management in various academic, industrial and non-profit sectors. Over the two-year fellowship, Elevate fellows develop career-ready skills in areas such as project management, entrepreneurship and presentation skills, while applying both their expertise and professional skill set in the real-world environment of their partner organization through a 2-year research project. For every $1 of a partner organization’s $25,000 contribution, Mitacs provides $1.30 in matching funds for a total research grant of $57,500 per year ($50,000 towards the fellows stipend and $7,500 to support their research expenses). For further information, please contact Erin Azzopardi, the Western University Mitacs Business Development Specialist.

OCE

TalentEdge Internship Program- This program allows eligible, Ontario-based companies access to highly skilled talent and expertise, the latest research and cutting edge technology, and gain innovation solutions to their industry challenges. It allows our researchers and current graduate students, final year undergraduate students and recent Masters graduates the opportunity to connect with established companies and bridge the gap between academia and industry by gaining real-world experience. Each four-month internship unit is valued at $20,000 - with $10,000 from OCE, $5000 in cash and $5000 in in-kind from our industry partners. Interns are required to spend a portion of their time on-site or in the field with their industry partner. TalentEdge Internships are scalable and stackable with the OCE VIP program. For more information, please contact  Jeff van Heumen, our OCE Business Development Manager.   

TalentEdge Fellowship Program - This new fellowship program provides support for Ontario-based postdoctoral fellows (PDFs) to work on industry-driven research and development projects.  The TalentEdge Fellowships are intended to provide fellows with the opportunity to work with an industry partner on a cutting edge research and development project and gain hands-on industry experience.  Fellows are required to spend a portion of their time on-site or in the field with the industry partner.  Each 12-month fellowship is valued at $85,000 - with $32,500 from OCE in cash and $2500 for professional development, and $25,000 in cash and $25,000 in in-kind from the industry partner. A fellow may hold a maximum of two consecutive fellowships over 24 months.   For more information, please contact Jeff van Heumen, our OCE Business Development Manager.   

Intellectual Property (IP)

“How does Western handle IP?” or “What is Western’s IP policy?” – These are typical and important questions for our partners.  All industry projects (involving cash contributions to the university) are governed by research agreements.  All agreements are to be negotiated and signed by Research Development and Services at Western (not by individual faculty members).  If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to explore terms and conditions or IP issues, we encourage you to contact Caroline Calmettes, ccalmett@uwo.ca, or 519 661-2111 x80120.  She would be pleased to assist you.

Interested in a Western Engineering Innovation?

WORLDiscoveries® is the Business Development arm of London’s extensive research network and the bridge between local invention and global industry.

Born out of a partnership between Western University, Robarts Research Institute and Lawson Health Research Institute, WORLDiscoveries® 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. Please feel free to contact WORLDiscoveries® for more information.

Where to begin ?

Not certain which program is right for you?  Feel free to contact Tara MacCrone, the Western Engineering Research Officer. She will be happy to assist.