New uOttawa Faculty of Medicine grant program designed to help researchers leap from concept to commercialization

Faculty of Medicine
Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology
Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Awards and recognition
Dr. Louise Sun
A new grant program aims to provide our top-flight researchers with the assistance needed to bring the benefits of their most promising breakthroughs to the wider world.

With innovation and scientific rigour in plentiful supply at the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine, a new grant program aims to provide our top-flight researchers with the assistance needed to bring the benefits of their most promising breakthroughs to the wider world.

There’s a growing buzz around the Faculty’s Path to Patenting & Pre-commercialization (3P) grant program, now supporting its first innovative projects. It’s part of a long-term plan to finesse the most impactful health and biomedical research findings at uOttawa and kickstart opportunities for patenting and commercialization.

Dr. Daniel Figeys, Director of the uOttawa School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Interim Director of Innovation and Partnerships, described it as a “very exciting” initiative to accelerate the development of spin-off and innovation at the Faculty of Medicine. He describes it as a paradigm-shifting vision at uOttawa that’s needed because the commercialization process, particularly for first-time inventors and entrepreneurs, can pose unique challenges.

“We didn’t want commercialization and innovation to just happen by chance. We wanted to facilitate the process and bring in experts. I think it’s the first step at the Faculty of Medicine to have a systematic process towards innovation and commercialization – and I think we will only see growth in that space over the next few years,” Dr. Figeys says.

Now, the uOttawa Faculty of Medicine is supporting three innovative research projects through the 3P Program, which was launched in October 2021.

The 3P’s initial projects are:

  • “New Materials for rapid suture-less and scar-less surgical repair” led by Dr. Emilio Alarcon and Dr. Marc Ruel
  • “Exosomes to prevent post-operative atrial fibrillation” led by Dr. Darryl Davis
  • “Cardiac surgery triaging tool” led by Dr. Louise Sun.

Industry partners agree on the tremendous potential.

Dr. Mounia Azzi, Vice President, Program Development and Partnerships at adMare BioInnovations, says Canada is “primed to be a global leader in life sciences.”

“Realizing this potential is our goal at adMare; and takes the kind of clear focus, dedicated resources, and strong collaboration found with uOttawa’s 3P Program. We are excited by these inaugural projects and look forward to supporting their commercial advancement,” she says.

Théo Risopoulos, Principal, Theodorus Investment Funds, says the quality of the projects presented during the 3P program is a “perfect example of the potential for Canadian technologies to gain strong positioning on the global market.”

“The teams have extensive scientific and technical expertise as well as the capacity to develop and execute a plan to bring a great idea to market. We are looking forward to the continuing growth of these projects,’’ Risopoulos says.

Mohamad Sobh, Research Advisor at the Faculty of Medicine and Manager of the 3P Program, says ‘’numerous high-quality applications were received for the fall round and the competition was high.”

The deadline for the spring round will be announced soon.

The 3P funding is intended for key experiments needed for intellectual property (IP) protection and potential commercialization, assessment of potential market access, and development of a commercialization plan. Applications are reviewed internally by a 3P Funding committee, composed of non-applicant uOttawa professors and affiliated research institutes, with representation from industry.

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The Faculty Of Medicine's Greatest Needs fund provides the most flexible support for the evolving, highest needs and priorities identified in the strategic plan – Leading Innovation for a Healthier World.