Matching the supply side of innovation with the demand side can be difficult for university research. TEC Edmonton has hosted a series of Reverse Trade Shows with the Glenrose Rehabilitation Center for university entrepreneurs to understand practical rehabilitation problems in need of new solutions.
The reverse trade show approach demonstrates how to improve economic outcomes for university research stuck in the lab. Researchers often have difficulty: connecting with industry; identifying where to direct their commercialization focus; and understanding industry needs. By bringing the innovation demand and supply sides together entrepreneurs can refine their product development thinking, target pivots, and ultimately shorten the time-to-market while governments can improve their return on research investments with better economic outcomes.
For Alberta’s early stage Advanced Technology Sectors broader application of the reverse trade show approach should be encouraged to improve alignment between Alberta university research and each of the province’s jurisdictional advantages in: energy; the environment; petrochemicals; forestry; agriculture; and healthcare leveraging research strengths in biotechnology, nanotechnology, and ICT.