Innovation class


Neurotechnology Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship

NESC/PSYO 4705.03

This class departs from traditional science training by emphasizing the processes of innovation and commercialization: identifying problems that represent real needs in society, and creating novel solutions that not only work, but that can actually reach the people who can benefit from them, in a form they can use. Students will develop an understanding of how to design solutions that meet a real need, and have the potential to be commercialized or otherwise make it into the hands of people who can benefit from the solutions.

Although the focus of this class is on neurotechnology, students will find that the core principles taught in the class can be applied in a wide range of scientific and technological applications. This class will provide a unique perspective and new skills that are not typically offered in undergraduate or graduate programs in science or engineering.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this class, students should be able to:

  • Understand and explain the differences between discovery-based research and commercialization-focused research and development
  • Be able to identify opportunities for neurotechnology-based solutions to problems, and assess the commercial feasibility of those solutions
  • Be able to use the Business Model Canvas (“Lean Canvas”) to develop, justify, and pitch a business model for such a solution
  • Be able to identify and explain each component of the Lean Canvas model, including value propositions, customer segments, and revenue streams
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of human-centred design in finding solutions to human problems
  • Understand and implement an iterative cycle of “customer discovery”, including stages of Build, Measure, and Learn
  • Define and explain core principles of intellectual property including patents and trademarks in the Canadian, U.S., and other systems, and how intellectual property may be licensed;
  • Analyze an ethical issue raised by the use of neurotechnology in research or applied contexts, with reference to relevant ethical guidelines (e.g, the TCPS) and important legal precedents;
  • Be able to stand up in front of strangers and effectively introduce themselves and pitch an idea in 2 minutes or less, in a manner appropriate for the audience
  • Work productively with multidisciplinary teams

Registration is open to students who have completed at least two full years (60 credit hours) of undergraduate study in a science or engineering-focused program. For more information or permission to regsiter, please contact

Click here for the full syllabus