Who we are

The Office of Commercialization and Industry Engagement (OCIE) serves as Dalhousie’s gateway for:

  • Collaboration between industry and Dalhousie’s talented research teams.
  • Support for the business and economic development community.
  • Access to the university’s innovations, such as its intellectual property (IP).
  • Early assistance in the creation of startups based on Dal research.

OCIE is considered a commercialization and industry engagement leader within Atlantic Canada, highlighting our team’s collective commitment to mobilizing innovation and strengthening economic development for our region. Learn more about our team members.

OCIE is a unit within Research & Innovation, the central unit overseeing research interests at Dalhousie. All functions within Research & Innovation fall under the leadership of Dalhousie’s Vice-President, Research & Innovation (VPRI).

What we do

OCIE helps to build productive partnerships between the university’s research community and industry — powerful collaborations that address real-world problems, deliver critical innovations to the public, drive economic growth, and train the next generation of innovators, problem-solvers, and entrepreneurs.

Our core responsibilities include:

  • Providing advising support and services that focus on industry engagement and the commercial application of research (e.g. intellectual property, patenting, technology transfer).

  • Managing and facilitating the development of research, service, and license agreements between Dal researchers and industry partners.

  • Advising our research community* on best practices and funding sources associated with launching a startup company to commercialize inventions.

  • Contributing to Dalhousie’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem (Dal Innovates) and connecting with partners in the larger innovation ecosystem locally, regionally, and nationally.

*The Dalhousie research community includes faculty and student researchers working within Nova Scotia Health (NSH) and the IWK Health Centre (IWK).

Our Partners

We work regularly with our partners in the innovation ecosystem to maximize the level of service and support we provide to our research community and industry collaborators. Some partners provide funding for research and commercialization collaborations while others support innovation by offering startup workspaces and mentorship. 

Springboard Atlantic Inc.

Springboard Atlantic is a network of representatives from 19 post-secondary institutions in Atlantic Canada that support the commercialization of academic and industry-led research, helping businesses and industries to innovative and compete. Dalhousie is an anchor tenant of this Network.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

ACOA is a branch of the federal government that supports economic growth in the region. ACOA helps businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive by working with diverse communities to develop and diversify local economies, and by championing the strengths of Atlantic Canada.


Innovacorp is an organization focused on providing early stage investment to Nova Scotian startups. Businesses supported by Innovacorp are working in the IT, clean technology, life sciences and ocean technology spaces. The organization offers a combination of funding, expert advice, and world-class incubation spaces (e.g. The Bays at Innovacorp, The Labs at Innovacorp).

Invest Nova Scotia (formerly NSBI)

Invest Nova Scotia is the province’s business development agency. OCIE works with Invest Nova Scotia to facilitate research collaborations funded by the Productivity and Innovation Voucher Program (PIVP), which is offered to small- and medium-size businesses in the province. 

National Research Council (NRC)

NRC is Canada’s largest federal research and development organization. We work with NRC to administer Dal’s Science and Technology Assistance Program funding, which is supported by NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and offered to small- and medium-size businesses operating in Canada. 


Mitacs is a not-for-profit that connects talented post-secondary student researchers with industry to drive Canadian research and development. The OCIE works with Mitacs to match students to companies and facilitate the funding for those research collaborations.


BioNova is an industry association working to advance the health and life sciences sector in Nova Scotia. It represents companies working in the following spaces: bioproducts, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, medical technologies, digital health, and natural health products. 

Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Research Association (OERA)

OERA is an independent not-for-profit organization with a goal to enable the sustainable development of Nova Scotia’s energy resources. OERA facilitates and funds petroleum and renewable energy research to build knowledge and capacity and promote technical innovation. 

Research Nova Scotia (RNS)

RNS is a not-for-profit that invests in research that builds and translates knowledge to help ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for Nova Scotia.