Not only is Ellen MacKay the only registered technology transfer professional in her department, but she is also the only one in the whole of Northern Ontario! After completing her Master’s in education at Lakehead University, Ellen’s first job landed her in the technology transfer field of her alma mater, as an assistant. She quickly worked her way up, and for the past few years, she has been fostering a thriving, innovative community as the Director of Innovation Development.
Ellen’s Office of Innovation, Partnership, and Economic Development is the intellectual property resource for faculty, staff, and students at Lakehead. The many hats that Ellen wears also include the overseeing of Ingenuity, the university’s first business incubator, which she played a vital role in establishing.
As well as giving us an insider’s perspective of technology transfer at Lakehead University, Ellen shares the pros and cons of technology transfer in Northern Ontario as a whole. Among other topics, we also discuss her involvement in AUTM, how she and her team are changing how success is measured in technology transfer, and the technology transfer related goals of the Government of Ontario.
In This Episode:
- [00:53] An introduction to Ellen MacKay, today’s guest.
- [02:11] Ellen explains how she entered the world of technology transfer, and how her role has evolved over the past 12 years.
- [03:58] Work that is done by Ellen’s Office of Innovation, Partnership, and Economic Development.
- [05:28] The goal of Ingenuity, Lakehead University’s first business incubator, and the role Ellen played in setting it up.
- [07:49] Ellen shares what makes Canada’s technology transfer sector unique.
- [09:45] Goals that are outlined in a report recently published by the Government of Ontario.
- [11:20] Challenges that Lakehead University faces because of their location, and the factors which give them a competitive edge.
- [12:32] How Ellen’s office is structured, and the benefits of its small size.
- [15:17] Ellen explains how they have shifted their metrics to focus more on impact.
- [17:15] Why caring about people is key to success in the technology transfer field.
- [18:24] An exciting corporate partnership that Lakehead University has recently entered into.
- [19:19] The benefits of corporate partnerships.
- [20:49] Some of the greatest success stories to come out of Lakehead University’s technology transfer office.
- [23:14] Challenges that Ellen’s office faces.
- [25:20] How Ingenuity supports women and indigenous populations.
- [27:03] Ellen’s involvement in AUTM, and the positive impact the organization has had on her work.
- [29:55] Why Ellen sees a lot of value in credentialing.
- [31:28] The three wishes that Ellen has for the field of technology transfer.