Funding obtained through a partnership with the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), has allowed SOWC to support a new staff position that directly supports small-to-media-sized enterprises (SME) in accessing its facilities and capacity. IRAP is a national program that provides advisory services and funding for research and development to innovative SMEs, and assists non-profit organizations to reach out and assist innovative SMEs.
Anna Ziolecki, the new Industry Development Officer (IDO), serves as SOWC client lead for activities related to funding and project development. Specifically, the IDO facilitates the development of project proposals with companies and industry clients, particularly SMEs, and works directly with them to facilitate project initiation to identify funding opportunities, develop project proposals, draft contracts and pen agreements.
“Upon platform launch in March 2014, SOWC will be well-positioned to facilitate access by SMEs to existing provincial and federal programs designed to support development and commercialization of innovative technologies and services,” said Brenda Lucas, SOWC Operations Manager. “Activities led by this new role over the coming months will focus on marketing and utilization of the SOWC platform to accelerate commercial product development.”
Anna will work closely with SOWC Industry Liaison, Evelyn Allen, as well as the administration of the lead partner universities of SOWC. She will also play an important support role in establishing and implementing a business plan for the SOWC that is fully supported by industry. Anna and Evelyn will work together to seek out innovative SMEs that have not previously made contact with SOWC, add them to the SOWC network, and discuss potential opportunities for collaboration with SOWC and its member organizations and firms.
“This is an exciting opportunity for the SOWC and our clients,” said Anna who worked previously within the consortium as office manager and project administrator, and held previous roles in research administration for two Ontario universities. “I’m looking forward to engaging with world leading water companies and facilitating access to research, development, testing and demonstration sites, which are vital steps in the process of commercializing their innovations.”
The IDO will focus on commercial engagement and marketing opportunities for SOWC and will work with IRAP advisors on SME engagement and future SOWC/IRAP collaboration opportunities.
Congratulations to Anna on this new and exciting role. If you would like to speak to Anna or recommend that Anna contact a particular innovative SME, she can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org