From research to reality

By Jodde Mason

The University of Calgary opened a new off-campus facility called the Research Transition Facility Tue., Sept. 28. The RTF will turn research and discoveries into marketable products and services. They charge their tenants a moderate rent and encourage them to stay for up to three years.

“[The RTF] will shape the future of this province,” said Calgary-Edgemont MLA Denis Herard, whose government contributed nearly $1.4 million. “[It] will assure that Alberta has the right resources and infrastructure in place to support new research.”

University of Calgary President Dr. Harvey Wiengarten believes it will attract interdisciplinary research methods.

“We’re bringing together people not only for specific work, specific technology or spin-off company,” he said. “We also know that extremely exciting things happen when you bring together people like [scientists, entrepreneurs and people with different technical backgrounds].”

He expects people of various disciplines to converse around water coolers and cafeterias, which would create a good team environment.

Process Pathways, the company managing the “My UofC Web Portal”, was one of the RTF’s first tenants.

“We provide services to the university, but [the RTF] gave us the opportunity to bring all those people together and start to grow ourselves toward manufacturing software development.” said President of Process Pathways, Gordan McDonald, whose company enjoys working with students, because it helps avoid stagnation.

“We’re all over wanting to pull up students and graduate students from [U of C] into our organization. I wanted to do was develop a software manufacturing system with really bright guys who were passionate about what they did, and get them super high value to the client for the dollar.”

Process Pathways are only one of many businesses that will pass through the RTF, increase research and funding to the university, and increase jobs for both students and researchers. The parties involved in the RTF’s operation believe it will keep more business in Alberta, and drive the import/export market forward.

Leave a comment