Industry Sponsored Research

ICICS and Industry: A Foundry Model for Bespoke Partnerships

As a research unit with membership from 18 departments at both UBC campuses, ICICS converges multidisciplinary research, industry partnerships, and entrepreneurship to address important problems with disruptive technology-based solutions for near-term impact. Our deep reach into UBC allows us to connect disparate sector-specific expertise, including at external organizations like hospitals and municipalities. Discovery sessions led by a dedicated facilitator optimize problem identification and team formation, and generate projects that address all stakeholder needs. Industry funding can be multiplied by Mitacs and NSERC support. Regular project reviews and presentations provide opportunities for ongoing feedback and iteration. Project administration and communications are handled by experienced ICICS staff.

Fast cycles of invent-build-test enable early engagement with UBC translational entities such as entrepreneurship@UBC (e@UBC), the HATCH startup accelerator in ICICS, and the University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO), guided by expertise from the Sauder School of Business. Student events like codeathons introduce partners to potential high-calibre hires.

Industry-sponsored research tailored through such a dynamically adaptive “Foundry Model” generates new technologies with strong potential for commercial success and societal impact, while revealing new pathways for basic scientific discovery. The model has been developed and refined in the multi-year UBC-Rogers Partnership co-managed by ICICS and the Office of the Vice-President, Research and Development (VPRI).

In addition to these large-scale partnerships, ICICS members’ individual research projects mostly require industrial support for external funding, which helps to ensure the relevance of their work. ICICS-affiliated graduate students working on these projects are trained to think across disciplinary boundaries, making them highly adaptable and creative individuals. Industrial collaborators have access to hundreds of these highly qualified personnel annually through collaborations with ICICS members. Please contact us to connect with ICICS researchers with whom you may wish to collaborate.

Examples of companies and other organizations ICICS members have partnered with include:


  • Amazon
  • Apple Computer Inc.
  • BC Hydro
  • BC Transmission Corp.
  • Blue City Technology
  • Boehringer-Ingelheim
  • Boeing
  • Cisco Systems
  • Change Healthcare
  • Clarius Mobile Health
  • CMC Microsystems
  • D-Wave Systems
  • Electronic Arts
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Honda Research Institute
  • IBM Research
  • 1Qbit
  • McKesson Medical Image Group
  • Microsoft Research Labs
  • MobliledgeX
  • Molecular You
  • NoTraffic
  • Philips Healthcare
  • Qualcomm
  • Rogers Communications
  • Samsung
  • Seaspan
  • Tableau
  • TELUS Corporation/TELUS Mobility
  • Ultrasonix Medical Corporation

Other External Organizations

  • Artificial Intelligence network of British Columbia (AInBC)
  • BC Cancer Agency
  • BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute
  • BC Ministry of Health
  • BC Ministry of Transportation
  • Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster
  • Canadian Coast Guard
  • Canadian Navy
  • Cascadia Health Data Commons
  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Vancouver
  • Creative Destruction Lab-West
  • Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Defence Research and Development Canada
  • Fraunhofer Society
  • Fraser Health Authority
  • GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
  • Greater Vancouver Regional District
  • International Collaboration on Repair Discoveries (ICORD)
  • LifeSciences BC
  • Pacific Parkinson’s Research Centre
  • Praxis Spinal Cord Institute
  • Providence Health Care
  • State of Washington
  • Translink
  • Vancouver Airport Authority
  • Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Authority
  • Vancouver Prostate Centre
  • Vector Institute