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'Tis Robbie Burns Day

  Daily Bulletin

University of Waterloo | Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Monday, January 25, 1999

  • Spin-offs share success with UW
  • Grad students call elections
  • Stabbing victim out of hospital
  • And on Virginia Woolf's birthday, too
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Spin-offs share success with UW

Companies spawned by research at UW offer benefits to the community -- job creation and economic growth. But what impact do those spin-off companies have on the university, which supported their development?

Although at UW, rights to intellectual property generally reside with those who created it, in practice, "What comes around, goes around," Carolyn Hansson, vice-president of research at UW, recently told co-op staff at an information session.

That could mean anything from a cheque arriving unexpectedly in the mail, to donations of shares in the company, says Jerry Gray, director of the UW technology transfer and licensing office. "Very often, when they reach a certain level of success, spin-off companies will share their success with UW by donating money or equity in recognition of the university's role in helping to develop and enhance the technology. The value of the equity may be significant if the company does well," he added.

As well, spin-off companies may contract for further research with the university. "These are very useful relationships," Gray noted, in helping to support graduate students and fund equipment purchases. Such companies are often interested in hiring co-op students because they are familiar with the quality of work at UW, he said. Funding for research chairs is another way of furthering development in a specific field.

Finally, said Gray, spin-offs tend to be "good ambassadors for the university" in promoting its reputation for "quality and excellence."

Defining a "spin-off company", or determining how many have been produced at UW, is an ongoing challenge facing universities and organizations which represent them. The Association of University Technology Managers has grappled with the question and produced the following definition: "Start-up companies are companies that were dependent upon licensing the institution's technology for initiation."

At UW, spin-off companies are divided into three categories. Category 1 describes those "closely coupled where technology transferred from the university was a prime ingredient in their creation or expansion." The second category includes companies "less coupled but where an identifiable transfer of intellectual resources have been significant in their success." In the third are "companies started by graduates, faculty and/or staff without any identifiable transfer or specific university technology or resources."

The last time statistics were published in January, 1994, there were 20 companies classified in the first category, nine in the second, and 77 in the third, with a total of some 2,134 employees. Since that time, said Gray, "limited resources have resulted in a delay in updating the UW Spin-off Company Profiles publication." The office of research is currently working on the project.

Grad students call elections

Nominations will open February 3 to March 10 for the new Graduate Student Association executive. Positions to be filled are president, vice president (operations), vice president (student affairs), corporate secretary, six board of directors members at large, and 20 at-large council positions.

Chief returning officer is GSA president Peter Wood, who will be retiring from the GSA at the end of this term. Nomination forms are available at the GSA office beginning February 3, and voting will take place on March 24 in conjunction with the GSA referendum on fee restructuring.

Approved at the January 20 meeting of the GSA council, the referendum poses the following question: "Do you support the elimination of the $18.45 GSA fee and the creation of a new non-refundable Association fee of $12.00 per term for all full-time and part-time students, and a new refundable Grad House fee of $8.00 per term for all full-time and part-time students?"

Anyone wishing to form a committee for either the YES or the NO side of the question is invited to contact the chief returning officer, Stephanie Faint, at ext. 6668 or smfaint@barrow.uwaterloo.ca.

Stabbing victim out of hospital

Stabbing victim Name temporarily deleted by court order was released from Hamilton General Hospital late last week. Fu, 35, suffered multiple stab wounds in an assault in Engineering II on Friday, January 15. She had entered Canada late last year and was preparing to register for PhD studies in mechanical engineering.

The accused in the stabbing incident, Lihua Wang, 35, appeared in court last Thursday and has been remanded to Whitby Mental Health Centre for a 30-day evaluation. She is scheduled to appear in bail court on February 24 following the assessment to determine a course of action, according to crown attorney Margaret Janzen.

And on Virginia Woolf's birthday, too

The centre for advanced studies in finance is hosting a workshop today starting at 9 a.m. in Davis Centre room 1304. Finance Workshop: Theory and Applications will include speakers on "The Catch 22 of Derivatives Pricing", "An Overview of Arbitrage Theory", "The Valuation of Path-Dependent Options on One-dimensional Diffusions" and "Convergence of Lattice and PDE Methods for Pricing Asian Options". For details, call Amy Aldous at ext. 5728.

Co-op students will find job posting number 5 available by noon today. It expires by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

A mini blood donor clinic gets underway today between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Student Life Centre. The Canadian Blood Services has set a target of 200 units between today and Thursday. Appointments to donate can be made at the turnkey desk.

Fire science is the subject of an Ideas and Issues talk today by mechanical engineering professor Beth Weckman. The lecture starts at noon at the Kitchener Public Library, Queen Street North.

Johnny Lake, "an inspirational speaker on matters of race and diversity" will give a presentation from 2 to 4 p.m. today in the great hall of the Student Life Centre. Sponsored by the Federation of Students and the office of ethical behaviour and human rights, Lake will "penetrate the barriers we encounter when trying to discuss such matters through his interactive, frank and humorous dialogue."

"Be Holy for I am Holy": Food and the Teaching of Judaism is the title of a lecture by Jay Eidelman, PhD Yale, today at 4 p.m. in Hagey Hall room 373. The Jewish studies speaker will suggest new methods for introducing students from diverse backgrounds to Judaism and Jewish culture.

The Womyn's Centre will hold its first production meeting for the anthology, Voices, today at 5 p.m. in its Student Life Centre office. "Anyone is welcome." The deadline for submission of creative work by women to Voices is Friday.

Starting today: a winter sale at Graphics Express. Small and medium long-sleeve T-shirts are selling for $5, children's for $4. For $5 more, add a personalized photo. The sale ends Friday.

If you play trumpet, trombone or bari-sax, the UW stage band needs you. Musicians can join in rehearsals for two to three hours every Monday night, and pick up .25 credit in the process. To learn more, phone the Conrad Grebel music department at 885-0220, ext. 226, or drop by the rehearsal tonight at 7 p.m. at Conrad Grebel College room 156.

Barbara Elve

Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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