Annual Commercialization Plan

The region of Windsor-Essex and the University of Windsor (UWindsor) are on the cusp of significant transformation that will diversify our regional economy and provide new opportunities to expand the collaborative research and innovation activities taking place across our campus. While UWindsor supports a broad range of research, innovation and creative activities, the commercialization and partnerships opportunities that are outlined in our Annual Commercialization Plan have centred around three priority areas; 1. Automotive/Automobility, 2. Agriculture through our AGUWin initiative and 3. Public Health and Health Science research. 

The ongoing transformation within the automotive sector as we transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is providing our region, and our University with tremendous opportunities to build and expand our collaborative partnerships with the automotive sector. Working alongside our regional innovation ecosystem partners, we have rebranded the Windsor-Essex region from the automotive capital of Canada to the automobility capital of Canada.  The alignment with our innovation ecosystem partners will be key to continuing to identify and further advance many new and existing collaborative research partnerships.  With the LG/Stellantis investment in the Next Star Energy plant in Windsor-Essex and the anticipated supply chain that will be established to support the Next Star operations, it will be crucial for the University of Windsor to ensure our training of highly qualified personnel will provide the talent pipeline needed by our industry partners. Through the creation of the Office of Research Partnerships, we are committed to developing these new partnership opportunities while working with our current industry partners to advance their technologies and innovations as they too transition to the opportunities being presented by EVs.

In October of 2022, UWindsor announced the creation of AGUWin, an initiative that will support many of research and innovation challenges that are being faced by local greenhouse and agriculture sector. This announcement includes a collaborative partnership with Horteca that will provide access to a 2-acre research and development greenhouse in Ruthven Ontario. Horteca is a joint venture between Jem Farms and Ecoation, which brings together growers and technology to advance agriculture and greenhouse technologies to enable a sustainable food supply. We have recently launched 2 collaborative research projects and have a pipeline of approximately 40 additional projects in development. We have recently partnered with the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), to advance the research and innovation activities that will take place within the Horteca greenhouse. In this collaborative space, we can test, prototype, validate and commercialize new technologies and innovations that will support the greenhouse sector in areas of automation, pest control, heating/cooling, lighting, and the many other technical challenges that our regional greenhouse growers are facing.  On campus, the Wine Lab opened in early 2023 which will provide students exceptional experiential learning opportunities, while also providing local wine growers and other agriculture stakeholders with access to testing facilities in our region. By leveraging the expertise and infrastructure that we have in place at UWindsor, we can  support the regional agriculture sector, while  training the next generation of experts that will advance technology and integrate innovation in the agriculture and greenhouse sector.

The Windsor-Essex region is in the planning stages of building a new acute care regional hospital.  With a new hospital on the horizon, UWindsor recognizes the many opportunities to support this initiative while further building our health science research activities and expanding related collaborative research partnerships. To facilitate this, UWindsor recently entered into an agreement with the Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) that will see WECHU relocating to our main campus. We are in discussions with WECHU to develop further collaborative research partnership opportunities and new programming that will support the training of HQP in our region. We are also working closely with Windsor Regional Hospital to develop a financially sustainable business plan for a Health Innovation Park (HIP) that would be located on the new acute care hospital campus.  The HIP will further augment the collaborative research opportunities with our regional clinicians and health care providers.  It is anticipated the HIP will provide both wet and dry lab space to support collaborative research activities and will provide rentable lab space that will attract bio-tech and med-tech companies to our region, further supporting regional economic diversification. Health research and partnerships have been further supported through the creation of the UWindsor, senate approved research institute, the WE-Spark Health Institute.  WE-Spark is a unique partnership being led by UWindsor, in partnership with Windsor Regional Hospital, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Erie Shores Health Care and St. Clair College. The research taking place across WE-Spark ranges from fundamental to clinical, technology and innovation, identification of risk factors, prevention and outcomes. By bringing the health care sector within our region together and providing a platform to support collaborative research, we have seen a significant increase in the health research funding that has been secured by faculty, and members of partner organizations. This important initiative is already impacting the health and wellness of our local community.

UWindsor is committed to advancing research, innovation and knowledge mobilization that will impact our community, while supporting regional economic diversification and commercialization of research in a wide variety of disciplines. The examples provided in this summary represent only a sampling of the breadth of research, innovation and creative activities taking place at UWindsor. As we continue to focus on creating strong connections with our collaborative research partners that will be augmented by the creation of the Office of Research Partnerships, we will focus on increasing research commercialization while providing intellectual property education and training to our faculty, staff and students through EPICentre. By providing this important education, we are providing our students with the knowledge that will enable them to recognize the commercial opportunities presented by research and innovation, that will enable them to commercialize their own research and innovations. UWindsor is well positioned to advance collaborative research partnerships, research commercialization and knowledge mobilization of our research activities.  This important work will provide economic benefit to the Windsor-Essex region, the Province of Ontario and to Canada.