Lab2Market Oceans

Lab2Market Oceans (L2M) represents an unparalleled opportunity for ocean researchers eager to explore the commercial potential of their academic findings. This national initiative is meticulously crafted to serve as a bridge connecting the realms of academic research with the bustling marketplace, offering a comprehensive suite of resources for those poised to make the leap into entrepreneurship and innovation. However, it’s important to recognize that commercialization, while a significant focus, is not the sole outcome of participation in L2M.

The program is structured around two core streams: Discover and Validate. Each is designed to progressively guide participants through the intricate process of entrepreneurship. This journey begins with sparking an interest in entrepreneurship, advances through the development of a broad set of entrepreneurial skills, and culminates in forging connections with a network that can transform innovative ideas into successful business ventures. 

This initiative encourages research teams from across Canada to delve into the commercial viability of their ocean research ideas, highlighting the program’s commitment to sector-specific innovation. We are proud to collaborate with various institutions across the country to present the Discover (Dal Innovates and the Ocean Frontier Institute), and Validate (Memorial University) streams.

Inspiration for L2M Oceans is drawn from the prestigious US I-Corps program, with a mission to instil an entrepreneurial mindset among postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and faculty members. Participants are immersed in entrepreneurial methodologies and business fundamentals, exploring everything from market analysis to intellectual property, regulatory frameworks, and beyond.

Customer discovery stands at the heart of the Lab2Market approach. This critical phase involves engaging with potential customers to validate business hypotheses, better understand customer challenges, and establish valuable relationships in the industry. This not only aids in assessing the product-market fit but also significantly influences future research directions and product development strategies.

While commercialization is a key objective for many participants, the Lab2Market Oceans experience is richly layered with outcomes beyond the immediate launch of a business venture. Participants gain a deep understanding of the entrepreneurial process, acquire a valuable skill set applicable in various contexts, and expand their professional network. Such benefits enhance their overall research and career trajectory, regardless of whether they choose to pursue commercialization, further research, or other professional endeavours.

In essence, Lab2Market offers a unique chance not only to explore the commercial possibilities of research but also to grow as an innovator and contributor to the broader academic and entrepreneurial ecosystems. The program underscores the multifaceted nature of research commercialization, inviting researchers to discover a world where their academic pursuits can make a tangible impact beyond the confines of traditional academic output.

Program eligibility and timelines for each stream can be found on their respective pages. 

In late Spring 2024, the Ocean Startup Project, in partnership with Dal Innovates and funded by the Transforming Climate Action research program led by the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), will host a Lab2Market Oceans Discover cohort. Follow the link to the Discover page to learn more and apply before April 12. 



Apply for Lab2Market Oceans Discover

Curious about the Lab2Market Oceans streams – Discover and Validate? Follow the links below to learn more about timelines, eligibility and more!

The Discover program will help researchers explore their ideas in a new way to identify how to create more value and impact with their research through potential commercial or collaborative research opportunities. Seed Fund applicants will also benefit from this training by refining their ideas on how to create growth from the initial Seed funding.

Lab2Market Oceans Validate allows researchers to test and evaluate the market potential of their innovations critically. This carefully curated 16-week experience (8-weeks full-time) is complemented by funding, exercises, workshops, and mentorship from industry experts – all with exploration at its core. 

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