1. Improving competitiveness of businesses
SOVAR provides advice to companies in search of expertise and technologies needed to increase their competitive advantage. SOVAR guarantees that all information exchanged is kept confidential and that intellectual property is protected.
SOVAR’s knowledge of available research capabilities within its network of partners helps companies identify university expertise or technologies in response to their innovation requirements. Furthermore, SOVAR collaborates with several organizations of the Québec technology development community that possess know-how and expertise that may be helpful to companies. In short, SOVAR is geared to successfully guide companies toward expertise and technologies that suit their innovation needs.
2. Interacting with university-based R&D groups
In the context of increasing international competition, high-tech companies need university-based research expertise and technologies in order to innovate. SOVAR facilitates university/industry interaction.
SOVAR’s experience in managing proof of concept projects helps businesses elaborate innovation strategies through university/industry partnerships. SOVAR also assists in the follow-up and management of such projects by ensuring that researchers remain focussed on the commercial outcome of the process. In this regard, SOVAR provides:
- project definition and launch;
- monitoring and follow-up;
- realignment when required; and
- financing or refinancing (start-up).
3. Facilitating technology transfer to businesses
SOVAR plays a role in ensuring that conditions of a technology transfer from university to an existing company are negotiated in a mutually beneficial manner.
In many cases, it is more appropriate to transfer a market-ready technology to an existing company than to create a start-up. SOVAR’s knowledge of the expectations and interests of businesses and of institutional partners helps in identifying the most appropriate technology transfer model (licencing agreement or transfer of expertise as well as their conterparts, e.g. royalties, shares, future funding of research programs).
4. Creating and organizing start-up companies
In cases where a start-up company is created, SOVAR supports the new organization from the start, providing it with an efficient structure and an experienced management team.
SOVAR’s preferred approach, also shared by investors, is to recruit an experienced management team during the pre-commercialization phase. This has the advantage of providing the fledgling company, at its inception, the skills and experience necessary to accelerate its growth and to make productive strategic decisions. Through this approach SOVAR facilitates:
- the spin-off’s transition from the R&D phase to the pre-commercialization phase;
- the identification and recruitment of an experienced management team; and
- the identification of financing or refinancing sources.