CASE STUDY 8: Georgian College—SMEs On-Track
On Track was an industry scale-up program offered by Georgian College, funded by NRC-IRAP. The program, managed by HBEC, was designed to serve the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them build competitive advantage. Doran worked with Georgian to conduct a Best Practices Study of other College’s applied research and entrepreneurship programs and design a delivery model for On Track that would appeal to SMEs and while also serving the goals of the College. The program served 50 to 60 companies per year enabling Exploration, Applied Research and Commercialization of their innovative ideas to grow revenue and create jobs.
A Best Practices Study was conducted of other Ontario College’s applied research and on-campus entrepreneurship programs. The study examined the applied research delivery models and the types of services offered by entrepreneurship centers. Emphasis was placed on studying how these colleges engaged small and medium-sized enterprises to help them grow.
On Track created a bridge between Georgian's entrepreneurship centre and the Office of Applied Research and Innovation (R&I), which is the entry point for SME's seekng to connect with researchers and on-campus services, such as market studies, prototyping, testing, and access to students in applied research streams.
Jointly HBEC and R&I provided an end-to-end solution for innovative SME's who want to leverage Georgian College's business and innovation services; access students and profs; access prototyping and product testing services; and access market research capabilities/resources.
On Track helped SMEs create jobs, grow revenue, develop and launch new technologies/products. The program is partially funded by the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP); Georgian College; and funds from private companies.