News & Events

Lean Startups

Professional Development and Learning Series

Event Details

Professional Development Opportunities

Date: April 21, 2020

Time: 1:30pm - 2:30pm

Tuesday April 21, 2020 - 1:30pm 2:30pm

Lean Startups: An Innovation Model that Works for Entrepreneurs AND Scientists: “Innovation” is an overused word. It really means nothing more than using knowledge to create tangible value. Lean Startup was developed to meet the needs of first-time entrepreneurs; those setting out to change with the world with limited money, limited time, and uncertain assumptions. Understanding the Lean model is especially useful for scientists and engineers who imagine beneficial uses for their expertise outside of research, but who rely on outside entrepreneurs and investors to make things happen. This session is also useful for post-graduate researchers thinking of careers in industry, as we borrow heavily from the Lean Management and Agile frameworks employed by leading tech companies.

MOTIVATION: In early March, the Italian researchers of the Global Argon Dark Matter Collaboration found themselves in the middle of a global COVID-19 hot zone, Prof. Cristiano Galbiati recognized an opportunity to combat the crisis by using the community’s expertise in prototyping precision gas flow equipment to address a dire shortage of clinical ventilators around the world. Several hundred scientists, physicians, engineers, technicians, business developers and regulators from more than 50 organizations in Italy, Canada, the United States and Europe have since joined in the Mechanical Ventilator Milano (MVM) collaboration. The Canadian group, coordinated by Dr. Art McDonald, includes TRIUMF, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, SNOLAB, Queen’s and U of T. In one month, MVM has built and demonstrated its open source design and developed an international partnership of manufacturers preparing to rapidly build and deliver tens of thousands of units. This rapid transfer of knowledge and know-how from the research and medical world to the manufacturing sector is an excellent example of innovation at work.

Presenter: Edward Thomas — a McDonald Institute officer and former startup adviser, engineering researcher and business journalist — is offering this seminar on a widely adopted methodology for scalable innovations that uses scientific methods.