UILO Stats + Success Stories

The UILO enables UBC research and innovation partnerships that lead to life-changing innovation. UBC discoveries have been at the heart of products, services and treatments that have generated an estimated $11.5 billion in sales, and have formed the basis of 235 spin-off companies.


UBC IMPACT TECHNOLOGIES

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ECONOMIC IMPACTS OF RECENT SPIN-OFF COMPANIES

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$4.1 billion
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Julia Levy; Dr. David Dolphin
Photoactive Compounds (1981)

QLT was founded by UBC faculty Dr. Levy and Dr. Dolphin in 1981 to further their discovery of a drug capable of killing cells when exposed to light (Visudyne: photodynamic therapy). QLT developed Visudyne as the first effective treatment for macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.

$2.2 billion
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Philip Hill
Injector for Natural Gas in Diesel Engines (1988)

Westport Innovations is a company that develops low-emissions technologies to allow engines to operate on cleaner fuels such as natural gas. Westport is best known for its technology that allows the diesel engine to operate on natural gas without modifications to the engine's combustion chamber.

$1.2 billion
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. David Lowe
SIFT: Scale-Invariant Feature Transform (1998)

SIFT is a feature recognition algorithm used in computer vision to detect and describe local features in images. The algorithm has been licensed to many companies, and is most notable in its use to create panoramic pictures, detect theft, and in visual search engines.

$700 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Murray Goldberg
An Environment for Authoring WWW-based Courses (1995)

WebCT is an online learning environment system used by over 2,500 colleges and universities in over 80 countries. Instructors were able to add educational content and tools such as discussion boards, mail systems, and live chat to their courses. At its peak, WebCT was in use by over 10 million students annually.

$500 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Pieter Cullis
Method for PackagingDrugs within Liposomes (1984)

Acquired by Elan in 2000 for $575 million, The Liposome Company was engaged in the discovery and development of encapsulated drugs, such as Abelcet, for the treatment of fungal infections.

$480 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Helen Burt
Drug-Loaded Surgical Implants (1994)

Angiotech was a pharmaceutical company in Vancouver, whose products enhanced the performance of medical devices by coating them with specific drugs to minimize complications.

$300 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Gerald Neufeld
X-400 Electronic Messaging Software (1984)

OSIWare Inc. was a Vancouver start-up that developed and sold software invented by Dr. Neufeld at UBC for routing and processing email. The software was instrumental in tying together diverse email nets beginning in the late 1980s, by converting email addresses from more than a dozen proprietary systems into a universal format.

$220 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Michael Walker
Treatments for Anti-Arrhythmic and Anaesthetic Uses (1991)

Cardiome developed the drug vernakalant based on a discovery at UBC to treat abnormal heart rhythms associated with heart disease and high blood pressure.

$200 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Lorne Whitehead
Prism Light Guide (1978)

TIR Systems was the first company to commercialize solid state lighting technology, such as LEDs, with the goal of replacing conventional lighting, resulting in positive environmental and business impacts through energy conservation. The company was purchased in 2007 by Phillips.

$160 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Tim Durance
Vacuum Microwave Dehydration Technology (1996)

EnWave Corporation offers industrial-scale dehydration technology for food and pharmaceutical industries. EnWave’s platform delivers efficient, low-temperature processing and is the new global dehydration standard: faster and cheaper than freeze drying, with better quality end products than air drying or spray drying.

$125 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. John Schrader
Methods for the Production of Antibodies (1991)

Abgenix formed around a platform developed at UBC capable of producing human antibodies for the treatment of disease. Amgen acquired Abgenix in 2005 for $2.2 billion, securing rights to the antibody platform and two therapeutic antibodies for the treatment of cancer and osteoporosis.

$120 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Don Wehrung
Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program: CELPIP (1999)

Paragon was founded to deliver English language proficiency tests developed at UBC. Tens of thousands of their computerized tests are now delivered annually in more than 70 test centres worldwide.

$60 million
Global Sales of Invention

John Demco
.CA Domain (1988)

John Demco established the .CA domain name two years before the world wide web even emerged. In 2000, after registering more than 100,000 domain names, Demco and his team of volunteers handed over responsibility to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), a not-for-profit corporation he helped establish with UBC and the Government of Canada.

$35 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Alan Lowe
Mouthpiece to Prevent Snoring (1993)

Developed at UBC and licensed to Great Lakes Orthodontic, Klearway is a mouthpiece with an adjustable mechanism to open the jaw for the prevention of obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.

$30 million
Global Sales of Invention

Dr. Doug Oldenburg
Geophysical Modelling Software for the Mining Sector (1992)

The software developed at UBC integrates many different forms of geological data in order to provide 3D models of ore bodies.