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Pooja smiling, pointing to and holding the book Knowledge, Innovation, and Impact

Hot off the Press: My New Book Chapters on Commercializing Innovations

I recently received a physical copy of “Knowledge, Innovation, and Impact: A Guide for the Engaged Health Researcher”, co-edited by my co-founder Dr. Alex Mihailidis and featuring two book chapters that I had the privilege of authoring. Writing these chapters was a fairly unique, challenging, and fun experience as compared to others that were a lot more academic in nature. They really allowed me to reflect on my own experience in translating research that I worked on for more than a decade into a product that I eventually commercialized at Braze Mobility.

The first chapter (Chapter 42) was “Commercializing Research Innovations: An Introduction for Researchers”, which I co-authored with Lupin Battersby. In this chapter, Lupin and I present some food for thought to researchers who are thinking about or beginning the path of commercializing their research. Key concepts we outline are:

  • Licensing vs. launching (which path is right for you?).
  • Identifying your market, customers, and value proposition (who benefits?).
  • Types of innovation and Intellectual property (discussed further in Chapter 45 by my friends and mentors Richard McAloney and Emanuel Istrate).
  • Value chain and key stakeholders (how to get to market?).
  • Funding (how to raise money, especially non-dilutive?).
  • Creating a business model canvas  (how do you put all the pieces together?).
  • Sources of support within academia (who do you get help from?).

I hope the guidelines and suggestions above help you along your journey to creating real-world impact.

The next chapter (Chapter 43) was particularly exciting to write: “Case Study 1: Blind Spot Sensors for Wheelchairs – Increasing Access to Independent Mobility”. In this chapter, I describe various aspects of my entrepreneurial journey. 

  • The challenge: Safety is an issue while navigating in powered mobility devices, which can result in exclusion from the use of these devices. The objective was to find a solution that would enable independent mobility while increasing safety.
  • Technology push vs. market pull: What the engineer believes to be the solution is not always what the customer needs and wants – how to avoid this?
  • Separating academic and commercial activities (to keep clean records of intellectual property).
  • The start-up “pivot”: After more than a decade of developing semi-autonomous systems for wheelchairs (e.g., automatic collision avoidance), I pivoted to creating warning/alert systems instead. Why? Read the chapter to find out!
  • Outcomes and impact: a success story of a long-term care resident who nearly lost access to his powered wheelchair, but continues to remain independent and mobile today.

Also, my journey would not have been possible without the support of AGE-WELL NCE, Impact Centre, Semaphore Lab, Assistive Technology Clinic, and March of Dimes Canada.

You can order a copy of this book from and