Generating research funding

It is increasingly difficult to fund research – all aspects, including the core budget which pays for space, utilities, salaries etc.  How do we generate additional revenue?  What is the role of commercialization, consulting services, foundations, etc.?

Comments

  • The Technology Development and Commercialization (TDC) office needs to be more pro-active in educating clinicians about the commercialization process, in addition to enhancing their outreach to researchers. Techna may be a good model of best practices to integrate commercialization as a part of the research process.
  • Invest in marketing UHN’s services (eg, MedRIST) through product shows and promotions. 
  • Need to increase the amount of indirects. 
  • There needs to be better alignment of overhead charges. However, it is not clear whether overhead should be proportional to size of space (based on utility charges) or proportional to size of grants held (which may require more support from RSS).
 
Other potential sources of income include:
 
a) Foundations
  • Educate donors and UHN foundations about UHN’s research needs.
  • Allocate a portion of each donation (perhaps ~10-15%) to UHN-wide indirect costs. 
  • Institute a mechanism to foster cross-institutional fundraising, ie, better cooperation across foundations. 
  • Start looking at digital fund-raising strategies such as gofundme.
 
b) Industry
  • Put into place mechanisms/policies that enable industry to invest in research so that IP is jointly-owned. Industry ownership will lead to more “buy in” for the projects.
 
c) Granting agencies
  • Discuss the lack of overhead with smaller granting agencies (eg, Heart and Stroke Foundation) and see whether a small percentage can be incorporated into the grant budget.