Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Encouraging innovation

Creating and nurturing a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship has long been a strategic priority for research at TRU. We foster a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to student training and solution-driven innovation — and to job creation in new industries. In 2012, TRU signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kamloops Innovation Centre that formalizes collaboration between the private and academic sectors to create the skills, training and opportunities that allow emerging entrepreneurs to build business in the BC Interior.

The Generator

With the success of the Kamloops Innovation Centre, the Office of Research and Graduate Studies has partnered to launch The Generator, an on-campus hub providing networking and mentoring support for students engaged in the tech field.

Supported by $40,000 from Western Economic Diversification Canada and a $50,000 grant from the BC Innovation Council, the venture acceleration centre is designed to encourage and develop the start-up tech companies of tomorrow. Located in the House of Learning, the goal of The Generator is to connect TRU and KIC in a productive and meaningful way, with a focus on student development and engagement. Renovations on the space were completed in March 2014, and several sold-out events have since taken place.

The Generator is designed to expose students to the routes into entrepreneurship and show them the possibilities of starting their own companies. The centre also acts as an entry point for industry to engage with TRU researchers and develop collaborations.

The memorandum of understanding between TRU and the Kamloops Innovation Centre has resulted in:

  • 16 new venture startups in Kamloops
  • 11 companies founded by TRU alumni
  • 15 TRU graduates hired

This office is supported by the federal Research Support Fund. The Fund assists Canadian post-secondary institutions to maintain a world-class research environment, which includes the creation of a technology transfer office, support for technology licensing, administration of agreements and partnerships with industry, development of incubators, and support for the creation of spin-off companies.