Effective Strategies for Commercializing Graduate Research

Sunday, October 20, 2019
Room 506-507

Led by: Grant Wells, Associate Director of the Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, Marcel Gaier. Graphite Innovation and Technology and Margaret Palmeter, Founding Manager Emera ideaHUB, Dalhousie University

This workshop will explain how students can successfully commercialize their graduate research, start their company, and become their own boss. The key to successful commercialization lies in the ability to communicate the unique value proposition to a wide variety of audience: investors, governmental funding agencies, potential customers, and team members. Workshop participants will learn how to formulate a research idea into a business idea while highlighting the unique value proposition to different stakeholders in a concise and effective way.

The target audience for this workshop is graduate students. However, all conference attendees are welcome and encouraged to attend.


Grant Wells brings an unwavering passion to helping others achieve excellence through the adoption of an innovation mindset and technology. At his core is a belief that the "status quo" will never do and that the most rewarding opportunities exist through targeted disruption, change, and the intelligent application of insights learned throughout this process.

Since 2005, Wells has operated a web development consultancy servicing clients in Atlantic Canada. For the last five years, he operated ShiftKey Labs, a student-focused technology innovation playground, out of the Dalhousie University Faculty of Computer Science. Wells is also co-founder of BlueNode Inc., a software company focused on maritime logistics data and analytics. As Associate Director of the Norman Newman Centre for Entrepreneurship, he will continue to champion the adoption of innovation and entrepreneurial mindsets amongst students through the exceptional programs available within the Centre.

Marciel Gaier, Eng is currently co-founder and technical officer of Graphite Innovation and Technology. Ph.D. candidate in Materials Engineer at Dalhousie University in Cermets - ceramic/metal composites with partner research with Boeing(2016). Research based on the effect of industrial diamond and graphene on Wear resistance of carbide-based materials. Worked at Whirlpool as an engineer for New product development. Experience in “Development of ceramic fibers for reinforcing composite materials and thermal protection at high temperatures” provided by the Brazilian Space Agency and supervised by Dr. Sergio da Silva Cava. Past researcher at SNOLAB with a project of preparation, development of chips for use in detectors, maintenance in PICASSO detector, development of a gel-polymer for application in sensors and data analysis in dark matter area.    

Margaret Palmeter is the Founding Manager of Dalhousie University’s Emera ideaHUB. She comes to this role from Dalhousie Industry Liaison & Innovation and has a track record of accelerating growth through research & development for startups, SMEs, and large multinationals. She works at the intersection of academia, government, and the private sector. Her role includes a mandate for supporting the economic development of Atlantic Canada through the commercialization of research and collaboration between academia and the private sector.