Dalhousie University, on behalf of partners Innovacorp, the Nova Scotia Department of Economic Development, the IWK Health Centre and the Capital District Health Authority, is pleased to announce that the Dalhousie Innovation Award for 2008 has been given to the Department of Chemistry as a group, for the development and successful initial commercialization of their novel first-year teaching system titled “Concepts in Chemistry.”

The teaching system aims to address gaps in the marketplace of current teaching materials in first-year chemistry. The system includes textbooks, videos, websites and other unique tools created by members of the department. Over 2,000 students at Dalhousie have already used Concepts in Chemistry and students and teachers alike have found it an interactive, interesting, easy-to-use resource for learning and teaching first-year chemistry.

“This is a unique development where several members of the department have worked together to produce a teaching system that allows for greater participation by students, enhanced learning opportunities and improved outcomes,” said Dr. Neil Burford, chair of the Department of Chemistry. “Commercialization of this product is also unique as all contributors to Concepts in Chemistry have ceded their individual intellectual property rights to Dalhousie University so that the Department of Chemistry can derive the benefits from the profits on current and future sales.”

A number of universities in Atlantic Canada and elsewhere have already expressed an interest in using Concepts in Chemistry on their campuses in the near future. Industry Liaison and Innovation (ILI) is working with the Department of Chemistry to expand the sales and marketing of Concepts in Chemistry throughout North America and to other parts of the world.

“The commercialization of Concepts in Chemistry could be the beginning of a whole new process for integrated web and classroom based teaching and assessment techniques for undergraduates and students of all ages,” indicates Dr. Ronald Layden, executive director of ILI. “We are very excited about this new opportunity and this is just one more way in which Dalhousie is a leader in research and teaching in a wide range of academic fields.”

The Dalhousie Innovation Award is co-sponsored by Innovacorpthe Nova Scotia Department of Economic Developmentthe IWK Health Centre and the Capital District Health Authority.  It is intended to reward and encourage innovative research with strong commercial potential. The winner is selected by Innovacorp and the Industry Liaison & Innovation office at Dalhousie University and is valued at $50,000. A reception and award ceremony will be held later in the fall.

The Industry Liaison and Innovation office commercializes research at Dalhousie University, manages and facilitates collaborations between companies and university researchers and assists in the creation of spin-off ventures.DALINNOVATION.COM

The Department of Chemistry conducts internationally competitive research, provides excellent educational experiences to 1600 undergraduate and 70 graduate students, and maintains strong relationships with their partner communities. CHEMISTRY.DAL.CA

Dalhousie University is a comprehensive, research-intensive university with more than 15,500 students. In The Scientist magazine, it was recently announced as the best place to work in academia outside of the United States.DAL.CA

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Ronald Layden
Executive Director, Industry Innovation and Liaison
Dalhousie University 
2500 University Drive NW Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4H2
T 902.494.3237

Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 30, 2008