Our history of meaningful impact is rich and wide-ranging.
Since our inception a century ago, UBC's research and partnerships have led to new products, policies and practices that have improved lives around the world.
Our discoveries and spin-off companies have played key roles in advancing technology, natural resources and life sciences sectors. Today, our researchers are transforming manufacturing, advancing precision medicine, tackling global environmental issues and working alongside communities to address their most pressing challenges.
UBC researchers engage in more than 2,500 collaborative research partnerships with industry, government and non-profit organizations each year. Sharing our research expertise, capacity and infrastructure to address identified challenges leads to enriched educational student experiences and the development of new and improved public policies, services and products.
With a track record of building transformational partnerships with industry spanning more than 80 years, today we have long-standing research relationships in sectors including IT and telecommunications, aviation, transport, clean energy, forestry, health, manufacturing and more. More than 900 of our 1,300 annual industry partnerships are with Canadian companies, 350 of which involve BC-based companies.
UBC discoveries have been at the heart of products, treatments and services that have generated an estimated $11.5 billion in sales, and been the basis of more than 200 spin-off companies. Today, UBC has more than 450 licensing agreements for its technologies across the world.
- The emergence and ongoing vitality of the BC life sciences industry is tied to a rich line of UBC spin-offs from QLT and Inex, through to the likes of Aquinox Pharmaceuticals, Augurex and Birch Biomed.
- UBC's most frequently licensed technology is SIFT, an image matching algorithm invented by Dr. David Lowe. Still the gold standard almost 20 years after it was created, SIFT has been used in a huge range of applications from cellphone panoramas to theft detection.
- Dr. Murray Goldberg’s creation of WebCT sparked the online learning revolution.
- The dot-ca domain name was born at UBC, when John Demco secured the identity two years before the World Wide Web was created.
- UBC is a powerhouse in liposome research, with research leading to multiple spin-off companies and three approved drugs: abelcet, myocet and marquibo.
- D-Wave, the world's first quantum computing company, spun out of UBC in 1999.
UBC researchers and their partners influence public policy and medical practices, and benefit local and global communities through collaboration and the sharing of new knowledge.
- Dr. Julio Montaner’s pioneering work established new global standards of care for the treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS.
- The Veterans Transition Network, delivering mental health services specifically for Veterans, grew out of research led by Drs. Marv Westwood and David Kuhl.
- Amanda Vincent's Project Seahorse has generated 35 marine-protected areas (MPAs) that serve as sanctuaries for seahorses and threatened ecosystems, and fostered an alliance of more than 1,000 small-scale fishing families to enforce these no-take zones.
UBC supports the entrepreneurship ecosystem of students, faculty, staff and alumni through training, mentorships, accelerators and investment.
Since 2013, entrepreneurship@UBC and the UBC Seed Fund has:
- had more than 4,400 registrants in its programs
- incubated and accelerated 476 ventures
- funded 13 ventures through the UBC Seed Fund
- helped 29 ventures acquire funding
- helped raise $1 billion in Angel and VC funding
- helped generate $88 million in revenue
- had more than 220 industry and startup mentors in its network