Science to Society

We believe that science is the foundation for a better quality of life.

Our vision is to be a place where you can connect with exceptional research, talent, training, innovative companies, and government to create products and services that benefit society.

Our vision

The Impact Centre strives to bring science to society.

We believe that science is the foundation for a better quality of life. Research, invention, and innovation are considered among the key contributors to economic development and sustainability of communities in Canada and around the world.


Our vision is to be a place where you can connect with exceptional research, talent, innovative companies, and government to create products and services that benefit society.

We leverage the expertise and resources of universities to create real products and solutions for our clients.

We look forward to connecting with you to create even more impact!

Our mission

We generate impact through industry projects and partnerships, entrepreneurial companies, and training.

We bridge the gap between the university and industry to accelerate the development of new or improved products and services. We work with graduate students and researchers to help them commercialize their discoveries. We provide supplemental training for students at all levels to ease their transition into future careers.

The Impact Centre community is rooted in the passion and knowledge of our members and friends.


Our Connector System

Whether you are an industry client, a graduate student with an entrepreneurial spirit, a seasoned business expert, or an undergraduate student, we can help you create impact through science. At the Impact Centre, we work in a number of ways to translate research and know-how into real products with real impact.

We provide technical and early-stage guidance to help researchers and graduate students take their discoveries from the lab to the marketplace. We proactively talk to industry to identify how we can help solve specific technical challenges. We train students to prepare them for transition to the job market. For us, all of these pieces are deeply interconnected.

societyWe understand the challenges individuals or companies face in accessing research. Our Connector System is a framework that lowers barriers to working with the university.

Focus on the outcome!

We carefully evaluate every industry request. We leverage our in-house expertise or tap into our extensive network to find a suitable academic partner for your specific need.

Providing entrepreneurs with the guidance they need!

Impact Centre entrepreneurs get the support they need to commercialize their research and create their own jobs.

Building a community!

Our partners, mentors, sponsors, and friends are introduced to incredible technologies and bright entrepreneurs who are passionate about changing the future through science and engineering.

Our culture

Culture of collaboration

At the Impact Centre, we believe that a culture of collaboration and hard work is the basis for the successful transformation of research and technology into benefits to society.

People and resources

Our team has a strong track record of working at the intersection of research and industry. We are passionate and driven to create impact through science and research.

Our history

The Impact Centre was created in September 2013 and is rooted in nearly two decades of work with industry and entrepreneurship.

We are proud to be an independent institute at the University of Toronto that caters to researchers and companies in the natural sciences and the engineering.



Establishment of the Institute for Optical Sciences (IOS)

  • The IOS and Department of Chemistry introduce Enterpreneurship101 and the Up-Start! Competition attracting 90 participants.


  • Entrepreneurship101 moves to MaRS due to high demand and the expanding partnership with the MaRS Discovery District.


  • Engineering Research Program (ERP) is launched.


  • Cynthia Goh becomes Director of the IOS.
  • First workshop on smart sustainable lighting is hosted by the IOS.


  • IOS launches Science Rendezvous.


  • The official launch of the first industry cluster: the Smart Sustainable Lighting Network (SSLNet).


  • Techno launches with 14 participating teams.
  • IOS Industry Day encourages university-industry collaborations in cleantech.


  • Techno2011 – 13 participating teams.
  • Announcement of the first set of IOS Innovation Fellowships.


  • Techno2012 – 16 participating teams.
  • IOS leads Canada-India Mission in Nanomaterials for Health and Environment under the Government for Canada’s Going Global Innovation Program.
  • Expansion to the Banting and Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.


Creation of the Impact Centre

  • Techno2013 – 21 participating teams.
  • IOS facilities MOU with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on behalf of U of T.
  • Kick-off meeting for the Synthetic Biology Innovation Cluster (SYNBIO-IC).
  • Inaugural TechnoStorm session to brainstorm proposal ideas for the Grand Challenges Canada funding programs.

The mentorship and support provided by the Impact Centre have been crucial for our development as a young startup. It is a great environment to be working in for anyone wishing to create a positive impact on society through science and technology.


Check our latest news to see what’s happening!

Techno2018 by the numbers

Techno2018 has wrapped up an exciting week of training, working, and food. While the teams are diving into their market analyses, IP strategies, and go to market strategies, we took a look into the demographics of Techno2018 participants to learn more about the next...

Narwhal List adds 16 new companies

We are excited to release the latest update to the Narwhal List, Canada’s most financially attractive private technology companies. With a record number of financings across Canada in the first few months of 2018, there are a number of new Narwhals on the list! What’s...