Models of University/Industry Collaboration—What Works and What Doesn’t

Steven Woods
Partner and CTO, Inovia Capital Partners


Steven has worked in software development, academic and industrial research and technical leadership for more than 30 years. As co-founder of three software and services companies based in the USA (, Kinitos, NeoEdge Networks), he built strong, high-performing teams of product and technical experts based in both Silicon Valley and the Waterloo-Toronto tech corridor.  One of these companies – – pioneered the world’s first interactive voice assistant and was acquired by Netscape/America Online in 2000. 
Steven served at Google from 2008 to 2021 – building and leading a world-class engineering and product capability in Canada – growing a range of multidisciplinary engineering and development teams and leadership from 20 to over 1,300. 
Steven holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters and PhD in Computer Science (Mathematics) from the University of Waterloo. Among numerous awards, Steven received the prestigious JW Graham Medal in Computing and Innovation from the University of Waterloo in 2010 and was recognized with a Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Saskatchewan in 2021.  
Steven Woods’ broad range of experience in academic and industrial settings provides a unique perspective of university/industry collaboration.  This conversation will examine what contributes to successful collaborations and what doesn’t work as well as the benefits of these collaborations to researchers, students and industrial partners.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content