3M Canada Speaker: Relationships and Partnerships Key To Growth
April 13, 2006

Toronto, April 13, 2006 -- Mike Irwin, Technical Director, 3M Canada Company, is urging his entrepreneurial colleagues to network with key influencers around the theme of the importance of new ventures in innovation. "Challenges in the Garden -- Starting and Growing New Ventures" is being held in Vancouver on May 29 and 30th, to help managers working with entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs themselves and leaders from industry, universities, colleges, and government who support entrepreneurship, innovation and new ventures in Canada.

The Conference, part of the "Innovation and New Ventures" series, focuses on the importance of new ventures in innovation, on funding new ventures and on community support for new ventures. The conference began in 2001 and is run annually.

According to Mr. Irwin, "Aside from the newest information and best practices, the conference participants will be afforded the opportunity to network with key influencers around this theme. These interactions often lead to important relationships that may in time evolve into partnerships.

"In return, 3M itself will gain from the conference. From my perspective, our involvement in the conference is another opportunity for 3M Canada to highlight its interest in partnering with the academic, government and industrial sectors of Canada. This year's theme of starting and growing new ventures is topical in that these new ventures represent potential new collaborations for 3M."

Robert Armit, Conference Director, says that 3M is a model of networking for mutual profit. "CATAAlliance, Canada's largest high tech association, and 3M corporation, which invested $1.25 billion on Research and Development (R&D) last year, have successfully united on a program that presented 3M's R&D teams with 88 proposals from Canadian organizations -- the result of a nationwide CATA search on 3M's behalf for research partners. 3M and CATA have now announced an ongoing business partnership, linking Canadian technology capability with 3M's interests in advancing its 'future focus' technologies. In the program, an ongoing monitoring service will provide Canadian companies with continuing opportunities to partner with 3M.

"3M knows how to partner with Canadian firms including new ventures and with universities like Dalhousie and UBC for example. We are looking forward to hearing their story at the Innovation and New Ventures Conference."

The Conference features speakers such as:

Shaun Wylde, TSXVenture
Gary Albach, UBC Entre-in-Res
Denny Doyle, Doyletech
Mike Irwin, 3M
Mark Betteridge, Discovery Parks
Mike Volker, SFU
Brian Guthrie, Conference Board
Peter van Bodegom, Pricewaterhouse Coopers
Bob Chaworth-Musters, Angel Forum

"This is a unique event held clearly and distinctly at the intersection of industry, universities& colleges and government on the matter of innovation and new ventures," said Mr. Armit. "Simon Fraser University is the organization behind this event and we are grateful to them for their endorsement. We are delighted to be working once again with CATA and Westlink Innovation Network, two outstanding associations committed to innovation. For potential delegates from industry, universities and colleges and government, this event is an excellent opportunity to interact with your peers, and with experts who can help you succeed in commercializing and partnering."

For further information and to register, please visit: http://www.inv2006.ca

or contact Robert Armit at:
email: barmit@rogers.com
telephone: 1 (613) 739 9203
Fax: 1 (613) 233 1056