Mickey Mouse to teach at McMaster, Xerox scientist tells guests of growth opportunities with intellectual property.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON  February 23, 2012  The Mayors “Imagine-Ignite-Innovate” speakers luncheon went just fine.  The room wasn’t chock full but the program was good.  Burlington business people learned that there was growth potential in developing intellectual property and using that property to give yourself a competitive edge.

There are two organizations along Mainway that do just that: Thordon Bearings and Ecosynthetix have created and continue to create products based on either patents they have secured or use trade secrets to put them ahead of others in the same field.

Xerox has done it with new products in the laser printing field and grew from a company that owned the photocopying market to one that is now heavily engaged in the short run printing business that brought full colour printing to a desk top in the office.

Paul Smith named a vice president of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada last September spearheads Xerox’s materials research activities through a team of 120 scientists and engineers. The research centre’s most recent innovations include advances in emulsion aggregation toner and the development of long-life photoreceptors. The centre has also played a key role in developing the next generation of solid ink, Xerox’s proprietary ink that melts to a liquid in the printer and because it does not use cartridges to hold the ink, reduces consumables waste by 90 percent compared to competitive office laser-based products.

Smith joined Xerox in 1995, and has held a number of management positions at the centre (XRCC), leading teams that have developed key materials for Xerox product platforms, including solid ink components and new inks for Xerox Phaser printers.

Smith received his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Bath and was a National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) fellow from 1995 to 1997.  In 2001, he received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is a named inventor on 55 U.S. patents and has published 16 research articles.

Dr. Smith was introduced by Acting Dean Dr. Bob McNutt, who announced that the Disney Institute was going to partner with the Executive Education group at DeGroote and sponsor a session on Business Excellence.   The session, to take place at the Burlington Convention Centre April 25, will focus on teaching business leaders how to think differently.  “Bring your business challenges and we will show you a clear, simplified way of looking at the problems and seeing what’s probably already right in front of you – easy effective solutions”, said the promotional literature.

In the world of marketing there is the phrase :”brand extension” which is when you take a product that has a very strong brand and extend it to a different product.

Mickey Mouse is about to become part of the Executive Education branch of McMaster's DeGroote School of Business.

Take Disney – you immediately think of Disney Land and that gets you to Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck in less than a jump.  Disney has managed to extend their brand in the entertainment field very successfully.  Now they are going to try and extend the Disney brand into the field of executive education.  McMaster announced at the Mayor’s BEDC luncheon that the Disney Institute was going to become part of the Executive Education program at the McMaster DeGroote School of Business.  Folks that means Mickey Mouse is coming to Burlington and that perhaps we will be able to recognize Mac students by those Mickey Mouse ears.

Now that is brand extension – the kind of thing that makes marketing managers cry as they struggle to make their brand work for them.


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