New agency will help innovators and businesses commercialize their “Ontario-made” ideas and products
TORONTO — The Ontario government is continuing to support the province’s innovators through the launch of its new agency, Intellectual Property Ontario. The new board-governed agency will serve as a go-to resource for Intellectual Property (IP) expertise to help researchers and companies maximize the value of their IP, strengthen their capacity to grow and compete in the global market.
A significant milestone of the Intellectual Property Action Plan, Intellectual Property Ontario will provide clients across the province with access to intellectual property strategy advice, legal expertise and educational resources. It will help businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers innovate and stay competitive.
“Ontario has a world-class postsecondary education system and is home to innovative start-ups and scale-up firms,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Giving postsecondary education institutions, businesses and innovators the support they need to help generate, protect, manage, and commercialize their intellectual property will support innovators, encourage long-term economic growth and ensure that Ontario taxpayers benefit from the inventions and discoveries that result from publicly funded research and innovation.”
To ensure the economic and commercial benefits of local innovation remain in the province, the government has also made significant progress achieving other IP Action Plan milestones including:
- Implementing a new framework that will help publicly assisted colleges and universities better commercialize their ideas and products generated through “Ontario-made” research.
- Helping innovators understand the value of protecting their intellectual property by increasing access to digital education modules. Two foundational online IP courses are available for free in English and French through the University of Toronto and the Centre for International Governance Innovation.
- Supporting Ontario’s innovation partners, such as the Regional Innovation Centres, to succeed in domestic and international markets by helping them make their ideas marketable and attract talent, capital and customers through the implementation of a new Intellectual Property Governance Framework and new intellectual property metrics.
“We need to support Ontario innovators and entrepreneurs, as they build more businesses and do what they do best, creating good jobs for the people of Ontario,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “An important step towards those goals is implementing the Intellectual Property Action Plan, including, the new agency Intellectual Property Ontario. This new agency will be the go-to resource for IP knowledge, advice and services to help businesses, entrepreneurs, as well as postsecondary institutions and researchers capitalize on their intellectual property and succeed in the global economy.”
Intellectual Property Ontario will be chaired by Karima Bawa, Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. Additional members appointed to the Board of Directors include Sally Daub, Founder, Pool Global Partners; Elliot Fung, Executive Director, Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX); Dan Herman, PhD, Special Advisor to Government and Founder, Go To Jupiter Productions Inc.; and Hongwei Liu, Chief Executive Director, Mappedin.
“Intellectual property plays a critical role in driving innovation and growth,” said Karima Bawa, Chair, Intellectual Property Ontario. “I am excited to be appointed to the Board of this vitally important organization that will support innovators in their efforts to protect and leverage their IP for economic and social benefit.”
These initiatives will drive economic and social growth in Ontario and build a better and brighter future for researchers, innovators and businesses.
- In Summer 2020, Ontario released an Intellectual Property Action Plan in response to the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Intellectual Property.
- Intellectual Property Ontario is a board-governed agency, with up to nine board members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (LGIC), on the recommendation of the Minister of Colleges and Universities. Up to four additional board members may still be appointed.
- According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, small- and medium-sized enterprises that own intellectual property are three times more likely to expand domestically and more than four times more likely to expand internationally.
- Managing intellectual property can help innovators profit from selling or licensing their IP assets; protect their trade secrets from being disclosed; stop others from making, using, and selling their invention; protect and build their brand; and increase the value of their business in the eyes of potential buyers and investors.
- Homegrown discoveries and innovations are helping to meet present day and future challenges head-on, while creating new economic opportunities.