Kitchener-Waterloo

Federal intellectual property strategy includes $30M to help green tech sector

Federal Minister Navdeep Bains revealed a series of initiatives to help entrepreneurs take advantage of intellectual property, and use it to grow their business.

Growth in green technology sector is a priority, Min. Navdeep Bains says

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains explained that the pilot program targets green tech sector start-ups particularly. (Alexandra Burza/CBC)

The federal government has announced a $30 million pilot program to help green tech entrepreneurs with their intellectual property strategy.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, unveiled the series of initiatives at the University of Waterloo on Thursday afternoon.

The announcement was made during a panel discussion with a law professor, start-up consultant and local tech company founders.

Bains began the panel by unveiling the Innovation Asset Collective, a non-profit founded to help small to medium-sized green technology businesses with patents and other aspects of IP strategy.

Green tech a priority

Bains said there is opportunity for businesses to grow through adopting more aggressive intellectual property strategies.

He said focusing on green tech will help grow that sector and create more jobs within it. 

"Two point five trillion dollars. That's the market opportunity in clean tech by 2022," he said.

"We as a government have been very clear that we are transitioning to a low carbon economy ... but we are also very mindful of the fact that we're in an intangible economy."

Encouraging companies to strategize

The minister also introduced "Explore IP" tool that allows business owners to approach patent owners directly to negotiate a license or a collaboration.

The final component of the pilot program will be a series of grants for several Ontario law schools to develop their legal clinics' intellectual property resources.

Bains said the goal of these initiatives is to increase awareness of the benefits of protecting intellectual assets for an up-and-coming business.

"If we want to see more Canadian companies succeed and become global champions we need to have smart industrial policy," he said.

He added that in the United States, intangible assets (i.e. intellectual property) contributed to 35 per cent of the country's GDP. In Canada, it's at 25 per cent.

"But bottom line is we're behind particularly versus the U.S., and this speaks to that productivity gap." 

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