Today, April 26th, is World Intellectual Property Day. This year’s theme is shining a light on the critical role of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the economy and how they can use intellectual property (“IP”) to build stronger, more competitive and resilient businesses.
On April 19th, 2021, the Canadian government released its first budget under the COVID pandemic (“Budget 2021”). Budget 2021 addresses the Government of Canada’s fight against COVID-19 and its desire to ensure a robust economic recovery. As part of the latter, Canada is investing in innovation.
As the most highly educated country in the OECD, Canada is full of innovative and entrepreneurial people with great ideas. Those ideas are valuable intellectual property that are the seeds of huge growth opportunities. Building on the National Intellectual Property Strategy announced back in 2018, the government proposed further support to Canadian innovators, start-ups, and technology-intensive businesses.
Budget 2021 proposed the following
- $90 million over two years, starting in 2022-23, to create ElevateIP, a program to help accelerators and incubators provide start-ups with access to expert intellectual property services.
- $75 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, for the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to provide high-growth client firms with access to expert intellectual property services.
These direct investments would be complemented by a Strategic Intellectual Property Program Review that will be launched. It is intended as a broad assessment of intellectual property provisions in Canada’s innovation and science programming, from basic research to near-commercial projects. This work will make sure Canada and Canadians fully benefit from innovations and intellectual property.