BUSINESS owners and entrepreneurs in B.C. will have better access to intellectual property (IP) resources to protect and develop their ideas through a new partnership.
A new partnership between the Province, Innovation Asset Collective (IAC) and Innovate BC is part of a national IP strategy to help Canadian businesses maximize the potential of their ideas and products. This partnership aligns with the goals in the StrongerBC Economic Plan to strengthen innovation and provide British Columbians with better access to resources to help keep ownership of intangible assets.
“People are our competitive advantage in B.C.,” said Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, on Monday. “This agreement supports our StrongerBC Economic Plan by helping business owners and entrepreneurs better protect their ideas, expand their reach and increase profits. Fostering this type of work and important innovation will position our province as a global leader, while keeping new jobs, ideas and opportunities right here at home.”
François-Philippe Champagne, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said: “Congratulations to the Innovation Asset Collective, the Province of British Columbia and Innovate BC on their new partnership to provide business owners and entrepreneurs better access to IP resources. We decided to launch our IP strategy because we know that today, more than ever, IP is integral to growing firms and fuelling innovation. Indeed, this partnership will help many businesses get the full reward for the hard work that they have put in creating their innovations.”
These three organizations will work together to help companies leverage their IP strategy to scale up and compete, creating advantages that benefit businesses in B.C. and throughout Canada.
The Province, Innovate BC and IAC will provide business owners and entrepreneurs with IP education and resources, including hosting information sessions, education events and speaking opportunities.
As the partnership is rolled out, Brenda Bailey, Parliamentary Secretary for Technology and Innovation, will be leading a new intellectual property strategy for B.C. This includes connecting with businesses and stakeholders to further develop knowledge and next steps.
“As B.C.’s innovation economy continues to grow, so does the importance of supporting the development and retention of IP,” said Bailey. “It is the base on which growth is founded and is indispensable in an innovative and creative economy that supports the collective welfare of all British Columbians. IP policy matters and has important consequences. I very much look forward to consulting with our tech sector to inform our upcoming IP strategy.”
The StrongerBC Economic Plan moves British Columbia forward by tackling the challenges of today while growing an economy that works for everyone. This long-term plan builds on B.C.’s strong economic recovery and works to address two long-standing challenges – inequality and climate change – by closing the skills gap, building resilient communities and helping businesses and people transition to clean-energy solutions. The plan sets two main goals of inclusive growth and clean growth, and puts forward six missions to keep B.C. on track.
Mike McLean, CEO, Innovation Asset Collective, said: “To become global technology champions, companies need to better understand the importance of IP and how to build formidable IP and data positions that support growth. The Government of B.C. was an early adopter of this belief and remains a strong support partner. We’re thrilled to continue to work together to support B.C.’s innovation sector and further promote Canada’s national IP strategy.”
Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO, Innovate BC, said: “We are thrilled to partner with the Innovation Asset Collective and the Government of B.C. to provide B.C. businesses with access to intellectual property education and resources in order to support their growth. We look forward to connecting B.C. companies with a focus on clean-tech solutions to this program. Now more than ever, it’s critical that we take stronger action against climate change and we are committed to helping innovators working in this space.”
Shahram Pourazadi, IP and systems engineering manager, Advanced Intelligent Systems (AIS), said: “Our company develops custom robotics solutions to take businesses to the next level by leveraging our proprietary hardware and software modules. As a company, we needed a more developed framework for our IP management. This included an in-house IP policy and strategy focused on creating and protecting our IP. Our IAC membership has really helped us shape this framework. We have also used IAC’s patent landscape reports to help us better understand our competition and make important business decisions to support our growth.”
* The IAC has 51 full members throughout Canada, with 15 companies representing B.C.
* Represented clean-tech companies from B.C. include energy storage; waste management; air, environment and remediation; mining; materials, manufacturing and industry; precision agriculture; building and asset management; renewables; intelligent transport systems; and quantum computing.
* $100,000 was given out through IAC grants to eight B.C. companies in 2021-22