Minister Bains announces support to help Canadians turn innovative ideas into job-creating businesses

News release

New initiatives will help innovative entrepreneurs access and leverage intellectual property

August 1, 2019 – Waterloo, Ontario

In today’s knowledge economy, intellectual property (IP) is an essential tool for Canadian entrepreneurs to develop new products, expand their businesses and become more competitive. That is why the Government of Canada is ensuring our country is a leader in generating and strategically leveraging IP investments to benefit Canada’s innovators.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, today announced a series of government initiatives to help entrepreneurs secure, access and use IP to build their businesses.

Minister Bains announced the selection of the Innovation Asset Collective to develop and run a patent collective. Under the Patent Collective pilot program, the new non-profit will receive $30 million to assist small and medium-sized enterprises in the data-driven clean technology sector with their IP needs, helping them expand their business and become more competitive.

The Minister also launched ExploreIP: Canada’s IP Marketplace. This new tool helps Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses access valuable publicly owned IP to commercialize and grow their businesses, stimulate economic growth and create middle-class jobs. Entrepreneurs will be able to contact the owners of more than 2,500 patents to negotiate a licence or explore opportunities to collaborate on future projects, giving these businesses access to groundbreaking research and innovation.

Finally, the Minister announced that the law schools at the University of Ottawa, the University of Windsor, York University and the Université de Montréal will receive grants to develop or expand their IP legal clinic resources. Through the IP Legal Clinics grants, the Government is helping make pro bono or low-cost IP legal services more accessible to Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators.

These initiatives are the latest steps in Canada’s first Intellectual Property Strategy, which is providing Canadian businesses and researchers with access to new IP resources. The strategy includes reforms to IP legislation and a focus on IP awareness and education. 


“When it comes to business, nothing is more valuable than a great idea—as long as it’s protected. Through the initiatives we are announcing today, our government is making sure that innovative Canadian entrepreneurs have the tools they need to spur innovation, take advantage of new opportunities, and create jobs from coast to coast to coast. We are equipping our entrepreneurs with the tools they need to thrive in the knowledge economy.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“In today's global economy of intangible assets—namely IP and data—it's critical that Canada builds capacity to generate, strategically leverage and protect the assets we create, whether in the private or public sector. We recognize that as a nation of small businesses, we lack scale individually, yet by banding together and working collectively, Canada has a chance to compete in a global ecosystem. Our goal is to create the type of IP collective that transforms the way Canadians approach the digital economy and positions Canada for global success.”
– Peter Cowan, Cofounder, Innovation Asset Collective

Quick facts

  • Businesses using IP in patent-intensive industries have about 8 to 10 times more revenue than those not using IP.

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises that hold formal IP are four times more likely to export and 64% more likely to be high-growth firms.

  • IP-intensive businesses pay 16% higher wages, on average, than businesses with little or no IP.

  • ExploreIP was developed with the support of the Government of Australia and its Source IP platform and in consultation with the U15 Group of Canadian Research Universities and Universities Canada.

  • The IP Legal Clinics Program provides funding of up to $200,000 per year to Canadian law schools.


Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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