Government of Canada to Establish the Canada Innovation Corporation

Recently, the Government of Canada announced that it will establish the Canada Innovation Corporation (CIC), an “outcome-driven organization with a clear and focused mandate to help Canadian businesses across all sectors and regions become more innovative and productive”. This mandate will manifest through three main activities: the delivery of funding programs, the delivery of advisory services, and functions related to foresight and experimentation.

1. Funding Programs

The CIC will deliver funding and provide accessibility to advisory services to encourage Canadian businesses to launch and scale research and development activities. The kinds of projects that will be supported by this funding include:

  •  applied research projects, allowing businesses to gain a better understanding of industrial challenges and market opportunities;
  •  experimental development projects, relating to the use of scientific or technical knowledge to develop or improve products and processes; and
  • technical adaptation projects, to allow businesses to adapt or improve upon pre-existing technologies.

It is worth noting that the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assist Program (IRAP) will be rolled into the CIC within the next two years. IRAP Funding will continue to be available, managed by the CIC and existing alongside new opportunities for funding.

2. Advisory Services

Through a newly established business development team, the CIC intends to work alongside businesses to reduce barriers to R&D efforts. This includes the provision of education relating to funding opportunities, the formulation of project proposals, and support for the creation and protection of intellectual property.

3. Foresight and Experimentation

In addition to a business development team, the CIC will also establish a strategy team to regularly evaluate the CIC’s role alongside changing private sector needs.

Looking to the Future

It is too early to tell what new funding opportunities will be made available to Canadian startups, but it is clear that the Canadian government is broadening its commitments to support Canadian innovation. Part of these commitments is providing further accessibility to advisory services for the creation and protection of intangible assets and intellectual property. Presently, such support is made available through the IRAP program, which allows businesses retain the services of subject-matter experts such as lawyers for various IP-related services and strategy – and it appears that additional opportunities will continue to present with the launch of the CIC.

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If you are interested in more information on the current IRAP program and are looking to develop an IP strategy for your business, please contact us.

If you have any questions about this article or wish to learn more, please contact Massimo Orsini or Allan Oziel. Oziel Law communications and legal articles are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or an opinion on any issue. To obtain additional details or advice about a specific matter, please contact our lawyers.

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