In turbulent times like these, funding is more important than ever to ensure that your business has the means to continue innovating while maintaining its order of operations. Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable intangible asset that can be leveraged to reduce the risk of investment and extend a company’s runway.

In recognition of this, the Ontario government has recently announced an IP action plan. Speaking from the Kitchener-based Medical Innovation Exchange (MIX), Canada’s first industry-led hub dedicated to helping medtech startups scale in Canada, Premier Doug Ford announced that the intention of the IP plan was to help ideas and innovations created in Ontario to remain in Ontario rather than be exported internationally.

Discussing the IP action plan, Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade said, “It will smooth the road from the lab to the marketplace,” allowing local Canadians and taxpayers to be the first to benefit from homegrown ideas.

The Federal IP strategy includes $30M to help promote the green tech sector and aims to commercialize the developing AI revolution instead of solely supporting foundational research that is picked up and used elsewhere, as is currently the case according to industry leaders. As an example of what this new plan seeks to improve, Ford cited NorthSpring Capital Partners‘ portfolio company, Intellijoint Surgical, an innovative hip and knee replacement technology company based out of the thriving Waterloo-Toronto Tech Corridor and the founding tenant of the MIX.

Intellijoint started as a final year design project over 10 years ago and, in 2019, ranked as Canada’s second fastest growing tech company by Deloitte with the company’s innovative equipment having assisted over 15,000 patients worldwide; however, only 300 of those took place in Canada, highlighting the challenges of breaking through the Canadian market. Not only is this “staggering,” Ford said, but it is a problem that can be fixed by “buy[ing] Ontario intelligence [and] technology.” At the press conference, Intellijoint Surgical Inc. CEO and MIX founder Armen Bakirtzian similarly noted, “The Ontario medical technology ecosystem must be one that develops, sustains and retains Canadian medical companies and intellectual property and establishes Ontario as a global leader in medical innovation.”

Overall, the IP action plan entails an investment of $85.3M by the Government of Canada over five years to “help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access IP through a comprehensive IP strategy.” It provides innovators access to the best possible resources through IP awareness, education and advice; strategic IP tools for growth; and IP legislation.

With a proper IP strategy in place, your business will be better suited to extract value from products and services, creating new revenue streams and means of raising capital.  

NorthBridge Consultants will continue to provide updates on the topic of IP strategy as they become available, along with other federal and provincial programs, to truly leverage your funding potential.

If you would like to know more about government funding opportunities to meet your company’s goals contact us to arrange for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our government funding experts.