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Kitchener, Jul 17 (Canadian-Media): A made-in-Ontario Intellectual Property Action Plan (IPAP) along with COVID-19 Research Projects -- to ensure the social and economic benefits of taxpayer-funded research and innovation stays right here in the province -- was unveiled July 17 by Ontario Premier Doug Ford in a news conference at Medical Innovation Xchange (MIX) in Kitchener, Ontario.
Doug Ford. Image credit: Twitter handle
In addition, the second round of research projects approved and supported through the $20 million Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund was also unveiled to enable researchers to find ways to prevent, detect and treat COVID-19.
Details were announced at MIX by Ford, Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities, and Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
Strengthening of Ontario's intellectual property (IP) position through the IPAP will enable the province's long-term economic competitiveness by prioritizing IP generation, protection, and commercialization.
A Special Implementation Team on Intellectual Property (SITIP) is also being created by the government comprising of the IP experts -- who previously served on Ontario's Expert Panel on Intellectual Property -- to provide advice on the implementation of the IPAP including the commercialization of research and IP in the province's postsecondary institutions and innovation centres to ensure that Ontario is open for jobs and open for business.
Together, Ontario's SITIP and IPAP will respond to the report prepared by the Expert Panel on Intellectual Property and will work with postsecondary and research institutes to strengthen their organization's mandates related to commercialization entities; developing standardized, web-based basic and advanced IP education curriculums to strengthen Ontario's IP literacy by creation of a centralized provincial resource entity to allow increased access to sophisticated IP expertise; and develop a governance framework for organizations that support entrepreneurial and innovation activities, which incorporates IP considerations.
"Ontario is home to some of the brightest and most innovative people and businesses in the world, and it's critical that we leverage that advantage globally, while ensuring we keep the value of homegrown ideas in the province for the benefit of Ontarians," said Minister Fedeli at MIX.
The postsecondary, research and innovation sector will also take a leading role in Ontario's economic recovery and future prosperity and would be funded by the government's $20 million Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund.
Projects announced in May, 15 as part of the first round are focusing on areas such as vaccine development, diagnostics, drug trials and development, and social sciences and is receiving additional funding to help commercialize the Rapid Research Fund projects here in Ontario, ensuring that taxpayer-funded research benefits Ontarians first.
As part of its summer consultations, the government will seek feedback from colleges, universities, research institutes and other key partners to explore how best to support researchers and ensure that discoveries made in Ontario benefit Ontarians and the Ontario economy.
A recent Canadian Intellectual Property Office report said small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aware of or holding registered IP rights are more likely to have expanded, or intend to expand, to domestic and international markets. The report also finds that just two percent of Canadian SMEs hold at least one patent.
With an existing memorandum of understanding with MIX, non-medical manufacturing companies with are provided by Ontario government free support as they retool to provide essential supplies and equipment to health care facilities during COVID-19.