Successful entrepreneurs need to know how to write a business plan, access capital and find expertise and other assistance in order to innovate, identify market opportunities and create an effective market entry strategy. They also need to know how to protect and leverage their intellectual property (IP).
IP is a crucial business tool at all stages of a company's development. To help Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) better understand how to use IP more effectively, leading IP organizations in Canada have come together to create the IP Village. It is the result of a collaboration between the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO), Export Development Canada (EDC), Global Affairs Canada's Trade Commissioner Service (GAC–TCS), the Intellectual Property Institute of Canada (IPIC), the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED).
This initiative extends existing partnerships to build a working group where thought leadership practices, practical intelligence, best practices, questions and answers are shared. The working group will then use its network of trade commissioners (GAC–TCS), industrial technology advisors (NRC IRAP), international business advisors (EDC), IP agents and lawyers (IPIC), IP educators (CIPO), program officers (Innovation Canada–ISED) and investors (BDC) to help the SME community by:
- Coordinating and tapping into their areas of expertise to identify and bridge gaps in the effective use of IP among Canadians and the support available for IP-rich SMEs
- Developing, presenting and promoting IP education and information
- Limiting duplication of effort
- Strengthening the ability of all parties to guide Canadian enterprises and connect them with IP information and expertise
The IP Village is also looking into social media channels to share member organization IP news, activities, information and thought leadership.
The first deliverable of the working group is a series of 5 webinars called IP Talks, beginning in January 2022. These webinars cover the typical life cycle of IP (creating, formalizing, enforcing), government support (funding and assistance) as well as key considerations when taking a business abroad. The series is created and presented by CIPO and partner experts and will feature other IP ecosystem players.