Indigenous Intellectual Property Program Grant

The Indigenous Intellectual Property Program Grant application process for 2022–23 is now closed.

Learn more with our Program Guide.

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What is the Indigenous Intellectual Property Program grant

The Indigenous Intellectual Property Program (IIPP) grant funds eligible Indigenous organizations to support participation in World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) sessions, small-scale initiatives and projects related to intellectual property (IP), Indigenous knowledge (IK) and Indigenous cultural expressions (ICEs). The IIPP grant is administered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada.

Why was IIPP created

The grants are a part of a suite of IIPP initiatives, which were developed under Canada's Intellectual Property Strategy. The IIPP initiatives aim to promote a more inclusive IP system for Indigenous peoples, through initiatives focused on education, awareness raising and capacity building.

It also seeks to provide opportunities for Indigenous peoples to advocate their interests through engagement activities, increase their participation in domestic and international discussions on IP and Indigenous knowledge (IK) and Indigenous cultural expressions (ICEs), and explore ways to make the IP system more accessible to Indigenous peoples.

In addition, IIPP grants facilitate Indigenous peoples' use of the IP system to protect their innovations and creations, including those based on IK and ICEs, as well as to develop tools, guidelines or protocols with respect to the protection and use of IP and IP-related IK and ICEs.

The IIPP aligns with Government's broader commitments towards reconciliation, recognition of Indigenous rights and the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.

What is Intellectual Property

Intellectual property generally refers to creations of the mind, including inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, and names and images used in business. In Canada, IP rights, include:

  • patents, for new, useful and inventive products, compositions, machines or processes;
  • trademarks, for combination of letters, words, sounds or designs that distinguishes one company's goods or services from those of others in the marketplace;
  • copyright, for original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works;
  • industrial designs, for distinctive new features of an article, including shape, patterns, lines or color;
  • geographical indications, for wine or spirits, or agricultural products or foods with qualities, reputation or other characteristics that are attributable to their geographical region; and
  • plant breeders' rights, for new plant varieties.

IP protection provides rightsholders with economic, and, in the case of copyright, moral rights over their creations and innovations, sometimes for a fixed period of time.
See the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) IP Toolbox or the Online Learning Modules for more information about different types of IP, how they are protected, and other useful resources.

In certain circumstances, IP rights can be leveraged to protect innovations and creations based on Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions.

See Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights and the Protection of Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Expressions in Canada for more information about the relationship between IP, IK, and ICEs.

What can the IIPP grants fund

Indigenous Intellectual Property Program (IIPP) grants are designed to support the increased engagement in the IP system by Indigenous peoples in Canada. Total program funding in the amount of $150,000 per fiscal year is available to support travel, initiatives and projects relating to IP, IK and ICEs.

Funding Streams

There are three funding streams for IIPP grants:

1) World Intellection Property Organization (WIPO) Travel Stream

Grants for Indigenous organizations for travel to WIPO sessions and events related to IP and IK and ICEs, particularly the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property, Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore, up to $5000 per person per organization for a single trip. Grants under this stream can fund required preparation work, travel costs, and other related fees. Please note that only Accredited Observers or those that have applied to be an Accredited Observer will be eligible for funding. If selected for a grant, confirmation of accreditation may be required.

2) Small-Scale Initiative Stream

Grants for IP-related initiatives on a small scale, that are short-term and narrowly focused, up to $15,000. For example, these grants can fund activities such as a specific research project, drafting a policy paper, travel to an IP, IK, and ICE-related conference, or developing educational materials.

3) Project Stream

Grants for IP-related projects that are more complex or comprehensive than Small-Scale Initiatives, requiring more resources over a longer period of time and can include a combination of activities, up to $50,000. These grants can fund multiple activities needed to carry out a project, including, but not limited to, research, development of new tools or resources, engagement planning, IP strategy planning, related travel, etc.

Learn more about each stream and eligible activities in the IIPP Grant Program Guide.

Who can apply for IIPP grants

Indigenous (i.e., First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit) organizations that fall under the following categories may be eligible to receive an IIPP grant:

  • Recognized representative Indigenous bodies at the national level;
  • Indian Bands/Inuit Settlements;
  • District Councils/Chiefs Councils;
  • Indigenous Associations/Organizations;
  • Tribal Councils;
  • Other Indigenous Communities;
  • Indigenous Economic Institutions/Organizations/Corporations/Businesses;
  • Beneficiary organizations of comprehensive land claims and/or self-government agreements with any group of Indigenous people;
  • Indigenous Cultural Education Centres;
  • Indigenous Co-operatives; or,
  • Boards and Commissions.

See the full eligibility criteria in the IIPP Grant Program Guide.

The IIPP Grant cannot directly fund :

  • Non-Indigenous-owned or -operated organizations or public institutions;
  • Indigenous-focused organizations that are not officially affiliated with (i.e. owned, operated, or representative of) Indigenous peoples;
  • Individuals; or
  • Organizations not based in Canada.

How can Indigenous organizations apply for an IIPP grant?

Please refer to the 2022-2023 Program Guide for more information about the IIPP Grant, eligibility, the assessment process, and other application guidance.

Organizations must submit a completed Application Form (see below or request a copy from the IIPP Granting Authority: indigenousIP-PI-autochtones@ised-isd.gc.ca).

Completed applications must be submitted electronically to the IIPP Granting Authority and must be received no later than 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on September 12th, 2022, to be considered. Please contact us for further information or if you need assistance or accommodations to submit your application.

All questions, requests for assistance with forms, and submissions of applications can be sent by email to IndigenousIP-PIAutochtones@ised-isde.gc.ca.

Additional Resources

For additional information about the IIPP Grant, review these resources:

Successful applicants

The Government of Canada funded five IIPP grant recipients for the 2021-2022 application period: