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New strategy to support B.C. businesses, protect ideas

New strategy to support B.C. businesses, protect ideas

New strategy to support B.C. businesses, protect ideas

Entrepreneurs and companies will soon have access to new resources to help them grow and protect their ideas and products with the launch of B.C.’s Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy. As a key action in the StrongerBC Economic Plan, B.C.’s IP Strategy will increase IP knowledge for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the province, to make it easier for people to understand and navigate the complicated financial and legal sides of intellectual property.

“British Columbia is transitioning to an economy where knowledge-based sectors are playing a greater role than ever before and we want to keep our great ideas right here at home,” said Brenda Bailey, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation. “Our new IP Strategy is a key step to support our thriving creators and innovators in realizing their full potential by providing accessible resources, expert guidance and a supportive ecosystem.”

Intellectual property is a crucial asset for businesses in order to protect their innovations, brands and creative works. The government will provide $2.5 million to deliver the tools and resources to B.C. companies to safeguard their ideas and stay competitive in today’s global economy. This funding will leverage $12.5 million of federal funding going to AccelerateIP, an initiative led by New Ventures BC, to support more IP training and development for startups.

“IP plays a critical role in advancing and growing local innovation,” said Tomica Divic, interim president and CEO, Innovate BC. “The new IP Strategy will equip B.C. innovators with the resources and tools they need to develop and execute effective IP strategies, bolstering the province’s innovation capacity while supporting our companies as they engage in global markets.”

To promote the use of IP by more businesses and increase the sustainability and capacity of innovation in B.C., the IP Strategy will focus on three key goals:  

  • increase IP awareness and literacy;
  • create a virtual IP hub for IP resources in B.C.; and
  • ensure provincial programs are IP smart, protecting B.C. investments.

The Province will work with the Crown corporation Innovate BC to deliver on the key actions and work with partners to develop future opportunities to support IP growth. The strategy complements Canada’s IP Strategy to encourage business growth, attract more investment and continue to foster an innovative economy. The IP Strategy is part of the StrongerBC Economic Plan, which moves B.C. forward by tackling today’s challenges while growing an economy that works for everyone.


“This IP strategy is the first step as we lay the foundation for B.C. entrepreneurs and businesses to understand what IP can do for them, and how it can support their continued growth. We’ve been working hard to create IP resources to help more B.C. innovators retain the rights to the products and services they have created and to ensure that they profit from their original innovations. I’m excited to see how our new IP Strategy can drive creative solutions and continue to strengthen B.C. as an emerging innovation hub.” - Gerri Sinclair, B.C. Innovation Commissioner

“You can’t commercialize an innovation if you don’t have a strategy to own it. That’s why intellectual property is one of the key drivers for growth and long-term success in the 21st-century innovation economy. Promoting a deeper understanding of intellectual property, and building government supports and policies in collaboration with technology companies, is one of the best possible ways to drive higher valuations, encourage durable growth for companies and promote a thriving innovation hub in B.C.” - Benjamin Bergen, President, Canadian Council of Innovators

“Intellectual property is a key output of the innovative process and an important aspect of strong economic development. This program provides a solid foundation to strengthening the ability of B.C. innovators to create sound strategies for developing, protecting and commercializing their intellectual assets and will serve the province well as we continue to fast-track world-class innovation.” - Ged McLean, executive director, B.C. Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy and member, AccelerateIP Advisory Committee

“Encouraging the creation and retention of intellectual property in British Columbia is key to ensuring innovative companies scale up and contribute to the economic growth of our province. As a homegrown anchor company, we are excited to see today’s announcement and look forward to seeing how this IP Strategy helps future innovators.” - Murray McCutcheon, Senior Vice President, Partnering, AbCellera

Quick Facts:

  • 80% of large businesses in Canada report positive effects from owning intellectual property.
  • 39% of Canadian businesses that own intellectual property report that owning IP increases their business value.

Learn More:

For more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan: 

To learn about the IP Strategy:

For more about Canada’s IP Strategy:  

To learn about AccelerateIP:  

For more about Innovate BC: