The Government of Canada recently took another step towards fulfilling its commitment to help Canadian businesses with intellectual property awareness and development. The government has now opened a call for proposals for its ElevateIP program. The deadline for submissions is June 28, 2022.
The ElevateIP program was first announced in the 2021 federal budget as part of the government’s ongoing implementation of its National Intellectual Property Strategy.
The National Intellectual Property Strategy is a comprehensive strategy introduced in 2018 with the goal of using legislative changes, literacy advice programs, and other tools to help Canadian businesses better understand and protect their intellectual property. The Cassels IP team previously discussed other programs introduced under this strategy in our round-up of recent IP initiatives article published in March 2022.
The new ElevateIP program is intended to help Canadian business accelerators and incubators (BAIs) provide startups with tools to protect, strategically manage and leverage their intellectual property. Specifically, ElevateIP will build on the existing network of BAIs in Canada by providing eligible BAIs with funding to add IP-specific support for startups in addition to the other support services that BAIs already offer.
BAIs that receive funding under ElevateIP must use the funding in three categories of activities that assist startups with their IP strategies:
- Increasing IP awareness and educational opportunities for startups via workshops, programs, conferences, and peer-to-peer learning;
- Helping startups develop IP strategies by providing them with the tools, talent, and support they need to make the most out of their IP assets; and
- Supporting startups with implementing their IP strategies so that they can meet their IP-related objectives, such as by providing support for their IP landscape analyses, or by covering the costs related to formal protection of their IP.
Funding recipients must deliver programming under all three of these categories, but each recipient has the freedom to choose the most appropriate mix of activities that best suits the startups it serves.
To apply for funding under ElevateIP, the applicant must be a not-for-profit Canadian BAI or a not-for-profit Canadian organization that represents a network of BAIs. Interested applicants must submit a proposal package which includes a proposal form, financial statements, confirmation of the applicant’s not-for-profit status, and a project plan. Successful applicants will enter into a four year contribution agreement with the Government of Canada.
The assessment of applications will consider a wide range of factors, including:
- Whether the proposal demonstrates collaboration among BAIs;
- The geographic scope of the proposal’s coverage;
- The applicant’s track record with providing similar support services in the past;
- The strength of the applicant’s plans to provide IP support;
- Whether the plan responds to gaps in the applicant’s existing service offerings;
- The sustainability of the plan after the end of the contribution agreement; and
- The applicant’s financial capability to carry out the plan.
Proposals must be submitted by June 28, 2022.