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$30-million program to boost Canadian cleantech IP to launch Wednesday

A Carbon Engineering pilot plant in Squamish, B.C. in November 2019. Carbon capture is one area of cleantech in which Canadian firms hold a lot of patents.
A Carbon Engineering pilot plant in Squamish, B.C. in November 2019. Carbon capture is one area of cleantech in which Canadian firms hold a lot of patents. James MacDonald/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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A non-profit that aims to help data-driven cleantech companies generate more patents and protect themselves from intellectual-property litigation will begin operations Wednesday, just over a year after the federal government picked it for a $30-million, four-year pilot program.

The Innovation Asset Collective (IAC) will offer members educational programming to help them develop IP strategies, financing and expertise to turn ideas into assets, and access to information and resources to defend themselves in legal battles. It will also seek to purchase cleantech patents for member companies to license. 

“Many tech business leaders ignore IP, simply because it takes a long time and it seems expensive and [it’s] boring and arcane,” said Chris Wormald, an IAC co-founder and former BlackBerry executive, in an interview with The Logic. The new program comes as governments try to reconcile the mismatch between Canada’s spending on research and development and the relatively little revenue it generates from those investments. 

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