About the consultation

Ontario is home to world-class postsecondary institutions. They conduct high-quality research contributing to the province’s innovation-based economy. This research is an integral part of growing Ontario’s economy today and in the future.

Research and cutting-edge discoveries coming out of Ontario’s postsecondary institutions are essential to maintaining Ontario’s competitiveness in the global economy. There is an opportunity to improve how research discoveries are brought to market to ensure public investment in research is generating tangible returns for all Ontarians.

From May 17 to July 15, 2019, we asked for your input to help improve how intellectual property, including patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets, are brought to market.

Report back

The Expert Panel on intellectual property delivered its report and action plan for a provincial intellectual property framework to government in February 11, 2020. The government is reviewing the report and considering next steps to support homegrown innovation.

Read the report

Expert panel on intellectual property

The government created an Expert Panel on intellectual property in spring 2019 to provide advice on the commercialization of research and intellectual property in Ontario's postsecondary institutions.

The Expert Panel held an online consultation, reviewed survey responses from stakeholders and held in-person discussions across the province. They looked at ways to:

  • improve innovation outcomes for the benefit of Ontario’s economy
  • promote the creation and commercialization of intellectual property
  • review current commercialization capacity inside Ontario’s postsecondary education sector
  • recommend strategies for improved generation and commercialization of research and intellectual property

Panel members

The Expert Panel included members with expertise in a broad range of relevant sectors, including the postsecondary education sector, industry, innovation, venture capital and investment, banking and finance, as well as members with intellectual property legal expertise. Members include:

  • Jim Balsillie, businessman and philanthropist, retired Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (now BlackBerry), Chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators, and Chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Shiri Breznitz, PhD. Associate Professor, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
  • Myra Tawfik, Professor of Law and EPICentre Professor of Intellectual Property Commercialization and Strategy, University of Windsor
  • Dan Herman, Ph. D., cofondateur de MyJupiter Inc. et cofondateur du Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship & Economic Performance (DEEP)
  • Natalie Raffoul, P.Eng. (Electrical Engineer), J.D. (Law), Registered Patent Agent, Managing Partner of Brion Raffoul Intellectual Property Law

Terms to know

Accelerators or Incubators:
Accelerators and incubators support entrepreneurs to transfer knowledge and intellectual property from institutions into the economy. These intermediaries are often housed in universities, and they provide a combination of services for start-ups including mentorship, funding, networking, training and/or office space. Typically, incubators support start-ups entering the beginning stages of building their company, whereas accelerators advance the growth of existing companies with an idea and business model in place.
Commercialization is the process of taking an invention or scientific discovery (i.e., new technology or new or improved manufacturing process) to the market.
Intellectual Property:
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind and can include things like inventions, industrial designs and artistic works, such as manuscripts.
Regional Innovation Centres:
Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) are not-for-profit intermediaries that act as local focal points for innovative start-up companies and entrepreneurs throughout Ontario. The Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade funds a network of RICs across the province that helps Ontario’s entrepreneurs and innovators to clear commercialization hurdles and attract the talent, capital and customers they need to grow and succeed in international markets.
Technology Transfer:
Technology transfer is the process of transferring (disseminating) technology from the place where it is developed to wider distribution.
Technology Transfer Office:
Sometimes referred to as Technology Licensing Offices, these offices are responsible for technology transfer and other aspects of the commercialization of research that takes place in a university or college. Technology transfer offices act as a liaison between university or college inventors and industry partners. Other public institutions, such as hospitals, may also have technology transfer offices.

Notice of Collection

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities (formerly the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities) collects your personal information under the authority of section 4 and 15(1) of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act,R.S.O. 1990, c. M.19.

Any information that you submit, including your name, e-mail address, IP address, and survey responses, including any personal opinions and views that you express, may be used by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to support the work of the Expert Panel on Intellectual Property. The Expert Panel on intellectual property was established by the Minister of Colleges and Universities to provide advice on matters relating to the development of intellectual property in Ontario.

The information submitted is shared with the Expert Panel on intellectual property to inform their advice and final report to the government. Aggregate and de-identified information may also be shared with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade for the purpose of understanding emerging policy issues with respect to commercializing intellectual property in Ontario.

If you have questions about the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information, please contact:

Paddy Buckley
Director, Postsecondary Education Policy Branch

Ministry of Colleges and Universities
315 Front Street West, 16th floor
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A4

For more information on protecting your personal information, please visit our Privacy Statement.