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IP Education

New CIGI Paper Addresses Gap in Canada’s Innovation Strategy, Provides Basis for Online IP Course

Waterloo - The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)’s beta test of its first online course started yesterday and is based on recommendations from a new paper by CIGI Senior Fellow Myra Tawfik.

Tawfik’s paper, “Addressing a Gap in Canada’s Global Innovation Strategy”, outlines weaknesses in Canada’s intellectual property (IP) and innovation system and looks at potential solutions to improve it. Providing online resources, such as CIGI’s “Foundations of IP Strategy” course, is one tool Tawfik suggests to better position entrepreneurs to succeed in the global marketplace. Created in collaboration with Waterloo Region’s D2L Corporation, the course is designed as a self-study experience with modules that take the participant from identifying forms of IP all the way to developing the skills of an IP strategist.

“One of the most important points in my paper is the urgent need for Canada to build IP literacy” says Tawfik. “My colleague Karima Bawa and I co-wrote this course for a digital platform so that entrepreneurs, regardless of their geo-location, could have access to the IP strategy basics.”

Building IP literacy through online resources is just one of the 12 recommendations Tawfik makes in her paper. She also makes recommendations in two other key areas: building IP strategy expertise among IP lawyers; and ensuring start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises have meaningful access to affordable IP legal services at an early stage. CIGI’s International Law Research Program (ILRP) has a proven record in the latter area of research. The ILRP partnered with innovation hub Communitech in 2014, and with the Law, Technology and Entrepreneurship Clinic (LTEC) at the University of Windsor in 2015 to provide entrepreneurs with pro bono IP legal advice.

“This paper brings together the past two years of the ILRP’s IP and innovation research,” says ILRP Deputy Director Bassem Awad. “Myra’s paper provides a holistic look at Canada’s innovation machine, and provides practical solutions to improve it. It’s a blueprint for Canada and other nations hoping to succeed in the rapidly changing global knowledge economy.”

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