Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

H.E. Ambassador Dr Pimchanok PITFIELD
417.  Canada would like to thank the United States for drafting the communication for this item, and all Members that have provided insightful views so far today on the topic of research collaboration across borders. 418.  As several delegations have already noted today, international collaborative partnerships are an essential catalyst for science and technological innovation. These collaborations can often accelerate the pace of scientific and research discovery, and result in improved commercialization. Leveraging international collaboration in research and development (or R&D) can also be particularly important for the ability of small and medium-sized enterprises (or SMEs) to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. Given the relative resource constraints faced by SMEs, R&D collaboration with businesses or research institutions in other jurisdictions can facilitate the sharing of know-how and expertise, as well as opportunities to license IP and exporting to other markets. This collaboration often relies on transparent and predictable IP frameworks. Balanced and clear IP frameworks can help ensure that all parties involved in a collaborative partnership understand and can readily navigate the rules around how to use existing IP, as well as how to address the ownership of IP developed in the course of research. 419.  In facilitating international research collaboration efforts, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (or CIPO) provides a range of IP frameworks and innovation programmes that assist researchers, including SMEs, to build and maintain collaborations across borders. These include online guidance for businesses on licensing or assigning IP rights to third party collaborators; business intelligence on how to use IP data to learn about innovation in a particular field; and financing resources for IP. Furthermore, Canada's ongoing work to align with international IP standards and filing systems helps maintain an enabling environment for research collaboration, for instance, by harmonizing IP filing procedures available to businesses collaborating in networks across jurisdictions. 420.  More generally, Canada has developed frameworks for international collaboration and partnerships with established and emerging innovation networks around the world. This includes the negotiation of Science and Technology (or S&T) agreements with a number of international partners, including in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. These S&T agreements serve as guidelines for Canadians to effectively partner and work with partner countries to increase international science and technology capacity. A related initiative, the Canadian Technology Accelerator (or CTA) provides high-growth, market-ready Canadian companies support to access global markets and entrepreneurship services within the information and communications technologies, life sciences, and clean technology sectors. Managed by the Canada's Trade Commissioner Service, the CTA provides support for Canadian technology SMEs to access global market opportunities in 12 global technology hubs worldwide, including in North America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. 421.  Another related programmes available to Canadian innovators is CanExport Innovation. This programmes provides support to Canadian SMEs, academic institutions, and non-governmental research centres who are seeking to commercialize technology by pursuing collaborative international R&D opportunities through partnerships with key players in foreign markets. Delivered by the Trade Commissioner Service in partnership with the National Research Council, CanExport Innovation provides financial support for a wide range of export marketing activities, including in respect of IP protection and certification expenses in foreign markets. 422.  Similarly, the Canadian International Innovation Program (or CIIP), managed by the Trade Commissioner Service and Canada's National Research Council, is a bilateral funding programme that fosters collaborative R&D projects for the commercialization of R&D between researchers in Canada and international partners in Brazil, China, India, and Korea, and Israel. CIIP funds a range of projects, such as initiatives to adapt already commercialized products to reach new markets, as well technology co-development projects to create new products, services, or processes with an uncertain path to commercialization. 423.  Canada is also an associate country of EUREKA, an international network for market-driven industrial R&D. EUREKA includes over 45 economies from Europe, Israel, and Korea, and serves as an international network to coordinate national funding sources between international project partners, to accelerate innovation in new technologies, products and services for commercialization. Since joining EUREKA in 2012, Canada's associate membership has provided Canadian innovators, most of which are SMEs, with the opportunity to pursue projects with international partners with a combined value of over USD 401 million). As well, as part of this programme, participants retain complete IP ownership and negotiate IP arrangements amongst themselves on a project-by-project basis. 424.  Finally, Canada would like to briefly note the recent establishment of a blueprint for the new Canada Innovation Corporation (or CIC). The CIC will help Canadian businesses across all sectors and regions to innovate, commercialize, grow, and create good jobs in a changing global economy. Using best practices established by similar agencies around the world, the CIC will be an outcome-driven organization that will work with the private sector to provide targeted support to new and established Canadian firms by delivering funding and advisory services. This will include support to Canadian businesses in developing and protecting their IP. This will include referring refer clients to a portfolio of recently created programmes, including the Innovation Asset Collective, IP Assist, Elevate IP, and Explore IP, to ensure that more Canadian businesses have access to resources that will support the development and commercialization of IP. 425.  Canada would be pleased to provide updates on any of these initiatives in future discussions under this item, and would also be glad to discuss in more detail with any interested Member. Again, we thank those Members that have shared their experiences on this topic today, and look forward to further discussion on this and related topics.
The Council took note of the statements made.
67. The Chair said that this item had been put on the agenda at the request of the delegations of Australia; the European Union; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Singapore; Switzerland; Chinese Taipei; the United Kingdom; and the United States of America. These delegations had also submitted a communication on this topic, circulated in document in order to allow Members to prepare for today's discussion.
68. The representatives of Chinese Taipei; the United States of America; Australia; Singapore; Japan; the United Kingdom; Hong Kong, China; Switzerland; Canada; the European Union; Indonesia; Djibouti, on behalf of the LDC Group; and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) took the floor.
69. The Council took note of the statements made.
IP/C/M/108, IP/C/M/108/Add.1