ElevateIP: Everything you need to know about Canada’s newest funding program for Canadian startups

November 29, 2023 | David Schnurr, Jayme Millar

On November 23, 2023, the ElevateIP program launched in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan with the overarching goal of growing Canada’s economy by helping businesses innovate, protect and commercialize their intellectual property (IP).

What is ElevateIP?

ElevateIP is a federally funded ($90 million over 4 years), national program of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, designed to assist business accelerators and incubators in providing information and funding to support Canadian businesses’ efforts to understand, strategically manage and commercialize their intellectual property. Funding grants of up to $100K are offered through the ElevateIP program.

Communitech (headquartered in Waterloo Region) is the national delivery partner for ElevateIP in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, in partnership with Invest Ottawa and North Forge.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for acceptance into the ElevateIP program in Communitech’s delivery regions, the following requirements should be met:

  • The Company should be headquartered in Ontario, Manitoba or Saskatchewan;
  • The Company should be a Canadian Controlled Private Corporation (CCPC);
  • The Company should have fewer than 500 employees; and
  • The IP to be acquired should be in the name of the Company and not an individual.

How to Apply for ElevateIP Services

The application period for ElevateIP services is now open and applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The application form is accessible on Communitech’s website.

The application process includes the following general steps:

  1. Register on the ElevateIP portal;
  2. Complete your profile, providing information about you and your business; and
  3. Apply for a specific service (or services) within the Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 service listings.

Tier 2 services include: Audit of IP Strategy; Competitive Analysis; Coaching – Advisory/ Coaching/IP Strategy Development; Patent Strategy; Patent Mining/IP Landscape; Prior Art Search/Patentability Review/Novelty Search; Trademark and branding Strategy; Out-Licensing Strategy; In-Licensing Strategy; IP Valuation; Commercialization Support; Trade Secret Strategy; Contract/Agreement Review (e.g. NDAs, MSA, partnership, data management plans); Freedom to operate reviews; Trademark clearance searches; Freedom to operate with legal opinion; and Patent application drafting/filing.

Tier 3 services include: Patent prosecution; Patent application preparation – US provisional; Patent application regular patent application (first filing, no provisional or PCT); Patent application regular patent application (converting provisional); International patent application (first filing); International patent application (converting provisional); International patent application (converting regular application); International patent application (converting international application to national filings); Trademark application drafting/filing/prosecution; Contract/Agreement Template Creation (e.g. NDAs, MSA, partnership, data management plans); Open Source Licensing Agreements/Conflicts; Open Source Audits; Copyright registrations; Acquiring IP rights; and Translation costs.

Tier 1 (IP education) services are accessible to anyone who has completed a profile on the portal.

Applications submitted before December 15th, 2023, will be reviewed, and next steps will be communicated to applicants by December 22nd, 2023. Applications submitted after December 15th, 2023, will be reviewed in January 2024, and so on.

Once an application has been reviewed, the applicant will be contacted for the purpose of: (i) participating in an interview with an IP expert; (ii) joining a waitlist for a future interview; (iii) closing out their application; or (iv) keeping their application open for future consideration.

Miller Thomson is an approved legal service provider under the ElevateIP program.  If you would like to discuss Elevate IP (or other Canadian IP grant programs) in more detail, or require assistance with the application processes under these programs, please do not hesitate to reach out to a member of Miller Thomson’s Intellectual Property team.


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