The Ontario government is supporting nearly 900 postsecondary student internships to help businesses, start-ups and new entrepreneurial companies grow and protect “Ontario made” innovations, ideas and products. This includes a pilot project that will help ensure companies build solid strategies for developing and protecting intellectual property.

“This program, the first of its kind in Ontario, will meet the needs of local employers by helping them build solid business strategies that can help protect their intellectual property. It will also ensure post-secondary students gain real-world experience during their studies so they can make an immediate impact in the workforce,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Helping innovators build in-house capacity, knowledge and expertise will allow businesses to unlock the value of made-in-Ontario intellectual property, contributing to Ontario’s economic recovery, resiliency and growth.”

The internships, which include an initial target of up to 100 spaces in the intellectual property (IP) stream, will be offered through Mitacs, a national non-profit organization that builds partnerships to support industrial and social innovation in Canada.

“To support the growth of a resilient and change-oriented economy that sustains the well-being of our communities, we are determined to provide law and business students with the training and opportunities they need to make a meaningful difference in their evolving fields,” said Attorney General Doug Downey. “Fostering the skills and knowledge needed to promote and protect Made-in-Ontario intellectual property is one of the most important actions we can take to help legal professionals contribute to the economy of the future.”

Today’s announcement is part of Ontario’s $39.5 million investment to create up to 8,000 paid internships and upskilling opportunities for postsecondary students, postdoctoral fellows and recent graduates.

In July 2020, the Ontario government unveiled the province’s first Intellectual Property Action Plan. Informed by an Expert Panel, the IP Action Plan supports all those involved in research, innovation and commercialization, and helps ensure that any economic and social benefits generated by research and innovation remain in Ontario.