Peterborough is an innovative place to do business and be in business. This is evident by the continued growth of Peterborough & the Kawarthas Innovation Cluster, partnerships between businesses, as well as the City, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, and Trent University joining forces to build out Cleantech Commons at Trent University.
The Peterborough Chamber recognizes the vital importance of a business’s ability to innovate and along with Chamber Member Prima IP and the support of our Policy Committee and Board of Directors, we developed a policy resolution called Driving Innovation in Canada. The resolution was voted on and passed by delegates at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Annual General Meeting in Fredericton, New Brunswick earlier this year.
The resolution has four components that would help encourage more business innovation in Canada.
The resolution is designed to fit well as the federal government embarks on an “intellectual property strategy”. The recommendations are about encouraging more investment in innovation and the development of a Canada-wide “My First Patent” program to encourage more patents in Canada. Quebec funds such a program that allows Quebec SMEs with 250 or fewer employees that are able to demonstrate research and development efforts completed or in part, to apply for a non- repayable contribution of up to 50% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $25,000 for a patent application project, industrial design registration or integrated circuit topography.
What is the “innovation box” approach?
The innovation box approach, while a tax advantage, supports business investment in research and helps bridge the commercialization gap. This approach would also encourage companies to locate
intellectual property activity and the new high-value jobs associated with the development, manufacture
and exploitation of innovation inside Canada. If properly designed, it would promote and enhance the innovation capacity of sectors that leverage science and technology innovations throughout Canada. Firms in all sectors across Canada will have a greater incentive to adopt, commercialize or otherwise exploit the output of the R&D process here in Canada.
The idea is that an innovation box would allow companies to “tick” a box on their tax form that indicates that the revenues are being derived from patents and innovation investment. Now, there is no
suggestion of a free for all, as how the types of profits that qualify for the lower tax rate, and how acquired intellectual property is treated, differ significantly among countries and provinces. Additionally, the “patent box” rate varies considerably among nations and provinces. Some countries put caps on the total tax relief companies can receive from patent boxes. In the case of Saskatchewan, the provincial government has installed time limits on the number of years of tax relief that can be attached to a patent.
The Chamber is asking that the federal government consider these options. We know that Canada
currently sits 6th in the world for innovation quality and 16th in innovation overall in the Global IP Rankings. Encouraging new innovations to be commercialized and current businesses to consider commercializing their innovations are keys to pushing Canada up in the rankings.
Read the full policy resolution