You have over 25 years of experience in intellectual property, what keeps you in the game?
To me, intellectual property and knowledge of it is critical. A company’s ability to generate revenue and control the market can be derived from their ownership of IP assets, which protects their competitive edge and their control of data. IAC’s vision is to revolutionise the IP ecosystem and how Canadian companies leverage IP strategy to compete and scale. Our mission is to empower the sustained success of Canadian companies through leadership in IP strategy and its use to create global business advantages. IAC is creating a world-class IP commercialising ecosystem and building long-term sustainability in Canada’s innovation economy.
What makes the Innovation Asset Collective (IAC) unique?
IAC is using a collective approach to advance our vision of how Canadian companies use intellectual property to compete and scale. Acting as a key pillar for Canada’s IP strategy, IAC is the first programme that considers companies’ broader relevant IP needs to help them better understand, generate, commercialise and protect their inventions, and further strengthen Canada’s IP ecosystem. IAC provides:
- a collective patent portfolio to provide assets to companies until they are self-sufficient;
- quality market and IP landscape data to enable successful IP strategies;
- a curriculum-driven education programme to build capacity and reduce complexity for business leaders; and
- funding to address costs and allow for consistent IP activity.
What are the biggest challenges that your members are facing right now?
Today, Canadian companies face several barriers as they grow their business, such as cost and complexity, gaps in the IP ecosystem, limited capacity of available talent with experience developing and implementing strategies, and the lack of tools or support to help companies bridge the gap between starting an IP programme to having a self-sufficient IP position and operation. The role of IAC is to address these challenges. We are committed to supporting our member companies at all stages of their growth by using the power of our collective model to provide better access to IP resources. This includes a focus on four key areas: IP education and strategy, IP funding, IP portfolio and market intelligence.
What effect – if any – are you seeing the climate crisis have on the licensing landscape?
Canada has some of the best talent and expertise in the cleantech sector. The Canadian government has shown that they prioritise the importance of investing in the clean energy market and building a world-class IP regime.
As a centralised and cost-effective steward of the government’s investment, IAC is focused on the long-term sustainability and growth of Canada’s innovation economy. This includes developing IP sophistication, building assets and growing the economy to fulfill Canada’s cleantech innovation potential. The results of IAC’s work are helping cement Canada’s reputation, now and for generations to come.
What steps are you taking to build the next generation of talent at IAC?
As Canada’s IP leader, we enable data-driven cleantech companies to accomplish more through collective action and we are creating a model that can expand to other sectors of the Canadian economy. IAC is structured to bring talent together to deliver a holistic suite of services founded on IP education, intelligence, financial support and access to a patent portfolio.
We have a milestone number of member companies from across the country and an active pipeline to attract the next generation of Canadian innovators through a complimentary membership tier, which is focused specifically on start-up organisations. IAC remains committed to supporting companies at all stages of their development.
Mike McLean is CEO of Innovation Asset Collective (IAC), a membership-based not-for-profit organisation and a key pillar for Canada’s IP strategy working with companies in the cleantech sector. He brings more than two decades of IP expertise to IAC, having worked extensively with technology practices of major law firms, in-house corporate counsel teams of global technology companies and external licensing agencies. Mr McLean holds a first-class honours BSc in engineering from Queens University, Canada.