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6 May 2013

Intellectual-property: Unique Agreement for Sherbrooke Businesses

Microsoft Word - 2013-05-03 Communiqué_Entente_SOCPRA-SI-MFE Fi

PRESS RELEASE – At a time when the global economy is compelling manufacturers to seek innovation to stand out, they need tools that provide them with appropriate support. That’s why the Société de valorisation et de commercialisation de l’Université de Sherbrooke (SOCPRA – Université de Sherbrooke’s promotion and marketing corporation), Sherbrooke Innopole, and Quebec’s Ministry of Finance and the Economy (MFEQ) have joined forces to develop the Stratégie de propriété intellectuelle et de soutien à l’entrepreneuriat dans une démarche d’innovation (intellectual-property and entrepreneurial-support strategy for innovation).

» See photos from the press conference

Under this cooperation agreement—the only one of its kind in Quebec—Sherbrooke businesses will be able to use SOCPRA’s intellectual-property resources and advice, accessed through Sherbrooke Innopole’s key sectors and the MFEQ’s ACCORD clusters.

“This project to provide support for intellectual property is a good fit with a business’s innovation strategy,” explained Josée Fortin, SOCPRA President and CEO. “Businesses can’t afford specialized intellectual-property resources, so SOCPRA can provide this service and guide them through the process of protecting intellectual property.”

Statistics published recently in Sherbrooke Innopole’s annual report showed that Sherbrooke industries are forging ahead, increasingly investing in research and development as well as machinery and equipment, the cornerstones of the shift to innovation. “But innovation often means intellectual property. And that’s where SOCPRA comes in,” pointed out Pierre Bélanger, Director General of Sherbrooke Innopole. “Providing our businesses with access to SOPCRA’s resources and advice equips them with a key tool in their innovation development.”

Fortin agreed, stating that “since coming to SOCPRA, I’ve realized that innovators have a real need for intellectual-property advice. I’m delighted that my colleagues at Sherbrooke Innopole and MFEQ didn’t hesitate at all to join in this wonderful project. As of today, I can confirm that we already have three active portfolios and two others under review.”

The strategy also makes provision for a key information-sharing component involving the three organizations, so Sherbrooke businesses can stay current on all of the technologies in SOCPRA’s portfolio. It also facilitates linkages between researchers and entrepreneurs. “Innovation often comes in the form of academic scientific breakthroughs,” explained Bélanger. “The agreement will stimulate the marketing, in Sherbrooke, of innovations developed here, either through transfer to existing companies or the creation of new companies in the key sectors and ACCORD clusters.”

The agreement, formally signed today, will further enrich Sherbrooke’s economic development. “Cooperation of this nature will continue to strengthen the linkages between business and academic research, benefiting everyone, in terms of both economic development and raising the profile of Sherbrooke’s creativeness,” summed up Bélanger.

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