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Ontario Funding the Creation of a Northern Innovation Cluster

May 5, 2023

Cluster to focus on critical minerals, cleantech, and battery electric technologies

NORTH BAY – Today, Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing welcomed the news that the Ontario government is supporting the creation of a Northern and rural innovation cluster with a $294,000 investment provided through Intellectual Property Ontario (IPON).

Led by Laurentian University, in partnership with Lakehead, Trent, and Nipissing Universities, this one-year pilot project will focus on critical minerals, cleantech, and battery electric technologies.

“This new Innovation Cluster will help researchers in Northern Ontario leverage IPON’s resources and connect academia with industry,” said MPP Vic Fedeli. “IPON is an important part of our plan to build a strong Ontario by enhancing key sectors and encouraging more Ontario-made products, while supporting long-term economic growth.”

Through this funding from IPON, the four universities will hire an industry liaison officer. This specialist will:

  • drive economic development in the North through research and innovation
  • work with the universities to improve intellectual property literacy
  • facilitate collaboration between academia and industry

The Innovation Cluster supports post-secondary initiatives set out in Ontario’s Critical Minerals Strategy. Ontario is working to build networks that connect critical minerals companies and post-secondary institutions to develop applied research and commercialization projects.


  • Intellectual Property Ontario is a board-governed agency, with up to nine board members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
  • According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, small- and medium-sized enterprises that own intellectual property are three times more likely to expand domestically and more than four times more likely to expand internationally.
  • Managing intellectual property can help innovators and researchers profit from selling or licensing their IP assets; protect their trade secrets from being disclosed; stop others from making, using and selling their invention; protect and build their brand; and increase the value of their business in the eyes of potential buyers and investors.


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