July 17, 2020, Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Vic Fedeli, and Minister of Colleges and Universities, Ross Romano, announced the Intellectual Property Action Plan to help ensure that Ontarians reap the benefits of made-in-Ontario research and innovation, and that intellectual property developed in Ontario remains in the province.

Premier Ford, Minister Fedeli, and Minister Romano were joined by Amy Fee, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener South—Hespeler and Mike Harris, Member of Provincial Parliament for Kitchener—Conestoga.

In addition to this afternoon’s announcement, Minister Romano announced the recipients of the final round of funding from the COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. Premier Ford also provided an update on Ontario’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier today, the Ministry of Long-Term Care announced that it is appointing Humber River Hospital as interim manager at Villa Colombo in North York, which has been unable to contain the spread of COVID-19 to date.

Further Details

Intellectual Property Action Plan and COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund Recipients

This afternoon, Premier Ford, Minister Fedeli, and Minister Romano announced the Intellectual Property Action Plan, which aims to ensure that the benefits of taxpayer-funded research and innovation remain in the province.

The action plan will strengthen Ontario’s intellectual property (IP) position by prioritizing IP generation, protection, and commercialization. This will support Ontario’s immediate economic recovery from COVID-19 as well as longer-term economic competitiveness.

The government is also creating a Special Implementation Team on Intellectual Property, which will be comprised of IP experts and will advise on the implementation of the IP action plan.

Minister Romano also announced the final round of research projects supported through the government’s $20 million COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund. The 20 projects to receive funding in this second round focus on the areas of diagnostics, treatment, vaccine development, and social science.

COVID-19 Update

In response to questions about today’s announcement from the Ministry of Long-Term Care that Humber River Hospital would be temporarily taking over the management of Villa Colombo in North York, Premier Ford confirmed that three long-term care homes in the province remain classified as in the “red zone,” meaning they are experiencing a critical outbreak situation.

When asked about the independent commission into long-term care, Premier Ford confirmed that more details would be announced within the next week.

In response to questions about yesterday’s announcement of $19 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funding for provinces and municipalities, Premier Ford said that Ontario $7 billion share would begin rolling out to municipalities next week. He added that the government will do everything it can to support municipalities facing significant revenue shortfalls, and thanked mayors for being efficient fiscal managers and finding savings where possible.