How foreign companies use Canada’s universities to steal away huge chunks of intellectual property

In 2016, 58 per cent of the patents granted to Canadian inventors were assigned to companies located in other countries.Illustration by Brice Hall/National Post

Canada has a rich history of innovation, but in the next few decades, powerful technological forces will transform the global economy. Large multinational companies have jumped out to a headstart in the race to succeed, and Canada runs the risk of falling behind. At stake is nothing less than our prosperity and economic well-being. The Financial Post set out explore what is needed for businesses to flourish and grow. You can find all of our coverage here.

OTTAWA — In November 2017, the head of Google LLC’s parent company praised Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for Canada’s advances in artificial intelligence, saying he was “enormously thankful to Canadians” for its contributions to AI research and, by extension, its contributions to Google’s bottom line.

Alphabet Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt, who was speaking to Trudeau at a Google event in Toronto, explained how the company had built much of its cutting-edge software, which it later sold through various finished products, in Canadian office spaces.

“We now use it throughout our entire business and it’s a major driver of our corporate success,” he said. “So we owe you.”

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