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Prof Tawfik appointed to expert panel

Windsor Law professor and intellectual property expert Myra Tawfik has been appointed by the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities to serve as a member of an expert panel on the commercialization of University generated intellectual property. According to the Ontario government’s press release, this panel is in response to the provincial government’s effort to strengthen the way the province generates and commercializes intellectual property. It will be chaired by Jim Balsillie, retired Chairman and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (now Blackberry), Cofounder of the Council of Canadian Innovators, and Founder and Chair of the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Professor Tawfik is an expert in intellectual property law. Her research, teaching and policy advocacy lie at the intersection of entrepreneurship, innovation and IP law. In an effort to enhance IP literacy across campus, she has founded and led a number of intellectual property clinical initiatives at the University of Windsor, starting with the Intellectual Property Legal Information Network (IPLIN) in 2004. She later partnered with Dr. Francine Schlosser at the Odette School of Business to found the Centre for Enterprise and Law, the only project of its kind in the country to provide multidisciplinary research, skills-training and community outreach to local start-ups and entrepreneurs.

In 2014, Professor Tawfik was appointed a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation to lead various projects on capacity-building in IP literacy and IP strategy in the innovation ecosystem. In 2016, she was appointed EPICentre Professor of IP Commercialization & Strategy to continue her research, teaching and IP outreach activities. Among her activities at EPICentre, the University’s entrepreneurship and innovation centre, she has established EPIC Law lunchtime workshops for local start-ups and an experiential course on IP strategy for law students to provide IP and business law triage services to the Centre and its clients. A co-authored book on IP strategy for non-lawyers will be published later this year. Her work has been influential in the public policy sphere both at the Federal and Provincial levels and she is a frequent panelist at workshops and conferences on IP policy for an innovation economy. In 2018, she was recognized by the University of Windsor with an award for Outstanding Community Outreach, Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Mobilization. 

Intellectual property rights are the currency in a global innovation economy and this province is increasingly reliant on the commercialization of ideas to drive economic prosperity. This panel will assess the current University innovation ecosystem in Ontario to provide meaningful and considered approaches to enhancing the IP commercialization process for public sector research and development,” says Professor Tawfik.

“Professor Tawfik’s extensive research, practical and policy expertise in the areas of intellectual property and innovation make her a natural choice for this prestigious provincial initiative,” says Laverne Jacobs, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Law. “Windsor Law could not be more proud of Professor Tawfik’s appointment to this expert panel.”

The other expert panel members are Dr. Shiri Breznitz, Associate Professor of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto; Dr. Dan Herman, Vice-President of Strategy and Partnerships, Myant Inc.; Natalie Raffoul, Managing Partner of Brion Raffoul Intellectual Property Law. The expert panel will deliver a report on how Ontario can maximize commercialization opportunities for the postsecondary sector and its partners in December of this year.