Namatié Traoré joins the Telfer School of Management to focus on how to encourage commercialization of innovation for Canada’s economic growth. He will draw on his extensive experience as a senior public servant, researcher, and research manager to explore how public policies can be designed to support both “knowledge creators” and “end-users” in the commercialization of innovation.

“The question of policy design is pivotal for governments seeking to diffuse innovation in knowledge-intensive businesses,” says Traoré, who holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis with specialisation in environmental economics from Laval University. “Well-designed, fact-based policies have the potential to not only foster technologies or innovations that are relevant to ‘end-users,’ but only to entice ‘creators’ to orient their research in a way that will interest those end-users.”

Traoré was until recently Director of the Economic and Industry Analysis Division at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAGC). Before joining AAFC, Dr. Traoré was the Manager of Canada’s agricultural statistics program at Statistics Canada. He has also held the position of Chief Economist at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the largest science-based regulatory agency in Canada. He is the author of several articles in peer-reviewed journals on topics related to innovation systems, commercialisation, knowledge transfer and the protection of intellectual properties (IPs).

Traoré will give a presentation on the institutional landscape for protection of IPs in Canada and the implications for managers in knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), Nov. 20 at the Telfer School, as part of the Management Research Seminar Series. In a knowledge-based economy where firms maintain a competitive edge to the degree that they can innovate, protecting intellectual properties has become a central element of any national economic development policy, he explains.

“Some innovations are very fluid, and their authors will tend to view the more ‘formal’ IP protections like patents and trademarks to be unrealistic. The motivations of innovators will also differ. Some will be driven by peer recognition or academic excellence much more than monetary reward. So the appropriateness of the tools for IP protection has to be carefully considered.

“At the end of the day, the environment has to provide enticements for innovators to share their innovations – and assurances that the knowledge they have created will be protected.”

In addition to drawing implications for KIBS managers, Traoré will present the key factors these managers may take into account when deciding on the types of IP protection tools to manage their IP rights portfolios.