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Peter Cowan

President + CEO

Peter Cowan serves as President and CEO of Innovate BC.

With over 25 years of experience in leadership roles across Canada’s innovation ecosystem, Peter brings a wealth of expertise to his role leading the provincial Crown Agency dedicated to fostering innovation across B.C.’s economy. His extensive background spans a diverse range of roles, from leading startups, multinationals, and venture capital corporations to non-profits and innovation-based government agencies. He is a recognized leader in intellectual property (IP) strategy, with wide-ranging background in IP business operations and over 70 patents filed in the clean energy sector. He has advised on IP policy, operations, and strategy in numerous areas, including start-ups, scale-ups, technology transfer offices, accelerators and incubators, venture capital groups, and governments (provincial, federal, international).

Prior to joining Innovate BC, Peter held the interim CEO role as Intellectual Property Ontario’s first CEO where he led the launch of a new IP agency for the Province of Ontario, which developed and launched innovative IP programs that helped researchers and companies maximize the value of their IP, and strengthen their capacity to scale and compete in a global market. He is also the founder of Northworks IP and co-founder and past Board Member of the Innovation Asset Collective, Canada’s first Patent Collective.

Peter also serves as a Governance Committee Member for the College of Patent Agents & Trademark Agents (CPATA – CABAMC) and as a Committee Member on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

In addition to his business background, Peter holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical) and an MBA (Entrepreneurship; research focus in IP strategies for SMEs) from University of Victoria, and an LLM (Intellectual Property; research focus in IP & Board Governance) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School. He is also an active mentor with local Accelerator programs, working to help early-stage technology CEOs and founders improve the success of their companies by focusing on patent strategies for the ventures.