On April 15th, 2016, Professors Pierre-Emmanuel Moyse and Allison Christians hosted a workshop along with Jacob Heyka (2L student and project leader), and a team of ten law student researchers, as part of their SSHRC-funded research project “Regulating Innovation: Law and the Creative District” at the Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal in the Quartier de l’innovation. They revealed the findings of their research so far to Montreal’s innovation community and organized discussions to test their hypotheses and gain new insights as they embark upon the next phase of the project.
The project investigates how tax and intellectual property law impact innovation in the film, video game, and aeronautics industries. The team have been researching and conducting interviews with stakeholders to learn more about how legal institutions affect innovation on the ground in various jurisdictions: Montreal, Silicon Valley, and Israel’s Silicon Wadi. The main hypotheses were that non-compete clauses (NCCs) have a chilling effect on innovation because they prevent the circulation of knowledge.
On the tax side, research findings suggested that tax incentives are not necessarily the reason why innovators choose to locate in a particular jurisdiction; it seems that innovators are more attracted by other factors such as a capable workforce, quality of life, and access to a healthcare system. However, tax incentives are an additive to increasing the attractiveness of certain jurisdictions, namely Quebec.
The CIPP presented these hypotheses and then participants engaged in small group discussions with representatives from the industries on which the project concentrates. The event was a huge success and the research team discovered several new avenues to pursue as the research continues.