MONTREAL -- The Business Development Bank of Canada is pledging $160 million for companies that are rich in intellectual property, but often struggle to access capital.

Jerome Nycz, the executive vice-president at Montreal-based BDC Capital, says in a statement that the money will help companies enable commercialization, increase competitiveness and expand globally.

He says the goal of the entrepreneur-focused bank is to lead by example and inspire like-minded stakeholders to support more companies and make Canada a leader in IP.

BDC's new coffers will provide financing in the form of a sub-debt, convertible debt and equity to accelerate commercialization.

The fund will target scaling companies in knowledge-based industries with rich IP portfolios including patents, design, and trade secrets and at least $1 million in annual revenue.

According to a 2017 study from U.S. intellectual property merchant bank Ocean Tomo, 83 per cent of the value of S&P 500 companies came from tangible assets in 1975, but in 2015, it shifted to 84 per cent of value coming from intangible assets like IP.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 16, 2020