The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) offers direct grants of up to $500,000 (the average amount is $94,000) to qualifying Canadian small and medium-sized firms desiring to expand their innovation capability.
Business owners will get access to startup capital without dilution. The program reimburses up to 80% of wages and 50% of contractor costs involved with the technological development of qualified projects once an agreement with the NRC is completed. It does not cover any upstream costs (those incurred during the planning phase or before the agreement’s signature) or costs incurred after the commercialization phase begins.
What is IRAP?
It is Canada’s leading small and medium-sized business innovation aid program. It can assist you in building your innovative capabilities and bringing your ideas to market if you run an inventive small or medium-sized firm in Canada. This is accomplished through financial aid, advising services, and connections to Canada’s greatest business and R&D talent.
Who are eligible applicants for Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)?
To be considered for IRAP financing, you must meet the following fundamental requirements:
Business must have been in existence in Canada for at least two years.
You must have an incorporated and profit-oriented small or medium-sized business in Canada with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees;
Have the goal of growing and profiting in Canada by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or better products, services, or processes.
What are the pathways to funding?
Funding is offered through four sub-programs, each with its own goal and budget limit. IRAP funds are generally limited to $150,000, with exceptions provided on a case-by-case basis.
1. Small Technology Innovation Projects
Small grants of up to $50,000 are available for the commercialization of research and development of technological ventures through this sub-program.
2. Mid-sized Technology Innovation Projects
Those who are developing unique software or working on internal R&D projects should apply for this program.
3. Youth Employment Strategy Program
The Youth Employment Strategy Program is aimed to assist young Canadians in developing skills, finding decent jobs, and staying employed. Eligible businesses can hire up to two young students or graduates between the ages of 15 and 30 to work in a technology-related capacity. The program provides up to $30,000 in funding to each graduate for a period of 6 to 12 months.
4. Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program
For qualifying technological enterprises, this program provides up to $100,000, or 80% of direct labor and 75% of subcontractor costs, to speed up the product development process.
IRAP provides money to assist projects to get off the ground. If you think your business is eligible then you should apply for IRAP as it provides a comprehensive array of innovation services and finance to small and medium-sized enterprises to help them expand faster.