Canadian small and mid-sized businesses (SMEs) are often the drivers of industry change, developing innovative solutions to complex problems. These solutions can increase productivity, reduce technical barriers, and provide new capabilities that expand product and service offerings. However, for many small businesses in Canada, a lack of resources restricts the amount of research, development, and commercialization that a business can execute.
Canadian government funding provided through the National Research Council (NRC) enables SMEs to perform technical projects at reduced expense and risk. The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a government agency funded through NRC, offering several programs including an Accelerated Review Process (ARP) stream for innovative business projects. Consider the details below to learn if IRAP ARP small business grants provide your business with the financing needed to accelerate innovation.
IRAP ARP Canadian Business Grants for Innovative Projects
Government business grants provided through IRAP ARP assist SMEs to solve internal technical challenges that will lead to sustained competitive advantages. Businesses may access up to 80% of direct labour costs (including payroll expenses for employees directly working on the project), and up to 50% of reputable third-party contractors to contribute their expertise to the project. Research grants will be awarded monthly up to a maximum of $50,000.
Please note that IRAP ARP projects must begin and finish within one National Research Council fiscal year, which is April 1 to March 31 of the following year. IRAP ARP projects can sometimes be phased out into multiple fiscal years, but each project needs to have clear deliverables and impacts. Larger projects and those spanning more than one year might also be better aligned with the IRAP Mid-Size Projects stream.
Disclaimer: At time of article posting, the National Research Council is nearing the end of its fiscal year. Businesses should consider applying with projects that qualify for next year’s round of funding, which will start on April 1, 2016.
IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Project Eligibility
The following technical projects are most likely to be accepted into IRAP ARP:
- Product development, prototyping, or enhancement.
- IP assessments, planning, and strategy assistance;
- Business process mapping;
- Development of supply chain strategies;
- New market/ technology feasibility studies; and
- Advanced technology adoption and adaptation.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) ARP Business Eligibility
Businesses owners and executives seeking application to IRAP ARP must first ensure that their business is eligible to participate in the program. Eligible businesses must:
- Be a for-profit organization;
- Have 1-500 full-time employees;
- Be incorporated in Canada for two or more years; and
- Have the desire to grow and maximize profits through the development and commercialization of innovative products or processes.
Related Blog: SR&ED vs IRAP: An R&D Funding Comparison & Analysis – Compare SR&ED tax incentives with IRAP Canadian government grants. Which funding program is best for your business’ strategic plans?
Successful IRAP ARP Canadian Business Grants
IRAP ARP grants have previously been awarded to highly motivated and successful companies. Some of them include:
- Mentor Works’ client Artisan Metal Finishing has received approximately $50,000 from IRAP. This helped the manufacturer to implement a new process, the application of Nickel Chrome (NiCr) electroplating to brass, Eco-brass, and copper. With IRAP project funding, they were able to fill the demand from three current customers and export their products to United States and European markets.
- A biometric identity management solutions company received IRAP ARP funding for their design and development of plug-in architecture to support three separate Access Control Integration approaches. The new plug-ins reduce the complexity of integrating existing software protocols with Access Control Manufacturer hardware.
- A Business Process Management Systems (BPMS) company was seeking to remodel their web presence to focus on inbound marketing principles to boost their organic web traffic. The business contracted two companies, a web analytics firm and a website developer to provide their enhanced web presence. The project enabled the company’s hiring of an online marketing manager and a marketing analyst to further develop, update, and maintain their new presence.
Continue Learning about IRAP ARP Canadian Government Grants
- Canadian Government Funding Aids Agricultural Research Project
- NRC-IRAP Research Grants Support Innovative Clean Technology Project
- NRC-IRAP Funding: Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Research Grants
- NRC-IRAP Grants Support Manufacturing Production Upgrades in the Yukon
- IRAP Research Grants: Comparing Accelerated Review Process vs. Mid-Size Project Funding