The Accessible Technology Program (ATP) provides innovators with Canadian government funding to research and develop devices that help persons with disabilities thrive in digital-based roles. It seeks innovators across the country to conceptualize, develop, and commercialize devices that have a significant impact on the productivity and capabilities of disabled persons operating in a digital or knowledge-based capacity.
The Accessible Technology Program offers up to $4 million/year in research and development grants, including up to 50% support for for-profits and 80% for non-profit applicants.
This article explores frequently asked questions about the Accessible Technology Program, including general program information, eligibility criteria, and how to apply.
About the Accessible Technology Program (ATP)
What is the Accessible Technology Program?
The Accessible Technology Program is a Canadian government grant intended to support the development and testing of assistive technologies. The purpose of the program is to improve and encourage digital economy participation among people with disabilities. This program will remove barriers to ensure persons living with a disability have more opportunities to participate and be active members in the workforce.
Who Administers the Accessible Technology Program?
The federal institution, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), is providing funding for the Accessible Technology Program. They work with Canadians in all areas of the economy and the country to advance investment conditions, enhance innovation in Canada, increase Canada’s share of global trade, and build a marketplace that is competitive, fair, and efficient.
How Much is ATP Investing as a Whole?
The program is investing $22.3M over five years, with projects beginning in 2017-2018 and ending in 2021-2022. Funding will be available through continuous proposals during those five years. Approved projects must be completed by March 31, 2022.
What Type of Funding Does ATP Offer?
The Accessible Technology Program is a non-repayable contribution program, which means eligible project costs are subject to conditions specified in the funding agreement.
How Much Funding is Available Through ATP?
Not-for-profit applicants may receive up to 80% of eligible project expenses to a maximum of $4 million per project/year.
For-profit organizations may receive up to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum of $4M per project/year.
How Can I Determine if I’m Eligible for Funding?
Detailed eligibility criteria is noted further in this article. However, interested applicants should be able to answer “yes” to all of the following questions:
- Can my projected initiative/project be completed by March 31, 2022 or earlier?
- Am I a Canadian legal entity including: a for-profit organization, a not-for-profit organization, or a research institute?
- Can I clearly demonstrate my organization’s expertise and capabilities to manage and/or develop and implement an eligible single or combined group of projects in Canada?
- Does my project require a financial contribution to achieve its purpose?
Eligibility for Accessible Technology Program Funding
Who is an Eligible Applicant for ATP Funding?
In order to qualify for research and development grants via the Accessible Technology Program, applicants must:
- Be a Canadian legal entity, including for-profits, non-profits, and research institutions;
- Visibly demonstrate the proficiency and capabilities to complete an assistive technology development project; and
- Profess the need that the proposed projects require a funding contribution to demonstrate the objectives.
Who is Defined as a Research Institute?
A research institute is defined as any establishment that functions with the principal objective of leading research. This may include activities in the health, natural, and social sciences. This may also include any institutes affiliated with post-secondary institutions.
What are Project Outcomes for Assistive Technology Funding?
Projects considered for ATP research and development funding must demonstrate an ability to achieve the following outcomes:
- Progress affordable solutions that are economically accessible to Canadians with disabilities;
- Promote awareness of new assistive technologies through public events such as workshops;
- Improve, repair, and modernize innovative technologies that improve access to the digital economy for persons with disabilities;
- Develop technology that is commercially available long-term; and
- Increase employability and marketability of Canadians living with disabilities so they can actively contribute to the digital and knowledge-based economy.
What are Eligible Project-Related Costs?
Eligible project costs are those directly related to the application proposal that respect all conditions and limitations of the program and that qualify to be claimed. They may include:
- Training and professional development-related costs;
- Administrative operating costs (salary and wages, incremental administration, and accounting expenses) limited to no more than 10% of total project funding;
- Costs of goods and services to support workplace health and safety environmental protection, communication, and security; and
- Expenses related to purchasing computer equipment and parts, required software, equipment, and rental of accommodation.
Apply for the Accessible Technology Program (ATP)
How Do I Start the Application Process?
To apply for Accessible Technology Program funding consideration, eligible applicants should request an application package. The application package then needs to be completed and submitted back to the government. Applications may be submitted electronically or by mail.
In addition to expressing how the proposed technology will improve the employability of persons with disabilities, applicants must also attach two years of audited financial statements to prove that they have the financial capacity to complete the proposed project.
What are the Program Deadlines to be Aware of?
Applications are accepted throughout the year, but only reviewed during a bi-annual call for proposals. Upcoming application deadlines include:
- June 2, 2020 to receive funding starting in late 2020-21
- January 2, 2021 to receive funding starting in early 2021-22
- June 2, 2021 to receive funding starting in late 2021-22
Applications for funding must be submitted no later than 11:59:59 p.m. PST across all deadline dates.
Who Selects the Awarded Projects?
The Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will review all the applications against the funding program criteria.
What Happens After the Projects are Selected?
Once the projects are selected for funding, contribution agreements will be negotiated between successful applicants and the department. After these agreements are established, the awarded projects will be announced publicly.
How will Funding be Disbursed?
Funding for chosen assistive devices will be distributed through claims for reimbursement of eligible costs incurred as outlined in a funding agreement.
To discuss your business’ eligibility for ATP and learn how to optimize the application process with the support of a Government Funding Planner, please contact Mentor Works.
Post updated: May 1, 2020.