Alberta Innovates’ Product Demonstration Program (PDP) funds cooperative prototype demonstration activities between two or more businesses. It helps innovators overcome the commercialization gap by working directly with an interested buyer or distributor of the technology to showcase, test, and verify its performance in an operational setting.
The Product Demonstration Program awards Alberta businesses with up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $300,000 in technology commercialization grants.
To qualify for PDP funding, applicants must operate in Alberta, have fewer than 500 full-time employees, generate less than $50 million in annual revenues, and possess a technology in the advanced stages of development. Projects should result in revenue growth, new jobs, and increased export potential. Other eligibility criteria apply; continue reading to learn if the program is a good fit for your project.
What is the Product Demonstration Program?
The Product Demonstration Program is a grant that helps innovators commercialize their products faster and lead to the technology’s first sale. Through the program, Alberta businesses develop relationships with strategic “alliance” partners (distributors, partners, or future potential customers) and work collaboratively with them to demonstrate the technology in an operational setting.
PDP projects can receive grants between $100k-$300k to create a working, at scale demonstration that validates its potential to commercialization partners.
By reducing project costs by up to 50%, technology developers can de-risk demonstration projects and help gain the interest of prospective partners. Projects can span up to two years in duration and should result in the technology’s first sale. Funding is awarded in relation to completed project milestones; companies must report their progress to Alberta Innovates to trigger the repayment of previously-incurred expenses.
Business Eligibility: PDP Technology Demonstration Grants
Product Demonstration Program grants are available to innovative companies in all sectors of Alberta’s economy. To qualify, lead applicants must:
- Be an incorporated business;
- Maintain fewer than 500 full-time employees;
- Generate less than $50 million in gross revenues annually;
- Have physical operations in Alberta;
- Be technology-oriented and developing innovative products;
- Need Alberta Innovates’ financial support; and
- Have a plan to apply and profit from project results.
Eligibility of Project Commercialization Partners
Lead applicants must collaborate with one to three project partners. Partners must be Canadian and:
- Be another corporation, academic institution, or government entity;
- Demonstrate the ability and capacity to perform project deliverables;
- Operate independently of the lead applicant; and
- Have a direct use for the technology or have a strong influence on a relevant target market.
Project Eligibility: PDP Business Grants Alberta
Projects supported through Alberta Innovates’ Product Demonstration Program must focus on:
- Manufacturing of a prototype for demonstration;
- Testing prototypes in an operational environment;
- Assessment or verification of technical data;
- Optimizing the technology to gain market acceptance; and
- Gaining regulatory approval and certifications to gain market acceptance.
Projects ineligible for the Product Demonstration Program include those that are not collaborative in nature or focus on the early stages of technology development. This includes innovations with a technology readiness level (TRL) of 1-6.
Expense Eligibility: PDP Technology Commercialization Funding
To be assessed as a competitive Product Demonstration Program applicant, Alberta businesses should prepare a project budget of at least $200,000 that consists of:
- Salaries and benefits directly attributable to employees working on the project;
- Reasonable material costs directly attributed to the project;
- Capital improvements and equipment (prorated);
- Software or information databases (prorated); and
- Another entity’s products or services.
Ineligible PDP Project Expenses
Applicants cannot receive funding for project expenses including (but not limited to):
- Overhead costs charged to employee labour rates;
- Training and professional development;
- Routine testing and maintenance;
- Sales and marketing collateral;
- Acquisitions of land or buildings; and
- Travel costs.
Eligible? Apply for the Product Demonstration Program
The Product Demonstration Program operates on a continuous intake of applications; therefore, lead applicants with an eligible partner and demonstration project can apply at any time. Application submission should align to the intended project start date. Since applicants must receive approval prior to incurring funding-eligible expenses, it’s recommended companies apply a minimum of eight weeks ahead of planned spends.
To be considered, businesses must develop a comprehensive application that includes a business plan, project plan, financial statements, partner quotes and letters of support, background on project partners, and a project plan that includes milestones. Overall, completed application packages tend to be approximately 25 pages in length.
To discuss your eligibility for the Product Demonstration Program and explore ways to optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.