Government Funding

Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program FAQs

Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program FAQ

The Alberta Innovates Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program (PDP) is a government funding program for Alberta-based technology developers that have commercialization-ready technologies. Through the program, companies may receive funding to offset a portion of costs related to showcasing the performance, methodology, and/or features of an innovative product.

Alberta Innovates PDP funding will support up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $300,000 in Alberta small business grants.

This article further explores frequently asked questions about the Product Demonstration Program, including general program information, eligibility criteria, and how to apply.

About the Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program

What is the Product Demonstration Program?

The Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program assists Alberta-based small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with government funding support. It offsets a portion of project costs which helps technology developers to work with product/service providers and advance the technology closer to commercialization.

Technology commercialization projects can take considerable time and financial resources. Testing prototypes and finding a qualified purchaser who’s willing to be the first user of a technology can be difficult, and historically there has been a lack of government funding support in this area to help businesses overcome the commercialization gap.

This is why the Product Demonstration Program is so important for Alberta-based SMEs. Its late-stage project funding can support personnel, equipment and material costs to help demonstrate the effectiveness of a technology and prepare it for its first sale.

What type of Alberta government funding does the Product Demonstration Program offer?

The Product Demonstration Program offers non-repayable grant funding provided through Alberta’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

How much grant funding is available?

Alberta Innovates’ Product Demonstration Program will provide up to 50% of project costs to a maximum $300,000 in Alberta technology grants. Projects must qualify for at least $100,000 in funding to be considered; this requires a minimum project budget of at least $200,000.

Who administers the Product Demonstration Program?

The Product Demonstration Program is offered through Alberta Innovates, a non-profit organization funded through the Province of Alberta’s Ministry of Economic and Trade.

How to Qualify for the Product Demonstration Program

Who qualifies to apply for PDP?

To qualify for support under the Alberta Innovates PDP, companies must:

  • Generate annual revenues less than $5,000,000 (year prior to application);
  • Maintain less than 50 full-time employees;
  • Be a provincially, extra-provincially or federally-registered corporation, partnership or a sole proprietorship with legal status to operate and maintain a physical presence in Alberta;
  • Be a technology-driven business developing innovative new products or services for growing markets. This includes information & communication technology (ICT), life sciences (agriculture, forestry, biotechnology, etc.), nanotechnology, energy, environment, and/or health; and
  • Not have an outstanding balance with any Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary, or partner.

Who qualifies as a host organization?

A host organization is a not-for-profit organization or for-profit corporation that has the knowledge and expertise to test your technology in a real-world situation. Eligible host organizations must:

  • Exist as a private, incorporated organization or non-profit institution;
  • Be independent from the applying company;
  • Demonstrate capabilities to test and evaluate the type of technology in question;
  • Have a strong influence on a relevant target market; and
  • Not have an outstanding balance with any Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary, or partner.

What type of projects are supported by Product Demonstration Program grants?

Projects eligible for the Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program must focus on progressing innovations with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 7-9 to commercialization. This includes:

  • Technology optimization;
  • Manufacturing of a prototype for demonstration;
  • Testing prototypes in an operational environment;
  • Gaining regulatory approval and certifications critical for market acceptance; and
  • Verification of technical data.

What stage does my project have to be at, in order to be eligible for small business grants Canada?

Your project should be in its final stages of development and be pre-commercial (i.e. no sales recorded yet) and be ready for testing/commercialization. More specifically, all projects considered for funding support must maintain a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 7-9.

If your project is not at this point, there may be other Canadian government funding programs suited to provide support.

What expenses are eligible for funding under this government business grants Canada?

The Product Demonstration Program will offset up to 50% of eligible project expenses, which include:

  • Salaries and fees for researchers, technicians, consultants, and support staff working directly on the project;
  • Equipment;
  • Instruments;
  • Materials and supplies; and
  • Overhead costs associated with the project.

What expenses are considered ineligible for reimbursement under the Product Demonstration Fund?

Some potential project expenses are not eligible for Alberta government funding support. These include:

  • Expenses related to technology development;
  • Design and production of advertising material;
  • Sales and promotion activities;
  • Costs associated with applying for government grants and programs;
  • Costs of internships or support for students of knowledge institutions;
  • Basic professional services such as ongoing routine accounting, tax and legal business requirements and financing fees unless directly related to the project;
  • Routine testing and maintenance; and
  • Travel and entertainment costs.

Apply for the Alberta Innovates Product Demonstration Program

Is there a deadline to apply for the Product Demonstration Program?

Alberta Innovates’ Product Demonstration Program maintains a competitive application process which includes two stages:

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Open intake of applications. Applicants may submit year-round and receive feedback about the competitiveness of the project/what could be done to strengthen it.
  2. Full Proposal (Invitation Only): Competitive EOIs will be called forward to develop and submit a full proposal. This is a comprehensive overview of the applicant’s proposed project and expenses. Full proposals are reviewed four time per year, typically January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.

How long does it take for applications to be reviewed?

The Product Demonstration Program is a sub-program of the Alberta Innovates public crown corporation and economic development agency. The organization provides access to research grants and other financial incentives to offset the costs of performing R&D in collaboration with academic researchers, other businesses, and public institutions.

Alberta Innovates will contact applicants about the status of their application approximately 4-6 weeks after a competition’s deadline/review period. Contact a Mentor Work representative to get started on your government funding project today.

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Posted: June 24, 2014 by Ryan Weaver. Updated: February 13, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd

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