Alberta Innovates Technology Futures offers Alberta SMEs support for research, development, and innovation. Their goal is to help build healthy, sustainable, and innovative businesses in the province. This post will focus primarily on the funding programs offered through Alberta Tech Futures, but they provide Alberta small businesses with a range of services including:
- Technical Services: product/process development, scale-up facilities for petroleum, environment and carbon management, bio and industrial technologies. 300 hectare research farm, greenhouses, and growth chambers to support agri-tech businesses.
- Commercialization Support: through their innovation network SMEs have access to an integrated province-wide system with vital services and resources.
- Small Business Funding Programs: a range of funding programs to increase innovation, improve SMEs’ ability to invest in projects, and create jobs for Alberta.
Alberta Small Business Funding Programs
Alberta Innovates Technology Futures offers two main streams of government funding incentives for small businesses – (1) post-secondary investment programs and (2) industry investment programs. These streams help optimize government investment and ensure that projects at all ends of the technology development spectrum can obtain support. Post-secondary investment programs offer a broad range of support to researchers at all stages of their careers, from graduate students to post-doctoral fellows, and researchers. Industry investment programs are custom tailored to meet the needs of Alberta SMEs.
Industry funding programs are subdivided into multiple streams and priority areas. Businesses are able to apply for project funding to support various project types and research support needs. The program suite currently includes two voucher programs, and a product demonstration program.
Alberta Tech Futures: Micro-Voucher Program
The Micro-Voucher program supports early stage R&D activities where technologies are in infancy stages. Applicants can receive up to $10,000 in research and development funding vouchers paid directly to the service or product provider named in the application. The funds are eligible for a range of early-stage needs including:
- Market assessments;
- Business plan development;
- Intellectual property assessments; and/or
- Acquisition of Materials and/or equipment critical to the applicant’s operations.
The Voucher program supports technology development that is in the mid-to-late development stage. Applicants can receive vouchers up to $100,000 paid directly to the project partner named in the application. Eligible project activities include:
- Leading-edge design, engineering, and prototype development;
- Advanced product testing and refinement;
- Patent development;
- Advanced market assessments; and/or
- Other technology development activities considered on a case-by-case basis.
Alberta Tech Futures: Product Demonstration Program (PDP)
The Product Demonstration Program (PDP) supports final stage development and early commercialization activities. This program is intended to fund SMEs to work with project partners to showcase, prototype, and conduct early commercialization activities. Applicants can receive up to $300,000 paid either directly to the applicant or project partner named in the application. Eligible expenditures include:
- Technology optimization critical for market acceptance;
- Manufacturing of a prototype for demonstration project;
- Applications for regulatory approval and certifications critical for market acceptance;
- Testing of a prototype in an operational environment; and/or
- Results assessment/verification of technical data
Other Technology-Focused Funding Programs
SMEs from across Canada can benefit from Canadian government funding programs to support investment in innovation. There are many programs to help businesses improve investment in technology, research & development, and innovation. Mentor Works has helped hundreds of clients across Canada discover and obtain funding for their projects. We have helped businesses optimize their cash flow planning, hire leading researchers, increase their R&D capacity and capabilities, and develop partnerships with leading research institutions.
If your small business is interested in learning about Canadian government funding programs available to support technology investment/development, contact us today. You can also register for one of our free informational funding events to learn more about Canadian government grants and loans. To keep up-to-date on the world of Canadian government funding you can sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.