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Canada & UK: Critical Minerals Sustainability and Circularity Program Offers Up to $500K in Grants 

The Critical Minerals Sustainability and Circularity Program is a one-of-kind grant initiative available to both Canada and the UK. This program fosters and supports collaborative industrial research and development (R&D) projects focused on developing innovative products, processes, or technology-based services in the critical minerals technologies sector.  

The project must include complementary technological contribution from a UK partner. 

Funding Snapshot: Canada-UK Critical Minerals Sustainability and Circularity 

Funding Amount 

Successful applicants can receive up to 50% reimbursement for eligible Canadian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to a maximum of $500,000 over 12-24 months. 

Eligible Applicants 

The applicant must form a project consortium and develop a collaborative R&D project that meets the following criteria: 

  • Canadian SME applicants must: 
  1. Have 500 or fewer FTEs; 
  2. Have a differentiated and protectable technology with commercial potential in global markets; and 
  3. Have sufficient working capital and resources for multi-year R&D. 
  • SME applicants with a minimum of 15 full-time employees, products commercialized, and revenues exceeding $500K may be given preference. 
  • The project must include complementary technological contribution from a UK partner. UK organizations are subject to additional eligibility requirements. 

Eligible Activities 

Projects must focus on innovative technologies that enable development of circular solutions for critical minerals (CM) and their supply chains. The project focus should be on the minerals and not on the end application performance. Projects must focus on 1 or more of the following themes: 

Enhanced Circularity in Critical Minerals 

  • Battery systems: improving recovery or efficiency of recovery from battery systems or from battery waste. 
  • High-performance permanent magnet system: safe and economic identification, collection, sorting, separation, dismantling of rare earth element (REE) containing end-of-life products or novel and sustainable routes for processing of recovered REE materials.  

More Sustainable Use of Critical Minerals 

  • Processing and manufacturing: novel manufacturing methods and processes across the value chain to enhance circularity and sustainability of CM. 
  • Reduction in use: novel approaches to reduce reliance on existing CM or complete substitution of critical minerals and systems. 

Innovations in Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) for Critical Minerals 

  • Life cycle analysis and sustainability models for Life Cycle Assessment of Critical Minerals; 
  • Measurement and accounting for embedded carbon, radioactivity, and other environmental and societal impacts of REE; and 
  • Provenance (e.g. material passports, digitization, traceability) of CM and systems. 

Deadline to Apply 

There are several deadlines for this project: 

  • The Canadian registration deadline is December 15, 2023
  • The Canadian expression of interest deadline is January 12, 2024
  • The International consortium project proposal deadline is April 3, 2024

Find More Critical Minerals Funding 

Critical minerals are a unique and challenging sector because they are essential for modern technologies, such as batteries, electronics, and renewable energy. However, they are often rare and difficult to extract, which makes them costly and challenging to mine.  

Financial support from governments and other organizations can help accelerate research, exploration, and development of critical minerals, increasing supply and reducing dependence on foreign sources. Canada is prioritizing investment in this sector, to ensure a steady and sustainable supply of critical minerals in the future.  

The Critical Minerals Innovation Fund and the Critical Minerals Infrastructure Fund are additional funding programs designed to support research and development, and capital and tech adoption within the critical minerals industry.  

If you believe your business may be eligible for funding through one or more of these programs, contact a member of the Mentor Works, A Ryan Company team for application assistance and to join a matchmaking event with potential UK partners as required to be eligible for this funding opportunity. Our team of government funding writers provide an estimated 95%-time savings compared to organizations that write funding applications in-house. Stay up to date with the latest grant information by subscribing to our newsletter

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