Government Funding for Business: Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program

Parliament of Canada in Ottawa, CanadaFor small to medium-sized businesses and larger companies alike, finding first time buyers in order to help a product or service through the commercialization phase can be challenging.   The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) is a $40 million program initiated in 2010 as a permanent procurement program aiming at helping businesses through the pre-commercialization stage by awarding up to $500,000 per successful proposal.    This acquisitions program was launched to help promote Canada’s economic growth while allowing government officials to purchase goods and services from Canadian businesses with innovative new products.   This is a great program for Canadian businesses that are looking to supplement their funding from Canadian government business grants or for those simply interested in learning more about how to do business with the federal government. 

CICP Success Stories

Some of the successful commercialization projects, many of which also received Canadian government funding for business, benefited greatly from CICP over the past two years, including:

  • A novel Robotic Surface Vessel for inland water profiling and coastal surveillance with a modular, portable design delivering access to previously inaccessible reaches of water.
  • A highly automated and formal approach to security evaluation and risk analysis of IT and embedded software systems.
  • An underwater microscope capable of imaging micro-organisms and particles in 3D and 4D up to depths of ten thousand meters.
  • A mesh networked wearable beacon system that allows commanders and fire support units to instantly identify friendly forces in contact situations.

How the CICP Helps Canadian SME’s

Product events and tradeshows are available for the entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative concepts and products to federal agency representatives.  Upon the selection of a product or service to be included in the program the Canadian government will provide testing and issue feedback on areas in need of improvement.  Although CICP is not actual funding for research and development, businesses that participate in CICP will retain all IP rights and businesses will have the option of leasing or selling the technology to the federal agency in question.

Benefits of CICP Program for Canadian Businesses

Although we know of several Canadian small business grants that no business should ignore, we also appreciate the advantages offered by this program, regardless of whether a business is awarded a contract.   Some of the ways CICP helps innovative businesses is by:

  • Providing innovators with the opportunity to enter the marketplace with a successful application of their new goods and services
  • Providing  information on how to do business with the Government of Canada
  • Awarding contracts to entrepreneurs with pre-commercial innovations through an open, transparent, fair and competitive procurement process
  • Testing and providing feedback to these entrepreneurs on the performance of their goods or services

Preparing Your Product/Service for CICP

Companies interested in CICP do not have to be registered with, and there is no fee for use of services.  Organizations registered with Merx can visit this page on for help with the transition.

Also, applying companies must have at least one government partner who is interested in their product or service. The end product/service must also consist of at least 80% Canadian content and must be pre-commercialized at the time of the proposal submission.

Learn More about CICP and How & When to Apply

Learn more about CICP by choosing between one of the following options:

Program-Update-CICP-Funding for small businessEligibility-Criteria-CICP-Government Funding for Small BusinessContact a Canadian government funding expert

Learn More about Canadian Government Funding Opportunities

The best way to stay informed is to sign up for our Small Business Grants Weekly E-Newsletter.  For support in selecting and applying for this or other small business grants Canada or small business loans Ontario please contact a Canadian government funding expert.   Alternatively, we would like to offer you the opportunity to meet us in person at a Free Canadian Government Funding Workshop.

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