How to Qualify for the Canadian International Innovation Program

Canadian International Innovation Program Grant Funding for Research Projects

The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) is a research and development funding program that incentivizes global commercialization partnerships. Through the program, Canadian businesses can find international innovators to help further develop and commercialize technologies. Funding offsets a portion of eligible costs associated with technology adaptation, validation, and co-development projects.

CIIP research and development funding reduces the costs of a Canadian business’ project-related activities by up to 50% to a maximum $600,000 in non-repayable grants.

To qualify for the Canadian International Innovation Program, applicants must be an incorporated for-profit with fewer than 500 employees. Other eligibility criteria apply; continue reading this article to explore whether your company, project, and expenses are a good fit for the program.

What is the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)?

Talent gaps often prevent Canadian innovators from developing world-class technologies. Although working with international research and development partners can help overcome these gaps, the process of finding and working with an international partner can be challenging. Fortunately, the Canadian International Innovation Program helps overcome technology development and commercialization hurdles. The program offers an optional matchmaking service and research grants to support a wide range of technology-based projects.

Eligible Canadian businesses can recover up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $600,000 in research and development funding. Partner organizations are also eligible for funding from their own country to further reduce project costs.

Applications are accepted to the CIIP program through limited-time Requests for Proposals (RFPs). To receive funding through the program, businesses must have an international partner identified at the time of RFP submission. If your business does not have an international research partner identified, consider first using CIIP’s matchmaking service or explore the CanExport Innovation program.

For a more detailed look at how the Canadian International Innovation Program works, please review Mentor Works’ overview article.

Business Eligibility for CIIP Research Grants

To access Canadian International Innovation Program funding, businesses must:

  • Be a for-profit incorporated in Canada;
  • Maintain fewer than 500 employees;
  • Have the capacity to collaborate with international partners on an R&D project; and
  • Intend to grow their business through innovative products, services, or processes.

Focus Sectors

CIIP applicants should also be a member of (or support) the following sectors:

  • Affordable healthcare;
  • Clean technology;
  • Electronic system design & manufacturing technologies;
  • Information & Communication Technologies (ICT); or
  • Water technologies.

Ineligible Businesses

Applications are not processed for CIIP funding if any of the above conditions are not met.

Project Eligibility for CIIP Research Funding

Three types of research and development projects are considered for the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP). These include:

  • Technology Adaptation: Requirement specification, design, implementation, and testing of product adaptations.
  • Technology Validation: Test planning, procedures and tools development, test execution, test results analysis and reporting, and specification of technology adaptation requirements, if required.
  • Technology Co-Development: Further development and integration of technologies.

Eligibility of Innovation Partners

International partners included in CIIP project proposals should come from one of the program’s five cooperating countries, including:

  • Brazil;
  • China;
  • India;
  • Israel; and
  • South Korea.

Please Note: There must be an active Call for Proposals with the country your business engages a partner in. Typically, only one or two markets have active CFPs at any time.

Ineligible Projects

Projects that are unlikely to produce new products, services, or processes will not be considered for CIIP funding.

Expense Eligibility for CIIP R&D Funding

Canadian International Innovation Program project budgets can consist of any expenses directly related to project completion. While each Call for Proposals has its own list of eligible expenses, they generally include:

  • Labour costs directly attributable to the project;
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services;
  • Equipment depreciation, rental, or leasing; installation, testing, and commissioning;
  • Travel; and
  • Overhead.

Ineligible Expenses

Expenses cannot be claimed if incurred prior to application approval. Also, any expenses that cannot be tied to a particular project activity are unlikely to receive support.

Get Started with the Canadian International Innovation Program

Eligible Canadian innovators should start the application process by checking CIIP’s current requests for proposals. If there is an open challenge that aligns with your established partnership, develop your application and submit it by the RFP’s deadline.

If there are no current RFPs that suit your business’ needs, consider exploring the program’s partnership development activities. Once you’ve developed a partnership in one of the five participating CIIP countries, wait for a suitable RFP to open and submit your funding application then. Often, partnership development activities align with upcoming RFPs, so attending trade missions and other events can help you prepare.

Contact Mentor Works to confirm your business’ eligibility for CIIP grants and discover how to optimize the funding application process.

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