Canadian companies are some of the most innovative in the world. But when it comes to developing and commercializing ideas into globally competitive technologies, firms are struggling to keep up. It’s not the lack of viable ideas that holds us back, but the ability to advance these ideas into profitable, sustainable business opportunities.
Fortunately, government funding programs such as the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) can reduce the financial burden of research projects while also offering collaboration opportunities. Technology developers can use CIIP to find international research and commercialization partners, access new markets, and lead technologies closer to commercial readiness.
Through CIIP, Canadian companies can access up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $600,000 in funding for research projects.
To get started with CIIP funding, Canadian businesses should explore the program’s open Requests for Proposals (RFPs). These RFPs are occasional calls for new partnerships between Canadian companies and companies in one of five international countries. Companies must submit a RFP to be considered; if accepted, companies can participate in foreign trade missions to find research partners. Funding is awarded after projects have finished and research partners have incurred eligible expenses.
Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP): Funding for Research Projects
The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) is a research and development funding program that also supports matchmaking activities with potential research partners. Through the program, Canadian businesses can receive funding to participate in Government of Canada-led trade missions. Companies meet and develop relationships with foreign companies, then develop a plan for advancing innovative technologies.
Partnerships are eligible for up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $600,000 in research grants. These grants support partnership development and research costs.
There are five countries where Canada has research opportunities and trade missions that can accommodate CIIP funding. They include Brazil, China, India, Israel, and South Korea. These markets offer occasional requests for interested businesses but are not always available. Companies should explore the program’s website further to learn which countries have active opportunities before proceeding with collaborative activities in that country.
How the Program Works: Getting Started with CIIP Research Grants
Canadian businesses wishing to engage in international R&D partnerships will complete the following steps while participating in CIIP:
- Register online via IRAP’s online CIIP portal;
- Submit a project proposal using a standardized application form;
- Partner with an eligible international business or individual;
- Complete the research and development project; and
- Receive Canadian government grants based on project milestones achieved.
Partner with a Canadian Post-Secondary Institution: Want to keep research activities in Canada? Consider working with a college or university to support your R&D projects.
CIIP Research Grants: Business Eligibility
To qualify for the Canadian International Innovation Program, businesses must ensure that they:
- Are a for-profit organization;
- Maintain fewer than 500 employees;
- Are incorporated within Canada;
- Are ready to collaborate with international partners on an industrial R&D project in the areas of healthcare, water, cleantech, manufacturing, or ICT; and
- Intend to grow their business through the development and commercialization of innovative products, services, or processes.
Canadian International Innovation Program: Project Eligibility
Three types of research and development projects will be considered for the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP). These include:
Modifications or improvements to existing technologies to meet requirements in Canada or the project partner’s market. Eligible activities include requirement specification, design, implementation, and testing of product adaptations.
Validation of quality, usability, functionality, or overall performance, including product value validations. Eligible activities include test planning, procedures and tools development, test execution, test results analysis and reporting, and specification of technology adaptation requirements, if required.
Acquiring innovative technologies to fill a gap in the solution created by Canadian and international partners. Eligible activities include further development and integration of technologies.
Upcoming International Consortium Project Proposal Deadlines
Request for Expression of Interest for a Virtual Advanced Manufacturing Technology Partnership Mission to India, January-February 2021.
Request for Expression of Interest for a Canada-Germany MedTech and Digital Health R&D Partnering Mission, January 17-23, 2021.
Request for Expression of Interest for a Canada – Israel 2020-21 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals, January 11-27, 2021.
How to Apply for the Canadian International Innovation Program
To apply for your technology adaptation, development, or validation project, businesses should explore CIIP’s program website and find an open Request for Proposals. If there is an open RFP that applies to your business, companies must prepare a summary of their products, research and development opportunities, and project goals.
If deemed eligible for the program, a full application is provided and CIIP will use these applications to determine who is invited to the Government-led trade mission to that country. At that time, companies can travel to the country and begin working with international research partners. Once projects are complete, funding-eligible expenses are reimbursed.
If your business is interested in any of the current Calls for Proposals, please contact Mentor Works. We’ll help determine if your company is eligible for CIIP.
Updated: November 25, 2020.