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.
About the Canadian International Innovation Program
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; 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.
Jan 19-24, 2020: Canadian AI & Industry 4.0 R&D Mission to Germany
There is a current Request for Expression of Interest to participate in the Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Industry 4.0 Partnering Mission to Germany. This mission will focus on establishing industrial R&D collaboration opportunities regarding AI Manufacturing between German and Canadian organizations in efforts to bring new products and services to market in the next three to five years.
The deadline to submit applications is November 29, 2019.
R&D collaboration includes:
- Joint development of new products/services by a combination of German and Canadian technology;
- Validation of Canadian technology to the German market; or
- Adaptation of technology in Canada to meet the characteristics of the German market.
This five-day mission will entail visiting three key manufacturing regions in Germany (Baden-Württemberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Bavaria). It will include:
- B2B meetings with German companies and/or research centres to identify matching interests, consortia, and potential partners;
- Partnering events which will allow the presentation of company activities and R&D project ideas; and
- Site visits providing the chance to connect with German key stakeholders, research organizations, and businesses.
The areas of focus for the Canadian AI Manufacturing R&D Partnering Mission to Germany are:
- Quality 4.0
- Digital twins
- 3D Printing
- Predictive maintenance
- Generative design software
- Human-robot collaboration
- Material science
- Logistics 4.0
In addition to the general program applicant eligibility criteria, businesses should have capacity and express interest in partnering with German companies on technology development and commit to the expansion into the German (European) market.
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, such as the Canadian AI & Industry 4.0 R&D Mission to Germany, 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 the Artificial Intelligence and Industry 4.0 Partnering Mission to Germany or any other open missions, please contact Mentor Works. We’ll help determine if your company is eligible for CIIP.