CanExport Innovation: How to Qualify for Tech Partnership Grants
UPDATE: This program was previously called Going Global Innovation (GGI). The content has been updated to reflect the new CanExport Innovation (CXI) name.
The CanExport Innovation (CXI) program provides Canadian government funding for technology partnership development. Through the program, Canadian firms can receive non-repayable grants to secure international partners for research projects. Although funding does not directly support research and development costs, it does help to overcome the first hurdle that many technology developers face when seeking foreign partners.
Through the CanExport Innovation program, companies may receive up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000 in government innovation grants.
To qualify for CXI grants, Canadian businesses must be in the “sweet spot” of partnership development where each business entity has an interest in the partnership, but a formal agreement has not yet been reached. Canadian entities must also have fewer than 500 employees and be in a financial position to provide project costs not funded through the CXI program.
What is the CanExport Innovation Program?
CanExport Innovation (CXI) is a Canadian government incentive for businesses to perform research and development projects in partnership with an international firm. The program focuses solely on the partnership development phase, where companies work together to formalize their R&D partnership. While research costs cannot be included in a business’ funding request, many other costs associated with developing the partnership can.
CXI funding offers Canadian innovators with up to $75,000 to support partnership development costs.
While some innovators perform their own travel and business trips to coordinate these research projects, other companies rely on government-led trade missions to set up meetings with potential partners. Trade missions are a great way to maximize your global outreach and ensure that your business generates discussions with high-quality partners.
Most projects funded by CanExport Innovation take place over a one-week period and conclude when a legal partnership agreement is reached. Innovation grants are issued to a business once it can demonstrate all its incurred project expenses.
Applicant Eligibility for CanExport Innovation Grants
To qualify for the CanExport Innovation program, applicants must ensure they are:
- A Canadian-based business generating less than $50 million in annual sales and maintaining fewer than 500 employees OR an academic institution or non-government research centre;
- Devoted to innovation, global and export expansion, global partnerships, and technology commercialization;
- In possession of proof that a foreign partnership could result from the collaboration of both parties; and
- Able to manage and execute the proposed partnership/project.
Applicants Ineligible for CanExport Innovation
Businesses may not participate in the CanExport Innovation program if they maintain 500 or more employees, generate annual revenues in excess of $50 million, or do not have the financial resources to pay the other 25% of project expenses not covered through CXI.
Project Eligibility for CXI Canadian Innovation Grants
CanExport Innovation grants award exploratory projects that:
- Support international partnerships and business expansion into new markets;
- Enhance innovative international practices and relationships; and
- Focus on technology collaborations to establish commercialization.
Projects Ineligible for CanExport Innovation
Due to CXI’s focus on partnership development activities, research and development projects are not considered for funding. Companies that are ready to begin research projects with an international partner may be better suited for the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP).
CanExport Innovation Expense Eligibility Criteria
The CanExport Innovation program will reimburse up to 75% of the following expenses:
- International and local travel costs (travellers must present a valid Canadian passport to be covered);
- Accommodations, including all meals;
- Non-research expenses such as meetings, print and copy, and translation services costs; and
- Legal fees necessary to solidify the international partnership, as well as any incidental expenses.
Expenses Ineligible for CanExport Innovation
Any expenses directly related to the research and development of technologies are not accepted for funding. Participation fees for conferences and other events may be considered but are unlikely to receive funding.
Get Started with CXI Funding for Technology Partnerships
To apply for CanExport Innovation funding, applicants must complete the program’s application form, budget spreadsheet, and provide a Performance Measurement Strategy document. Although the program accepts applications continuously throughout the year, applicants are advised to submit their documents a minimum of eight weeks prior to incurring project expenses. Applicants must receive approval before expenses are eligible for funding.
To discuss your project’s eligibility and explore ways to optimize the funding application process, please contact Mentor Works, the Government Funding Planners.