UPDATE: This program was previously called Going Global Innovation (GGI). The content has been updated to reflect the new name, CanExport Innovation (CXI).
Canadian companies are internationally recognized as some of the most creative, innovative firms in the world. But despite this reputation, Canada is falling behind in terms of its opportunities to spur innovation. Businesses short on the time and/or resources to innovate are a leading cause for this; however, more businesses could perform world-class research and innovation projects with international partners. This rarely-considered option can have big benefits for Canadian firms.
Fortunately, the CanExport Innovation (CXI) program offers government innovation grants to support the early-stage development of research partnerships. CXI is federally available and supports businesses across Canada as they travel to international markets and work with foreign entities to develop partnership agreements. CanExport Innovation does not cover research and innovation costs, though; it simply supports the establishment of a collaborative research agreement.
Through the CanExport Innovation program, Canadian innovators can access up to 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum $75,000 in non-repayable business grants.
Applications for CXI innovation grants are accepted year-round and are typically reviewed within eight weeks of submission. Companies must time their application strategically, therefore it’s recommended firms apply roughly 10 weeks prior to incurring travel or other administrative costs associated with the partnership formation.
CanExport Innovation: Funding for Innovation Partnerships
The CanExport Innovation (CXI) program is a Canadian government grant that supports innovators as they establish technology development and commercialization partnerships in foreign countries. The program is designed to minimize the cost of finalizing relationships where there has already been interest between the research partners. CXI helps overcome the largest hurdle in these relationships – formalizing a partnership agreement.
CanExport Innovation was previously called Going Global Innovation (GGI). As of August 2019, CanExport Innovation is the official name of the program. No major changes other than the name have been announced.
CXI applicants should already be working on an innovative partnership with international partners. Preliminary arrangements should already be in place; these are often established through trade shows and missions, or through other global outreach/expansion initiatives.
Companies can access up to 75% of eligible travel, accommodation, meeting, and translation costs to a maximum $75,000 in Canadian government innovation grants.
Most projects awarded with CanExport Innovation funding focus on targeted trips spanning less than one week abroad. During this time, Canadian companies should focus on developing a legal partnership agreement. Once the agreement has been made, the project is considered complete and additional activities (such as research and development) will not be eligible for CXI funding contributions.
Applicants Eligible to Receive CXI Grants Canada
CanExport Innovation (CXI) program applications must be submitted from a Canadian researcher/innovator on behalf of an eligible applicant. The individual must be a passport-holding Canadian citizen who will travel to the foreign country on behalf of an eligible organization, including:
- Small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
- Universities, colleges, or other academic institutions; and
- Non-governmental research centres.
Projects Eligible for CanExport Innovation Funding
Projects awarded with CanExport Innovation funding must be targeted towards finalizing a technology development and/or commercialization partnership. This requires applicants to apply at a time in their innovation process when companies have begun preliminary discussions but have not formalized a deal. As such, CanExport Innovation will not fund activities that focus on preliminary discussions or that occur after an agreement is in place.
- However, CanExport Innovation will support exploratory projects that:
- Establish a collaborative R&D agreement with international partners;
- Focus on relationship-driven technology development, validation, or adaptations; and
- Feature meetings and negotiations with targeted foreign collaborators.
How to Apply for the CanExport Innovation Program
Applicants interested in the CanExport Innovation program must develop and submit a comprehensive application package no earlier than 10 weeks prior to their trip abroad. CXI typically takes eight weeks to approve applications, and it’s important to receive approval ahead of embarking on your partnership mission. Expenses incurred prior to approval are not eligible for funding.
Applications are typically 6-10 pages in length and require additional documentation such as a project budget, performance measurement strategy, and verification that a foreign entity has requested a meeting to potentially arrange a collaboration. These application packages can be accessed and submitted online.
To discuss your upcoming technology collaboration project and learn how to optimize the funding application process, please contact Mentor Works.