Help Fight COVID-19 With Government Funding Programs

With the novel coronavirus taking the world by storm, the Canadian federal and provincial governments have created multiple new funding programs, calling on Canadian businesses to help them join the fight against COVID-19.

Mentor Works has collected a list of various funding programs that help organizations temporarily pivot their business model to help create PPE, sanitization equipment, disease tracking technology, or accelerate research projects. Be sure to check our COVID-19 support page for other government funding programs.

NRC IRAP COVID-19 – Make PPE and Sanitization Equipment for Frontline Workers

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) has introduced a new funding stream (IRAP COVID-19) to fund businesses across Canada that can provide innovative and immediate solutions in fulfilling any of the following needs:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Sanitization
  • Diagnostic and testing
  • Therapeutics
  • Disease tracking technology

Learn more about the NRC IRAP COVID-19 funding stream.

Ontario Together Fund – Help Businesses Reopen Safely and Supply PPE/Sanitization Equipment

The Ontario provincial government has allocated $50M for helping businesses fight COVID-19 by providing the following solutions:

  • Technology-driven solutions and services to help businesses reopen safely
  • Solutions and services to strengthen inter-provincial trade and supply chains

As well as immediately providing or donating medical products such as:

  • Gowns
  • Thermometers
  • Swabs
  • Masks
  • Eye protection
  • PPE

You can also submit your ideas for COVID-19 solutions to the provincial government using their online form.

Read additional information about the Ontario Together Fund.

Mitacs – 3-to-1 Investment Ratio on COVID-19-Related Research

Mitacs has announced they will be offering a 3-to-1 investment ratio for COVID-19-related projects. What this means is that if your business invests $3,750 in R&D wages paid to a post-secondary researcher towards an eligible project, Mitacs will match it with $11,250 for a project total of $15,000. This grant can be stacked with other COVID-19-related project funding.

Learn more about Mitacs a 3-to-1 investment ratio.

Digital Tech Supercluster – Funding Projects that Help Stop the Spread of COVID-19

The Digital Technology Supercluster is one of Canada’s five Innovation Superclusters and has extended its regular programming with the creation of a COVID-19 Program. Successful applicants can receive between 50-100% of eligible project expenses that will have their impact determined on a case-by-case basis.

Projects should focus on one of the following priority areas:

  • Diagnostics and Therapeutics: Platforms that support sharing of data, research and scientific developments, and support for clinical trials in the drive to discover and deploy new vaccines, diagnostic tests, and therapies for COVID-19.
  • Health System: Technologies that support health systems, hospitals, and healthcare workers to effectively manage resources to provide high quality care to patients (i.e. clinical decision support tools, HR and supply chain management, and first responder supports).
  • Community Health: Technology solutions that enable Canadians to access care in their homes, their communities, and/or remote locations (i.e. virtual care and digital solutions for rapid screening, testing, monitoring, and delivery of care to remote communities).
  • Emergency Response: Tools and techniques that can be used to predict, plan, and respond to subsequent COVID-19 waves and other crisis situations (i.e. population level predictive analytics, modelling tools, and simulations using virtual and augmented reality with data from multiple sources).
  • Safe Living: Enabling technologies to live safely and securely, and to access the support and resources needed (i.e. secure messaging, virtual health programs for physical and mental health needs, resources for substance abuse, work safe programs, or delivery of food, medication, and supplies).

Learn more about the Digital Tech Supercluster COVID-19 Program.

Innovative Solutions Canada – COVID-19 Challenges

Innovative Solutions Canada has shifted the focus of their challenges to COVID-19-related research programs with up to $1M in funding per challenge.

An Intelligent Digital Clearing House

  • Objective: Utilizing or creating a smart digital exchange platform solution that will connect researchers, health providers, and solution providers with the appropriate expertise, materials, devices, and information to respond to COVID-19.
  • Contract Value:
    • Phase 1: $300,000 for up to three months (two applicants awarded)
    • Phase 2: $1M for up to 12 months (one applicant awarded)
  • Timeline: Closing date June 2, 2020.

Magnetic Reagents for Detection of COVID-19

  • Objective: Finding a solution for reagents diagnostics of COVID-19 with capability to be deployed on the frontline for rapid testing.
  • Contract Value:
    • Phase 1: Up to $300,000 for a period of three months (two applicants awarded)
    • Phase 2: Up to $1M for a period of 12 months (one applicant awarded)
  • Timeline: Closing date June 16, 2020.

Real-Time Insights for Pandemic Decision-Making

  • Objective: Looking for innovative epidemiological and healthcare solutions involving data gathering and data analytics technologies to support the early detection and community-based surveillance of outbreaks of contagious diseases.
  • Contract Value:
    • Phase 1: Up to $200,000 for a period of six months
    • Phase 2: Up to $1M for a period of 12 months
  • Timeline: Closing date June 23, 2020.

Scrubbing Your Scrubs: Finding Ways to Decontaminate and Reuse PPE

  • Objective 1: Finding a rapid and effective decontamination protocol or technology for PPE equipment.
  • Objective 2: Availability of material and design solutions for PPE and operational clothing and equipment that meet or exceed the current functional performance requirements.
  • Contract Value:
    • Phase 1: Up to $200,000 for a period of six months
    • Phase 2: Up to $1M for a period of 12 months
  • Timeline: Closing date June 23, 2020.

Super Sanitize: Cleaning Sensitive Equipment

  • Objective: Finding viable and effective processes for safely decontaminating enclosed work environments.
  • Contract Value:
    • Phase 1: Up to $200,000 for a period of six months
    • Phase 2: Up to $1M for a period of 12 months
  • Timeline: Closing date June 23, 2020.

View the full list of ISC COVID-19 challenges.

NSERC Alliance – Accelerating Universities’ COVID-19 Research

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC Alliance) is supporting research projects at multiple universities to address the challenges related to COVID-19 and is currently offering up to $50K for one-year projects.

The program is focused on:

  • Supporting research and analysis initiatives that address partner organization issues or questions related to COVID-19, leading to applications in the short term; and
  • Accelerating the flow and exchange of research results and research expertise in the natural sciences and engineering sectors between academic researchers and public, not-for-profit, and industry partners by supporting these organizations while they face challenges in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn more about the NSERC Alliance COVID-19 research grants.

Stop the Spread: Business Information Line Now Open

The Ontario provincial government has launched a toll-free line 1-888-444-3659 to provide support to Ontario businesses who have questions about the province’s emergency order to close at-risk workplaces. Learn More.

Learn about the latest government funding programs to help fight the novel coronavirus by registering for one of our COVID-19 support webinars or visiting our COVID-19 support page.

 Register for the COVID-19 Canadian Government Funding Webinar on July 8, 2020

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Written by

Matthew has a background in digital marketing, working with small business owners on their branding, digital marketing strategy, and the execution of their campaigns. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Matthew continues to help business owners by creating educational content on what Government funding opportunities are available to Canadian businesses.

Comments 2

2 June 2020 Reply

Is there any financial support program for businesses they don’t have payroll minimum $ 20,000 paid ?

3 June 2020 Reply

Hi Niranjan – We recommend using Canada.ca’s tool to Find COVID-19 support and other programs and services. The tool will ask you more about your business and provide you with business stimulus options provided by the Canadian government. All the best!

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