Update: The National Research Council (NRC) now offers project-based funding through a single Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). Please visit the NRC-IRAP Research Project Contributions page for more information.
Businesses with substantial internal research and development projects may access a variety of Canadian government funding options. Available at the federal and provincial levels, research grants can enhance a business’ ability to become more innovative and develop new products or services. Of the many research and development funding options available, funding through the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) may provide the most value.
As the national research and innovation arm of the government, NRC-IRAP administers several Canadian government grants for small and mid-sized businesses. One of the most popular programs offered is the IRAP Mid-Size Program which provides government grants for research projects with sizable budgets.
IRAP Mid-Size may provide businesses with up to 65-80% of labour costs for employees directly involved in completing exploratory research projects. Government funding awarded through IRAP Mid-Size may range from $50,000 to amounts in excess of $500,000. Projects that cannot receive the program minimum of $50,000 in grant funding may be better suited for IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) grants.
IRAP Mid-Size Research and Development Grants Business Eligibility
Businesses may apply to IRAP’s Mid-Size projects stream if they:
- Are located in Canada;
- Are incorporated and profit-oriented;
- Maintain between 1-500 full-time equivalent employees; and
- Generate profits through the development and commercialization of innovative products, services, or processes.
Projects Suitable for NRC-IRAP Mid-Size Grants
A wide range of innovative research projects may apply for IRAP funding. This includes most exploratory research projects supporting new product, service, or process development. The project must include at least $77,000 in labour costs directly related to internal employees working on the project.
Projects must also provide quantifiable benefits for the company and Canada as a whole. For every $1 invested in a business’ research project, IRAP Mid-Size expects projects to generate an additional $10 in company revenue growth as well as $12 in contributions to the Canadian economy.
Successful Recipients of IRAP Mid-Size Research Grants for Business
Several businesses throughout Canada have already used IRAP Mid-Size to offset the costs of their internal research and development project. Some of these successful recipients include:
- Rianta Solutions: This Kanata, Ontario-based designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative data centre technologies received up to $440,000 from IRAP Mid-Size.
- TRC Manufacturing: Moncton, New Brunswick hydraulics manufacturer receives IRAP Mid-Size funding for two projects, including the development of a low-cost pump jack for oil shafts, and development of undercutting technologies for use in salt mines.
How to Apply for IRAP Research and Development Grants Canada
Canadian businesses may begin their IRAP Mid-Size project application by contacting their local IRAP representative who will discuss the project’s eligibility and provide initial application forms.
Please Note: Eligible projects are not guaranteed Canadian government grants through IRAP. Businesses must be diligent in their document preparation and follow-up with IRAP representatives to ensure their eligible projects will receive government funding contributions.
Completed application packages typically range from 16-20 pages and include company financial statements. To check your eligibility and receive assistance in preparing your IRAP funding submission, please contact a Government Funding Planner who can identify how IRAP Mid-Size fits into your company’s overall funding strategy.