Industrial Research Assistance Program: Three Firms Get $5.6M for Advanced Tech

NRC IRAP – Ontario Firms Receive $5.6M for Advanced Tech

Three companies in the Greater Toronto Area have in total received $5.6M in research and development funding from the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). The research and development projects of the three firms are some of the first to benefit from the federal government’s Budget 2018 investment of $700M over five years to NRC IRAP, and to take advantage of IRAP’s new, larger funding threshold of $10M per project.

The three awarded firms operate in different industries, but are all headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario. They include:

  • Applanix Corporation, whose Position and Orientation Systems (POS) are used for airborne, land, marine, and indoor survey operations. Applanix is a leader in high-productivity mobile surveying, direct data georeferencing, and mobile mapping.
    • Funding Won: $2M
  • Hibar Systems, a manufacturer of high-precision dispensing pumps and filling systems used in battery manufacturing. The company’s positive displacement pumps range from nano-litre up to 2000ml per stroke.
    • Funding Won: $2M
  • Opus One Solutions, whose product, GridOS, helps electric distribution utilities improve planning, design, and management. GridOS integrates with existing utility systems, including planning software, geospatial information systems, and real-time distribution management.
    • Funding Won: $1.6M

Altogether, the three companies have received $5.6M in Canadian government funding.

NRC IRAP, which is delivering the financial support for the projects, provides innovation funding to support research and development projects in Canada. In 2018-19, NRC IRAP funded over 3,500 projects, 31 of which received funding of over $1M.

NRC IRAP Funding Advances Cutting-Edge Research

Each of the three awarded firms will use the research and development funding from NRC IRAP to pursue innovative projects that will make significant contributions to the Canadian economy.


Applanix will receive up to $2M in innovation funding to support the design, development, and global commercialization of next generation navigation solutions for autonomous vehicles, including those for land, air, and sea. Applanix’s sensor fusion technology will provide consistent and highly accurate positioning, and be able to collect, manage, and analyze complex information faster and easier.

Hibar Systems Limited

Hibar will leverage $2M in Canadian government funding to support the development of a high-speed Lithium-ion battery manufacturing system. The system will meet growing market demand for mass electric energy storage solutions.

According to Iain McColl, Hibar’s President and CEO, research and development funding from the Government of Canada will help the company expand its technology base, further increase export sales, and generate high-paying STEM jobs.

A few months after receiving funding, Hibar was purchased by Tesla.

Opus One Solutions

Opus One will use $1.6M in NRC IRAP funding to develop specialized software that will lower electricity costs through the smart integration of distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs include solar panels, combined heat and power plants, electricity storage, small natural gas-fueled generators, and electric vehicles. These resources are typically smaller in scale than traditional generation facilities, but they are becoming increasingly common.

Opus One’s software will be transformative in meeting the new challenges and opportunities of today’s electricity grid.

Overall, NRC IRAP funding for all three projects will help create 36 new jobs in the Greater Toronto Area.

NRC IRAP & Canadian Government Funding

NRC IRAP helps Canadian small and medium-sized businesses by providing customized investment, as well as support and advice. IRAP advisors offer expertise, information, and resources to help businesses further their innovation capabilities and grow the Canadian economy.

Since 2015, NRC IRAP has invested in more than 12,000 small and medium-sized (SME) businesses. Alongside Applanix, Opus One, and Hibar Systems, other recently awarded SMEs include Vox Neuro in Ontario, Acasti Pharma in Quebec, and VITALITY Products in British Columbia.

Businesses approved for NRC IRAP funding could receive up to 60-80% of eligible labour and subcontractor expenses, to a maximum of $10M.

NRC IRAP is open to all industry sectors across Canada.

If your company is interested in learning more about IRAP and whether this program is the right fit for your research and innovation projects, please download Mentor Works’ IRAP vs. SR&ED slide deck.

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