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IRAP to Provide $500M in R&D Grants from Federal Budget 2021

The Canadian federal government has released their first budget since the start of the pandemic, with a focus on new funding programs for Canadian businesses and changes to existing ones to better support small and medium-sized businesses during COVID-19. The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) plays a huge part in the Canadian federal 2021 budget by helping established Canadian businesses and start-ups receive grants of up to 80% of labour costs towards an innovative project.

The Canadian federal government has committed $100M/year towards the IRAP program over the next five years, totaling $500M.

IRAP is one of Canada’s most successful Research & Development grant programs, helping to not only fund Canadian-made inventions, but also offer advisory services throughout a project’s conceptualization, development, and commercialization.

Click the links below to scroll down the page:

IRAP Business Research Grant Funding

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a Canadian government funding program designed to help Canadian SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) increase their innovation capacity and take ideas to market.

Amount of funding: Access up to 60%-80% of internal technical labour and subcontractor expenses.
Eligible Applicants: Incorporated and financially stable businesses with 1-500 employees are eligible to apply.
Eligible Activities: Innovative technical R&D projects with a level of technical uncertainty.
Deadline to Apply: Open intake. Two-stage application process that starts with meeting an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA).

Learn more about grant funding through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP).

IRAP High-Growth Startup Funding During COVID-19

The Canadian federal government has allocated $250M in IRAP funding specifically meant for Canadian startups and early-stage businesses. In order to help startups throughout the pandemic, this funding can be accessed by those currently generating revenue or those still in the pre-revenue stage. Businesses accessing grant funding through the IRAP program mentioned above can also apply to receive startup funds through the high-growth startup stream.

This funding is part of a larger $270M that will be shared with Futurepreneur to help young Canadians start their own businesses by offering financial and business consulting support.

For a list of Canadian grant, loan, and wage subsidies for early-stage businesses, please visit our startup resources page.

Apply for IRAP R&D Grant Funding

Applying for an IRAP government grant can be a heavily administrative and taxing process when it is undertaken internally. Mentor Works is a team of government funding application writing specialists that provide our clients an average of 95% time-savings when compared to applying for IRAP funding in-house.

Consider speaking with the Mentor Works team to have a free consultation on what government grant and loan programs your business may already be eligible for, and how strong of an applicant your innovative project may be for IRAP funding. Call us at 1-888-599-3111 or message us directly.

Funding Funding Now, Contact Mentor Works


  1. we are a new tech company doing medical products like a new electronic stethoscope with 8 sense inputs as well as a number of robotic devices for hospitals and care centers. Generally these devices save time and money. We see that the future of health care is getting all the maintenance functions done using robotics so that the hnurses and doctors can do the more necessary tasks like diagnostics reviews. Many of the tasks done in hospitals are capable of being done by robotics at 65% less than human beings. This helps the funding agencies who can not handle the cost of health care any longer. It is time for a change.

    1. Hi Douglas – For newer tech businesses, please keep in mind that IRAP requires applicants to be incorporated in Canada for at least 2 years. However, we would recommend that your business evaluates the resources and programs outlined in our Startup Resources Page. All the best with your new business venture!

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