For more than 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) has been inspiring economic growth and innovation in small to medium-sized Canadian businesses by providing government funding and advisory services to support groundbreaking and innovative projects in reaching market standards.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has invested $9 million in four Canadian companies to research and develop therapeutic solutions for ill patients with COVID-19.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is rapidly working to strengthen Canada’s biomanufacturing sector by accelerating the development of advanced COVID-19 treatments and related supplies with the aim of ongoing protection for all Canadians. A big part of this plan includes providing funds through NRC IRAP to support organizations which are working on progressive solutions and need extra assistance in bringing those projects to fruition.
NRC IRAP: Research Grants for Canadian Businesses
The NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a Canadian government funding program designed to accelerate the research and development of innovative projects. Canadian businesses who are developing and implementing process improvements to health, safety, and general Canadian livelihoods are the primary targets to receive research funding contributions through NRC IRAP. However, large-scale technology adoption projects that lead to new improvements in technological capabilities are also considered for these research grants.
Through NRC IRAP funding, Canadian businesses can access research grants of up to 60-80% of internal and external expenses towards a specific innovation project.
NRC IRAP has an ongoing intake for applications, but projects must be completed between April 1 and March 31 of every year. Single year projects must fall between that timeline, and larger projects might have an extension of greater than 12 months.
How Will NRC IRAP Distribute the $9M Investment?
The NRC IRAP’s $9 million investment will provide advisory services alongside research and development funding for innovative projects carried out by four Canadian therapeutic firms.
The NRC IRAP COVID-19 Therapeutic Solutions Projects are:
- Qu Biologics (Vancouver, BC): Up to $109,764 for a project to provide proof-of-concept evidence for the safety and efficacy of a preventative treatment as well as therapeutic use of a treatment to protect the lungs and prevent serious COVID-19 infection.
- Bold Therapeutics (Vancouver, BC): Up to $289,032 for a project to prepare preclinical efficacy data in live SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), support preparation for clinical trials, and to support manufacturing of its BOLD-100 investigational therapy to treat patients with viral infections, including COVID-19.
- Laurent Pharmaceuticals (Montreal, QC): Up to $4,166,796 for the clinical development of its LAU-7b antiviral and inflammation controlling therapy for COVID-19 infections.
- JN Nova Pharma (Montreal, QC): Up to $4,609,000 to assist in the development of a proprietary drug to block coronavirus infection, while reducing the impacts of the disease in patients exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms so they may recover faster.
This NRC IRAP government funding will help these Canadian businesses to produce safe and effective treatments for those who test positive for the COVID-19 virus, while also building strong domestic plans to fight potential future pandemics.
Government Grants and Loans During COVID-19
The Canadian government has launched and updated many funding programs since the start of the pandemic to support Canadian business owners and employees during the ongoing pandemic. A few of these programs include the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). For a full list of support offered during this time, please visit our COVID-19 Funding Support Page.
To learn more about the specific requirements and government funding opportunities for small businesses, please attend one of our upcoming webinars, and subscribe to our Weekly Funding Newsletter to stay updated on program news, launches, and updates.