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The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) recently awarded funding to 14 projects across Canada to research and develop durable, long-lasting solutions that will help to prevent the ongoing spread of the novel coronavirus and fight against any future pandemics.

“Our government is acting quickly to ensure that we are mobilizing our innovation programming and resources to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. These successful Made-in-Canada projects and proposals will support the researchers and companies that are contributing to the fight against this pandemic.”
– Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Through programs such as NRC’s Pandemic Response Challenge, and numerous streams of funding challenges through collaboration with Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC), these projects are protecting the health and safety of all Canadians through funding to address COVID-19 impacts and concerns.

NRC’s Pandemic Response Challenge Program Funding

Administered via the NRC, the Pandemic Response Challenge Program has distributed $796,000 in government funding with the primary goal of addressing critical COVID-19 gaps and challenges identified by Canadian health experts.

The following are the six collaborative projects that recently received funding:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health: $199,000 for the development and validation of mobile application modules to attenuate mental health symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic;

LFAnt Medical: $100,000 to develop a molecular assay for instrument-less SARS-CoV-2 rapid diagnostic from saliva;

OCAD University: $150,000 to develop guidelines and functionalities for the design of virtual care software for vulnerable populations;

University of British Columbia: $147,000 to facilitate the clinical adoption of contactless sensors for COVID-19 patients;

University of Toronto: $100,000 to develop latex agglutination tests for rapid, instrument-free COVID-19 diagnostics in saliva; and

University of Toronto: $100,000 to develop reagent combinations for the visual detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Funding Awarded Via ISC Testing Stream and Challenges

In collaboration with the NRC, the ISC Testing Stream supports Canadian businesses in helping bring their innovative products and/or services to market. The program involves buying pre-commercial products/services, testing them in real-world situations, and then providing the companies with vital feedback to improve on the development of their project.

These three new projects were recently awarded funding under the ISC Testing Stream:

CryptoMill Cybersecurity Solutions: Dubbed the Circles of Trust project, this project aims to create a security solution to protect government, health care, defense, and commercially sensitive information by restricting access on a need-to-know basis.

Cubresa Inc: to develop the world’s first portable positron emission tomography (PET) scanner, specially designed for use with highly infectious pathogens; and

Zighra: Called the Crownshield project, Zighra will develop an AI-powered continuous authentication and threat detection solution to be available as a mobile software development kit for iOS and Android devices.

Additionally, ISC has announced the newest Phase 1 projects in response to two of their COVID-19-related challenges that launched earlier this year.

These four eligible applicants are receiving Phase 1 funding in response to the ISC Intelligent digital clearing house challenge:

Bulky Inc: for a rapid response platform that will deliver a digital solution to enable Canadian industry and global communities of researchers, health providers, and funders to exchange, share, and procure expertise and materials in response to COVID-19;

11983393 Canada Inc: for Project Oasis, a platform that enables government subject matter experts to efficiently share key knowledge;

Cole Webber Productions Inc: for Betterfit Healthcare Club, a platform that matches resources and capacities with need by compiling information on available sessions, facilities, and resources; and

Optima Analytics Inc: for its intelligent clearing house, a scalable web application accessible from anywhere using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

This following project is receiving Phase 1 funding in response to the ISC Magnetic reagents for detection of COVID-19 and other RNA-molecular diagnostic kits challenge:

Galenvs Sciences Inc: for a proposed strategy for adapting magnetic-based reagents for efficient RNA extraction.

If accepted into Phase 2, these Canadian companies could receive up to $1 million to develop working prototypes of their projects which have the potential to become widespread solutions.

Government Funding for Research and Innovation

To support Canadian projects that drive innovation, there are a variety of research and development funding programs that assist eligible businesses with grants and/or loans to meet their goals and objectives. Currently open for intakes, there are new COVID-19 challenges from Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) looking for project ideas to develop and commercialize in-demand next-generation technology.

Since the Government of Canada’s responsive actions and funding programs continue to evolve each day, make sure to stay up to date with all news and updates and sign up for our Weekly Funding Newsletter or browse our extensive COVID-19 Support Page.

COVID-19 Government Support for Canadian Businesses

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Alena Barreca has worked in a variety of media communications roles in numerous industries. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Alena enjoys utilizing her creative and analytical mind to help strengthen ongoing marketing strategies.

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