The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) offers support for businesses partnering with Canadian post-secondary researchers to address complex technical problems or projects. The popular NSERC Engage opportunity offers support up to $25,000 to complete a technical research project at a Canadian university. This funding supports projects up to six months in length. However, many businesses and researchers are finding that the project scope increases, more data is required, or more testing is required but cannot be completed in the six month time frame. As a result, NSERC has introduced the Engage Plus extension program.
Engage Plus: Overview
This Canadian government funding program offers support of up to $12,500 with a 50% cash contribution required from the business to continue research on an Engage project. The business must be already completing or recently completed an Engage project with a Canadian researcher and have an identified need for continuing work on the project.
This new fund offers businesses an opportunity to continue working with a research partner and to work on more complex projects. Engage Plus funding will support an Engage project for an additional six months. This allows for more testing, more data collection, and more analysis.
Engage Plus can also be leveraged to help bridge the gap between an NSERC Engage and a CRD project.
Engage and Engage Plus Frequently Asked Questions:
How early on do you have to apply for Engage Plus?
You can apply as early as 1 month prior to the Engage project ending or as late as six months after completing the Engage project.
Can you choose a different professor or add another professor to Engage Plus or is it the exact same team?
You must work with the same primary researcher and their research team for the duration of the Engage Plus. As the program is targeted at continuing research from an Engage project businesses will have to continue working with the same team.
Does the industry still own the IP at the end of the NSERC Engage Plus project like in the normal NSERC Engage?
Yes! One of the main benefits for businesses of the Engage and Engage plus programs is that businesses own the resultant intellectual property.
Does the business receive any direct funding?
No, much like the NSERC Engage program, the business contributes 50% cash to the research team and NSERC provides the other 50%
Do I need to identify a researcher prior to applying?
Yes, as part of the application process you must identify a research partner. If you are unware of how to find a research partner, Mentor Works can help find an appropriate partner for you
Other Research Grants & Business Funding Available
Businesses can leverage a variety of research funding to solve technical issues including the National Research Council’s IRAP program and NSERC’s post-secondary partnership programs. Businesses who are interested in increasing their in-house R&D capacity can leverage wage subsidies, and training programs to support skills development.
If you are interested in learning more about various research funding options contact us directly to discuss your business plans with one of our government funding experts. For regular funding updates subscribe to our free weekly business grants and loans e-newsletter. You can also keep up with me directly on Twitter and LinkedIn.