Government Funding

Natural Products Canada’s Proof of Concept Program

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is a commercialization-focused Canadian organization that works with a broad range of partners throughout the country. NPC’s goal is to assist in the transition of innovative and natural products and systems from inception to market. With growing demand for natural and sustainable market solutions, NPC’s Innovation Cluster provides support through initiatives such as the Proof of Concept Program.

“NPC defines natural products or technologies as biologically-based innovations that benefit people, animals and the planet, and can be applied to a range of industries, including: food production and value-added agriculture; bioproducts and sustainability; human nutrition, health and wellness; animal health and nutrition; and water and waste management.”

-Natural Products Canada

Funding Amount

Successful applicants for the Proof of Concept program will be responsible for signing a contract that outlines the project details and agreed upon milestones for reporting. The allotted funding contributions from NPC will be non-dilutive, non-repayable funds. Successful applicants may receive:

  • Up to 40% of project costs to a maximum of $250,000 for an 18-month project period with a required contribution of 60% from the applicant; and
  • Canadian government stacking policies apply which limit total combined support from all government sources to a maximum of 75% of eligible costs for SMEs and 100% for academic research bodies.

To get a full scope understanding of the Proof of Concept Program, check out this comprehensive Proof of Concept pillar page.

Eligible Applicants

Successful applicants for the NPC’s Proof of Concept program are required to be a Canadian startup company, small or mid-sized enterprise (SME), or academic research institute. Also, applicants may be eligible if they meet the following additional criteria:

  • The applicant has an innovative natural product or technology;
  • Startups and SMEs must have the potential to achieve $10M to $15M in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector;
  • Products or technologies being developed within academic research institutes must address an industry/sector challenge that has significant market potential;
  • Member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.

To learn more about eligibility requirements for this initiative, please refer to the Proof of Concept program page.

Eligible Projects

Projects for the NPC’s Proof of Concept Program will vary and offer a broad range of natural product ideas and concepts. However, only projects that meet the following criteria may be eligible for funding:

  • Applicant has a novel pre-commercial (TRL 4-9) natural product or technology.
  • Projects must be related to the development of innovative natural products and technologies as biologically-based innovations that benefit people, animals and the planet, and can be applied to a range of industries, including:
    • Food production and value-added agriculture;
    • Bioproducts and sustainability;
    • Human nutrition,
    • Health and wellness;
    • Animal health and nutrition; and
    • Water and waste management.
  • The program does not support basic research or preliminary product/technology development. It is intended to demonstrate commercial potential via preliminary animal, field, demonstration or human trials.

It is important to note that just because an applicant may meet the following criteria, that does not guarantee funding from this program. However, there are a variety of other funding programs that provide support for the research and development process.

Program Timeline/Deadline

As of the publish date of this blog, the Natural Products Canada Proof of Concept Program has an open intake with no mention of a formal deadline. However, the initiative has stated that a successful applicant’s project period may not exceed 18 months in time.

Exploring Government Funding Opportunities

Although the Natural Products Canada Proof of Concept Program promises opportunities for Canadian businesses in the market, there are many more funding programs available to choose from. If your organization is looking for more information on the world of government funding, check out this collection of useful free resources.

Visit our news page for daily updates and success stories. Moreover, if your business is ready for the application stage, contact a Mentor Works representative to get started today.

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