software development technologyDoes your business have a software development idea that it wants to advance while conserving equity?  Finding information is difficult as data is scattered across a multitude of different government and non-profit sites.  What is more, there is no one grant that is the best for everyone, as they are each suited for different types of ventures, businesses, and projects.  Fortunately, through our work with hundreds of clients, we have come to learn which Canadian government funding programs are the best for software development ventures, and we also provide support services to help navigate you through the process.  Mentor Works has summarized the best small business grants and funding support for software development below.

1. R&D Projects: IRAP Canadian Small Business Grants

IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP)

The federal government of Canada provides Canadian government funding support to Canadian SME’s to help commercialized their innovative products and technologies.  The IRAP ARP Funding program provides funding for technical problem solving through grant funding for business research and development.

Through this government funding for small business hiring program businesses are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in non-repayable small business grants.   IRAP ARP is applicable to 80% of direct labor and 50% of contractor fees necessary to carry out development and commercialization of new products or technology.  Some of the project activities that are eligible under this Canadian government grant program include:

  • Competitive market and product research
  • Technical and market consulting
  • Productivity Improvements
  • IP management and licencing
  • Global marketing strategies
  • Software implementation
  • Production planning and design

 IRAP Mid-sized Projects

IRAP Mid-sized Projects is another government funding for business program from the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) family of small business funding grants that supports businesses that are working to solve an innovation challenge through technology and research.   IRAP Mid-sized projects are those which are $50K and greater in size.  In order to be eligible for this Canadian government funding program the applicant firm must have at least one person on payroll.
Some of the project types that are eligible to receive funding under this stream include:

  • Creation of Original Software
  • Development of New Products, Including Manufacturing Process Analysis and Product Testing
  • R&D, Prototyping, Feasibility Studies, and Commercialization of New Technologies and Products

2. Research and Development Funding for Post-Secondary Collaboration

There are a number of valuable Canadian government funding opportunities to engage in post-secondary collaboration projects, in order to be able to take advantage of them a business needs to keep an inside track on what is out there.

University of Waterloo Engineering Design Project

Small business grants post-secondary collaboration programs like these are becoming increasingly popular among the business community and provide excellent opportunities for companies that are looking for solutions to their technological problems.   This funding for small business program entails teams of 3-4 students for a total effort of approximately 1000 hours over the course of the 12-month project is applied to a local business collaboration software development project.

During the second 4-month term, organizations will have the opportunity to hire a student(s) from the project team as a co-op placement; otherwise the term will break from work on the project.  Each project is supervised by a faculty member in the Department of Management Sciences.

The University of Waterloo’s Engineering Faculty is currently calling for proposals to be a part of Management Sciences and Engineering Design Projects with senior undergraduates enrolled expecting to graduate in 2014.  Contact a Canadian government funding expert for more information on how your company can become involved.

NSERC Applied Research and Commercialization

This grant funding for business initiative is expected to relaunch shortly for 2013 and provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) and post-secondary institutions the opportunity to collaborate and in doing so address the gap between research and commercialization.  For this collaboration effort, the university involved in the program will receive up to $100K while SME’s will be expected to contribute a minimum of 33% of the project costs.  Government funding for small business grants support activities such as proof of concept, demonstration and piloting, problem solving, certification, product test, technology development, engineering design, and product and process applied research.   This Canadian government funding program is currently closed; keep an eye on the post-secondary collaboration programs section of our blog for updates on releases of funds for this program and more like it.

Stay in Touch with Mentor Works for Additional Insight & Support

To receive additional advice or support regarding Ontario small business grants applications, contact a Canadian Government Funding Expert or sign up for a  Funding for Small Business Workshop. For regular updates regarding Canadian Small Business Grants, follow us on Twitter.

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Written by

Ryan has a BA in economics, an MSc in management, and several published works including two books. As Marketing Analyst at Mentor Works, Ryan enjoys communicating with business owners & executives about government grants and funding available to help overcome obstacles to growth.

Comments 4

5 April 2018 Reply

Can anyone apply for Funding?

6 April 2018 Reply

Hi Delkn,

Most Canadian government funding programs, including those for software developers, require businesses to be incorporated and financially stable for a minimum two years. This shows government reviewers that taxpayer money is being awarded fairly and competitively.

15 June 2019 Reply

is there any Grant’s or funding for app development in Ontario Canada ?

17 June 2019 Reply

Hi Michael, great question, thanks for asking us on this old blog – it should be updated soon! Ontario Creates is a provincial funding agency that offers government funding programs to support interactive digital media (software and game) development. Check out their Interactive Digital Media Fund for up to $50,000 to $250,000 in funding. Don’t forget to send us a message if you want to chat about your project and identify ways to optimize the application and reporting processes!

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