NSERC Alliance Grants

Receive up to $1M/year in Government Funding.

Administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), NSERC Alliance is a Canadian government funding program designed to support collaborative research projects performed at universities by contributing federal funds and matching industry and academic partners. Projects generally span 1-5 years in duration and multiply the efforts of a business and university to generate novel, breakthrough innovations that deliver a positive economic impact once complete.

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NSERC Alliance Grants

Amount of Funding

Option 1 – Up to 66% (SMEs) or up to 50% (large businesses) to a maximum $1 million/project/year. 

Option 2 – Up to 90% – 100% of eligible project costs to a maximum of $100,000/year.

Alliance Missions Grants – Up to 100% of eligible project expenses up to a maximum of $500,000/year for up to two years.

Amount of Funding from the Canadian Government

NSERC Alliance Grants

Eligible Applicants

NSERC Alliance Eligibility for Research Partners

To participate in NSERC Alliance-funded research projects, industry collaborators must:

  • Operate independently from a Canadian base and produce goods or services, or perform research and development activities;
  • Be in operation for at least two years or be poised for exceptional growth;
  • Have at least two full-time employees;
  • Have participating staff with relevant expertise to collaborate effectively in the project;
  • Generate revenue from sales or secure significant private sector investment; and
  • Have a plan and capacity for exploiting the research results within Canada.

Eligible University Partners

Canadian universities provide the knowledge and facilities to support innovative research projects. To meet the program’s eligibility requirements, Canadian universities must:

  • Demonstrate the expertise and necessary resources to support the project;
  • Meet expectations defined by the industry partner; and
  • Not partner with a business that they have collaborated with in the past.
Eligible Applicants for Canadian Government Funding

NSERC Alliance Grants

Eligible Activities

NSERC Alliance Eligibility for Research Projects

Research Supported by Alliance Grants must:

  • Generate new knowledge and/or technology to address complex challenges;
  • Create economic, social and/or environmental benefits;
  • Contribute to Canada’s long-term competitiveness;
  • Support public policy;
  • Train new researched in areas that are important to Canada and to the partner organizations; and
  • Draw on diverse perspectives and skill sets to accelerate the translation and application of research results.

Additionally, projects supported under Option 2 must also:

  • Address a societal challenge that will result in new natural sciences and engineering knowledge and societal impact;
  • Bring together academic, partner organization and societal perspectives and skill sets throughout collaboration; and
  • Demonstrate how all interested individuals will learn about and use the products, services or policies that stem from this research.

Projects Ineligible for NSERC Alliance Research Grants

Some project themes will not be considered for the NSERC Alliance program. These include:

  • Commercialization of a university invention;
  • Routine analysis or use of equipment at the university;
  • Data collection without interpreting underlying mechanisms;
  • Certification, endorsement, validation, or testing the performance of an existing product, process, or material (unless accompanied by significant efforts to investigate the underlying scientific or engineering question);
  • Development of an industry standard (unless the partner is an industry association);
  • Excessive literature review and/or patent searches; and
  • Professional practice or consulting services.
Eligible Expenses for Canadian Government Funding

NSERC Alliance Grants

Program Deadline

  • Applications are continuously accepted and reviewed by NSERC;
  • It may take up to 4-16 weeks to review the application depending on its overall funding request;
  • Smaller projects that request less funding are reviewed more quickly
Program Deadline for Canadian Government Funding
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