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Canada-Germany 3+2 collaborative call for proposals on battery material discovery and processing

1. Introduction

Working together, the governments of Canada and Germany aim to foster and support collaborative industrial research and development (R&D) projects with a high potential for commercialization. This call for proposals is open to organizations from Canada and Germany who wish to form project consortia to perform collaborative projects focused on developing innovative battery materials and battery material production processes.

2. Application deadlines

Canadian registration deadline: June 24, 2024

Canadian expression of interest deadline: July 5, 2024

International consortium project proposal deadline: October 16, 2024

3. Sectors of focus

Projects must focus on innovative technologies that enable development and commercialization that address the electric vehicle (EV) lithium-ion battery materials mid-stream supply chain in Canada and Germany.

Projects must focus on one or more of the following themes:

Next-generation battery materials

Battery materials processing and recycling

Note: Projects on supercapacitors or fuel cells will not be funded.

4. Eligibility requirements

To be considered for funding, applicants must form a project consortium and develop a collaborative R&D project that meets the following criteria:

4.1 Consortium

4.2 Project

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, each applicant must meet their country-specific requirements.

4.3 Canadian eligibility requirements

Canadian applicants must also meet the following criteria.

Canadian SMEs

The Canadian SME applicant must:

Preference may be given to SME applicants who:

Canadian research institutions

NRC researchers

4.4 German eligibility requirements

Please consult the DLR Project Management Agency call for proposals announcement (in German only) for German eligibility requirements.

5. Funding

Eligible project participants in collaborative projects selected through this call for proposals may receive funding from their respective national funding bodies. Funds will be provided in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, rules and procedures established by the relevant national funding bodies, country and jurisdiction.

Note: One country or project partner cannot represent more than 70% of the total project budget and the project duration must be between 24 and 36 months.

Additional country-specific funding parameters are outlined below:

5.1 Canadian funding

In Canada, this call for proposals is offered through the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) and through the NRC National Program Office (NRC NPO). NRC IRAP is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and for the management of any resulting SME funding agreements. The NRC NPO is responsible for the management of any resulting funding agreements with research institutions.

Canadian SMEs

Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of $600,000 CAD.

Note: Canadian SME applicants must be eligible for funding as NRC IRAP clients before they can be considered for funding through this call for proposals. For more information on NRC IRAP eligibility and becoming an NRC IRAP client, please call NRC IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.

Note: Canadian SME applicants may apply to more than one NRC IRAP call for proposals simultaneously. However, NRC IRAP may limit the number of funded projects per applicant. Canadian SME applicants who are applying to more than one opportunity or who have ongoing NRC IRAP projects should speak to their NRC IRAP representative for more information.

Canadian research institutions

Eligible Canadian research institutions may receive funding of up to 100% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $100,000 CAD per year per consortium. This maximum funding is irrespective of how many Canadian research institution participants are in a consortium. Indirect (i.e. overhead) costs may represent up to 10% of total eligible project costs.

Eligible direct costs include salaries (excluding academic principal investigator salaries), research support costs (including student stipends, research materials and minor equipment purchases up to $10,000), travel and accommodation costs, and professional services (amounts invoiced by a contractor for services rendered directly to the project).

NRC researchers

NRC researchers may request up to $50,000 CAD per year to cover incremental operating costs. Eligible operational costs include research-related expenses, such as student research staff salaries or stipends (e.g., students or post-doctoral fellows), consumables, minor capital acquisitions, workshops, consortium in-person meeting coordination expenses and travel.

NRC research centres will be expected to provide in-kind contributions that match or exceed the amount of funding received through this call for proposals, i.e. if $50,000 CAD per year funding is awarded for the project, the research centre must provide at least $50,000 CAD per year worth of in-kind contribution for a total minimum project contribution value of $100,000 CAD per year.

Note: Please contact the NRC Innovation Investment Advisor by email at to determine if the proposed project is in alignment with the NRC's Critical Battery Materials Initiative (CBMI).

5.2 German funding

In Germany, this call for proposals is administered by DLR Project Management Agency (DLR) and offered through the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). DLR is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and the management of any resulting funding agreements.

Please consult the DLR Project Management Agency call for proposals announcement (in German only) for German funding parameters.

6. Application process

Application processes and evaluations will be performed independently by national funding bodies in accordance with their national and institutional laws and regulations. Once the national funding bodies have evaluated the submitted applications, a final joint project selection will be performed.

Each country lead participant must submit all required consortium application documents on behalf of the consortium, to the appropriate national funding body (NRC IRAP for Canada and BMBF for Germany) and meet its due diligence process requirements.

Not meeting these requirements may cause the collaborative project application to be considered incomplete or ineligible and render the entire project consortium ineligible for funding through this call for proposals.

6.1 Canadian application process

The Canadian application process has 4 phases:

  1. Registration
  2. Expression of interest (EOI)
  3. International Consortium Project Proposal (ICPP)
  4. National Funding Body Proposal and Funding Agreement

Step 1: Registration phase

The lead Canadian applicant must register electronically by using the register button at the end of this page and complete the online registration form which requests basic information about the Canadian applicants and their organizations.

NRC IRAP will review registrations for this call for proposals and contact applicants if more information is required. Qualifying applicants will proceed to the next phase and be invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) form.

Step 2: Expression of interest phase

During this phase, the lead Canadian applicant seeking funding must submit an EOI form outlining basic information on the applicants and the collaborative project.

While completing the EOI form, each Canadian SME applicant is encouraged to contact their NRC IRAP representative to discuss their project idea and to receive guidance on preparing their submission.

Canadian research institutions must have their project idea approved by the NRC's Critical Battery Materials Initiative (CBMI) manager prior to application submission. Canadian research institutions are encouraged to contact the NRC Innovation Investment Advisor by email at to discuss their project idea and to receive guidance on preparing their submission.

It is recommended that applicants submit the EOI as early as possible. EOIs will be evaluated by an NRC evaluation team. Qualifying applicants will be invited to submit the more detailed international consortium project proposal (ICPP) in collaboration with their project partners. The lead Canadian applicant will be provided all templates needed to submit an ICPP.

Step 3: International Consortium Project Proposal phase

During the ICPP phase, all project partners work together to complete and submit an application package to each lead national call administrator. The contents of the ICPP package are unique to each national call administrator.

In this call for proposals, the Canadian ICPP application package consists of:

Canadian ICPP applications will be evaluated by an NRC evaluation team including the applicant's NRC IRAP representative, the NRC National Program Office and the NRC IRAP International Office. Next, the amalgamated evaluation results will be shared between national funding bodies to jointly select the collaborative projects that will be invited to proceed to the final national funding body proposal and funding agreement stage.

Step 4: National funding body proposal, due diligence and funding agreement phase

During the national funding body proposal, due diligence and funding agreement phase, all eligible project partners work independently to complete funding proposals, respond to due diligence questions, and sign legally binding funding agreements with their respective national funding body.

Additionally, during this phase, an international collaborative research agreement containing descriptions of the consortium member roles and responsibilities, the project management framework, the division of intellectual property rights, any confidentiality and publication agreements, and any liability clauses will be prepared. This agreement must be signed by all consortium partners and submitted before funding is approved.

Canadian SME applicants will work with their NRC IRAP representative to prepare an NRC IRAP funding proposal and contribution agreement. Canadian research institutions will work with the NRC NPO to prepare a funding proposal, respond to due diligence inquiries and enter into a funding agreement.

6.2 German application process

Please consult the DLR Project Management Agency call for proposals announcement (in German only) for full official instructions related to the German application process and requirements.

7. Contacts

For questions or for more information, please contact the appropriate call for proposals representative:

7.1 Canadian contacts

Small and medium-sized enterprises

Andrew Bauder
NRC IRAP Germany National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

NRC researchers

Mireille Goulet
Innovation Investment Advisor, National Program Office
National Research Council of Canada

Research institutions

Lawrence Charlebois
Initiative Manager, Critical Battery Materials
National Research Council of Canada

7.2 German contact

Barbara Hellebrandt
Senior Scientific Officer
DLR Project Management Agency

8. Registration

Canadian SME participants are registered IRAP clients. If not already an IRAP client, Canadian SMEs must call 1-877-994-4727 to determine if they might be eligible for support through NRC IRAP.

To begin the application process, the lead Canadian applicant must register for this opportunity by clicking the register button.

If there is no register button visible above this line, it means the call for proposals has closed. Please email the contact person listed for your country or email the NRC IRAP International Office at for more information.

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From: National Research Council Canada

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