Canada-China collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals 2019-20

From: National Research Council Canada

1. Introduction

Working together, the governments of Canada and China 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 China who wish to perform joint R&D projects focused on developing innovative products, processes or technology-based services in agri-food, health/bio-sciences, and clean technology application areas, with strong market potential.

2. Application deadlines

November 29, 2019 Canadian registration deadline
December 13, 2019 Canadian Expression of Interest deadline
April 17, 2020 International Consortium Project Proposal deadline

3. Sectors of focus

4. Eligibility requirements

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

  1. The project consortium must include:
    • at least one incorporated Canadian small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) (in Canada, an SME is defined as a for-profit company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees)
    • at least one eligible Chinese project participant
  2. The collaborative project must:
    • focus on co-developing a highly innovative product, process or technology-based service with significant commercial potential
    • have outcomes that can be realized within 3 years of completion of the project
    • demonstrate the unique scientific and technological contribution that each organization brings to the project
    • demonstrate that there is an obvious advantage and added value for each project partner resulting from the collaboration, such as an increased knowledge base, access to R&D infrastructure or new fields of application, or solutions for commercial needs
    • demonstrate an adequate balance and significance of all project partners, with no more than 75% of the project budget contributed by any one organization or country
    • not involve R&D of products, processes or technological-based services with military or non-peaceful applications
  3. The project partners must:
    • be capable of implementing the project and funding their respective share
    • agree in advance on intellectual property rights and a commercialization strategy

In addition to the above eligibility requirements, each applicant organization must meet their country-specific eligibility requirements as outlined below to be eligible for funding:

4.1 Canadian eligibility requirements

The Canadian SME applicant(s) must:

4.2 Chinese eligibility requirements

Please consult the Ministry of Science and Technology call for proposals announcement for Chinese eligibility requirements (available in Simplified Chinese only).

5. Funding

Although the type and value of individual contributions allocated to an R&D project may vary, one country and/or organization cannot represent more than 75% of the total project budget.

Selected R&D projects will be eligible to receive funding from their respective National Funding Body. Funds will be provided in accordance with the national laws, rules, regulations, and procedures established by each National Funding Body, and/or each jurisdiction and/or country and/or program.

5.1 Canadian funding

In Canada, this bilateral call for proposals is offered through the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP). The CIIP is an international innovation R&D funding program offered by Global Affairs Canada and delivered in collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and managing any resulting funding agreements.

Canadian SME applicants must be registered as NRC IRAP clients to be considered for funding through this call for proposals. If your organization is not already an NRC IRAP client, please contact 1-877-994-4727.

Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs to a maximum of $600,000 over 12 to 36 months.

5.2 Chinese funding

In China, this bilateral call for proposals is offered by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People's Republic of China (MOST). The MOST is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and managing any resulting funding agreements.

The R&D budget provided by the MOST is 5.5 million RMB, supporting no more than 6 projects. Maximum financial support is one million RMB per company.

Please consult the MOST call for proposals announcement for details about MOST funding (available in Simplified Chinese only).

6. Application process

IMPORTANT: All project participants must submit all required proposal application documents to their respective National Funding Body. Failure by any participant to submit all required documents to their National Funding Body will render the project consortium ineligible for funding.

Each National Funding Body will carry out independent evaluations of each application in accordance with their national and institutional laws and regulations. A proposal will be considered selected under this Call for Proposals process if all implicated National Funding Bodies jointly decide to approve and fund the project. If at any time and for any reason one of the project partners fails their National Funding Body's due diligence process, the project as a whole will be halted.

6.1 Canadian application process

The Canadian application process has 4 steps:

  1. Registration
  2. Expression of Interest
  3. International Consortium Project Proposal
  4. National Funding Body Proposal/Funding Agreement

Step 1: Registration

Registration is a basic screening of the applicant designed to ensure only applicants who may be eligible for funding are provided application forms. Canadian applicants must register by clicking the REGISTER button at the bottom of the page and entering basic information about their organization. This information will be reviewed by an NRC IRAP representative who will either contact the organization for further information or will provide the applicant an Expression of Interest form.

Step 2: Expression of Interest

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is a simplified screening of the project and applicant to examine whether or not the project, consortium, and applicant appear to meet the eligibility requirements for the call for proposals. During this phase, applicants are encouraged to discuss their project idea with their NRC IRAP representative and to work with them to prepare and submit their EOI form. The applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office will review submitted EOIs against the evaluation criteria. Those that meet the evaluation criteria will be invited to the International Consortium Project Proposal stage.

Step 3: International Consortium Project Proposal

The International Consortium Project Proposal (ICPP) is a full project application jointly completed by all project partners. During this phase the consortium must complete and submit an application package to all implicated National Funding Bodies. The Canadian submission must contain:

  1. an International Consortium Project Proposal form outlining the project idea, consortium, funding request, and expected outcomes, and
  2. a draft International Consortium Agreement containing a description of the roles and responsibilities of each consortium member, a project management framework, a financial plan, the division intellectual property rights, confidentiality and publication agreements, and liability clauses

Results from the ICPP evaluation will be shared between all implicated National Funding Bodies to jointly select projects for funding. Projects that are selected for funding are considered conditionally selected until each of the participants has successfully completed their National Funding Body Proposal and Funding Agreement.

Step 4: National Funding Body Proposal/Funding Agreement

Eligible participants in conditionally selected projects are required to complete National Funding Body Proposals and Funding Agreements.

Canadian SME applicants whose projects are conditionally selected will be notified and asked to work with their NRC IRAP representative to prepare an NRC IRAP Funding Proposal and Contribution Agreement. The result of this step is a legal agreement that will be used to enable reimbursement of the costs incurred by the Canadian SME to work on the international consortium project.

6.2 Chinese application process

Please consult the MOST call for proposals announcement to gain access to all required application instructions and forms (available in Simplified Chinese only).

7. Contacts


Wei Ning, NRC IRAP CIIP China National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program


Guojing Liu, Program Officer
Ministry of Science and Technology

8. Registration

All interested Canadian applicants must register for this opportunity by clicking the REGISTER button below.

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