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Canada-India 2020 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals

From: National Research Council Canada

Important notice

The Government of Canada is taking strong and quick action to protect our economy, and the health and safety of all Canadians during this global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

In view of the difficulties Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are facing during this uncertain time, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP)'s International team is committed to continuing to provide international business advisory services and funding support to innovative Canadian SMES through its regular processes.

Given the rapidly evolving global situation, however, NRC IRAP International will continue coordinating closely with its national and international partners, and other government departments, and reserves the right to modify, postpone or cancel planned or anticipated international activities where required.

Should your project proposal be related to the global pandemic, please visit our webpage on the NRC COVID-19 programs to see how you can join the collective effort to help find solutions to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we all do our best to navigate these unprecedented challenges together.

Please direct any questions and concerns to

1. Introduction

The governments of Canada and India are working together 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 India who wish to form project consortia to work on collaborative projects focused on developing innovative products, processes, or technology-based services in the smart infrastructure, clean technologies, food and agriculture, and healthcare sectors.

2. Application deadlines

May 6, 2020 Canadian registration deadline
May 13, 2020 Canadian expression of interest deadline
September 16, 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 following criteria:

  1. The project consortium must include at least:
    • 1 incorporated Canadian small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), defined as a for-profit company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
    • 1 eligible Indian commercial (for profit) company under the Indian Companies Act 1956/2013, which operates and is headquartered in India and is at least 51% owned by Indian citizens
  2. The project partners that form the consortium must:
    • be capable of implementing the project, including funding their respective share
    • agree in advance on intellectual property rights and a commercialization strategy.
  3. The collaborative project must focus on co-developing a product, process, or technology-based service that:
    • is highly innovative
    • has significant commercial potential
    • has outcomes that can be realized within 3 years of completion of the project
    • does not involve R&D related to products, processes, or technological-based services with military or non-peaceful applications
  4. The collaborative project must demonstrate:
    • the unique scientific and technological contribution each organization brings to the project
    • an obvious advantage and added value for each project partner resulting from the collaboration, such as an increased knowledge base, an access to R&D infrastructure or new fields of application, or a solution for commercial needs
    • an adequate balance and significance for all project partners, with no more than 75% of the project budget contributed by any one organization or country

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

4.1 Canadian eligibility requirements

Canadian applicant(s) must also meet the following criteria.

  1. The Canadian SME must have a technology that is:
    • world-class, differentiated, and protectable, such as a unique or novel patentable technology that may alter the industry or market.
      Note: preference will be given to existing commercialized technologies in Canada.
  2. The Canadian SME must be committed to:
    • pursuing growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, processes, or technological-based services; and
    • aggressive growth through global market expansion
  3. The Canadian SME must be ready, and have the resources to:
    • make a serious new market entry push, generally measured by having more than 20 full time equivalent employees and $2 million CAD in annual revenue; and
    • complete a collaborative project with international project partners

4.2 Indian eligibility requirements

Please consult India's call for proposals announcement for Indian eligibility requirements.

5. Funding

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

Note: One country and/or project partner cannot represent more than 75% of the total project budget.

Additional country-specific funding parameters are outlined below:

5.1 Canadian funding

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

Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of $600,000 CAD over 12 to 24 months.

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 contact NRC IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.

5.2 Indian funding

In India, this bilateral call for proposals is offered by the Department of Science and Technology in partnership with the Global Innovation & Technology Alliance (GITA). GITA is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and the management of any resulting funding agreements.

Eligible Indian companies may receive up to INR 1.5 crore per project or 50% of the Indian project cost— whichever is lower— over 12 to 24 months as a conditional grant. Other Indian project partners may also receive funding. Please consult the GITA call for proposals announcement for more details about funding parameters.

6. Application process

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

Each applicant must submit all required documents to their respective national funding body 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.

Information on each country's application processes follows below:

6.1 Canadian application process

The Canadian application process has 4 phases:

  1. Registration
  2. Expression of interest
  3. International consortium project proposal
  4. National funding body proposal and funding agreement

Step 1: Registration phase

Each Canadian applicant must register electronically by using the Register button at the bottom of this page and completing the online registration form which requests basic information about the applicant and their organization.

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 form.

Step 2: Expression of interest phase

During this phase, while completing the expression of interest form, each Canadian applicant is encouraged to contact their NRC IRAP representative to discuss their project idea and receive guidance on preparing their submission.

The applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office will review applications. Qualifying applicants will be invited to submit the more detailed International Consortium Project Proposal in collaboration with their project partners

Step 3: International Consortium Project Proposal phase

During this phase, all project partners must work together to complete and submit an International Consortium Project Proposal (ICPP) package to each implicated national funding body. The contents of the ICPP package are unique to each national funding body.

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

  1. an ICPP form outlining the:
    • project consortium
    • collaborative project
    • expected outcomes
    • funding request
  2. a draft international consortium agreement containing descriptions of the:
    • project management framework
    • financial plan
    • division of intellectual property rights
    • confidentiality and publication agreements, and liability clauses

NRC IRAP will evaluate Canadian ICPP applications. Next, the amalgamated evaluation results will be shared between all implicated 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 and funding agreement phase

During the national funding body proposal and funding agreement phase, all eligible project partners work independently to complete funding proposals and sign legally binding funding agreements with their respective national funding body. Canadian applicants will work with their NRC IRAP representative to prepare an NRC IRAP funding proposal and contribution agreement.

6.2 Indian application process

For information related to application stages, requirements, instructions, ICPP application packages, and national funding body proposals and funding agreements, please consult the GITA call for proposals announcement.

7. Contacts

Please direct questions or requests for more information to the appropriate call for proposals representative listed below:

7.1 Canadian contact

Luc Tran
CIIP India National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program

7.2 Indian contact

Shubham Chopra
External Relations Manager
Global Innovation & Technology Alliance

8. Registration

To begin the application process, all interested Canadian applicants must register for this opportunity by clicking the Register button below: