Canada-Germany 2021-22 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals (NRC IRAP-ZIM Call 9)
From: National Research Council Canada
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1. Call description
Working together, the Government of Canada and the Government of Germany aim to foster and support collaborative industrial research and development (R&D) projects with high potential for commercialization. This call for proposals is open to companies from Canada and Germany who wish to perform joint R&D leading to technology commercialization focussed on developing innovative products, processes or technology-based services in all technological and application areas which have strong market potential.
The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) will provide access to public funding for joint projects through the BMWi's ZIM program (Central Innovation Program for SMEs) in Germany, and through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) in Canada.
NRC IRAP and AiF Projekt GmbH (the project management agency for BMWi) will provide all necessary assistance to project partners during the project proposal, evaluation and monitoring phases.
2. Application deadlines
|September 10, 2021||Canadian registration deadline|
|September 24, 2021||Canadian expression of interest deadline|
|September 24, 2021||German optional project sketch deadline|
|December 15, 2021||International consortium project proposal deadline|
3. Sectors of focus
This call for proposals is open to projects in all sectors that are civilian in nature.
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:
- 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, and
- 1 eligible German R&D-performing SME, defined as a for-profit company with less than 1,000 employees
- 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, and
- not be related in terms of corporate ownership
- The 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, and
- does not involve R&D related to products, processes or technology-based services with military or non-peaceful applications
- The project must demonstrate:
- the unique scientific and technological contribution that 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 solutions for commercial needs, and
- an adequate balance and significance for all project partners, defined as no more than 70% of the project work effort may be contributed by any one organization in a 2-partner project, and no more than 50% of the project work effort may be contributed by 1 organization in any project with more than 2 partners
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:
- The Canadian SME must have a technology that is:
- competitive in global markets, differentiated and protectable, such as a unique or novel patentable technology that may alter the industry or market
- The Canadian SME must be committed to:
- pursuing growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, processes or technologyl-based services, and
- aggressive growth through global market expansion
- The Canadian SME must be ready, and have the resources to:
- make a serious new market entry push, generally measured by having more than 15 full-time equivalent employees and $500,000 CAD in annual revenue, and
- complete a collaborative project with international partners
- The Canadian SME must have a technology that is:
4.2 German eligibility requirements
- Please consult the German call for proposals announcement (only available in German) for German eligibility requirements.
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.
Non-eligible project participants (e.g. universities, research institutes, etc., and other companies) are welcome to participate on a self-funded basis or as sub-contractors to funded participants, according to each country's funding regulations.
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 Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and for managing 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 $500,000 CAD over 12 to 24 months (an extension of 12 months may be considered if sufficiently justified and accepted by both countries).
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 a client, please contact 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.
5.2 German funding
In Germany, this call for proposals is administered by AiF Projekt GmbH and offered through Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand (ZIM). AiF Projekt GmbH is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and the management of any resulting funding agreements.
Please consult the ZIM website call announcement (in German only) for 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 respective application processes follows below:
6.1 Canadian application process
The Canadian application process has 4 phases:
- Expression of interest
- International consortium project proposal
- National funding body proposal and funding agreement
Step 1: Registration phase
Each Canadian applicant must register using the Register button at the end of this page. Basic information about the applicant and the organization will be required upon registration.
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, each Canadian applicant seeking funding must submit an expression of interest (EOI) form outlining basic information on the applicant and the collaborative project.
While completing the EOI form, each Canadian applicant is encouraged to contact their NRC IRAP representative to discuss their project idea and receive guidance on preparing their submission.
It is recommended that applicants submit the EOI as early as possible. EOIs will be evaluated by the applicant’s NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. 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 the international consortium project proposal (ICPP) phase, all project partners work together to complete and submit an application 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:
- an international consortium project proposal / joint application form outlining the:
- project consortium
- collaborative project
- expected outcomes
- funding request
- a draft international consortium agreement describing:
- roles and responsibilities of each consortium member
- project management framework
- financial plan
- division of intellectual property rights
- confidentiality and publication agreements
- liability clauses
- an NRC IRAP Canadian Annex form containing additional information required for the NRC IRAP assessment of the project including:
- information about the Canadian SME
- information about make up of the project consortium
- information related to the structure of the project
Canadian ICPP applications will be evaluated by an NRC IRAP evaluation team including the applicant’s NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. 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 German application process
The German application process has 2 phases: the optional German Project Sketch phase and the project proposal phase. Each German project partner must file an individual ZIM application to AiF Projekt GmbH. Please consult the German call for proposals announcement (available in German only) for full official instructions related to the German application process and requirements.
For questions, concerns, or for more information, please contact the appropriate call for proposals representative listed below:
NRC IRAP Germany National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program
Director International Cooperation
AiF Projekt GmbH