How much grant and contribution funding is available for the NRC's collaborators?
A total of $24 million per year in grant and contribution funding is available on an ongoing basis for collaborators of collaborative research and development (R&D) programs.
For the New Beginnings Initiative, a total of $1 million per year in grant funding is available on an ongoing basis.
For the Small Teams Initiative, a total of $2 million per year in grant and contribution funding is available.
The Pandemic Response Challenge Program is funded separately.
Who administers grant and contribution funding for collaborative R&D projects with the NRC?
Grant and contribution funding is provided through the NRC's National Program Office.
How do I apply and how are projects selected?
For New Beginnings and Small Teams (Ideation Fund initiatives):
Collaborators interested in working with NRC researchers on transformative research ideas should engage directly via the NRC's research centres.
Collaborative projects for the New Beginnings Initiative and Small Teams Initiative are selected via annual, competitive, peer review processes.
Collaborators for selected projects are invited to apply for grant and contribution funding by the National Program Office.
For Challenge Programs and Cluster Support programs:
Collaborators interested in working with NRC researchers can engage directly with NRC program teams through scheduled workshops and engagement sessions. Information on how to participate is available on each of the Challenge Program and Cluster Support program web pages.
Once a collaborative project has been identified by an NRC R&D program team and eligibility of the collaborator has been confirmed, NRC collaborators are invited to apply for funding by the National Program Office.
In some cases, calls for capabilities and project proposals to address specific needs are published on the program web pages.
The National Program Office assesses funding applications taking into consideration factors, including:
- how the project will advance the objectives of the collaborative R&D program
- strength of the project team and capacity to achieve expected results
- technical aspects including science plan and budget
- risks and associated mitigations
- anticipated benefits to your organization and to Canada
Who is eligible to receive funding?
Eligible recipients include: academic institutions, non-profit organizations, small and medium-sized enterprises up to 500 employees, provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and agencies, and Indigenous governments and organizations.
Large companies of more than 500 employees are not eligible to receive grant and contribution funding, but may collaborate as part of the NRC's programs and initiatives.
Grant and contribution funding is available for international collaborators where there is a benefit to Canada.
What project activities are eligible for funding?
The following activities are eligible:
- collaborative research and development and prototype development intended to support research, development, adoption and/or adaptation of innovative or technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
- acquisition and commissioning of equipment necessary to conduct collaborative R&D projects; major equipment purchases are eligible for contribution funding support
- projects involving recapitalization and strengthening of research facilities as platforms for collaboration are eligible for contribution funding support
What expenditures are eligible for grant and contribution funding?
The expenditure categories below are eligible for grant and contribution funding :
- gross wages or salaries and non-discretionary benefits that are paid (or to be paid) by the funding recipient are eligible, and from which the recipient withholds payroll deductions on behalf of the proper authorities for activities that can be specifically identified and measured as having been performed in the project
- non-discretionary benefits are defined as expenditures that are mandated by legislation (e.g., Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance), or those that are mandated by the recipient's employment policies and collective agreements (e.g., health and dental insurance, pension plan), but exclude allowances for employee bonuses
- academic principal investigator salaries are not eligible for funding support
Research support costs:
- expenditures incurred to implement the project such as student stipends, research materials, information technology costs, costs to use equipment/facilities or modify existing equipment/facilities, minor equipment purchases up to $10,000 (including testing tools and instruments)
- expenditures incurred to collaborate externally, including but not limited to collaborating on reports, studies, seminars, conferences and workshops
Travel and accommodation:
- expenditures on transportation, accommodation and meals incurred by the recipient in undertaking the project
Professional services fees:
- amounts invoiced to the recipient by a contractor for services rendered relating directly to the project
Major equipment and fit-up costs:
- expenditures to acquire new equipment valued at more than $10,000, including reasonable expenditures for its delivery, installation and commissioning
- expenditures that cannot be identified and measured as directly applicable to carrying out the project, though these have been incurred necessarily during the project to conduct the recipient's general business
- these include labour; materials and supplies for which it is commercially unreasonable to account; public utilities expenses of a general nature; and, general administrative expenses
How much grant and contribution funding is available and which type of support will I receive?
Grant funding is available primarily for academic recipients undertaking small- to medium-scale projects of short duration, and where equipment costs, if applicable, are a minor portion of total project expenditures. Specific limits apply:
- New Beginnings Initiative grants provide up to $25,000 per project as part of year-long collaborative projects with NRC researchers
- Small Teams Initiative grants provide up to $1 million as part of collaborations with NRC researchers lasting up to 3 years
- Typically, grants supporting collaborative R&D program projects are up to $1 million over 3 years
Contribution funding is available for private sector and other eligible recipients undertaking collaborative projects requiring up to $2 million per year in support of collaborations under Challenge Programs and Cluster Support programs. Contribution funding is typically used for projects that are large scale, that involve significant equipment purchases, and/or that have medium- to long-term timeframes. Contribution funding may be used to support recipient costs as part of Small Teams projects fitting these parameters.
NRC cost share for contributions is based on the nature of the project and related expenditures. Overall, the NRC will support up to 75% of eligible project expenditures.
For grants and contributions, equipment is supported up to 50% unless it is part of a long-term platform equipment investment to advance collaborative R&D program objectives.
Indirect costs are supported up to 10% of eligible project costs excluding platform equipment expenditures.
Can I apply to different funding streams for the same project?
The NRC will not provide grant or contribution funding more than once towards the same eligible expenditures.
Applicants are requested to disclose any funding from Canadian governments (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) related to the proposed project. Total Canadian government assistance permitted is up to 100% of total eligible project costs.
Applicants are required to explain how project work is different from any projects already funded.
Who owns intellectual property (IP) in collaborative projects?
Template terms for IP are set out in collaborative grant and contribution agreements:
- Each recipient organization owns the IP created by its project participants
- The NRC and recipient organization have full undivided ownership of the arising IP jointly created by the NRC and recipient. The parties agree to negotiate an agreement to seek patent protection for the arising IP created jointly by the NRC and recipient and to commercialize/license this IP, typically within 90 days of the end of the project
- The NRC may use the recipient's background IP to perform the project, and the recipient's solely created arising IP and jointly created arising IP for the project and for government purposes while maintaining the confidentiality of the IP
- The recipient may use the background IP of the NRC to perform the project, and the NRC's solely created arising IP and jointly created arising IP for the project and for teaching and training purposes, alone or with third parties while maintaining the confidentiality of the IP
Is grant and contribution funding available for all collaborations with the NRC?
No, grant and contribution funding is only available to defray the NRC's collaborators' expenditures as part of Ideation Fund initiatives, Challenge Program and Cluster Support program projects.