NRC COVID-19 community support


Project Spotlight

Community support initiative provides front door to NRC COVID‑19 response

In late March as COVID‑19 cases grew in Canada, it became clear that many Canadians were going to reach out to Canada's business, medical and health care sectors. To help address the needs and requests coming to the NRC, the Community Support Initiative was created. Learn more about this important initiative.

Personal protective equipment for frontline workers

Picture showing 10 palettes of needed Personal protective equipment

The Public Health Agency of Canada is anticipating a shortage in personal protective equipment for frontline workers. As the largest federal research and development organization in Canada, the NRC has the opportunity to help.

On March 27, the NRC appealed to its research centres and branches to identify surplus stock holdings of unopened personal protective equipment (PPE) that could be spared. On April 3, The NRC collected 10 pallets of urgently needed PPE, including:

  • approximately 350,000 disposable nitrile gloves
  • more than 8,500 disposable N95 masks
  • 180 disposable coveralls with integrated boots and hood

Nine pallets collected on the NRC's Ottawa campus were shipped to the Ottawa Hospital, Riverside Campus. The remainder, collected in the NRC's regional locations, will be distributed to local hospitals.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to help Canadians as a result of the COVID‑19 outbreak.

As Canada's largest research and development organization, the NRC has the capacity to help Canada and stakeholders in this time of need. Our organization is ready to respond.

Immediate term

Immediate term

Are you working on a COVID‑19 project and simply require NRC advice or expertise?

If yes, please select one of the topics below and you will be directed to someone who will either help you find an expert, or advise that the NRC does not have expertise in that area. Note that there is no charge for discussing this with us.

COVID‑19 testing and kits

Development of improved/faster test kits and methods. Production, reagent sourcing and validation information for new and existing testing kits and methods. Contact us about COVID‑19 testing and kits

COVID‑19 sanitizer materials

Production of hand sanitizers. Production, reagent sourcing, and efficacy testing information. Contact us about COVID‑19 sanitizer materials

Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Canadian-sourced materials and manufacturing for N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns and face shields. Contact us about medical PPE

Existing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) (masks, gowns, face shields)

Sterilization and refurbishment of existing and used products, particularly masks, gowns and face shields. Contact us about existing PPE

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) testing and standards

Standards and testing requirements for COVID‑19-related personal protective equipment. Contact us about PPE testing and standards

Provision of NRC-owned Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for donation

Existing NRC inventory of available PPE to be donated to local front-line workers. Contact us about provision of NRC-owned PPE

Standardization and testing of ventilators, intubation materials and sanitizers

Advice on standardization and testing of ventilators and intubation materials and sanitizers. Contact us about standards and testing of ventilators, intubation materials and sanitizers


Inquires related to temperature measurements, calibrations and thermometers. Contact us about temperature


Support in designing and prototyping of ventilators. Contact us about ventilators

NRC IRAP support

Seeking advice and support from IRAP. Contact us about NRC IRAP support

Near term

Near term

Are you an SME seeking project funding in order to provide goods or services to health care workers and public health officials currently fighting COVID‑19?

If yes, the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) can provide guidance on possible funding opportunities for COVID‑19 solutions. Please contact an Industrial Technology Advisor regarding your project.

NRC IRAP is also working with Innovative Solutions Canada supporting small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) with near-market solutions that may be ready for government acquisition or procurement (as per the March 20, 2020 announcement by the Government of Canada).

Please contact us and watch for calls for proposals addressing specific challenges. The first challenges are expected to be posted by the first week of April 2020.

Medium term

Medium term

Are you a university or business researcher seeking to collaborate with the NRC on a medium-term project to address COVID‑19 and related infectious disease challenges?

Funding is available to support researcher participation (as per the March 20, 2020 announcement by the Government of Canada).

The NRC is building project teams around several Challenge Areas that will be addressed by long-term collaborative research.

If you are a researcher with related expertise in the following 3 themes and would potentially be interested to participate, please contact us.

  • Rapid detection and diagnosis
  • Therapeutics and vaccine development
  • Digital health

The NRC will use this pool of registrants to create potential teams and will reach out to those with the relevant expertise in the coming weeks.