The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) is accepting applications to the Idea to Innovation (I2I) Grants Program. This program is available to University researchers to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from the university and college sector and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company. The I2I Program provides funding for four phases (Market Assessment, Phase I, Phase Ia and Phase IIb). A summary is provided below.
- To accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from the university and college sector and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company
- To provide funding to college and university faculty members to support research and development projects with recognized technology transfer potential.
- To provide crucial assistance in the early stages of technology validation and market connection
Eligible research and development activities include (but are not limited to):
- Refining and implementing designs;
- verifying application;
- conducting field studies;
- preparing demonstrations;
- building prototypes; and
- performing beta trials.
Eligible technology transfer activities include (but are not limited to):
- Consulting fees to develop the strategy to protect the technology’s commercial value;
- market investigation;
- consulting fees for business plan, market survey, etc.;
- business mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs;
- sharing of patenting expenses; and
- expenses associated with creating a partnership (such as travel, etc.).
Proposals under this program must include a detailed technology transfer and commercialization plan prepared and endorsed by the university. Please contact Yaser Kerachian, Commercialization Manager for VISTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or ext. 33843, for VISTA related proposals. For everyone else, please contact Laura McLachlan, Associate Director, Commercialization & Partnerships at email@example.com or ext. 55753, prior to preparing your application.
Market Assessment Phase
- To enable institutions to do a market study for a product, process or technology they plan to develop.
NSERC will co-support up to three-quarters of the costs of the project contracted out to a consultant, with the institution providing the balance in cash.
Phase I- Reduction –to-Practice Stage
- To advance promising technologies in order to attract early-stage investment and/or to build valuable intellectual property in anticipation of transferring the technology to a new or established company.
Phase Ib Supplement
NSERC offers a Phase Ib supplement of up to $60K for six months for successfully completed Phase I projects with high promise to secure an investor or a licensing company.
Phase II – Technology Enhancement
- To provide scientific or engineering evidence establishing the technical feasibility and market definition of the technology, process or product.
Phase II project require an early-stage investment entity (Phase IIa) or a company (Phase IIb) to share the costs of the project. The supporting organization is expected to participate actively in the planning of the project. The proposals fall into the following two categories:
- Phase IIa –Early-stage Investment Partner
Proposals with an early-stage investment entity must be designed with a “go/no-go” decision point, after 6 to 18 months, representing the achievement of a predefined scientific or engineering milestone that justifies moving forward by further developing the technology either through a new or established company.
Projects that achieve the milestones of Phase IIa may be pursued during another 6-24 months period with either the newly created company or an established Canadian company provided the cost-sharing arrangement for Phase IIb projects are met.
- Phase IIb – Partnership with a Canadian Company
The industrial partner must have or be able to acquire by the end of the project, the technical ability to undertake any further development necessary to take the project or process to market.
Market Assessment – Funding is available with a maximum contribution from NSERC of $15K
Phase I – Funding is available at a maximum of $125K, and is non-renewable. NSERC will assume 100 percent of the direct costs of research for Phase 1 projects.
Phase IIa – NSERC will support up to two-thirds of the costs of the project with the early-stage entity providing the balance in cash. Funding requested from NSERC should not exceed an average of $125K per year.
Phase IIb – Funding requested should not exceed $350K for the duration of the project. NSERC may fund up to half the cost of the project, with the company providing the other half through a combination of cash and in-kind contributions.
Market Assessment –up to one year
Phase I – up to one year
Phase IIa – up to 6-18 months
Phase IIb – up to two years
Submission to ORS – June 8, 2020 and September 14, 2020
Submission to agency – June 22, 2020 and September 28, 2020
Note: NSERC has postponed the March 30, 2020 application deadline to June 22, 2020 (as noted above).
For complete details on this funding opportunity, please consult the following web site:
Back to Funding Opportunities