Idea to Innovation Grants NSERC (2022)


The Idea to Innovation Grants provide funding to college and university faculty members to support research and development projects with recognized technology transfer potential. This is achieved through defined phases by providing crucial assistance in the early stages of technology validation and market connection.

Comments on Funding:

Funding for:

  • technology transfer activities is up to a maximum of $5,000 (25%) for the Market Assessment, and half the cost supported by NSERC up to a maximum of 10% of the award for the other phases of the project. Institution or partner must cover the other half.
  • market assessment is up to 75% of the costs of the project contracted out to a consultant. Funding is available for up to 12 months, with a maximum contribution from NSERC of $15,000.
  • Phase I projects is available for up to 12 months, at a maximum of $125,000, and is non-renewable. NSERC will assume 100% of the direct costs of research for phase I projects.
  • Phase Ib supplement is up to $60,000 for six months and can be made available for successfully completed phase I projects with high promise to secure an investor or a licensing company.
  • Phase IIa (early-stage investment partner) should not exceed an average of $125,000 per year. NSERC can support up to 67% of the costs of the project with the early-stage investment entity providing the balance in cash. Additional funds needed from partner $62,500 (33%) (cost/risk sharing) Duration: 6 to 18 months.
  • Phase IIb (partnership with a Canadian company)should not exceed $350,000 for the duration of the project. NSERC may fund up to 50% the cost of the project, with the company providing the other half through a combination of cash and in-kind contributions. Each case will be evaluated on its merits; however, it is expected that the cash component should equal at least 40% of the amount requested from NSERC. Duration: up to 24 months.


Applicants must be:

  • must be college and university faculty researchers or research groups and, for phase II projects, in association with an eligible partner;
  • for phase II projects should have in place, prior to application, a licensing (or similar) agreement relating to the right to exploit the invention or discovery;
  • should develop their proposals in close collaboration with the institution’s ILO (industry liaison office ) or its equivalent. The ILO or its equivalent involved in the application must be identified at the beginning of the technology transfer section of the proposal.

Eligible partners are:

  • Early-stage investment groups, including: venture capital, a seed capital funding entity, angel investors, university technology transfer corporations, incubators or other similar funding or technology transfer organizations;
  • Canadian Companies that must demonstrate that they have, or have the potential to acquire, the capability to commercialize the technology under development. Companies outside Canada may also be considered as partners provided they can demonstrate that there will be clear and direct benefits to the Canadian economy as a result of their participation.

Applications Steps:

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit:

  • Form 101 – Application for a Grant,
  • Form 100 – Personal Data Form for the applicant and each co-applicant. For market assessment applications, only the principal applicant should submit form 100.
  • Form 183A – Information Required from Organizations participating in Research Partnerships Programs – for each supporting organization – Phase II only.

Other Things to Note:

Market assessment – up to one yearPhase I – up to one yearPhase IIa – from 6 to 18 monthsPhase IIb – up to two years

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