IRAP Funding (2023): Entrepreneur’s Guide to the Industrial Research Assistance Program

Whether it’s funding, expert advice, business tools, resources, or interns you need to grow or expand your small or medium-sized business, the NRC IRAP program has it all.

What is IRAP?

A federally funded program designed to support Canadian tech businesses, with a special focus on research and development, the NRC IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) has everything you need to increase your innovation capacity and get your ideas to both domestic and international markets.

The whole purpose of the program is to stimulate and grow Canada’s economy by helping the backbone of the economy—small and medium-sized businesses—with their research and development, networking, expansion, exporting, and commercialization. Read on to learn just how they can help your business succeed.

How to Get IRAP Funding

Because this program includes a targeted focus on research and development, it offers funding for those businesses with a research and development project in the wings.

You could qualify if you’re an incorporated, for-profit small or medium-sized business with 500 or less employees and you plan to use your technology-driven new or improved products, services, or processes to achieve growth and profit in Canada after development and commercialization.

Since that’s such a doable eligibility list, there’s really no reason not to apply, is there? So all you have to do is call the program at 1-877-994-4727 to confirm your eligibility. If they agree you’re eligible, you’ll be invited to send a proposal to an industrial technology advisor.

To ensure you’re successful in your bid for funding, make sure your proposal includes these important points:

  • the project’s technical aspects and potential impacts on your business
  • your business, management, and financial capacity
  • your assessed potential to achieve expected results
  • your commercialization plan
  • the overall market and commercialization opportunity
  • the anticipated benefits to Canada

While you will be expected to submit monthly reimbursement claims throughout the course of the project, the funding you receive will be invaluable.

And take note that if your research and development project is larger than most, you could receive up to an additional $10 million if you can show your ability to grow quickly and significantly.

If you have some questions you’d like answered before you undertake the whole proposal process, just give them a call at 1-877-994-4727.

NRC IRAP International Collaboration

Go ahead and grow your global network now with the support of the NRC IRAP program. You can find all the funding, advisory, export, and innovation resources you need with this program thanks to their partnerships with other federal government programs such as Global Affairs Canada.

Now you can take your new ideas, technologies, products, processes, or services to new markets by utilizing their collaborations with such partner countries as India, China, the European Union, and the United States.

And take advantage of the support they offer for all your international interests, business and technology partnering, and joint research and development projects with initiatives such as the Bpifrance — NRC IRAP agreement, the Canadian International Innovation Program, CanExport, and EUREKA.

The Bpifrance agreement allows for improved competitiveness, innovation, and science and technology intelligence for small and medium-sized businesses in both countries, and the Canadian International Innovation Program offers funding to help Canadian companies partner with businesses in Brazil, China, India, Israel, and South Korea to commercialize their industrial research and development projects.

Use the CanExport program to access the funding you need to tackle new export opportunities around the world, especially in high-growth emerging markets. There’s a wide range of eligible projects and activities with this funding program, so give it some serious consideration if you’re looking to spread your business wings.

EUREKA is an international network of market-driven industrial research and development organizations that includes more than 40 countries plus the European Union. The network partners small and medium-sized businesses and large companies with research centres, universities, and other innovators from EUREKA countries. There’s no formula for what a project has to look like or how it comes together—that’s all for EUREKA partners to decide. Once they do, they can apply for funding under the NRC IRAP program.

What are you waiting for? Bring your global projects to life. Just call them at 1-877-994-4727 to learn how to get started.


Guaranteed Government Grants

Get a FREE 45-page guide with proven steps to business grants success:

    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at anytime.

    NRC Advisory Services

    When you participate in of any one of the NRC IRAP programs, you also get access to expert technical and business advice, referrals, connections to local sources of funding and advice, and an extensive network of regional, national, and international partners that can offer customized support with things such as competitive intelligence.

    Take advantage of their vast network of experts, all with backgrounds in engineering or science and extensive management experience, around the country to bring tailored insights to your business in areas you may have less knowledge in than you’d like:

    • marketing, financing, legal, and other professional advice
    • problem identification and solving support
    • research and development support
    • technology partners
    • business and management skills development resources
    • knowledge-transfer opportunities
    • networking opportunities
    • community-specific opportunities

    You could even access the Accelerated Growth Service, a collaborative program of 11 federal programs that helps you access the key government services you need to grow, such as financing, exporting, innovation, and business advice.

    You do have to apply for the Accelerated Growth Service, but when you’re accepted, you’ll get a dedicated advisor, connections to government programs, and a tailored and coordinated growth plan. To try this program on for size, just contact Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

    As with the other NRC IRAP opportunities, all you have to do is call them at 1-877-994-4727 and ask for what you need.

    IRAP Youth Employment Program

    This is one of those win-win programs. Young graduates not only have the specialized knowledge you need to fuel your tech projects, but they also bring with them an energy and new ideas that could be the key to your project’s success.

    The IRAP YEP will help your business fund a youth to help you work on a project with research and development, engineering, multimedia, or market analysis components or even to help you develop a new product or process.

    You could qualify for funding to hire a young graduate if you’re a small or medium-sized business with 500 or fewer full-time employees and you’re willing to partner with the NRC IRP program.

    Just make sure your chosen candidate is between 15 and 30; a postsecondary graduate; a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or refugee; legally entitled to work in your province; and a first-time participant in a Youth Employment and Skills Strategy work experience program. They’ll also have to work at least 30 hours/week to fulfill an internship to be between 6 and 12 months long.

    If this sounds like it could be just what you need, just call the program at 1-877-994-4727 to get started. Then after you’ve discussed your business, your needs, and your ideas with them, you’ll put together a proposal and find a candidate, which the program will help you with by connecting you with the right networks.

    There’s a caveat to this program though. This is a cost-sharing program, so you should be prepared to cover things like benefits and overhead.


    IRAP aims to help Canadian SMEs develop, adopt, and adapt new technologies and processes by providing funding, technical expertise, and networking opportunities. The program supports research and development activities that improve the competitiveness and productivity of Canadian businesses, foster innovation, and promote economic growth.

    IRAP funding is available for Canadian SMEs that are incorporated and profit-oriented. Eligible companies must have 500 or fewer full-time employees and demonstrate the ability to grow and generate profits through the development and commercialization of innovative products, processes, or services.

    IRAP supports a wide range of projects, including research and development, product or process innovation, business growth and expansion, and technology commercialization. Projects should demonstrate potential for market success and contribute to the company’s competitiveness.

    IRAP funding is available for a wide range of R&D activities, including product or process development, testing, and prototyping. The program also supports activities related to technology transfer and commercialization, such as market research, intellectual property protection, and licensing agreements.

    IRAP provides financial support in the form of grants to help companies cover the costs associated with research and development projects. Funding may cover up to 80% of eligible project costs, with the maximum contribution amount varying depending on the scope, size, and complexity of the project. Typically, IRAP covers up to 50-80% of the project’s eligible costs, such as labor, materials, and consulting services.

    In 2018‑2019, IRAP increased its funding threshold up to $10 million for larger research and development projects. Having said that, the specific funding amount depends on the project and its requirements.

    To apply for IRAP funding, companies must first contact the NRC-IRAP office at 1-877-994-4727 and discuss their project with an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA). The ITA will assess the project’s eligibility and guide the company through the application process. This process usually involves submitting a project proposal that details the project’s objectives, timeline, budget, and expected outcomes.

    The application process timeline can vary depending on the size and complexity of the project. It may take a few weeks to two months for IRAP to review the application and make a funding decision. Companies should engage with an ITA as early as possible to ensure they meet application deadlines and have ample time to prepare their proposal.

    These are the timelines listed on the IRAP Service Standards web page:

    • 20 business days for projects with a contribution of $50,000 or less
    • 30 business days for projects with a contribution greater than $50,000 up to $500,000
    • 45 business days for projects with a contribution greater than $500,000 up to $3 million
    • 65 business days for projects with a contribution greater than $3 million up to $10 million

    Your IRAP application should:

    • Provide an overview of your business
    • Identify clear and measurable objectives
    • Contain a clear description of the activities necessary to achieve the objectives
    • Identify potential risks / uncertainties and mitigation strategies
    • Elaborate a realistic budget that is coherent with your project’s activities and resources
    • Identify other sources of financing that will be used to pay your share of the project’s costs
    • Demonstrate that you understand IRAP’s legal terms and conditions

    Yes, companies receiving IRAP funding must submit progress reports and financial claims throughout the project’s duration. These reports help IRAP monitor the project’s progress and ensure that the funds are used for their intended purpose. Companies may also be required to submit a final report upon project completion, outlining the outcomes and achievements.

    Yes, companies can receive funding from other sources while receiving IRAP funding. However, they must disclose all other sources of funding to IRAP and ensure that the total amount of funding received does not exceed the total project cost.

    Companies may reapply for IRAP funding for the same project if they can demonstrate that the additional funding will lead to further R&D activities and advancements beyond what was achieved in the previous project.

    Wrapping Up

    This is the ideal program for technology-based companies with innovative ideas, systems, processes, or products and that are ready to grow and expand, domestically and internationally. You can supercharge your research and development projects with their financial support or bring your innovations to new international markets.

    Connect with global networks and partners, get specialized advice from experts who understand your business and your needs, probably even better than you do, and commercialize your technology with the help of the NRC IRAP program.

    This should be the first step you take on your entrepreneurial journey if yours is a tech-based business because not only do you get all the benefits it offers, but because it’s a federal program, you still have the option of accessing funding programs at other government levels, plus private funding.

    So call them now at 1-877-994-4727 and see where your business can go with this program!

    Similar Posts

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *