This is an exciting time for R&D globally, and a great time to apply for research and development grants.
Whatever form your business takes and in whatever industry or sector, there are funding opportunities for you, from project funding to internships to travel funding to collaborate with international partners. So go ahead, pick some programs and let your new research advance or disrupt an industry or current technology!
What Can Research and Development Business Grants Be Used For?
Research and development business grants can be used to pay for many aspects of running a business. Here are some of the uses that are covered by programs in our grants database:
See the section below with a complete list of research and development business grants available.
How Much Research and Development Grant Money Can I Get for My Business?
In our database we currently have grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000,000.
Am I Eligible for a Research and Development Business Grant? Common Eligibility Criteria
Two of the most common questions we get asked at Ontario Business Grants are “Am I eligible?” and “How do I qualify?”.
We analyzed the research and development business grants in our grants database, and these are the most common qualifications we identified:
Note: these are just the most common eligibility criteria – there are many grants with different requirements.
Research and Development Grants for Ontario: Current Grants Available
In the table below we list the research and development grants currently available to Ontario businesses.
To learn more about each program, just click the program name and you’ll be taken to a web page that provides detailed information on the program, including eligibility, the dollar amount of the program, and how to apply for the grant:
Research and Development Grants for Ontario Businesses
Other Types of Research and Development Funding for Ontario Businesses
Our goal is for this guide to be a complete source of research and development funding information for Ontario businesses. So, in this section you’ll find all the other money programs (besides grants) that are available to Ontario entrepreneurs:
A loan might not sound as good as a grant, but many research and development loans for businesses have a low interest rate. While they might not be free money, if you don’t qualify for a grant, a low-interest loan is probably the next best thing.
The programs below include non-profit loans:
Research and Development Loans for Ontario Businesses
A subsidy is a type of financial assistance usually provided by the government in order to promote a social good or an economic policy. Wage subsidies are the most common subsidies.
In the table below you’ll find the research and development subsidies currently available for Ontario businesses:
Research and Development Subsidies for Ontario Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|Natural Products Canada (NPC) – Access to Talent Program||$75000||Wage Subsidy|
In-kind support refers to non-cash resources provided to support businesses. In kind-support can take various forms: access to coaching, mentorship, investors, logistical and technical resources (space, equipment, computers, internet and software, free testbed), training programs, business advice and counseling. Entrepreneurship centres, accelerators and incubators provide valuable in-kind support to new and existing entrepreneurs.
Research and Development Accelerators for Ontario Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|V13 Policetech Accelerator - Scale-Up Stream||$50000||Accelerator, Investment|
|NORCAT - Innovation Acceleration Program||$10000||Accelerator, Grant|
|V13 Policetech Accelerator-Start-Up Stream||$5000||Grant|
Other Research and Development In-Kind Support Programs for Ontario Businesses
|Name of Program||Amount||Type|
|CENGN Projects||no fixed amount||In-Kind Support|
|Collaborate 2 Commercialize (C2C) Program – Ontario Centers of Innovation (2022)||$150000||Grant|
Best Research and Development Business Grants, Loans & More
While there are lots of good programs available, below we highlight some of the best research and development grants, loans, subsidies & more for Ontario businesses:
Best Government Research and Development Grants for Ontario Businesses
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – Innovative Solutions Canada
Here’s an exciting financial opportunity! If you’re working on a prototype that solves any of their open challenges, this federal program will give you up to $150,000 just to create a proof of concept. Then it’ll give you up to $1 million to develop your prototype.
As with any program that offers you free money, there are plenty of eligibility requirements, so make absolutely sure you meet them all, cause that’s a nice, nonrefundable paycheque!
To begin with, you must be an SME and incorporated in Canada at either the federal or provincial level. Then your research and development must take place in Canada, plus at least 50% of the wages and fees you pay employees and/or contractors must go to Canadians who work in Canada. And finally, not only do at least 50% of your full-time employees need to work in Canada, but 50% or more of your senior executives must have a Canadian principal residence.
This is an ongoing program that regularly offers new challenges, so even if your project doesn’t match any of the currently open challenges, check back often.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 1: R&D and Commercialization
This grant for research and development is just 1 of 5 funding streams offered by the Strategic Innovation Fund. The idea of this funding is to help companies in the industrial and technology sectors speed up the development and commercialization of new products, services, or processes. The remaining four streams have different purposes, so watch for them in successive articles.
As long as yours is a Canadian for-profit organization in one of these sectors, you may qualify for up to 50% of the costs for eligible projects. An eligible project could include such things as adapting proven research for commercial applications or developing a new process that would reduce the environmental footprint of a current process.
The minimum amount of this funding depends on the minimum amount you need to bring your eligible project to fruition. Note that the maximum amount will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, and total government spending from any and all levels can’t exceed 75% of project costs. Be aware that this program’s funding is different from any other. While they may agree to help fund your project, in many cases, the funds must be paid back. The only time they’ll call the funds nonrefundable is if your project “demonstrates strong economic innovation and public benefits with clear strategic value or global significance.” Whether your project meets this statement or not will be determined in a due diligence review before the project begins.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) – Strategic Innovation Fund Stream 4: Collaborative Technology Development and Demonstration
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is a program that provides repayable and non-repayable contributions. The objective of the Collaborative Technology Development and Demonstration stream is to advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between the private sector, researchers and non-profit organizations.
National Research Council of Canada (NRC) – NRC IRAP Financial Support for Technology Innovation
How strongly the Canadian government feels about research and development and forward thinking is evident in the number of grant programs available to organizations nationwide. Here’s yet another program that will help you ease the cost of developing new solutions.
You do have to be an incorporated SME working on creating innovative new (or improved!) processes, products, or services driven by technology. While, as with most programs, this is a cost-share agreement only, some financial assistance is always better than none. To get started, call the National Research Council Canada at 1-877-994-4727 to determine your eligibility, and then you can chat with one of their advisors about your proposed product, process, or service.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and MITACS – NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate Grants
Joint NSERC Alliance-Mitacs Accelerate grants support projects of varying scale and complexity, from short-term smaller projects involving one researcher to long-term projects involving researchers across several universities, and from one-on-one collaborations with a single partner organization directly involved in the research to projects involving many partner organizations across multiple sectors. This joint funding opportunity allows applicants to leverage cash contributions from partners for funding from both NSERC and Mitacs.
Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) – INVEST North Program: Innovation Stream
The Innovation Stream supports the research, development and commercialization of new and innovative technologies in Northern Ontario. NOHFC considers innovative technology projects based on the following definition: “the development or implementation of ideas to produce new or improved strategies, capabilities, products, services, or processes with a strong focus on ensuring to satisfy a market need or desire
Best Non-profit Research and Development Grants for Ontario Businesses
Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) and Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) – Next Generation Network Program (NGNP) TalentEdge Internships
Take special note Ontario SMEs: if you’re developing or implementing next generation network technologies in your products or services and have in-house research and development capacity within Ontario, this grant will be of interest to you.
Hire an Ontario undergraduate, master’s, or PhD student (or any one of these who’ve graduated in the last 3 years) as an intern on your project and you could get $10,000 in funding to help with the cost of both the intern and your project.
Digital Technology Supercluster – Technology Leadership Programs
Technology Leadership Projects bring together investors and partners from across ocean industries to develop and commercialize innovative solutions to shared challenges, while increasing connectivity, strengthening capabilities, growing supply chain, and expanding international reach. At the heart of every Technology Leadership Project is a strong industry partnership.
Innovation Initiatives Ontario North (IION) – Research and Prototyping in Development (iRAPID) Program
Fast-track your research and development projects in technology!
The iRAPID program, in cooperation with FedNor Canada, offers funding for any for-profit organization in the districts of Nipissing, Timiskaming,
Parry Sound, or Muskoka who could use help realizing their projects during the pre commercialization phase. And better yet, if your project could grow the economy or create jobs in some way, you’ll receive preference over other companies. So if you qualify for the program, and they highly recommend you contact them to ensure you truly have met all the qualifications before you apply, you could get up to 75% of costs covered for your project at one of three levels:
All you have to do to get your funds is download, complete, sign, and submit the online application form. While applications are accepted in an ongoing fashion, the last day of each month is the deadline as they review on a monthly basis.
Mitacs – Accelerate Entrepreneur
Mitacs Accelerate Entrepreneur provides early-stage support to postdoctoral fellows (PDF) and graduate student entrepreneurs. Accelerate Entrepreneur funds student entrepreneurs to further develop the research or technology at the core of their business when hosted by an incubator facility. This helps student entrepreneurs to take real, meaningful advantage of the support provided by the incubator, with the goal of commercializing the technology, product, or service rapidly. In a nutshell, they get paid to grow their company and get to market faster.
Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) – Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP)
The Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP) provides Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) with non-repayable funding to support small projects that are critical for the development and commercialization of new innovations and promote innovative business growth.
Best Non-profit Research and Development Loans for Ontario Businesses
Canada Media Fund (CMF) – Convergent Stream: First Come, First Served Programs: Predevelopment Program
The Predevelopment Program, which is part of CMF’s Convergent Stream, allocates funding to Eligible Projects at the beginning of a Project’s creative process. Eligible Projects are awarded funding on a first-come, first-served basis until resources for the Program are depleted or until the application deadline, whichever comes first.
Canada Media Fund (CMF) – Convergent Stream: Selective Programs: Early Stage Development Program
The Early-Stage Development Program, which is part of CMF’s Convergent Stream, allocates funding to eligible projects at the beginning of a project’s creative process. The Early-Stage Development Program funds eligible projects through a selective process in which projects are assessed according to an evaluation criterion.
Best Non-profit Research and Development Subsidies for Ontario Businesses
Natural Products Canada (NPC) – Access to Talent Program
The Access to Talent Program helps Canadian SMEs or start-up companies hire an experienced individual to carry out a project to achieve key milestones that support the development of a natural product or technology (Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4-9).
Best Research and Development In-kind Support Programs for Ontario Businesses
Have a look at the in-kind support programs below! Some of them provide both in-kind support and funding.
The Innovation Studio at The Creative School (Toronto Metropolitan University) – Future Makers Incubation Grant
The Future Makers Incubation Grant aims to support 8 entrepreneurs, small businesses and/or independent creators in the GTA to explore new possibilities through digital transformation, innovation, and/or the development of new entrepreneurial models within the creative industries.
NORCAT – Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP)
NORCAT’s Innovation Acceleration Program (IAP), funded by FedNor, is designed to fund early-stage technology startups in the City of Greater Sudbury with the development and commercialization of new innovations and to promote economic prosperity in the region.
Medicine by Design and Health Innovation Hub (H2i) (University of Toronto) – Building a Biotech Venture
Building a Biotech Venture is a multi-event program series focused on the core business basics of how to translate regenerative medicine research into a product or venture. From educational support to interactive workshop sessions and one-on-one mentorship, H2i helps Medicine by Design trainees take the first steps toward building a venture that will have a direct, positive impact on the biomedical ecosystem.
Other In-kind Support Program
Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) – CENGN Projects
CENGN helps small and medium-sized Canadian technology companies accelerate their commercialization efforts by giving them no-cost access to CENGN multi-cloud commercial-grade computing and networking testbed to run projects that accelerate their commercialization efforts.
CENGN accepts projects in a wide range of technology areas, but their specialties are: SDN/NFV/SD-WAN, IoT, Data Centre/Cloud, Security, Mobile Networks, AI, Network Transport, and Network Applications (e.g.: automation, analytics, operational support, etc.).
There are 4 Project Streams:
The Bottom Line
With all the programs you have to choose from nationwide, there’s little reason why you can’t bring your ideas, technology, or projects to life. Whether you need international partnerships, a large-scale platform, or more knowledge or bodies on your team, there’s something here to help you out.
Will your work change the world? Or just one corner of your sector? In the end it doesn’t matter because all new ideas and technology are progress, and that’s what these funding programs are designed for: to ensure progress—Canadian progress.
So take advantage of one or some of these programs (and keep all your work well-documented and organized) and see how far your ideas can go when you’re given the funding you need!