Funding, Grants, and More

June 26, 2018
Innovation Boulevard Funding Options

Some businesses bootstrap it; some businesses take on debt; some go for outside investment; and many do all three. We also wanted to share with you a brief synopsis of a number of other funding sources that many of our clients have taken advantage of. Keep in mind that many of these programs change frequently, with new programs being created, and others halted. (For more detail, check out our Guidance on Funding, talk to our Director of Programs, or go to the program link directly.)

BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada is the HR partner of Canada’s bio-economy. As an HR expert and national non-profit organization, BioTalent Canada focuses on building partnerships and skills for Canada’s bio-economy to ensure the industry has access to job-ready people.  They have a number of programs, like Science Horizons, BioReady Paid Internship, Opportunities Fund, Career Focus Green Jobs, and others that can assist you with funding to hire great team members.

Business Development Bank of Canada
BDC offers a variety of tailored business loans that help entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their ventures. They support small and medium-sized businesses in all industries and at every stage of growth with money and advice.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
As the Government of Canada’s health research investment agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) supports excellence across all four pillars of health research: biomedical; clinical; health systems services; and population health. They provide funding in a number of areas, including the Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), and operating grants.

Genome BC
Genome BC, a non-profit research organization, leads genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. Major investors are the Province of British Columbia and the Government of Canada through Genome Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada. This funding is complemented by partnerships with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC’s bioeconomy. They offer the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) and the Industry Innovation Program (I²).

Government of Canada – Canada Trade Commission
The Government of Canada – Canada Trade Commision has a number of programs in place to assist pre-commercialization companies and small and medium enterprises. Programs include Build in Canada Innovation, CanExport, Going Global Innovation, and Canada International Innovation Program (CIIP)

Innovate BC
Innovate BC accelerates the growth and success of BC companies by providing resources and market opportunities for applied innovations to solve challenges and drive competitiveness in BC industries.  Programs include the Innovation Skills Initiative, the BC Tech Co-op Grants Program, and Ignite.

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)
The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is British Columbia’s health research funding agency. Funded by the province of BC, MSFHR helps develop, retain and recruit the talented people whose research improves the health of British Columbians, addresses health system priorities, creates jobs and adds to the knowledge economy.  The I2C Phase I and II program supports researchers to advance their discoveries or inventions towards commercialization, helping ignite and enrich BC’s health innovation ecosystem. The result is products or technologies in your field of interest that improve health outcomes and enrich the health innovation ecosystem of BC.

Mitacs works with universities, companies and Canada’s provincial governments to deliver internships, research collaborations and training programs that support social innovation in Canada. Programs include Accelerate research internship and Elevate annual fellowships.

National Research Council (NRC) – Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
IRAP supports the development of successful commercialization of startups through funding and linkages to the best expertise in Canada.  IRAP Provides financial support to qualified small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada to help them undertake technology innovation. SMEs in Canada are eligible to receive up to $150,000 for technology innovation projects. Companies can also apply for the Business Innovation Access Program, the Youth Employment Program, and Youth Green.

National Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC)
NSERC aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports university students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian companies to participate and invest in postsecondary research projects. They have a number of programs, including Market Assessment Funding Options, Idea to Innovation, Experience Award, Collaborative Research and Development, Eureka, Eurostars, Engage, and Engage Plus, that can assist companies and individuals. 

Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED)
SR&ED provides support in the form of tax credits and/or refunds to corporations, partnerships or individuals who conduct scientific research or experimental development in Canada.

Western Economic Diversification Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada helps fill the gap between traditional bank lending and venture capital for small business. It works with not-for-profit organizations and business partners to provide loans to entrepreneurs in western Canada. The Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) offers repayable contributions to western Canadian businesses with less than 500 employees, to commercialize innovative technology-based products, processes or services.

WorkBC Employer Training Grant
This program is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training for their current or future employees. It assists eligible employers to offset the cost of training up to a maximum of $10,000 per participant per fiscal year.

Again, these programs change frequently, so always go directly to the program for the requirements. Our Director of Programs can help you navigate this landscape, and please review our slightly more detailed Guidance on Funding.

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