Guidance on Funding

At Innovation Boulevard, we provide:

  • Information on various funding programs
  • Review of applications
  • Guidance on how to apply

Funding sources change frequently with new programs being created and others halted. Our Director of Programs can help you navigate this landscape. The following is a summary of some of the current programs that we can provide you assistance and information on.


BioTalent Canada

  • BioReady Paid Internship Program
    Offers up to $11,500 in wage subsidies to bio-economy employers who hire, accommodate and train Internationally Educated Professionals to help them better integrate into the bio-economy.
  • Science Horizons
    Offers up to $15,000 in wage subsidies over six months to bio-economy employers to hire a recent science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) graduate into a STEM position with an environmental focus.
  • Student Work-Integrated Learning Program
    Offers up to $7,000 in co-op wage subsidies to bio-economy employers to hire students registered in STEM or business programs at Canadian post-secondary institutions
  • Opportunities Fund
    The Opportunities Fund wage subsidy program provides up to a maximum of $13,500 towards a salary as an incentive for bio-economy employers to hire, accommodate and train an employee with disabilities.
  • Career Focus Green Jobs
    Offers up to $13,500 in wage subsidies over six months to employers to hire a recent graduate from any discipline into a “green job”.

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)

  • Strategy for patient-oriented research (SPOR)
    SPOR is a coalition of federal, provincial and territorial partners – all dedicated to the integration of research into care. Funding under SPOR is based on a 1:1 matching formula with non-federal government partners to ensure relevance and applicability
  • Operating grants
    Research funding based on collaboration between industry and academia. Funds the academic researcher

Genome BC

  • Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)
    The Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) represents a key element in Genome Canada’s strategic plan towards funding downstream research and development (R&D) projects that are driven by challenges and opportunities facing users of genomics-based technologies. Collaboration with University - late Stage R&D led by University.
  • Industry Innovation Program (I2)
    The Industry Innovation Program (I²) provides commercialization support for companies developing innovative life science technologies in British Columbia (BC). The amount of funding allocated by I² ranges from $100,000 to $1,000,000 per company, and is targeted to initiatives where a clear pathway to commercialization can be demonstrated. This early stage capital can take the form of debt, equity and royalties. I² funds are repayable with repayments commencing no more than four years after disbursement.

Government of Canada – Canada Trade Commission

  • Build in Canada Innovation Program
    Build in Canada Innovation Program helps companies bridge the pre-commercialization gap by procuring and testing late stage innovative goods and services within the federal government before taking them to market.
  • CanExport
    Direct financial ($20K-$200K) support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada seeking to develop new export opportunities, particularly in high-growth priority markets and sectors.
  • Going Global Innovation
    Up to $75K for companies collaborating with a foreign organization (Company or University) i.e. pursuing technologies with foreign partners
  • Canada International Innovation Program (CIIP)
    Supports companies up to $600K that want to carry out collaborative industrial R&D projects between Canada and Partner companies - Brazil, China, India, South Korea, Israel.

Innovate BC – British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC)

  • Innovator Skills Initiative
    The Innovator Skills Initiative is cultivating future technology leaders by bridging the innovation and entrepreneurial gap. It enables students to build desired skills for future career opportunities and inspires them to start their own companies. The program is delivered by New Ventures BC with payments of $1,000-$5,000 (matched 1:1).
  • BC Tech Co-Op Grants Program
    The BC Tech Co-op Grants Program was established in order to support talent in BC’s technology sector. Tech firms hiring for any roles and non-tech companies hiring for tech-specific roles are encouraged to apply for salary support through the program. Whether you’re thinking about hiring a co-op student, have one working for you now, or have hired one in the past, you could be eligible for up to $10,800 in funding per year!
  • Ignite
    Ignite provides funding to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and innovations in the natural resources and applied sciences sectors in British Columbia. The program provides awards of up to $300,000 to consortia that are conducting research projects that address a significant demonstrated problem faced by industry and will commercialize a proposed innovation within a 3-year timeframe.

Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR)

  • I2C Phase I and II
    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. With funding to help enhance and strengthen the value of their intellectual property, award recipients are able to increase the potential commercial viability of their inventions or discoveries and help attract further downstream investment. Award term (maximum of $150K/yr) up to 4 years


Mitacs works with universities, companies and Canada’s provincial governments to deliver internships, research collaborations and training programs that support social innovation in Canada.

  • Accelerate
    This is a research internship program. It connects companies with research-based universities through graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, who apply their specialized expertise to business challenges. Interns transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while the companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise. Funding starts at $15K for 4-month internships
  • Elevate
    Competitive annual fellowships for up to 2 years, includes a research management training program. Minimum of $55K/yr

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.

  • Industrial Research Assistance Program:
    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.
  • Business Innovation Access Program:
    Companies are eligible to receive up to $50,000 per innovation project.
  • Youth Employment Program:
    Businesses are eligible to receive up to $30,000 per graduate to cover the cost of a 6-12 month internship for 15-30 yr old.
  • Youth Green
    Businesses are eligible to receive up to $10,000 per graduate to cover the cost of a 3-6 month internship for 15-30 yr old for ‘green’ projects.

National Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC)

  • Idea to Innovation (I2I) – Market Assessment
    The Market Assessment funding option is a tool to help identify industry and market issues. It can be used to better position a proposed technology in an I2I application (to provide the reviewers with a better understanding of the market for a given technology) or identify the appropriate NSERC program. Funding is available for up to 12 months, with a maximum contribution from NSERC of $15,000.
  • Idea to Innovation (I2I) – Market Assessment, Phase I and IIa and b
    To accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology and promote its transfer to Canadian companies. I2I provides assistance to college and university faculty members in the early stages of technology validation and market connection. Up to $125K for phase IIa and up to $350K over two years for phase IIb
  • Experience Award – Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Award (IUSRA):
    Pay for students (up to $4.5K) to work within the company for a short period of time.
  • Collaborative Research and Development (CRD)
    Focused on long term collaborative R&D project with an academic researcher. Projects may range from one year to five years in duration and can be at any point in the R&D spectrum in the domains of the natural sciences and engineering
  • Eureka
    Cluster from at least two countries - SME, Large companies, Research Centers, Universities - Focus on R&D
  • Eurostars
    Joint initiative between Eureka and the European Community. Supports the development of rapidly marketable innovative products for SMEs 3-4 participants 2-3 countries 2-3 years
  • Engage, Engage Plus
    Collaboration between a company and academic researcher with no previous relationship. Projects 6 months $25K that cannot be done by the company and seeking an expert

The 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.

  • Western Innovation Initiative (WINN)
    Western Innovation Initiative offers repayable contributions to western Canadian businesses with less than 500 employees, to commercialize innovative technology-based products, processes or services (max of $3.5M/project). It provides help for SMEs to commercialize new technology products, processes and service in cleantech, digital tech, health and biosciences.

WorkBC Employer Training Grant

The Work BC Employer Training Grant (ETG) is an employer-driven, cost-sharing program that helps employers invest in training for their current or future employees . The BC Employer Training Grant (ETG) provides up to $8 million in funding for employers to support skills training for their current and new employees in the fiscal year 2018/2019. The goal of the ETG is to help unemployed and employed British Columbians access the skills training they need to adapt to the changing requirements of jobs and the labour market while encouraging employer involvement in the training of their employees.