Government Funding for Scientific Projects in Canada

Funding for scientific projects is available through different agencies, institutions, and other bodies in the form of awards, grants, and other types of financial assistance.

Research and Development Funding

There are plenty of programs and initiatives such as the Canadian International Innovation Program under Global Affairs Canada, the Build in Canada Innovation Program run by the Canadian Government, and many others. The Build in Canada Innovation Program offers funding in the amount of up to $500,000 to businesses that operate in any of the four sectors: enabling technologies, safety and security, health, and environment. There is also a military component with a higher contract value – up to $1,000,000. Innovations in the following categories are eligible for funding: training systems, in-service support, arctic and maritime security, protecting the soldier, cyber security, and command and support. The Canadian International Innovation Program focuses mainly on collaborative projects, including research and development, whereby international and Canadian businesses collaborate to promote new services, processes, and products and reach wider audiences. The program offers funding up to $600,000. The list of partner countries covers South Korea, Israel, India, China, and Brazil. Businesses in three categories are eligible to apply for financing, and namely, technology co-development, technology validation, and technology adaptation. Only businesses that are incorporated domestically, have less than 500 employees, and are for-profit entities qualify.

There are other government programs and funds with a focus on research and development, including the IRAP Accelerated Review Process, the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program, and the SD Tech Fund, among others. The latter offers funding to businesses that aim to improve water and air quality and fight climate change. The contribution is up to 33 percent to cover depreciation expenses, labor costs, goods and services, and expenses paid for capital items. The IRAP Accelerated Review Process is mainly focused on innovation challenges and provides financing for marketing, production design, productivity improvement, and software implementation.

The Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program offers funding to cooperatives, aboriginal groups, and marketing boards for the purpose of developing piloting solutions and new niches, products and ideas. The program offers funding in support of agricultural projects and up to 50 percent of the project implementation costs. MITACS Elevate is another program that supports projects and businesses in different categories, including automotive, finance, advanced manufacturing, ICT and digital media, clean technologies, and health science and technologies. There are provincial funding programs as well, for example, Accelerating Innovations Into Care in Alberta, the IESO Conservation Fund in Ontario, and the Commercialization Support for Business Program offered by the Manitoba Government.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Funding Programs

This is a government agency that provides federal funding through a number of programs, including the Foundation Grant Program, the Project Grant Program, Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, and training award programs, among others. The Foundation Grant Program, for instance, offers financial assistance to researchers who focus on health research. The amount varies based on factors such as scope of activities, research approach and methodology, and field of research. The Project Grant Program also offers funding to researchers in the field of health systems, healthcare, health research, and applied knowledge. The training award programs offer funding to train postdoctoral, doctoral, and Master’s degree students across health-related disciplines, including physiotherapists, nurses, dentists, clinicians, and others. There are also initiatives that offer funding to support research with a focus on health services, clinical research, biomedical research, etc. The main goal is to enhance health outcomes and health systems through training, career support, and funding for research purposes.