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National Research Council Canada Innovation Assistance Program

The Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP)

  • The Innovation Assistance Program is intended to support Canadian innovators who are not eligible for the 75% Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and other stimulus measures announced to date.
  • Funding will be targeted to retain high skilled employees in eligible small and medium sized businesses pursuing technology-driven innovation. Eligibility and funding will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Eligibility is not linked to businesses currently receiving IRAP funding. Businesses are encouraged to register through the following link https://nrc
  • IRAP IAP provides a wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks. The call for applications will close Wednesday, April 29, 2020 at 11:59 pm EDT. Following the assessment and approval of applications, applicants will be notified in writing on the status of their application as early as the week of May 11, 2020


The COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program

NRC IRAP is working with Innovative Solutions Canada to launch calls for proposals to address challenges, fund development of solutions, and buy successful products and services needed to address COVID-19.

Together, NRC IRAP and Innovative Solutions Canada will:

  • post the PHAC and HC challenges (Innovative Solutions Canada)
  • award Phase 1 funding to successful small and medium-sized businesses to develop a proof of concept for their solution (NRC IRAP)
  • award Phase 2 funding to the firms with the best concepts so they can develop a working prototype (NRC IRAP)

The NRC, PHAC, HC or another federal department or agency will then be able to purchase the product for use against COVID-19.

Open challenges are available on Innovative Solutions Canada’s website.

The Pandemic Response Challenge Program

The NRC Pandemic Response Challenge Program will accelerate the development of diagnostics and medical countermeasures for a rapid front-line response to protect and treat Canadians. This national vehicle will convene the best Canadian and international researchers from government, academia, and small and medium-sized businesses to collectively accelerate R&D to address specific COVID19 gaps and challenges as identified by Canadian health experts. The Pandemic Response Challenge Program is currently structured around 3 main research areas:

  • Rapid detection and diagnosis
  • Therapeutics and vaccine development and
  • Digital health