Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has Announced a $250 Million Assistance Program for the Innovation Economy

Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Ottawa is adding $250 million in new money to the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). This is in response to many Canadian start-ups not being eligible for wage subsidies or new credit facilities. Innovation Minister, Navdeep Bains, noted the program is about “identifying highly skilled innovators that we want to make sure to stay in Canada. I want to make sure that we focus on start-ups – pre-revenue or not – high-growth companies, software-as-a-service [SaaS] companies”.

The Industrial Research Assistance Program allows for Canadian firms with less than 500 employees up to $10 million in funding for technology-development, as well as commercialization projects.

To qualify, Canadian businesses must:

  1. Be an incorporated, profit-oriented small or medium-sized business in Canada
  2. Be a company with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees
  3. Plan to pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
  4. Lack sufficient financial resources to sustain operations during the COVID-19 downturn period
  5. Have a Canada Revenue Agency business number
  6. Be incorporated by no later than March 1, 2020
  7. Be unable to qualify for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy
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