Skip to content

SUMMARY: Additional NRC-IRAP Funding Available for Companies Who Have ‘Fallen Through the Cracks’

SUMMARY: Additional NRC-IRAP Funding Available for Companies Who Have ‘Fallen Through the Cracks’

April 20, 2020 NRC IRAP Innovation Assistance Program 
See April 22 addendum below.


Starting on April 22, 2020 at 4 am PDT small and medium-sized Canadian businesses unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program can apply for financial assistance.


IMPORTANT: We advise you to register immediately if you plan to seek support through this program/evelope prior to the April 22 opening. 


Need to know:

  • There is now an additional $250 million in funding to this program to help innovative companies. Funding will help a wide range of companies, not just current IRAP clients.
  • The IAP is designed to support firms that DID NOT qualify for other federal subsidies (e.g. Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP(If you’re eligible for the wage subsidy, you will not get access to this IRAP funding; no double-dipping)
  • IAP support is NOT additional IRAP project funding, and is not intended to support current or future projects. There will not be any additional IRAP project funding from this program.
  • You should register immediately on the NRC website. You then have more info emailed to you when the program opens on April 22. Registration requires your name, email, province and postal code. 
  • The number of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQPs) on the payroll will be the key metric in determining how much support a company will get.


Nice to know:

  • The goal is to flow money to eligible companies within 4 weeks.
  • The application form will be super-streamlined to enable fast-processing 
  • NRC-IRAP will focus on reaching the tech companies that have fallen through the cracks vis-a-vis the measures that have been announced to date, such as the wage subsidy (e.g. pre-revenue startups) 
  • NRC-IRAP will lean on the Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) in determining which companies will be helped.


Some background:

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) is a Canadian government funding program designed to accelerate the research and development projects of Canadian innovators. Businesses who are developing and implementing process improvements are the primary targets to receive research funding contributions through IRAP, however, large-scale technology adoption projects that lead to new capabilities are also considered.

IRAP is administered and managed by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC). NRC-IRAP funding contributions are funded through the Government of Canada; this means that applicants from across the country can apply to receive funding support. If performing a technology-driven research and development project in Canada, IRAP funding contributions should always be considered during the planning process.


April 22 Addendum:

Note: applications for the IRAP funding go live Today here. They will be open only until April 29. 


President of the National Research Council, Iain Stewart, provided an overview of the new $250 million Innovative Assistance Program (IAP). This program is designed to assist early stage and scaling companies that cannot access other federal supports such as the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) or the Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP).
Program Summary

  • IAP will service amounts of money matching the high end of the CEWS program. For each employee, the program will provide $847 a week for 12 weeks, totalling $10,164 per employee.
  • All members of staff as of March 1st who will receive a T4/T4A at the end of the year are eligible to be supported by this program.
  • If an employee is laid off then called back, they will be supported by this program if they were on payroll as of March 1st.
  • Additional hires after March 1st will not be supported.
  • IAP will only support people named on the payroll, not backfill hires
  • Payment structure:  First payment of 80% for a 12 week period in May to confirm that people are still on payroll. Second payment in June to get the last 20%.
  • Targeting to make payments the week of May 11th.

Application Overview

  • IAP is a complement to CEWS: you must attest that you have attempted to use CEWS and been denied.
    • CEWS will have a tool to see quickly if companies are eligible to receive funding. Anyone who wants IAP should use this tool first, then use that for the attestation (no formal CEWS rejection is required).
    • If you are eligible for CEWS now, you will not be eligible for IAP later. IAP is a one-time thing.
  • The total envelope of support cannot exceed total payroll.
  • In order to be eligible for IAP you must meet the IRAP company eligibility definition:
    • Incorporated and profit driven Canadian small and medium-sized businesses
    • 500 or fewer full-time employees
    • Commitment to the development and sales of technology driven and innovative services, products, or processes in Canada
  • You will be required to answer 8 merit-based questions, which will act as a ‘paper’ interview of the company. Acceptance will take into account the quality of tech and the position in the innovation space.
  • The website will go live on April 22nd at 7:00 am and close a week later on April 29th.

Additional Notes

  • There will be no matching fund requirements, this is a minimum payment philosophy equivalent to CEWS.
  • IAP is independent from the classic IRAP programs. Companies can apply to both IRAP programs if eligible. However, all federal funding will impact the company's SR&ED claims. The NRC recommends that companies use accountants to determine which programs to apply to.
  • Money in tranches - the NRC is are working on placing budget earlier in fiscal year, will run out of money
  • The NRC is trying to push out as much of the $300M under classic IRAP given the downturn of the economy. The $250M under IAP will be paid out on a monthly basis now.
  • There will be no special consideration for medtech or any other special sectors.
  • Products manufactured in Canada will not get priority treatment.
  • Companies of 1 or 2 people will be eligible for support.
  • Highly-qualified person - individual contributing in a significant way to the innovation that is building the business - technical employees as well as sales and marketing.


Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top