What is IRAP?
IRAP stands for Industrial Research Assistance Program, which is one of the vital components of the Canada’s innovation systems. This program is part of the 2013 Federal Budget for National Research Council (NRC). The IRAP is regarded as one of the best business funding programs in Canada because the funding is non-repayable. Therefore you do not need to pay them back as long as you adhere to their terms and conditions. In order to obtain funding from this program, you have to contribute 50% of the overall project then IRAP takes care of the rest. This program provides funding to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
If you are an entrepreneur hoping to obtain business funding under the IRAP, your project or undertaking need to fall under the following subprograms:
1. Small Technology Innovation Projects, or the Accelerated Review Process (ARP)
This subprogram provides grants of up to $50K in order to help other firms to fund their research and development (R&D) projects or commercializing on technology projects.
2. Mid-sized Technology Innovation Projects
Under this subprogram the funds and grants are larger depending on the nature of the project. This subprogram is great for large projects such as creating new original software and developing new programs, which require a larger sum of money. It also offers funds for internal research and development that a company may require.
3. Youth Employment Strategy Programs
This subprogram aims to encourage employing youth workers between the ages of 15-30. It covers 50% of a 12-month employment contract for the first year. The maximum sum of this subprogram pays up to $15,000.
4. Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program or DTAPP
The DTAPP or Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program is meant to encourage and accelerate SMEs in adopting digital technology and building digital skills. This subprogram provides funds or grants up to a maximum amount of $100,000, or 80% of direct labour and 75% of subcontractor costs. The program was closed in March 2014.
5. Funds for Investment in Businesses Innovation (BIAP)
The aim of the program is to help Canadian businesses to realize short term projects in a way that is beneficial to the business and its customers
Eligibility Criteria for IRAP Funding
Some basic criteria must be met before one can be considered for the IRAP Grants:
-You must be a profit-oriented and incorporated Canadian Small and Medium Enterprise (SME).
-You must have full time employees, up to a maximum number of 500.
-Your aim should consist of growing and generating profits by developing and commercializing innovative, technology-based projects (new or improved), services or processes in Canada.
Applying for IRAP Funding
If you have met the above eligibility criteria and intend to apply for the IRAP funding, you need to contact a local Industrial Technology Adviser (ITA), whose job is to determine whether you are eligible and to assist you in submitting your funding proposal.
IRAP funding is normally released by April 1st each year. If you are keen to obtain this funding, it is advisable to submit your application as soon as possible. To take advantage of our 30min free no-obligation consulting service either contact us or fill out the request form.