Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), a known name among academic institutions and business sectors, has been working to foster partnerships between academic institutions and businesses by providing research grants, knowledge resources, facilities and skilled talent for the purpose of leading innovation and encouraging technological research and development.
There are several programs under the NSERC umbrella; one program that is increasingly popular among businesses today is the NSERC Engage. This program offers research grants up to $25,000 and encourages collaboration between post-secondary institutions and businesses. The grant is open to both SMEs as well as large companies who meet the following eligibility criteria.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for the NSERC Engage grant:
- The company should be based in Canada
- It must have at least two employees and be in business since two years from the date of application. A start-up, an established business, an industry partner or a department of the government are equally eligible.
Qualifying criteria for projects
- The project seeking funding should be from the field of natural sciences and engineering focusing on short or medium term goal or be a specific part of a long term project
- It must also enlist an academic researcher from a Canadian university
- It must have recognizable scientific merit
- It must aim to solve a specific industry problem
- It must also have demonstrated financial support from the industry partner
- It must also involve training highly qualified students depending on the size of the project
- The project proposal must also highlight the social, economic and environmental benefits to Canada.
- Research projects can last up to six months in length and the grant is provided based on project scope, length, and required materials. There is an additional extension of six months through the NSERC Engage Plus program which involves an additional $12,500 in research grants. Research partners are expected to apply before the completion of the final month of the NSERC Engage program or within six months of the end of the grant
- A business can obtain up to two NSERC Engage research grants per fiscal year (from April 1 to March 31). Moreover, the funding is given to the post-secondary research partner and not the business to invest directly into the project
Application deadline and timelines
- There is no deadline for submitting an application. You can submit the application any time of the year provided you meet the eligibility criteria
- The qualifying business can expect to hear about approvals within 4-6 weeks of date of application submission.
How it benefits your business?
- If one of the major focus of your company is investment in research and development, then this program can be very beneficial to you
- It significantly reduces your time and investment to innovate as it provides access to college and university facilities and students. If your project requires specialized expertise and knowledge from varied disciplines, a collaboration with the university can give you a leading edge.
- It addresses immediate business problems as well as paves the way for future innovation and development. The innovation capacity of companies can be doubled or tripled utilizing the partner university’s resources. Moreover, all project costs are covered by the funding.
- It helps you identify future hires for your business
Eligible costs for the NSERC Engage program:
- Any research labour cost associated with the project
- Up to $250 worth of office supplies
- If any specific equipment is mandatory to the project and its objective is clearly outlined, it may be eligible for reimbursement
- Any third party expertise consulting fees to complete specific project tasks but limited to 20% of the amount requested from NSERC
- Any publication or conference expenses with proven details of their validity to transfer the technology to the industry partner.
So what does your next research project look like? Do your company and your project meet the eligibility criteria to receive the NSERC Engage Funding? Our team of experts can help you find out. Contact Kelid™ to set up a free consultation TODAY!
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