Funding Opportunities


COVID 19 Alliance Grants

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSERC is leveraging the expertise of researchers in natural science and engineering and their partners across Canada to address this unprecedented crisis. NSERC is providing up to $15 million in total support to stimulate collaborations between academic researchers and the public and not-for-profit sectors, and industry to address pandemic-related research and technical challenges. Support for up to $50,000 for one-year projects is being made available immediately. NSERC will process these applications in an accelerated fashion. Partners do not need to provide cash contributions to participate, but must be engaged throughout the research process, from input in design to using the expertise and/or the research results.

Alliance Grants

Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors. These grants support research projects led by strong, complementary, collaborative teams that will generate new knowledge and accelerate the application of research results to create benefits for Canada. Research supported by Alliance grants will:

  • generate new knowledge and/or technology to address complex challenges;
  • create economic, social and/or environmental benefits;
  • contribute to Canada’s long-term competitiveness;
  • support public policy;
  • train new researchers in areas that are important to Canada and to the partner organizations;
  • draw on diverse perspectives and skill sets to accelerate the translation and application of research results.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) focuses on ensuring the people of Ontario reap the personal and economic benefits of leading-edge research underway at our publicly funded universities, colleges and research hospitals –  research that can be transformed into technologies and services that enhance quality of life and help build a globally competitive, job-creating economy in Ontario. Specifically, OCE supports the commercialization of academic intellectual property (IP), industry-academic collaborations and the development and adoption of emerging technologies. This includes overseeing the execution of advanced technology platforms that will equip Ontario companies to compete in a competitive global digital economy. OCE also support and invest in early-stage projects where the probability of commercial success and investment return on innovation are substantial. OCE’s strong expertise in de-risking innovation helps attract private investors and other funders to new ventures, bolstering their success. A trusted partner of government in program delivery, OCE has adopted a whole-of-government approach to streamline funding application processes for companies and entrepreneurs.  Partners of  this whole-of-government approach are NSERC, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Connect Canada and Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC).

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) is Canada’s leading innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized businesses. Small or medium-sized business in Canada can benefit from this program to further strengthen innovation capacity and bring ideas to market. This is done though financial assistance, advisory services and connections to the best business and R&D expertise in Canada. It’s a winning model we’ve been using to drive business growth—and Canada’s innovation system—for over 70 years. More than 250 field staff and 130 offices across Canada give you access to the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) wherever your business may be. We tailor our services to your local context and specific technical and business needs. We are also co-located with a wide range of partner organizations focused on supporting small and medium‑sized businesses including local associations, universities and colleges as well as other science and technology departments and institutes.

NGEN is a manufacturing alliance that promote technology adoption, skills improvements and greater collaboration between technology and manufacturing to help Canadian companies of all sizes navigate the global shift to advanced manufacturing. NGEN runs the Canadian government’s ambitious investment in the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, matching federal funds and private investments to industry-led projects. Between  2018 and 2023, NGen will receive just under $230 million in funding from the Canada’s Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative (ISI) program that it will deploy to leverage investments by industry, supporting organizations, and other government funders in four types of initiatives aimed at achieving the Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster’s objectives:

  • Leadership initiatives – knowledge sharing based on industry trends, best practices, and experience, customized data analysis to inform business and policy decisions, and standards setting to guide industry performance and support innovation;
  • Connections and collaboration across Canada’s advanced manufacturing ecosystem – enabled by an online, searchable capabilities database and interactive collaboration platform;
  • Transformative technology and ecosystem development projects;
  • Capacity-building initiatives aimed at de-risking technology investment decisions, strengthening the management capabilities of smaller companies with respect to technology adoption and scale-up, and facilitating access to supporting services, training, tools, testbeds, and funding.

Supercluster funding is expected to leverage approximately $380 million in cash and in-kind investments in these initiatives, including $325 million from industry and $53 million from supporting organizations and other government agencies.

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 20 years. Working with 70 universities, 6,000 companies, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada. Founded in 1999, Mitacs launched  in 2003 a research internship program designed to increase deployment of highly educated graduates into the private sector. Open to all disciplines since 2007, Mitacs has expanded in response to industrial and university needs, including programs in R&D management, professional skills development, and international research training. Mitacs is committed to its core vision of supporting research-based innovation and continues to work closely with its partners in industry, academia, and government. From aerospace systems to childhood literacy rates, Mitacs-funded research helps to strengthen connections, improve economic performance, and create jobs. Mitacs has 25 offices across Canada, a robust leadership team, and a coast-to-coast business development team dedicated to building and supporting new partnerships. Mutiple programs are funded by Mitacs including international ones:

  1. Accelerate: Build research partnerships while funding students and postdocs. Apply any time for flexible funding
  2. Elevate: Establish long-term collaborations that support postdoctoral research management skills and career development.
  3. Globalink : Travel funding between Canada and selected international partners.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) works with Canadians in all areas of the economy and in all parts of the country to improve conditions for investment, enhance Canada’s innovation performance, increase Canada’s share of global trade and build a fair, efficient and competitive marketplace. We are the federal institution that leads the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio. Selection of programs that could be related to Nanoscale Science are:

Accelerated Growth Service: The Accelerated Growth Service helps growth-oriented Canadian businesses to expand by helping them access the key government services they need to grow, such as financing, exporting, innovation and business advice.

Clean Growth Hub: The Clean Growth Hub is a whole-of-government focal point for clean technology focused on supporting companies and projects, coordinating programs and tracking results.

Intellectual Property Strategy: The Government of Canada is investing $85.3 million over five years to help Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs and innovators understand, protect and access intellectual property (IP) through a comprehensive IP Strategy.

Northern Ontario Development Program: The Northern Ontario Development Program invests in projects that support community economic development, business growth and competitiveness and innovation.

Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub: The Government of Canada will provide either one eligible organization or a consortium of eligible organizations up to $8.62 million over three years to establish a Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub.

CMC Microsystems,  is a not-for-profit organization managing Canada’s National Design Network®.  CMC Microsystems’ mission is to enable and support the creation and application of micro- and nano-systems knowledge and manufacturing capability. It has been a long-time partner for nanofabrication R&D throughout Canada by supporting projects at open-access micro- and nanotechnology (MNT) facilities. Through its CAD, FAB and LAB programs, CMC and its partners provides essential tools for conceiving, fabricating and testing nanoscale devices and prototypes. CMC Microsystems offers financial assistance for custom fabrication at open-access MNT facilities. Projects supported by NSERC Alliance grants are eligible for automatic award.

CAD: State-of-the-art environments for successful design.

FAB: Services for making working prototypes

LAB: Device validation to system demonstration.

Government of Ontario Research Fund

The Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (ORF-RE) provides research institutions with funding to support the operational costs of major projects of strategic value to the province. The fund provides up to one third of the total value of a project, with the remaining two thirds coming from a combination of private sector and institutional contributions. ORF-RE Round 10 has two application funding tiers:

  • Tier 1. Open to all disciplines
    Funds projects from $200,000 to $1,000,000
  • Tier 2. Open to all disciplines
    Funds projects from $1,000,001 to $4,000,000

Government of Ontario Research Fund

The Ontario Research Fund – Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) provides research institutions with funding to help support infrastructure needs, such as modern facilities and equipment. Both the Ontario government and the Canada Foundation for Innovation provide funding and must be applied to at the same time. Types of Inrastructures supported by ORF-RI are:

  • Large Infrastructure: helps cover the costs of building/renovating and equipping facilities to conduct collaborative academic research, co-funds with the Innovation Fund.
  • Small Infrastructure: helps cover the costs of acquiring/renewing research equipment (e.g., specimens, scientific collections, computer software, information databases), co-funds with the John R. Evans Leaders Fund
  • College-Industry Innovation: helps cover the costs of building, renovating and equipping research facilities to promote college-industry partnerships,  co-funds with Canada Foundation for Innovation’s College-Industry Innovation Fund, participation from private-sector partners is essential.

A trusted source of information for all nanoscience and nanotechnology activity in Ontario.