In response to the 2011 Jenkins report ‘Innovation Canada: Call to Action’, the Canadian Government proudly unveiled its online Concierge Service tool for small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) yesterday.
The Concierge Service tool was created to help SMEs, efficiently navigate available innovation resources – this includes information about assistance programs, funding, advising services and more. While there are a number of valuable resources, it can be a time-consuming process to find the best fit for your specific business needs.
Instead of spending hours researching various programs and grants, you can simply search for resources filtered by your specific innovation need(s) and location. The filter includes everything from ‘finding a strategic partner’ to ‘intellectual property/patents’ to ‘improving productivity’ and 7 other needs. It will save you hours of navigating different websites and trying to determine what is eligible and what isn’t.
The National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program—or IRAP for short—will deliver this one-stop shop and provide support. If you have a question or need some additional help, they are also able to provide customized referrals to a large network of public partners and programs. Each year, they ‘work with over 10,000 SMEs, with some 8,000 benefiting from expert advisory services and 2,000 receiving financial assistance’ (Canada’s Economic Action Plan: IRAP).
If you haven’t tried the online search tool yet, we highly recommend doing so now. There are many programs and opportunities to discover – it is well worth an initial investigation!
Note: the information about each individual program and resource can still be overwhelming. If it recommends the federal Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED), we’d be happy to go over the details of the program with you and determine if you’re eligible.