NRC IRAP, BDC look to align funding programs to support Canadian tech businesses

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The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) have revealed plans to partner in order to better support Canadian tech businesses.

“We aim to help an even greater number of Canadian entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of ground-breaking products.”
– Michael Denham, BDC

The partnership would see BDC align its service offerings with that of NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). This alignment, the agencies said, would refer NRC IRAP clients to BDC and give them access to BDC loans starting at $100,000.

“Canadian small and medium-sized businesses are key to our country’s economic success and help spur the kind of innovation that improves our quality of life,” said Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC.

“By joining forces with NRC IRAP, we aim to help an even greater number of Canadian entrepreneurs to accelerate the commercialization of ground-breaking products, scale and compete on the global market,” added Denham.

Companies interested in receiving support from this partnership must be an active NRC IRAP client, however both new and existing BDC clients qualify for support.

Interested companies must have minimum sales of $500,000 as of the most recent year-end
must be in the information and communication technology sector or other related tech sectors. Following a due diligence and credit approval process, the agencies said companies will be able to access “exclusive financing conditions” from BDC.

NRC IRAP provides funding and advisory services to small and medium-sized businesses aimed to help them grow, build capacity, and take their ideas to market. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, NRC IRAP provided research and development funding to over 4,200 projects.

RELATED: IRAP IAP funding extended with $155 million to support innovative businesses hit by COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, both BDC and NRC have both created programs providing additional financing to startups. BDC’s bridge financing program provides a matching investment program for Canadian venture-backed companies affected by the pandemic.

NRC IRAP began offering an Innovation Assistance Program (IAP), which provides financing to small and medium-sized Canadian businesses that are unable to secure funding under the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy and the Business Credit Availability Program. On Friday, the federal government extended the IAP with an additional $155 million in funding.

“By partnering to better align our service offerings we are increasing support for innovative companies at a time when it is needed most,” said Roger Scott-Douglas, acting president of NRC. “Through this initiative, we hope to help existing NRC IRAP clients more easily access BDC financing, helping them take that next step, and bringing the best of Canada to market.”

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.