Federal government support

A range of programming exists across the Innovation, Science and Economic Development portfolio that benefits Life Science industries. These programs emphasize such factors as technology, talent, and scaling-up – all of which are key to developing your business in the life sciences sector.

Innovation Science and Economic Development and portfolio funding programs

  • Business Development Bank of Canada
    Canada’s business development bank is the only financial institution devoted exclusively to entrepreneurs. They help create and develop strong Canadian businesses through financing, advisory services and capital, with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Canada Foundation for Innovation
    The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funds infrastructure to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development. Funds are disbursed through a range of CFI programs including the Major Science Initiatives Fund (MSI).
  • Genome Canada
    Genome Canada provides large-scale investments that develop new technologies, connect the public sector with private industry, and create solutions to problems of national interest, such as health, sustainable resources, the environment, and energy. Funding opportunities include the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), which funds downstream R&D projects that address real world opportunities and challenges identified by industry, government, not-for-profits and other “Receptors” of genomics knowledge and technologies.
  • Innovation Superclusters Initiative
    The Innovation Supercluster Initiative will leverage a federal investment of up to $950 million to create public-private partnerships in innovative industries across the country. Superclusters are dense areas of business activity where many of the middle-class jobs of today and tomorrow are created. They generate new companies, and commercialize new products, processes and services that position firms to scale, connect to global supply chains, transition to high-value activities and become global market leaders.
  • National Research Council
    The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's premier research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development, and fulfilling government mandates. They offer a number of support mechanisms to qualifying businesses, including through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). IRAP provides advisory services and funding to help small and medium-sized enterprises develop, adopt and adapt technologies and incorporate them into competitive products and services to be commercialized in the global marketplace
  • Networks of Centres of Excellence
    Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) offer a suite of programs that mobilize Canada’s best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise and focus it on specific issues and strategic areas. Health-related NCEs are fostering partnerships between industry, academia and government in a range of areas that include knowledge mobilization, research commercialization, and the acceleration of life science start-ups.
  • Regional Economic Development Agencies
    Regional Development Agencies across Canada help to address key economic challenges by providing regionally-tailored funding programs, services, knowledge and expertise that:
    • Build on regional and local economic assets and strengths;
    • Support business growth, productivity and innovation;
    • Help small- and medium-sized businesses effectively compete in the global marketplace;
    • Provide adjustment assistance in response to economic downturns and crises; and
    • Support communities.
  • Strategic Innovation Fund
    The Strategic Innovation Fund allocates repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada's industrial and technology sectors. The program has a budget of $1.26 billion over five years. It consolidates and simplifies the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative, Technology Demonstration Program, Automotive Innovation Fund and Automotive Supplier Innovation Program; and expands the scope of funding support to other economic sectors including Health and Bio-sciences.

Supporting institutions with funding and partnering opportunities

  • Brain Canada
    Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, that enables and supports excellent, innovative, paradigm-changing brain research in Canada. The Canada Brain Research Fund (CBRF) is a public-private partnership established in 2011 designed to encourage Canadians to increase their support for brain research, and maximize the impact and efficiency of those investments. This fund supports Canadian brain science research to advance knowledge and our understanding of the brain and brain disorders.
  • Canadian Technology Accelerator
    The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) initiative helps Canadian companies with an existing technology, product or service explore opportunities in foreign markets. Services offered through the CTA include business mentoring and on-the-ground, intelligence, contacts, and other resources in foreign markets to help clients make informed, timely and cost-effective decisions and achieve their international business goals.
  • Invest in Canada
    Find Information and connect with an advisor to help you invest in Canada.

For more funding opportunities please visit Government programs for Canadian manufacturers

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