Benefits to Canadians
Canada's nearly two million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - are the key drivers of job and wealth creation in all sectors of the nation's economy. One of NRC's primary objectives in stimulating wealth creation in Canada is to link its diverse networks, programs and infrastructure to SMEs to help them access, develop and exploit new technologies and knowledge essential for their growth and prosperity. NRC's primary vehicle for stimulating the innovation capabilities of SMEs is its Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind, NRC-IRAP is a vital component of NRC's innovation strategy and a cornerstone of Canada's innovation system.
This program stimulates wealth creation through technological innovation by providing technology advice, assistance and services to SMEs to help them build their innovation capacity. NRC-IRAP brings together a diverse network of organizations, services and programs to help Canadian SMEs develop and exploit technologies in the competitive, global, knowledge economy. Through expert technical and business advice, financial assistance, access to business information, contacts, and national and international networks, the program provides customized solutions to some 10,000 SMEs annually.
The program's success stems from its track record of customized services and the highly skilled people that deliver those services across Canada. Its 240 Industry Technology Advisors (ITAs) are a unique resource, the focal point of one-on-one relationships with companies that extend for years.
NRC-IRAP builds on this foundation of ITAs with other strengths. It plugs clients into NRC's extensive networks of knowledge, experience and contacts from "around the corner and around the globe." It partners with over 100 Network Member (NM) organizations at the regional level all providing advice and assistance to SMEs.
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