Government of Canada launches tool to help Canadian businesses grow and create jobs
Concierge Service to help SMEs access available government programs in one-stop shop
December 02, 2013 — Ottawa, Ontario
Minister of State for Science and Technology Greg Rickford and NRC President John McDougall watch a demonstration of an innovative technology developed by NRC-IRAP client Cognivue.
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology), along with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), announced a new service providing firms with timely information and advice to identify and access Government innovation support programs that more adequately respond to their needs. Beginning today, it will be easier for small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) to find and access business research and development (R&D) programs to accelerate their growth.
"Small and medium‑sized enterprises are the engines of Canada's economic growth and this new service will help businesses make effective use of federal innovation programs to allow them to take their firms to the next level," said the Honourable Greg Rickford. "This initiative promotes innovation by giving businesses access to the research support they need, so they can grow and create high‑quality jobs for Canadians."
The Concierge Service addresses one of the recommendations made by Canadian firms, organizations, and stakeholders, following extensive government consultations concerning federal R&D support. The consultations found that SMEs struggle to understand and access much of the R&D support available to them, and recommended a concierge service along with a web portal to address this issue.
By combining online, phone, and in‑person assistance, the Concierge Service provides a single point of contact. Canadian businesses will now have easier access to government innovation assistance programs, to help them develop and bring their products and services to market more quickly, helping them to grow into globally competitive companies. The entire service is intended to assist entrepreneurs reach their desired objectives.
"For many SMEs, the efficient and reliable commercialization of R&D into new products, processes and services is extremely challenging, particularly with limited resources. Innovation is a catalyst for the development and growth of new businesses, high‑value jobs, and long‑term economic prosperity for Canada. The Concierge service announced today is an important step in supporting SMEs to innovate and ultimately commercialize breakthrough ideas," stated Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.
"The launch of the Government of Canada's new Concierge Service is a great example of how Government can better support Canadian SMEs," said Corinne Pohlmann, CFIB's Vice‑President of National Affairs. "This one‑stop shop for small businesses seeking information and guidance on R&D‑related activities at federal, provincial and municipal levels of government will help ensure small businesses receive the support they need in a timely and efficient manner," added Pohlmann.
Delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC‑IRAP), this new service will complement NRC's existing array of innovation support, strategic research, and scientific and technical services. To take advantage of the Concierge service, businesses can visit the website or call at 1‑855‑534‑8433.
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