Canada – Germany joint industrial R&D projects - Call for proposals

1. Scope

Germany and Canada are pleased to announce a call for proposals for joint industrial R&D projects focusing on developing innovative products, processes, or technology-based services in all technological and application areas which have strong market potential.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) will provide access to public funding for joint projects through the BMWi’s ZIM program (Central Innovation Program for SMEs) in Germany, and through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) in Canada.

NRC-IRAP and AiF Projekt GmbH (Project management agency for the BMWi) will provide all necessary assistance to project partners during the project proposal, evaluation and monitoring phase.

2. Application process

Project partners are required to present a joint common proposal for an industrial R&D project, according to the following procedures:

2.1 Dates

Launch date: September 1, 2016
Deadline to apply: November 30, 2016
Expected date for decisions: December 21, 2016

2.2 Financing

Eligible project participants from Germany and Canada will finance their costs from the national funding schemes (in Germany ZIM, in Canada by NRC-IRAP) and complementarily from their own resources. Funding application review by ZIM and NRC-IRAP will begin following the review and acceptance of the joint common proposal.

2.3 Requirements

Project results will have to contribute to the development of commercial products, processes and / or technical services. Projects must comply with the following requirements:

  • The consortium has to include at least two independent enterprises, one from Canada and one from Germany which contribute considerably to the project. Participation of research institutes and other companies are welcome as additional participants or subcontractors according to each country’s funding regulations.
  • The project should have an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the cooperation between the participants from the two jurisdictions (e.g. increased innovation capability, commercial leads, access to R&D infrastructure, new fields of application, etc.).
  • Project duration should not exceed 2 years. An extension of 1 year could be accepted by both countries if sufficiently justified.

Any partner whose cooperative industrial R&D project is consistent with the aforesaid requirements can apply to the present call for proposals in accordance with the national laws, rules, regulations and procedures in effect.

2.4 Submission guidelines

IMPORTANT: Each interested partner must contact their local funding agency as soon as possible, before submitting a proposal.

Before the call for proposals deadline all participants must complete a short joint common proposal form (PDF, 647 KB) in English, legally signed by all partners participating in the project and a draft Cooperation Agreement (not yet signed) that regulates the terms of cooperation between all partners also in English.

The minimum requirements for the Cooperation Agreement are:

  • Naming all project partners
  • Description of the project aims and the differentiation of subprojects by each partner including brief work plans with effort estimated in person-months (Short common proposal annexed)
  • Identifying and naming any 3rd party contractors required in the project
  • Regulation of intellectual property rights (background and arising)
  • Basic regulation of joint commercialization and apportioning of benefits
  • If research organizations from Germany are involved the publishing rights of each party must be agreed to by the parties

Upon request, an International Consortium Agreement Template can be provided as a guideline for preparation of the Cooperation Agreement. These two documents have to be submitted before the deadline electronically to both and Simultaneously, all applicants must file national applications according to each programs respective rule.

2.4.1 Submissions for Canadian companies

Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% of their part of eligible project costs through NRC-IRAP.

Canadian eligibility criteria:

  • Be incorporated, profit-oriented small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), with 500 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, registered in Canada;
  • Be ready to collaborate with the German partner on an industrial R&D project;
  • Be intended to grow and generate profits through the development and commercialization of innovative, technology-driven, new or improved products, services, or processes.

Canadian application process:

Interested Canadian SMEs must contact their NRC-IRAP Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA). If not already an NRC-IRAP client, contact the NRC-IRAP office in your region (1-877-994-4727) to discuss eligibility. NRC-IRAP project proposal form, common guidelines and other required documents can be requested from Tim Jackson. The documents will be sent via email.

2.4.2 Submissions for German companies

Every German project partner files one individual ZIM application in paper form to AiF Projekt GmbH. All German SMEs, following the guidelines of the European Union definition which perform R&D to develop an innovative product, process or technological service – also in cooperation with research organisations – have the right to apply. More detailed criteria can be found on the ZIM website. The application has to be in line with the ZIM regulations, e.g. it has to be in German language.


Mr. Georg Nagel
AiF Projekt GmbH
Tschaikowskistraße 49, 13156 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 48163-526

Mr. Tim Jackson
NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program
77 Germain St., Suite 403, Saint John, NB
Tel.: +1-506-636-3728

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