Call for proposals for joint industrial Research and Development (R&D) projects between Germany and Canada

Deadline for proposal submissions: 24 November 2017

Full Application Deadline: extended to 12 January 2018

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 for Economic Affairs 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 project proposal, evaluation and monitoring phase.

2. Application process

Project partners are required to jointly present an industrial R&D project application, according to the following procedures:

2.1 Dates

Launch date: September 1, 2017

For applicants seeking feedback on the Project Sketch (Germany) or IRAP Project Outline (Canada): 24 November 2017

Full Application Deadline: extended to 12 January 2018

Expected decisions: Canadian SME funding eligibility, 2-3 weeks after submission; National funding, 3 months after submission.

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 proposals for ZIM and NRC IRAP will follow the review and acceptance of the joint project application.

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, including the European Framework for State aid for research and development and innovation. (2014/C 198/01)

2.4 Submission guidelines

IMPORTANT: Each interested partner must contact their local funding agency as soon as possible, before submitting the joint project application.

By the call for proposals Full Application Deadline project participants must submit the following:

  1. The Proposal Application Form, prepared jointly in English (legally signed by all partners participating in the project).
  2. 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 (Proposal Application Form 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 either country 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. The above two documents are to be submitted by the deadline electronically to both and Timothy Jackson.

  1. For the German partners, a completed national ZIM project form.
    For the Canadian partners, a completed 2-page NRC IRAP Project Outline.

2.4.1 Funding 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:

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.

Timeline to each project proposal application:

  • Get in touch with your local funding agency at NRC or ZIM (AiF Projekt GmbH) before starting to fill in an application
  • ZIM:
    • File an optional project sketch before 24 November 2017 to allow enough time for feedback, describe the project in the document provided and submit it for further consultation.
    • File the full project proposal form and all additional documents needed by the Full Application Deadline.
  • NRC:
    • File the IRAP Project Outline by 24 November 2017 to allow enough time for feedback.on the scope and potential feasibility of the project.
    • Submit the above described documents by the Full Application Deadline.
  • Within three months of the Full Application Submission you will receive an evaluation of the project and information whether the project is ready for funding in both national programs.


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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