Guest Blog - National Research Council of Canada

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) provides innovation and funding services customized to each business's specific needs. We invited the folks at NRC-IRAP to write a blog about their program and goal of helping Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises accelerate their growth of businesses through innovation and technology.

The Program

The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) understands technology and business. Each year, IRAP supports thousands of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from all industry sectors through funding and a wide range of technical and business advisory services.

IRAP knows innovation and Canadian firms determined to grow and transform their ideas into commercial success should look no further. The program delivers a wide range of technical and business advisory services that includes supporting the development of specialized, technology-oriented solutions through science and engineering expertise, competitive technical intelligence and state of art technology recommendations. IRAP also provides support for literature and patent searches, referrals, expertise searches, linkages and networking, strategic intelligence, and business advice.

The secret to the program’s success is the dedication of our 250+ Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs). They are industry experts, located in over 120 communities across Canada, who assist innovative SMEs through every aspect and at every stage of the innovation process.

Companies interested in engaging with IRAP must meet our basic eligibility criteria:
• Be an SME in Canada, incorporated and profit-oriented
• Have 500 or less full-time equivalent employees
• Have the objective to grow and generate profits through development and commercialization of innovative, technology-based products, services, or processes.
• Be willing to work with NRC-IRAP and establish a trusting relationship

IRAP is regarded worldwide as one of the best programs of its kind.

IRAP success stories

Healthy feed means healthy milk: The science behind omega-3-enriched dairy
Thanks to a partnership between academia, IRAP and Regina’s Oleet Processing, a study was funded that looked at the effects of the consumption of extruded flaxseed on a cow’s health and on production of milk over many months. Very positive results led to a doubling in sales of Oleet’s LinPRO-R animal feed, with the resultant omega-3-enriched milk products now available for sale across the continent. 

Digital technology serves up a productivity feast
In a crowded marketplace of designer tortilla chips and discerning chip aficionados, an eight-employee Ottawa, Ontario-based tortilla chip manufacturer stands tall and is taking on the industry Goliaths and winning consumers over. Thanks to help from National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and NRC-IRAP's Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP), family-owned Mexican Corn Products (MCP) improved production throughput and cut cleanup time at the end of a production run by replacing manual processes with digital technology.

Managing floods of water data
Headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Aquatic Informatics received NRC-IRAP support to help identify gaps in the water informatics market and aid in the hiring of skilled graduates. With technical and advisory services from NRC-IRAP, Aquatic Informatics enhanced its leading software suite AQUARIUS, and developed a pilot program to help create a business model for international growth in the environmental monitoring industry.

Start Your Application

Companies seeking information on all available Government of Canada programs should look no further than Concierge. It is a free Government of Canada program offered by IRAP in collaboration with federal and provincial partners and provides access to information on funding, expertise, facilities and global opportunities to SMEs seeking to grow through innovation. Our expert advisors provide one-on-one customized guidance in selecting the most relevant programs and services to help you grow your business.

For more information on all our services and eligibility requirements, please visit our website: or call our toll-free number at 1-877-994-4727 to be directed to an ITA in your region.

For Concierge, please visit our website: or call our toll-free number at 1-855-534-8433.