Canada – UK 2022-23 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals on quantum technologies
From: National Research Council Canada
Working together, the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) aim to foster and support collaborative industrial research and development (R&D) projects with a high potential for commercialization. This call for proposals is open to organizations from Canada and the UK who wish to form project consortia to perform collaborative projects focused on developing innovative products, processes, or technology-based services in the area of quantum technologies.
2. Application deadlines
- Canadian registration deadline: January 31, 2023
- Canadian expression of interest deadline: February 15, 2023
- International consortium project proposal deadline: April 19, 2023
3. Sectors of focus
Projects must advance the development of quantum technology systems to enable their commercial use cases and strengthen industry collaboration between the UK and Canada.
Projects must focus on one or more of the following themes:
- Sensing and imaging
- Component and sub system technologies supporting communications, computing and networking
- Scalable solutions such as chip scale quantum photonic and optoelectronic systems
- Software hardware codesign for reproducible quantum processor enhanced applications
In particular, it is encouraged that projects:
- Involve consortia which span the supply chain of service/component suppliers, integrators, and end user businesses
- Propel quantum technology from lab prototypes to industry ready systems for commercial use through integration of innovative and scalable technologies
4. Eligibility requirements
To be considered for funding, applicants must form a project consortium and develop a collaborative research and development (R&D) project that meets the following criteria:
4.1 Canadian applicant
- The Canadian small or medium‑sized enterprise (SME) applicant must:
- be an incorporated, profit oriented small or medium sized business in Canada
- have 500 or fewer full time equivalent employees
- pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
- have a differentiated and protectable technology with commercial potential in global markets
- have sufficient working capital (e.g. revenue, investment etc.) and resources to undertake a multi-year R&D collaboration and commercialize the results
- be committed to significant growth through international market expansion
- The SME applicant may also be considered if they are:
- Early stage/pre-commercial with 5 or more full-time equivalent employees
- Affiliated with a post-secondary institution and/or research technology organization
- The project consortium must include at least:
- 1 incorporated Canadian small or medium‑sized enterprise (SME), defined as a for‑profit company with 500 or fewer full‑time equivalent employees*
- 1 incorporated UK business of any size defined as a for‑profit company
- The parties listed above must be unrelated parties (i.e. no direct, indirect, beneficial or constructive ownership interest between these parties)
- The project partners that form the consortium must agree on a plan addressing intellectual property rights and intent to commercialize.
*In addition to the Canadian SME, other Canadian organizations (research institutes, universities, government laboratories, research and technology organizations, large enterprises and other companies) may participate on a self‑funded basis or as subcontractors to a grant-receiving entity from the UK or Canada. Such organizations may also be eligible to receive funding through the NRC Quantum Sensors Challenge Program (QSP) if the consortium includes a QSP-affiliated NRC researcher. Please contact Roscoe.Klinck@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca for full details.
- The project must focus on co-development, adaptation, and/or validation of an innovative product, process, or technology-based service that has:
- commercial potential and outcomes that can be realized within 2-3 years of completion of the project
- a quantify performance objectives
- a roadmap of future exploitation
- a civilian (non-military) purpose
- The project must demonstrate:
- a complementary technological contribution from each partner
- an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the cooperation between the participants
- a balanced contribution between project partners and countries (i.e. no more than 70% of the effort contributed by any one partner or country)
4.4 UK eligibility requirements
Please consult the UK Innovation Funding Service (IFS) call for proposals announcement for UK eligibility requirements.
Eligible project participants in collaborative projects selected through this call for proposals may receive funding from their respective national funding bodies. Funds will be provided in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, rules, and procedures established by the relevant national funding bodies, country, and jurisdiction.
Non‑eligible project participants (e.g. universities, research institutes, etc., and participants from other countries) are welcome to participate on a self‑funded basis or as sub‑contractors to funded participants, according to each country's funding regulations.
Additional country-specific funding parameters are outlined below.
5.1 Canadian funding
In Canada, this call for proposals is offered through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and for managing any resulting funding agreements.
Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of $500,000 CAD over 12 to 24 months.
Note: Canadian SME applicants must be eligible for funding as NRC IRAP clients before they can be considered for funding through this call for proposals. For more information on NRC IRAP eligibility and becoming an NRC IRAP client, please contact NRC IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.
Note: Canadian SME applicants may apply to more than one NRC IRAP call for proposals simultaneously. However, NRC IRAP may limit the number of funded projects per applicant. Canadian SME applicants who are applying to more than one opportunity or who have ongoing NRC IRAP projects should speak to their NRC IRAP representative for more information.
Eligible Canadian organizations (research institutes, universities, government laboratories, research and technology organizations, large enterprises and other companies) may receive funding through the NRC's Quantum Sensors Challenge Program (QSP). Canadian organizations who partner with an eligible consortium which includes a QSP-affiliated NRC researcher may be eligible for additional funding. Please contact, Roscoe Klinck, Senior Advisor, International Relations, for eligibility requirements and program details.
5.2 UK funding
In the UK, this call for proposals is offered through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Innovate UK, part of UKRI, is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and the management of any resulting funding agreements.
Please consult the Innovate UK IFS call for proposals announcement for UK funding parameters.
6. Application process
This call for proposal is being hosted by Innovate UK's Innovation Funding Service (IFS). Each project consortium must complete and submit the joint project application form via the UK Innovation IFS application portal. Please consult the Innovate UK IFS application portal for instructions on how to complete and submit the project application package.
In addition to the project consortium submitting the IFS project application form, each project partner seeking funding must submit all required documents to their respective national funding body and meet its due diligence process requirements. Failure to do so, at any point or for any reason, may cause the entire collaborative project application to be considered incomplete or ineligible and render the entire project consortium ineligible for funding through this call for proposals.
Application processes and evaluations will be performed independently by each national funding body in accordance with their national and institutional laws and regulations. Once each national funding body has evaluated the submitted applications, a final joint project selection will be performed.
Information on respective application processes follows below:
6.1 Canadian application process
The Canadian application process has four phases:
- Expression of interest
- International consortium project proposal
- National funding body proposal and funding agreement
Step 1: Registration phase
Each Canadian applicant must register using the Register button at the bottom of this page. Basic information about the applicant and the organization will be required upon registration.
NRC IRAP will review registrations for this call for proposals and contact applicants if more information is required. Qualifying applicants will proceed to the next phase and be invited to submit an expression of interest form.
Step 2: Expression of interest phase
During this phase, each Canadian applicant seeking funding must submit an expression of interest (EOI) form outlining basic information on the applicant and the collaborative project.
While completing the EOI form, each Canadian applicant is encouraged to contact their NRC IRAP representative to discuss their project idea and receive guidance on preparing their submission.
It is recommended that applicants submit the EOI as early as possible. EOIs will be evaluated by the applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. Qualifying applicants will be invited to submit the more detailed international consortium project proposal in collaboration with their project partners. The lead Canadian applicant will be provided all templates needed to submit an ICPP.
Step 3: International consortium project proposal phase
During the international consortium project proposal (ICPP) phase, all project partners must work together to complete and submit an international consortium project proposal (ICPP) package.
In this call for proposals, the Canadian ICPP application package consists of:
- International consortium project proposal (ICPP) / Innovate UK IFS projet application form outlining the:
- project consortium
- collaborative project
- expected outcomes
- expected project cost and calendar
- NRC IRAP Canadian SME annex form containing additional information required to assess the Canadian SME applicants and the project consortium
- Draft international consortium agreement containing descriptions of the following:
- roles and responsibilities of each consortium member
- project management framework
- division of intellectual property rights
- confidentiality and publication agreements, and liability clauses
Canadian ICPP applications will be evaluated by an NRC IRAP evaluation team including the applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. Only Canadian participants of selected project proposals will be invited to proceed to the final national funding body proposal and funding agreement stage.
Step 4: National funding body proposal and funding agreement phase
During the national funding body proposal and funding agreement phase, all eligible project partners work independently to complete funding proposals and sign legally binding funding agreements with their respective national funding body. Canadian applicants will work with their NRC IRAP representative to prepare an NRC IRAP funding proposal and contribution agreement.
6.2 UK application process
For information related to application stages, requirements, instructions, ICPP application packages and funding agreements, please consult the UK IFS call for proposals announcement.
For questions, concerns, or for more information, please contact the appropriate call for proposals representative listed below:
7.1 Canadian contact
Small and medium-sized enterprises
NRC IRAP UK National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program
Senior Advisor, International Relations
International Innovation Office, National Research Council of Canada
7.2 UK contact
Innovation Lead - Quantum Technologies ISCF
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
UK Research and Innovation | Innovate UK
Canadian SME participants must be registered NRC IRAP clients. If not already an NRC IRAP client, Canadian SMEs must contact 1-877-994-4727 to determine if they might be eligible for support through the NRC IRAP.
To begin the application process, the lead Canadian applicant must register for this opportunity by clicking the Register button.
If there is no Register button visible below this line, it means the call for proposals has closed. Please contact the Contact listed or the NRC IRAP International Office for more information.