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Frequently Asked Questions – CanExport Innovation

CanExport Innovation provides up to $75,000 to Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises, academic institutions and non-government research centers to facilitate collaborative research and development (R&D) with international partners and investors. This FAQ answers common questions. Consult our detailed Applicant's Guide to find out how the funding works, which activities we cover and to review assessment criteria.

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Potential applicants

Which organizations can apply?

CanExport Innovation accepts applications from Canadian small and medium-sized companies, as well as academic institutions and non-government research centres. To apply, you must provide the organization's Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number and a copy of your organization's registration or incorporation documents.

Applicant organizations must have a prototype of their technology and be at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 or higher, as per Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada guidelines.

Can I use CanExport Innovation funding to conduct R&D?

No, our program provides financial assistance to establish new collaborative research and development (R&D) partnerships with pre-identified foreign partners. We provide funding for activities up until the point at which partnerships are formalized. All activities subsequent to the formalization of the R&D partnership, including the R&D work itself, are ineligible for CanExport Innovation funding.

If you are unsure about the eligibility of your project or proposed activities, please contact CanExport Innovation (

Preparing an application

Is there a minimum revenue requirement for CanExport Innovation?

There is no minimum revenue requirement to apply. CanExport Innovation is open to pre-revenue companies. However, funding decisions take into account your organization's financial capacity. We require applicants to demonstrate they have sufficient private revenues to cover 25% of costs for proposed activities. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate they have sufficient funds (or a credible plan to secure funds) from private and/or public sources to finance R&D work resulting from a collaborative R&D agreement.

Which foreign partners are eligible?

CanExport Innovation supports activities with pre-identified foreign partners of your choosing. Your application must be accompanied by written proof (letter or email) that a given foreign partner is interested in working with you. The documentation should make clear their willingness to meet with your organization on an upcoming date to discuss and pursue potential R&D collaboration or investments. Partners are deemed ineligible where an R&D agreement has already been signed or where R&D work has already commenced. Information provided in the application about the foreign partner must be verifiable.

Can my organization be paid or pay for services rendered as part of the final R&D collaboration agreement?

No. Applicant payments to their partners or partner payments to the applicant will make the project ineligible. It is expected that both sides of the collaboration share in the financial costs of the collaboration.

What information do I need to provide to support my budget requests?

Funding requests must be supported by documentation indicating their costs.

List of required documentation:

  1. Category A: Travel-Related Meetings
    • Screen capture of airfare cost
    • Screen capture of event registration fees
    • Single entry visa costs
    • Written proof from potential partner indicating interest in meeting
  2. Category B: Virtual Meetings
    • Written proof from potential partner indicating interest in meeting
  3. Category C: Virtual Events
    • Screen capture of event registration fees
    • Category D: Shipping
    • Quote for shipping fees
    • Written proof from potential partner confirming they are interested in receiving these items
  4. Category E: Certifications
    • Screen capture of the cost of the application fees for certification
    • Quote for consultant and/or legal fees necessary for obtaining certification
  5. Category F: IP Protection
    • Screen capture of the cost of the IP application fees
    • Quote for consultant and/or legal fees necessary for obtaining IP protection
  6. Category G: Promotional Materials
    • Quote from promotional material consultant including itemized cost breakdown
  7. Category H: Other Consultant/Legal Services
    • Quote for consultant and/or legal services including itemized cost breakdown
Why can I include only one event or conference per application?

CanExport Innovation supports targeted meetings to pursue joint R&D collaboration. The program is not event-driven, which is why we limit participation to one virtual meeting or in-person meeting per application.

Participating in a virtual trade show is eligible when the purpose is to attract pre-identified partners to engage in an R&D collaboration. Participation must include B2B meetings with potential pre-identified foreign partners, arranged by the event host as part of the program. General participation is ineligible.

To be eligible, participation in the event or conference must be:

  • for the purpose of negotiating and/or formalizing an R&D collaboration with a potential pre-identified foreign partner
  • include confirmed meetings with pre-identified foreign partners
  • be relevant to the industry in which the applicant is operating
When can I expect a decision?

We encourage you to submit a completed application at least 60 business days in advance of the first proposed activity's start date. Applicants whose activities are scheduled to commence in less than 60 business days risk being refused funding for those activities.

When can I expect payment?

Successful applicants who are eligible for a grant will be issued a payment following the full execution of their funding agreement. Payment may take up to 45 business days after the agreement comes into effect.

Payments will be issued to the Canadian organization's corporate financial account. There are no exceptions.

I have submitted an application, but no longer intend to undertake some activities due to unforeseen circumstances. What should I do?

Contact the CanExport Innovation team ( as soon as possible with the update. Your application will be withdrawn and closed, without penalty. If you would like to amend your application, by revising proposed activities or changing the list of identified partners, you will need to complete and submit a new application.

Current funding recipients

Do I need to save receipts for my project?

Yes, you must keep proofs of payment, proof of travel, receipts and a record of activities for five (5) years after completion of your project in case of an audit. We also encourage recipients to segregate CanExport Innovation project costs from normal operation costs in record-keeping to provide traceability of CanExport Innovation expenses.

I am no longer able to complete my approved activities due to unforeseen circumstances. What should I do?

Contact CanExport Innovation ( as soon as possible to explain the circumstances contributing to the cancellation of your approved activities.

If you have yet to receive your grant payment, you will be directed to cancel and close your project, without penalty.

If you have already received your funding, CanExport Innovation may consider allowing you to reallocate the funding toward other eligible expenses if sufficient justification is provided.

I would like to postpone my approved activities. How should I proceed?
Contact the CanExport Innovation team ( to request an extension to the project timeline and explain why your activities are postponed. Please note that funding must be spent during the same government fiscal year in which it is approved. CanExport Innovation does not support projects that span across multiple fiscal years.

If you have further questions about your application, please contact the CanExport Innovation team ( and we will be happy to assist you.

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