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Trade Commissioner Service > Funding and support programs > CanExport > CanExport Innovation > Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • In light of COVID-19, is it still possible to submit an application?

    Yes, CanExport Innovation is now funding projects starting next fiscal year (2023-2024), i.e. supporting activities being held between April 1, 2023 and March 2024, to assist in the R&D partnership negotiation and formalization process with pre-identified foreign partner(s) and investor(s). CanExport Innovation provides funding for non-travel as well as travel-related activities.

    For travel related activities, applicants are responsible of ensuring that the planned destination travel advisory risk levels allow for travel activities to take place, before submitting an application. Applicants are encouraged to make informed decisions to minimize risks and protect their health and that of their employees. Please refer the Government of Canada Travel Advisories for the most recent information.

    CanExport Innovation reserves the right to deny travel funding requests for any reason, at our sole and absolute discretion.

  • Can I request funding for travel-related activities?

    CanExport Innovation has resumed funding for travel and travel-dependent activities that comply with Government of Canada’s travel advisories. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that travel restrictions are lifted in Canada and in destination countries before submitting an application.

    We encourage you to make informed decisions to minimize risk and protect your health and the health of your employees. Please refer to Government of Canada travel advisories for the most recent information.

  • Does CanExport Innovation support travel-related expenses related to COVID-19 restrictions?

    No. Any travel-dependent expenses related to COVID-19 are ineligible.

    These expenses include:

    • quarantine, accommodation, relocation and/or incidental costs resulting from travel disruptions
    • medical, product, laboratory, documentation, and/or administration fees associated with COVID-19 requirements (i.e. vaccinations, PCR tests, rapid antigen tests, vaccination certification documentation, etc.

    To be eligible for funding under CanExport Innovation, all travel-related expenses must comply with Government of Canada’s travel advisories and those of destination countries.

    This is not a comprehensive list of ineligible expenses; please refer to the Applicant guide for more details. If you are unsure about the eligibility of your proposed expenses please contact

Preparing an application

  • 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 your organization’s:

    • Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number
    • registration or incorporation documents (a copy will suffice)
  • 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. Applicants must also demonstrate they have sufficient funds (or a credible plan to secure funds) to finance R&D work resulting from a collaborative R&D agreement. These funds may come from private and/or public sources.

  • Which foreign partners are eligible?

    CanExport Innovation supports activities with pre-identified foreign partners of your choosing. You must include with your application 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.

  • 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 read our detailed Applicant’s Guide and contact CanExport Innovation (

  • 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?

    CanExport Innovation commits to a decision within 60 business days following the submission of a completed application.

  • When can I expect payment?

    For successful applicants who are eligible for a grant, we will issue a payment following the full execution of their funding agreement. Payment may take up to 45 business days after the agreement comes into effect.

    We will issue payments to the Canadian organization’s corporate financial account. There are no exceptions.

Current funding recipients

  • Do I need to save receipts for my project?

    Yes, you must keep the following for five (5) years after completion of your project in case of an audit:

    • proofs of payment
    • proof of travel
    • receipts
    • a record of activities

    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 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 you postponed your activities. Please note that you must spend the funding during the same government fiscal year in which we approved it. CanExport Innovation does not support projects that span across multiple fiscal years.

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