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Program overview and FAQs

What is CanExport Innovation?

The CanExport Innovation program is specifically designed to promote and enhance Canada's international innovation efforts. The program supports innovators who aim to commercialize technology by pursuing collaborative international research and development (R&D) opportunities through partnerships with key players in foreign markets.

Who is eligible to apply?

The program supports innovators from Canadian Small or Medium-sized enterprises, academic Institutions and non-government research centres.

How does the funding work?

CanExport Innovation provides assistance by funding up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $75,000 for any approved project. Eligible expenses may include: international and local travel, accommodation, meals, meeting costs, legal fees to support the formalization of partnership agreements, and other costs related to pursuing international collaboration.

Costs for accommodation cannot exceed the accommodation rates published on the Public Services and Procurement Canada website.

Combined financial assistance from federal, provincial and municipal sources must not exceed 75% of total costs for any eligible line item expenditure (stacking limit).

CanExport Innovation supports project-driven technology commercialization efforts and is not event-driven. Only in exceptional circumstances will this program support conference fees. It must be clearly demonstrated to the program that the meeting with a pre-confirmed foreign partner could not be held anywhere else in the world or at any other time.

Impact of COVID-19 outbreak

I have received grant funding for an approved CanExport Innovation project, but am no longer planning on travelling or my activities have been cancelled because of COVID-19. What should I do with the funds?

If you would like to pursue R&D partnership development activities with a different foreign partner, email the CanExport Innovation team to state your intention to reallocate funds. Your grant agreement may be amended to extend your project timeline.

You will need to provide information about new activities replacing your canceled activities, including:

  • Number of trips
  • Trip destination
  • Travel dates
  • Foreign partner names
My CanExport Innovation project is approved, but payment has not yet been fully processed. My activities are now cancelled because of COVID-19. What do I do?

If payment has not been issued and you do not expect to travel, contact the CanExport Innovation team as soon as possible to cancel and close your project. You will not be penalised for the cancellation.

I have received grant funding for an approved CanExport Innovation project, but would like to postpone my travel activities because of COVID-19. I intend to meet with the same partners at a later date.  What do I do?

Contact the CanExport Innovation team (canexportinnovation@international.gc.ca) to request an extension to the project timeline. Include the new travel dates for each trip that is postponed. Your grant agreement may be amended to extend your project timeline.

I am waiting for a decision on my CanExport Innovation application, but will no longer be conducting my proposed activities because of COVID-19. What should I do?

Contact the CanExport Innovation team (canexportinnovation@international.gc.ca) as soon as possible with the update. Your application will be withdrawn and closed, without penalty. If you would like to change the activities or partners listed in an application that has already been submitted, you will need to complete and submit a new application.

I have submitted an application to CanExport Innovation that includes activities in regions affected by COVID-19. I still plan on undertaking the project. What should I do?

Please consult the Government of Canada’s latest updates on COVID-19. CanExport Innovation will not approve activities in regions under an active travel health notices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

When can I expect payment?

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

Successful applicants who are not eligible for a grant will enter into a Contribution Agreement with the Department. Eligible expenses will be reimbursed after travel has taken place and a claim form and a report form have been submitted. Payments issued under a Contribution Agreement may take up to 30 business days once a claim has been fully assessed.

Payments will be issued to the Canadian organization’s corporate financial account only.

Do I need to report on my CanExport Innovation activity?

Yes, recipients of CanExport Innovation funding are required to submit project reports. Recipients of a grant are required to submit a final report 15 days following the completion of the last activity. Recipients of a contribution are required to submit a report following the completion of each activity. A reporting template is sent out to recipients once the signed Grant or Contribution Agreement has been received.

Do I need to send my receipts?

No, but recipients must keep their receipts for up to 5 years. The Department (or an agent of the Crown) may audit recipients at any time within 5 years of the signing of an agreement.

Do you need proof of the partnership?

Applications must include proof (i.e. a letter or email) from the foreign partner(s) expressing their interest in meeting the organization to discuss and pursue potential R&D collaboration. We need to know that someone somewhere wants to meet you and that you have already confirmed their interest in working with you.

How do you verify my organization?

A copy of the organization’s registration or incorporation documents (or if you are from a research institution, you will need documents showing your relationship to the institution) must be attached to the application in order for it to be considered for funding.

Is anything ineligible?

Activities that do not contribute directly to the establishment of a new R&D collaboration with a foreign partner are not eligible. Activities subsequent to the formalization of the R&D collaboration, including the R&D work are not eligible for CanExport Innovation funding.

Pursuing partnerships for the purpose of hiring and paying an organization to conduct R&D work for the Canadian organization is ineligible. Additionally, pursuing partnerships where the Canadian organization will be paid to provide work for the foreign organization is ineligible. If you are unsure about the eligibility of your project or activity, please contact the CanExport Innovation program (canexportinnovation@international.gc.ca). We ask that you include your full contact information in all your correspondence with Global Affairs Canada.

Is a P.O. Box an acceptable address?

No. We cannot accept a PO Box as an address either for our agreements or the direct deposit forms.

What is the stacking limit?

The CanExport Innovation stacking limit for total Canadian government assistance is (federal, provincial, and/or municipal) for any eligible line item is 75%.

CanExport Innovation applications must identify all government sources (federal, municipal and provincial/territorial) of funding for each eligible cost. In the event that actual total Canadian government assistance exceeds the stacking limit, approved funding will be adjusted in order to comply with these limits.

What projects/activities are eligible?

Proposed project activities must be for the pursuit of targeted R&D partnerships with key foreign partners, with the aim of commercializing a Canadian technology.

When do I submit my application?

The intake for CanExport Innovation applications is on-going. However, applications must be submitted at least 8 WEEKS prior to the anticipated start date of the activities.

Who are eligible travelers?

The applicant, and all supported travelers, must be employed by the Canadian organization. Employees who are based in Canada must be able to legally work in Canada.

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