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Research Innovation Fund

The Research Innovation Fund [RIF] is designed to advance the province’s research community’s capacity to develop innovations that can be commercialized and have an economic impact on New Brunswick. Of the 32 companies in our venture capital portfolio, 9 were born from research at a New Brunswick University. See our research investment tables since inception.

 

Investments under the RIF can be used for:

Innovation Capacity Development

The primary purpose of the Innovation Capacity Development Initiative of the RIF is to increase the province’s capacity to do applied research by leveraging contributions from other funding sources such as the CFI, NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC.

Investments by NBIF can be up to $500,000 to a maximum of 33% of the total cost of the project. CFI-backed projects can be funded up to 40% of project costs to a maximum of the CFI's total contribution.

If a researcher is not successful in obtaining funding from a national agency, they may request up to $10,000 to fund 50% of the cost to strengthen their application for one additional round. If successful, the $10,000 will be included in the 33% total contribution NBIF can make to the project when it is fully funded.

Applications may be made to NBIF at any time however funding is subject to budget availability.

Innovation Capacity Development

Dr. John Spray received capacity development funding to help build a hypersonic launcher to test and develop protective materials.

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Concept Validation

The Concept Validation component of the RIF is primarily for demonstrating and strengthening the business case for your research project. Examples include prototypes, bench tests, clinical trials and pilot projects.

Investments by NBIF can be up to $500,000 and is limited to a maximum of 33% of the total cost of the project. Matching funds can include cash, paid release time, in-kind contributions and contributions from other capital sources. Proceeds must be disbursed within one year unless otherwise agreed to by the NBIF.

Applications may be made to NBIF at any time however funding is subject to budget availability.

Concept Validation

Dr. Pandurang Ashrit received concept validation funding to optimize a thin film that blocks the heat from sunlight.

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Emerging Projects

The Emerging Project component of the RIF is for a project that is in its earliest stage—basically an idea that has the potential to become an innovation. Funding can be used to assist in the preparation of major funding proposals, business cases, securing intellectual property, or making infrastructure investments.

The maximum investment for emerging projects is $25,000 per application and limited to a maximum of 50% of the total cost of the project. Matching funds can include cash, paid release time, in-kind contributions and contributions from other capital sources. Proceeds must be disbursed within one year unless otherwise agreed to by the NBIF. 

This is the first year that NBIF will be holding a competition for Emerging Project Funding.  Applications must be submitted by June 30, 2016. 

This will be the only opportunity to apply for Emerging Project funding in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Applicants must apply using the NBIF Application Portal. Please note that improvements are currently being made to the Portal and these improvements are slated to be completed on June 15th, 2016.

Emerging Projects

Dr. Jacques Gagnon received emerging project funding to develop a diabetes-fighting compound that's now a fully funded research program.

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Eligibility Criteria

All academic and research organizations in New Brunswick can apply for investments under the RIF. All disciplines are considered, with emphasis placed on those that fit with NBIF’s strategic industries. Applications that demonstrate value-added relationships with the private sector are prioritized.

Investment proposals under the RIF are evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Scientific and technical merit
  • Capacity to execute the project
  • Track record of the principal and collaborating researchers
  • Extent of contributions by other funding sources and organizations
  • Potential for innovation and economic impact on New Brunswick
  • Quality of partnerships and collaborations, where applicable
  • Expected contribution of students, where applicable

Since all RIF disbursements are investments, NBIF may request specific rights and privileges, including, but not limited to, the right of first refusal on future investments, and the option to convert its financial contribution into equity if a commercial venture or business entity is created as a result of the project.

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Formal requests for funding must be submitted by a research organization or through the official research services department of a New Brunswick community college or university. All requests must be approved by your institution's research office before submitting to the NBIF. The Institution's research office must send an e-mail to proposals@nbif.ca indicating that they have reviewed your request and approved its submission.

Applications must be in the form of a detailed proposal as outlined in the RIF Application Checklist. In general, it will describe the project’s objectives, methodology, schedule, budget, milestones and deliverables. Specifically, it will demonstrate the project’s potential for innovation, its fit with NBIF’s strategic industries, and how any resulting intellectual property can be used to the benefit of New Brunswick.

Once the application is received, the review process begins immediately. Decisions are typically made within six to eight weeks from the time of submission, and there is no deadline for this fund. Upon completion of the project, successful applicants must submit a detailed financial report on the utilization of all funds, including those leveraged or matched by other capital sources.

NBIF requires researchers to take the appropriate steps to properly protect any intellectual property developed as a result of their research project before making any public disclosures of it including, but not limited to conferences, seminars, scholarly journals or other public media.

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