Funding support for research projects
The NBIF is proud to support the province’s research community in carrying out applied research projects and programs. We back proposals with a strong potential to develop innovations that can be commercialised and have an economic impact on New Brunswick. Our project funding covers three areas and uses the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) framework of the Government of Canada
• Emerging Projects Fund: seed funding for ideas that have the potential to become innovations at TRL 1-3
• Lab-to-Market Fund: accelerating the development of innovations with commercial potential at TRL 3 or higher
• Equipment Fund: purchasing critical equipment to support a research program that advances innovations at TRL 1-6
This fund supports projects that transform ideas into innovations – essentially research in its earliest stage. The intent of the Emerging Project funding is to provide support to pursue ideas in areas that are new to the researcher, and which have the potential for knowledge transfer opportunities leading to positive socioeconomic impact for the province of New Brunswick.
Proposals will be evaluated via an external review committee, click here for full evaluation criteria.
- Scientific merit and novelty
- Research demonstrated to be an emerging area and different from the researchers previous work (e.g. work involving new partners, application of the previous techniques/results to a new area of study, extending fundamental research studies into a new, more applied area)
- Potential socioeconomic impact (direct or indirect)
- Expertise and track record of the principal investigator and main collaborating investigators.
- Capacity to execute the project.
- Funding and infrastructure available/requested for the project.
Applications open on 15 Oct 2019 and close on 16 Dec 2019 at 5 pm.Notifications of decision will be sent by 2 March 2020. The start of the project should be within 6 months of this decision date and projects may have a maximum duration of 1.5 years. Applications must be made via the NBIF Application Portal.
The primary objective of the Lab-to-Market fund is to accelerate the development of technologies that have commercial applications. Activities supported under the Lab-to-Market fund are those that advance the development of new or improved technologies and/or transfer knowledge that address specific, well-defined market problems. The Lab-to-Market fund emphasizes the importance of validation at all stages of technology development and encourages the application of the scientific method to finding product-market fit.
Researchers applying to the Lab-to-Market fund should have a commercialization partner, student participation, a clear understanding of the market problem being solved and the competitive advantages of their new technology, a self-assessment of technology readiness level (minimum TRL 3), and a plan for the intellectual property. Full assessment criteria are listed in the document below
Most projects will take between 6 and 18 months to complete. If the project is expected to take longer than 24 months, the researcher should divide the project into an appropriate number of phases and submit applications for each phase separately.
NBIF will fund up to 33% of projects with NB SMEs or not-for-profit organizations, and up to 25% of projects that do not have NB SMEs or not-for-profit organizations as partners.
Lab-to-Market awards can be used for the following expenses, as an example (non-exhaustive list):
o Student stipends, researcher salaries;
o Course relief cost;
o Lab equipment and supplies;
o Prototyping and bench testing;
o Market research and pilot projects;
o Tech transfer, knowledge mobilization;
o Costs to secure IP.
Deliverables and Reporting
Project plans must include clear deliverables and timelines. Funding for the Lab-to-Market program will be milestone-driven based on deliverables with frequent reporting. Some examples of deliverables are:
o Formation of industry-academic partnerships
o TRL level self-assessment, and TRL advancement
o Patent applications and knowledge transfer
o Business plans and competitive market analyses
o Entrance into accelerators and business plan competitions
o Incorporation of new business ventures
o Market research and early adopter feedback
o Prototyping and customer demonstrations
Applications will be via the NBIF Research Portal.
Applications will be accepted continuously through the year until the fund is exhausted.
The primary purpose of this fund is to increase the province’s capacity to do applied research by supporting the purchase of equipment. Up to 33% of the equipment cost may be requested, understanding that most of the awards granted will be less than $200,000. Larger awards may be requested but will require justification for why the investment is critical for the province’s applied research capacity. This fund may be used to leverage federal programs for research equipment (e.g. NSERC RTI, CFI JELF) or it may leverage other source of funds.
The applicant must show that the equipment will broadly benefit New Brunswick, that it facilitates the generation of potential new IP and that the researcher has the intent to commercialize this, that the knowledge generated will be disseminated outside academia and that the researcher and their team have the capacity to do the work proposed. The full evaluation criteria used in the review process is shown below
The maximum duration of projects will be 2.5 years and projects must begin within 18 months of the official award date.
A maximum of 33% of the project cost can be requested. Requests for more than $200,000 will rarely be granted and require justification for why the investment is critical for the province’s applied research capacity. The matching portion of the funding may be cash or in-kind contributions (including institutional contributions) but cannot be from another provincial government source.
CFI JELF matching applications
The researcher can apply to the NBIF before or after submitting an application to the CFI and they may request an amount equal to the CFI contribution, up to a maximum of $150,000 (this may be up to 40% of the project cost). For the highest chances of obtaining funding from the NBIF, we advise researchers to apply to the NBIF before applying
Eligible project costs include equipment (both hardware and software) directly linked to the research program and associated supporting facilities.
Applications will be via the NBIF Research Portal.
The next round of applications for the Equipment Fund will open on December 2, 2019 and close on February 10, 2020.
After this, the next opportunity to apply will be summer 2020.
Please see specific funds above for more details.