Research Innovation Fund - NBIF - FINB

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 50 companies in our venture capital portfolio, 20 were born from research supported by NBIF in New Brunswick. 


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.

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.

Emerging Projects

The Emerging Project component of the Research Innovation Fund supports projects that transform ideas into innovations – essentially research in its earliest stage. The intent of the Emerging Project funding is to provide funds to pursue new ideas that have the potential to grow into bigger, collaborative projects or technology/knowledge transfer opportunities that will have positive economic or social impact for the province of New Brunswick. 

Proposals will be evaluated using the following factors:
- Potential for innovation and economic/social impact for the province of New Brunswick.
- Strategic priority of the province (40% of projects must fit this criteria).
- Clear explanation of future potential for idea.
- Merit of the proposal.
- 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.

Strong proposals will include an explanation of the research’s potential to be applied in the future and the opportunity for this project to be the start or part of a bigger research endeavour. These proposals should make clear the sectors that could benefit from the applied research. 

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, in-kind contributions (to a maximum of 20% of total project costs) and contributions from other capital sources. For this round of competition only, proceeds must be disbursed before March 31, 2020 unless otherwise agreed to by the NBIF. 

Applications must be submitted November 28th, 2018.  This will be the only opportunity to apply for Emerging Project funding in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Applicants must apply using the NBIF Application Portal.  ( 


Emerging Projects

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


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.


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 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 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.