Innovation is the key to gaining a competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace.

Our Innovation Voucher Fund (IVF) was designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in New Brunswick with access to scientific talent and facilities they need to engage in R&D opportunities to accelerate innovation. This includes new products or operational efficiencies.

Under this fund, companies are eligible for non-repayable funding up to $80,000 to cover 80 per cent of an R&D project with an approved New Brunswick research institution. The funds are provided directly to the collaborating research organization under a contract agreement and used by the researcher to offset eligible expenses.

Any intellectual property (IP) created as a result of the project will be owned by the company that received the voucher.

We don’t require you to have a research or an organization in advance of discussing this funding with our team. We are happy to assist in matching companies with a suitable researcher when the project has been approved.

Our Innovation Voucher Fund Guidelines has a deeper explanation of this fund, including terms and conditions.

Eligibility Criteria

For companies to be considered for funding they must meet the below criteria:
  • Provincially or federally incorporated and registered to carry on business in New Brunswick;
  • Fewer than 500 employees;
  • 24 months official operating history, with meaningful revenue;
  • Committed to collaborating with an R&D researcher at one of New Brunswick’s post-secondary institutions or research organizations.
For a research project to be considered for funding it must meet the below criteria:
  • A solid business case;
  • Strong market potential;
  • Commercial and financial feasibility;
  • Ability to generate a sustained competitive advantage for the company; and
  • The potential for economic impact on the province of New Brunswick.

If you have interest in pursuing the development of a new or improved product, process or technology we encourage you to reach out to our team. Successful applicants will be matched with the research professional(s) they require to carry out the innovation.

FAQs

Applications can be submitted to us at any time. However, your company can only be involved in one project at any given time. Projects must be completed before you apply for another voucher.

Yes. A list of eligible research organizations is available here.

Yes, if you have a particular researcher in mind, please include this information in your project proposal.

NBIF will evaluate and award funding, at our sole discretion, for viable project proposals.

We will make reasonable efforts to communicate funding decisions within four to six weeks from the date of submission, provided the application is complete and in good order.

We will develop a list of eligible researchers for your company to consider. Once the matchmaking is completed, the researcher and your company must then jointly develop a project work plan and budget to be submitted to NBIF. Once all parties have entered into the contract agreement, the project will commence.

Participating companies will be expected to make a cash contribution of at least 20 per cent of the total project costs.

No. While in-kind contributions may increase your probability of receiving funding, companies are required to make cash contributions towards the project.

Funding will flow directly to the participating research organization under a contract agreement. Your company in return will receive the benefits of the research and development services performed.

No. The Innovation Voucher Fund is intended to fund stand-alone projects. Once completed, additional funding may be available through NBIF or from other funding agencies to continue the work under a larger project.

The project may begin as soon as possible, but no later than six months from the award date.

No. Projects are to be completed within 12 months of the start date.

Any scope changes must be presented to and pre-approved by NBIF.

We will provide funding equal to 80 per cent of the total project cost, which cannot exceed the awarded amount. The company and the researcher will be responsible for managing the project and covering any cost overruns.

*All investments are subject to due diligence, negotiation, and appropriate approvals. We aim to deliver decisions as soon as possible.