NSERC Idea to Innovation (I2I) Grants (2024)

Aboriginal Peoples
Arctic and Northern Regions
Environment, Energy and Natural Resources
Information and Communication Technology
Oceans, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery


Academic Unit: Inquire with unit

Memorial Deadline: Wednesday 3rd, January 2024

External Deadline: Monday 8th, January 2024


Please contact the Research Innovation Office, Rio@mun.ca when developing your application for the sponsor’s requirement of engaging with the ILO

The objective of Idea to Innovation (I2I) grants is to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from the university and college sector, and to promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company. I2I grants provide funding to college and university faculty members to support research and development projects with recognized technology transfer potential. This is achieved through defined phases by providing crucial assistance in the early stages of technology validation and market connection.

There are four distinct funding options, characterized by the maturity of the technology or the involvement of an early stage investment entity or industrial partner (see Partner eligibility for definitions). In the market assessment, NSERC will share costs of an independent and professional market study with the institutions (including the industry liaison office [ILO] or its equivalent). In phase I, the direct costs of research will be entirely supported by NSERC; in phase II, they will be shared with a private-sector partner (company). The technology development may begin with a phase I project (reduction-to-practice stage), followed by a phase II project (technology enhancement); or, if the development is at a later stage, it can start directly with a phase II project. In any case, the combination of phase I and phase II will be limited to a maximum of three years of funding for any given project, and to one grant per phase for the same technology or intellectual property (IP).

Eligible research and development activities include:

  • refining and implementing designs
  • verifying application
  • conducting field studies
  • preparing demonstrations
  • building prototypes
  • performing beta trials

Certain expenditures related to project management are eligible as a direct cost of research in phase IIb projects, up to a maximum of 10% of the total direct costs (see the Guidelines for research partnerships programs project management expenses for more details).

I2I grants can cover the salary of replacement faculty hired to backfill a college faculty member’s1 involvement in an applied research project, as well as expenditures for recruitment-related activities.

Discoveries must be disclosed by the investigators according to institution policy, and the IP must be managed by the ILO or its equivalent. The ILO must work on each new proposal (see below). To comply with I2I program requirements, which include matching cash contributions, IP protection, market promotion, etc., IP rights should be assigned to the institution/ILO. The ILO will be in a position to fulfill its commercialization mandate. If you have difficulties finding the ILO at your institution, please contact the I2I staff.

  • All proposals must include a technology transfer plan, appropriate to the maturity of the technology, that describes how the work will proceed through the next stages in the validation process up to eventual market entry. The ILO or its equivalent works with the applicant(s) in evaluating and protecting the new technology, service or process; developing proposals; preparing a technology transfer approach; making business contacts; and negotiating licensing or other such arrangements with potential partners. A portion of the award may be used to  co-support  some of the activities undertaken by the ILO or its equivalent.

Eligible technology transfer activities include:

  • consulting fees to develop the strategy to protect the technology’s commercial value
  • market investigations
  • consulting fees for business plan, market survey, etc.
  • business mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs
  • sharing of patenting expenses
  • expenses associated with creating a partnership (such as travel, etc.)

The institution must justify these expenses for technology transfer activities and commit to covering at least half of their cost.  NSERC may provide support up to a maximum of 10% of the total requested amount (i.e., the NSERC contribution will be no more than $12,500 for a $125,000 requested budget). Staff activities are not considered an eligible expense and cannot be used to leverage NSERC funds. Technology transfer expenses related to the proposed technology and incurred previously will not be considered in the cost-sharing of proposed activities.

Duration Market assessment: up to one year
Phase I: up to one year
Phase IIa: from 6 to 18 months
Phase IIb: up to two years
Application deadlines January 8, 2024
April 2, 2024
June 25, 2024
September 16, 2024
How to apply See below
Application forms Form 100 – Personal data form
Form 101 – Application for a grant
Form 183A – Information required from organizations
participating in research partnerships programs (phase II only)

To create or access online applications, log in to the This link will take you to another Web site online system. To view instructions, see the PDF forms and instructions web page.

For more information Consult the contact list.

Funding Sources

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

This opportunity was posted by: RGCS

Last modified: November 22, 2023