On April 17, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had announced an additional $250M in funding support through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) to assist innovative, early-stage companies that are unable to access existing COVID-19 business support measures.

In addition, $20.1M in funding was announced to support young Canadian entrepreneurs through Futurpreneur Canada, $675M to support small and medium-sized businesses through Canada’s Regional Development Agencies, and $287M million to support rural businesses and communities through the Community Futures Network.

Previously, On March 20, 2020, the federal government announced Canada’s plan to mobilize Canadian businesses and manufacturers to fight COVID-19. Building on the Government of Canada’s more than $1B COVID-19 Response Fund, the plan is focused on building domestic capacity, developing innovative solutions, and procuring essential supplies.

Canada’s existing industrial and innovation programs will be refocused to prioritize the fight against COVID-19. These programs include:

  • Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF): Rapid support to companies working on large-scale and later-stage R&D projects aimed at providing medical countermeasures to COVID-19, including vaccines and critical medical supplies.
  • NRC-IRAP: COVID-19 Challenge Program with teams composed of government, academic and private sector partners to address Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada needs (i.e. personal protective equipment, sanitization products, diagnostic and testing products, therapeutics, and disease tracking technology)
  • Innovation Supercluster: accessing the national supercluster network to increase the rate of commercialization.