Canada invests in bold new research collaborations and ideas to drive the innovation economy

News release

Funding will help drive cutting-edge ideas and disruptive technologies from the ground up

June 3, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada

When we support new ideas and help researchers, businesses and universities to work together, we create conditions for breakthrough technologies to benefit all Canadians. As a partner to businesses and large-scale teams of Canada’s top scientists, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) supports the small- and medium-sized companies that drive our economy, and plays a vital role in making Canada’s science and research landscape stronger and more innovative.

That is why the Government of Canada is renewing and refocusing the NRC on the science and technology that will help drive Canada’s health, wealth and global competitiveness. Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, and the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, highlighted the government’s investment of $540 million over five years in the NRC‘s work.

The Government of Canada’s reimagined support for science and innovation includes:

  • Collaborative Research and Development Programs – The NRC is building large-scale collaborative programs in support of each of the five Innovation Superclusters. The NRC is also developing four bold new programs focused on disruptive technologies that will benefit Canadians, including AI-assisted design, engineered cell and gene therapies, faster and more secure digital networks, and the development of new materials that will be used in the production of clean and sustainable energy.
  • Funding breakthrough ideas - Work on 52 projects between NRC researchers and university collaborators is already underway as part of the NRC’s ideation fund that will support exploratory research in collaboration with universities and others.
  • Making NRC research labs more accessible – The NRC has dramatically reduced the cost to access facilities and research expertise for small- and medium-sized businesses, universities, and colleges. As of July 1, 2018, the NRC lowered its labour fees for SMEs by 40 percent.

Funding to NRC is a key component of the Innovation and Skills Plan and of the government’s commitment to support business innovation.


“Canada’s world-leading NRC scientists, engineers and business experts work closely with thousands of Canadian companies to support their ability to take research ideas to market. Today’s investment leverages the NRC’s research excellence and expands its ability to investigate bold, new breakthroughs to help our promising companies grow and create jobs for Canadians.”
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government has invested more than $10 billion in research and the people who power it. With that historic investment, we recognized that remaking Canada’s science and research culture is a huge and complex undertaking. The National Research Council’s commitment to creating connections between universities, industry, and researchers is helping us to make this shift, while at the same time, it’s creating the skills and training environments for the jobs of the future.”
- The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

"As a national research and innovation platform, NRC researchers collaborate with over 1,000 business and government partners annually. Budget 2018 is allowing us to support the Innovation and Skills Plan through funding for more exploratory research important for the future and building collaboration research teams to address government challenges."
- Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada

Quick facts

  • This investment is part of Canada’s Science Vision and the Government of Canada’s commitment of more than $10 billion to science, which includes the largest-ever increase in funding for fundamental research.

  • As part of the government’s priority to make research more inclusive, the NRC is encouraging more diversity in the Canadian innovation ecosystem and in its own workforce, including more women researchers and entrepreneurs.

  • Budget 2018 also committed $700 million over five years to the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to support more small- and medium-sized enterprises across the country, including larger research projects up to $10 million.

Associated links


Media Relations
National Research Council of Canada
Twitter: @nrc_cnrc
Instagram: @nrc_cnrc

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

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