Minister Bains announces extension of Innovation Assistance Program 

News release

Funding will help protect Canadian jobs and support businesses dealing with economic impacts of COVID‑19

November 6, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Research Council of Canada

The Government of Canada continues to take action to help Canadian businesses and organizations keep their doors open, keep their employees on the payroll, and recover quickly as Canada continues to manage the economic impacts of COVID‑19. 

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, announced the Government of Canada is providing over $155 million to extend the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program's (NRC IRAP) Innovation Assistance Program (IRAP IAP).

Our government is supporting innovative Canadian businesses impacted by COVID‑19. Since April 1, 2020, IRAP IAP has assisted more than 2,200 Canadian firms and supported more than 24,000 Canadian jobs so that Canadians can focus on their health, not their job security. The new funding announced today will ensure that Canada's high-potential, innovative firms can continue to weather the economic storm of COVID‑19. 

The extension of IRAP IAP will allow existing recipients meeting the eligibility criteria to access funding, on a priority basis, for the period of June 24, 2020 through December 19, 2020, and will apply a declining scale of support, similar to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, meaning the maximum benefit will gradually decline as the program progresses. 


"Our Government is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all Canadians, and our COVID-19 Economic Response Plan has helped protect millions of jobs and support businesses throughout the pandemic. By extending the Innovation Assistance Program, we are continuing to support the high-potential, innovative small- and medium-sized businesses that are the backbone of the Canadian economy."

– The Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister Innovation, Science, Industry 

"The National Research Council of Canada is pleased to continue supporting Canadian industry through our Innovation Assistance Program. The extension of this wage subsidy will allow us to continue helping Canadian innovative SMEs navigate the challenges arising from COVID-19, when they need it most."

– Roger Scott-Douglas, PhD, Acting President, National Research Council of Canada 

Quick facts

  • On April 17, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced over $1 billion in new support for small businesses in Canada to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement included $250 million for NRC IRAP to put in place a program to aid innovative firms that were not eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy support. 

  • IRAP IAP is an emergency wage subsidy provided to eligible firms on a priority basis.  

  • The original $250 million for IRAP IAP supported over 2,200 Canadian firms, and supported over 24,000 jobs in Canada for the period of April 1, 2020 through June 23, 2020. 

  • Today's funding will help support existing IAP recipients that are high-potential, small and pre-revenue firms that do not qualify for the government's wage subsidy measure. 

Associated links


John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations   
National Research Council of Canada

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