Monday, June 17, 2024

Government IP Funding Programs Across Canada

Monday, June 17, 2024


Securing intellectual property (IP) rights is a critical step for businesses, particularly for start-ups and small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), who want to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. To assist in funding IP-related costs, various government funding programs have been developed across Canada to help companies secure IP rights.

Below are some common funding programs available across Canada.


ElevateIP is a federal program delivered Canada-wide through selected business accelerators and incubators (BAIs) in collaboration with regional partners to help start-ups develop and implement IP strategies, in addition to offering IP education services.

While eligibility requirements and funding amounts vary depending on the BAI administering the program, start-ups may be eligible for up to $100,000 to develop and implement an IP strategy. Most BAIs require, at a minimum, that the start-up have less than 500 employees and be headquartered in the geographic region of the BAI administering the program. The program funding is divided into 3 tiers:

1. IP Education & Awareness

2. IP Strategy Development

3. IP Strategy Implementation

The selected BAIs in different provinces are listed below:

To learn more about the Elevate IP program, please click here.


IP Assist, administered by The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), is a tiered national funding program designed to support SMEs' IP efforts. Under the IP Assist Program, SMEs can receive support and funding across three different levels:

  • L1 – IP Awareness
  • L2 – IP Strategy
  • L3 – IP Action

The funding available for IP Strategy and IP Action ranges from $10,000 to $25,000 for each, with an additional $1,000 for IP awareness. To learn more about the IP Assist program, please click here.


IPON is a provincial-run program that provides support to Ontario-based SMEs operating in one of IPON’s served sectors – MedTech, life sciences, artificial intelligence, vehicle technology, and mining and advanced manufacturing – to promote innovation and growth in these highly desired sectors in Ontario. Once the SME is enrolled as an IPON client and is part of IPON’s IP Bootcamp or Partner Program, it may be eligible for up to $35,000 in initial funding for IP protection and commercialization services and have potential access to future IP funding of up to $100,000. It’s important to note that the SME has to cover 20% of IP service costs directly, and IPON covers 80%. To learn more about the IPON program, please click here.


IAC is a membership-based not-for-profit organization funded by the Government of Canada to assist Canadian SMEs in the data-driven CleanTech sector with IP-related needs. Full members may be eligible for grant funding ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, while associate members may be eligible for grant funding ranging from $5,000 to $10,000. In addition, IAC also has a Grant for Women in IP created in response to the demonstrated inequitable gender balance in the IP ecosystem. To learn more about the IAC program, please click here.


CanExport Innovation provides funding for intellectual property protection in international markets and other related services for Canadian SMEs looking to expand into international markets to develop R&D collaborations through partnerships in foreign markets. Businesses may be eligible for funding of up to $75,000 to assist with research and development (R&D) for a single technology. To learn more about the CanExport Innovation program, please click here.


Please note the information presented in this article represents only a general outline and the above programs are subject to specific eligibility requirements that are listed on their respective websites that are linked above. For more information, please reach out to an MBM professional who can assist you in determining the best funding program for your business and assist you through the application process.

While some of the above programs accept applicants on a “rolling basis”, other programs require applicants to apply to open calls subject to strict deadlines. We strongly encourage businesses looking to apply to consult the program websites linked in this article for further information regarding eligibility criteria, program application process and deadlines.

MBM is an approved service provider for ElevateIP, IP Assist, and IPON.

If you would like to learn more or require any advice, please contact:

Kay Palmer, Ph.D., Senior Patent Agent
T: 613.801.0452

This article is general information only and is not to be taken as legal or professional advice. This article does not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and MBM Intellectual Property Law LLP. If you would like more information about intellectual property, please feel free to reach out to MBM for a free consultation.

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