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There are two key methods of funding available for companies planning on conducting research and investing in advancing their current technology in the long term, and these two funds can be used in conjunction with each other. IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program), administered by the National Research Council, is a funding program for small to medium sized businesses and is aimed at investing in projects that strengthen the national technology base and stimulate technological innovation through a non-repayable grant. The SR&ED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency, provides tax credits to businesses of all sizes which are conducting R&D within Canada. Although there are differences in the type of projects and companies that are eligible for each funding opportunity, they can both be used to secure funding for technological advances.


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The Export Market Access (EMA) grant is a cost-sharing grant, funded by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), designed to help Ontario small to medium enterprises cover costs incurred to develop export sales in foreign markets. Through the EMA program, the OCC will cover up to 50% of eligible trade show exhibition expenditures, to a maximum of $30,000, for direct expenses such as booth rental costs, airfare for two employees, marketing tools and activities, and per diem costs. In order to take advantage of this grant, eligible companies must have between 5 and 500 employees, and they must be manufacturers with an export mandate with goods and services currently produced in Ontario. As well, an eligible company must have minimum annual sales of $500,000 and be currently established and operating in Ontario for a minimum of two years. More than one trade show can be included in each application, and companies may file up to two applications a year.


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From 2010-2012 nearly 40% of Quebec manufacturers received funding support through provincial grants, compared with less than 20% of Ontario firms from the manufacturing sector.



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