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A planned outage affecting this website and several other NSERC and SSHRC (including TIPS) websites and granting portals will take place from Friday, June 28, 2024, at 4 p.m., until Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at 8 a.m. (ET). For more details, visit NSERC or SSHRC/TIPS dedicated webpages.

On January 16, 2024, the Government of Canada published its Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern. This funding opportunity is in scope of this new policy, wherein grant applications that involve conducting research that aims to advance a sensitive technology research area will not be funded if any of the researchers involved in activities supported by the grant are currently affiliated with, or in receipt of funding or in-kind support from, a named research organization. Please read the Tri-agency guidance on the STRAC Policy to understand how this policy may impact your grant application.

NSERC Alliance and Alberta Innovates Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) Stream II

Duration Up to 24 months
Application deadline No deadline
Application forms
  • Form 100A – personal data form
  • Form 101 – application for a grant
Guidance on this page takes precedence over other CASBE or Alliance descriptions and instructions. Find additional guidance on the  PDF forms and instructions  page. To create or access an application, log in to the  online system.
For more information

Contact the Prairies Regional Office.

Context and objectives

In partnership, NSERC Alliance Advantage and Alberta Innovates' (AI) Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) program will support post-secondary (universities) R&D collaborations that utilize emerging technologies to assist Alberta small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) developing technology with the highest potential for regional economic development and commercialization in Alberta and in Canada.

Individual proposals can request at least $20,000 up to $150,000 per year from Alberta Innovates CASBE and at least $20,000 from NSERC Alliance. NSERC will match contributions to the project from the SME according to the cost-sharing ratios and within the funding brackets and durations of the Alliance Advantage program. Alberta Innovates CASBE will match the NSERC award up to $150,000 per year for up to two years. Alberta Innovates CASBE support could be for a maximum of two years; however, an application can be submitted for the maximum length of time allowed under NSERC Alliance grants.

Alberta Innovates will only support the project if 1) it is aligned to Alberta Innovates Emerging Technologies areas; and 2) if there is at least ONE Alberta SME as industry partner. The streamlined joint application and decision process enables companies to undertake research collaborations with Alberta-based researchers and have their cash contribution leveraged by NSERC and supported by Alberta Innovates. The mutually beneficial projects are expected to result in economic benefits to the company(ies) and to Alberta and build impactful longer-term collaborations between the researcher and the company.

To start the application process for a CASBE Alliance grant, the applicant must connect with the CASBE program manager.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and is aligned with the objectives of the Tri-agency EDI action plan.

Excellent research considers EDI both in the research environment (forming a research team, student training) and in the research process itself. For Alliance grants, EDI considerations are currently evaluated in the training, mentorship and professional development opportunities for students and trainees. The aim is to remove barriers to the recruitment and promote full participation of individuals from underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis), persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of underrepresented groups as one way to enhance the excellence in research and training. For additional guidance, applicants should refer to Alliance grants: Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan and the NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research.


  • You must meet NSERC’s eligibility criteria when you apply and when funding is released.
  • You must be a faculty member from an eligible Alberta-based university.
  • You are encouraged to collaborate with experts in fields other than the natural sciences and engineering, where appropriate, since implementing policy or applying the research results can depend on socio-economic considerations as well as scientific understanding. Academic researchers outside the natural sciences and engineering may participate in proposals as co-applicants if they meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements for the type, duration and nature of the appointment. Research costs for these collaborations may account for up to 30 per cent of the project costs and must be identified in the project budget.


Consult the  Alberta Innovates CASBE industry partner eligibility requirements for full details on company eligibility. The industry partner (Alberta SME) should not have an outstanding balance or otherwise owe money to any Alberta Innovates organization, subsidiary or partner.


To start the application process for a CASBE Alliance grant, the applicant must first connect with the CASBE program manager. After receiving confirmation from Alberta Innovates that the proposed research is aligned with program requirements, the applicant must complete and submit the Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technologies (PSIET) Intake Form on the Alberta Innovates SmartSimple Application Portal.

Once the PSIET intake form is completed, the applicant must complete the NSERC Alliance application. To start the NSERC application for CASBE—Stream II grants

  • Go to the NSERC’s online system and create a new form 101.
  • Select Research partnerships, then Alliance.
  • For the Proposal type field, select Full proposal.
  • For the Type of call field, select Alberta innovates - CASBE from the drop-down menu.

Once all elements for the application are completed, the applicant then completes the SmartSimple application form in the Alberta Innovates CASBE  SmartSimple portal. The applicant must attach a PDF of the NSERC application as part of the Alberta Innovates CASBE SmartSimple application.

Complete the NSERC  Alliance application and supporting documents, including the Personal data form with Common CV attachment for the applicant and all co-applicants, through NSERC’s online system. All partner organizations must complete the partner organization information module as part of form 101 – contributions. Select Partner organization recognized for cost-sharing for the Alberta SME and access will be provided to the organization representative via an email link. Create a PDF of your completed proposal. Prior to submission to NSERC, complete the SmartSimple application at the Alberta Innovates portal. Attach the PDF of your completed proposal. Alberta Innovates will complete the partner organization form once they have reviewed and assessed the details submitted through the Alberta Innovates  SmartSimple portal. Once the partner forms are completed, the NSERC application can be submitted in the NSERC online system.

Consult the Alliance grant application checklist for a summary of information that needs to be addressed in a completed application.

Evaluation criteria

Please consult the Alliance Advantage evaluation criteria for full details on how the CASBE Alliance applications will be reviewed. The application should demonstrate how the R&D results will benefit the SME.


All project expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds as outlined in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration. The agreement must be aligned with NSERC’s policy on intellectual property, which promotes the use and/or exploitation of knowledge and open access to results of research funded by NSERC.

Extension of grants

NSERC automatically provides an extension period of one year for using the grant funds. This extension period allows you to complete your planned research activities within the specified term of your grant. The extension is applicable for the NSERC portion of the grant only. To benefit from an extension towards the portion of funding from Alberta Innovates, you must seek their approval before the end date of the project.


You will be informed of reporting requirements and the corresponding schedule when you are notified of your award. NSERC and Alberta Innovates will strive to streamline their reporting requirements to lessen the burden on participants. A midyear presentation to demonstrate progress will be required by Alberta Innovates.