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NSERC implements policy changes to CRD and IRC Programs

Program news

May 7, 2018

NSERC is pleased to announce policy changes to its Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) and Industrial Research Chair (IRC) programs to broaden their impact and expand eligibility. These changes will also provide faster and simpler delivery of funding to support research partnerships in Canada and to diversify the innovation ecosystem in Canadian universities.

The policy changes will attract additional partners to university research in Canada and provide more opportunities for multinational and foreign companies to partner with Canadian university researchers to conduct R&D here. Researchers will benefit with more opportunities to participate in collaborative projects with leading innovative companies.

The following is a breakdown of the changes. Additional details are available on the updated webpage.

NSERC is broadening the impact of its grants by:

Allowing Canadian university researchers to partner with multinational companies

  • Canadian university researchers can now partner with the best industrial researchers wherever they are located across the globe. Multinational companies (MNEs), either head-quartered in Canada, or with significant Canadian operations, may partner on an NSERC CRD or IRC grant to create a collaboration that has benefits for Canada and Canadians.

Having foreign companies collaborate with Canadian companies on an equal basis

  • Foreign company(ies) are now fully eligible partner(s) in partnership with at least one Canadian company. NSERC will match cash and in-kind contributions from all companies involved on an equal basis.

NSERC is simplifying the access to CRD and IRC grants by:

  • Providing a faster response by no longer reviewing Intellectual Property Agreements, empowering universities to negotiate satisfactory arrangements with their partners, in compliance with NSERC’s IP Policy.

We encourage you to share these important updates with your networks. If you have any questions or comments please contact

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