Small Business

Peer-to-Peer: How do I get R&D grants and development loans?

Written by ProfitGuide Staff


“I’m currently working on a way of fighting forest fires. My invention with some R&D (needed) would be used domestically and internationally. Can someone steer me in the right direction for R&D grants and development loans?”

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Reader responses

Danny Yen

While not directly related to the financing issue, I hope I can provide some input. Look into the Canadian Intellectual Property Office to register your inventions. Sounds like you’ll be looking specifically for “patent” registration for your device. Also having your company logo “trademarked” can only help too!

When applying for grants and financing the lender will want to see how much you’re willing to put in as well as how much you’ve put in already.

Stephen Smith

Believe it or not, there are professionals out there — usually who’ve worked in the Fed/Prov. govt — who will act on your behalf to identify grants and loans for businesses.

Of course, there’s a kicker. They way it works is that they find you the money — let’s say $1 million — and then they take a percentage of what you got. Going rates, last time I checked were 20-50%.

Maybe you could use this as a last resort if you need to “turn up the heat ….

Ernie Black ,

I am an Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) with the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council. Around 300 ITA’s located in communities across Canada assist Small and Medium size Enterprises (SME’s) in managing and funding their R&D. SME’s should call 1 (877) 994-4727 to identify and contact their local ITA.

I am located in Sault Ste. Marie which has the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Forest Fire Control Centre and water bomber maintenance facility. Depending on the nature of the product, I could screen the product through knowledgeable people here without jeopardizing confidentiality. I could identify your local ITA and offer some suggestions on how you might proceed with your invention. I can be located at (705) 759-2554 or

Val Morgan, President & CEO, GTN Communications Corp.

Gary, I have found that working with the BDC is of great help. They will put you in touch with consultants that can help you work through the process of applying for government grants and R&D tax credits. Two that we have tapped into are the SRED (Scientific Research and Experimental Development) tax credits for R&D and most recently we started to apply for the IRAP program (Industrial Research Assistance Program.) There are many different kinds of help out there and I think you need someone like the BDC to help you sort through the bureaucratic maze. Our London branch has been great. Good luck.

Kathleen Derbyshire, President, A2ZEE Design House

I own a design company with a service of Research and Development for industry and innovators. We charge an hourly rate for all of our services. We do not take a percentage of your earnings from your innovation. Our goal is to help you get what you want at an economical price. We help innovators from precommercialization to commercialization by sending them in the right direction, for their innovation, and speaking to the right people to realize their dreams. We insist that a market analysis be performed on your innovation giving you a professional start. Contact the Canadian Innovation Centre (1 800 265-4559 Shane McCarron) to learn more about market analysis. You can spend tons of money on something that will not net you any money or could bankrupt you. Choose wisely and inform yourself before you speak to someone you are about to hire. Information or knowing who to get the information from will help to solve most dilemmas.

Good luck and God speed.

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