Canada invests $200M in business innovation, youth employment
The Canadian Government invested $200 million in the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program so more small and medium-sized enterprises will have access to capital and help post-secondary graduates gain employment opportunities.
The Canadian Government recently invested $200 million in the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) so more small and medium-sized enterprises will have access to the capital and expertise needed to commercialize technology, while Canadian post-secondary graduates will gain valuable employment opportunities.
State Minister Gary Goodyear, responsible for Canadian science and technology advancements, made the announcement in Dartmouth, N.S. “Our government is investing more in science and technology because this is how to create jobs, strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of Canadians,” he said. “Expanding this program will help 1,400 more small and medium-sized businesses innovate. It will also give 1,000 more university and college graduates valuable work experience.”
Of the amount invested, $170 million will go to double NRC-IRAP’s contributions to small and medium-sized businesses. Another $30 million will be used to help those businesses hire more than 1,000 new post-secondary graduates through NRC-IRAP’s Youth Employment Program.
The federal government passed a special budget allocation to make the funding available two months earlier than usual. The government increased to $1 million the maximum amount for which a firm can apply under IRAP. Businesses can also apply for up to $30,000 for each graduate internship, double the previous amount.
“Investing in science and technology is critical for developing highly skilled people and improving the long-term competitiveness of Canadian firms,” NRC president Pierre Coulombe said. “That’s why NRC-IRAP is helping innovative Canadian businesses grow stronger, faster and bigger.”
At the same time, Goodyear presented an NRC Canadian Innovation Leader certificate to Dartmouth-based Acadian Seaplants Ltd., a company that develops innovative techniques for cultivating seaweed products in land-based tanks.
“NRC-IRAP support is playing a critical role in our success,” said Jean-Paul Deveau, president of Acadian Seaplants. “The capacity and expertise to develop and commercialize new technologies is what gives our company its competitive advantage in the international export market.”