Alberta Innovates partners with NSERC to advance research towards commercialization

New $3.75 million joint program to move high tech discoveries towards the marketplace

EDMONTON, Alberta, Jan. 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alberta Innovates and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are joining together in a unique partnership to help researchers in Alberta’s universities develop their innovations into commercial emerging technologies.

The NSERC Alliance-Alberta Innovates Advance program provides funding to assist researchers, who have promising discoveries, advance their research into the marketplace. Funding will support work in university labs that can begin as early as the conceptual research stage, right up to testing and validation of prototypes.

This new initiative will permit Alberta university researchers who hold an NSERC peer-reviewed grant to develop their ideas in the areas of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) and Advanced Materials and Manufacturing (AMM). These technologies are crucial for entry into global markets and help provide a foundation for job creation and economic diversification within industries in Alberta.

The new program will provide up to $300,000 per project over two years. Alberta Innovates’ contribution of $2.5 million is matched by an investment from NSERC of $1.25 million.

Successful projects developed in this program may be eligible for further support from Alberta Innovates’ Entrepreneurial Investments programs or federal initiatives like NSERC’s Idea to Innovation (I2I) grants.

“This partnership between Alberta Innovates and NSERC will help boost Alberta’s economy by commercializing the ideas of Alberta’s innovators. This will create jobs for Albertans and help to diversify our economy.”
Minister Doug Schweitzer, Jobs, Economy & Innovation

“This partnership will help our universities turn new discoveries into new business opportunities. Translating research into commercial application helps build a stronger economy and ensures our students develop the skills, knowledge and abilities they need to succeed.”
Minister Demetrios Nicolaides, Advanced Education

“Research and Innovation propel Alberta’s economy. Providing opportunities for early funding to researchers with promising discoveries, through the NSERC Alliance-Alberta Innovates Advance program, shortens the path to commercialization. These discoveries can develop into new products or even new industries, and that’s not only good for innovators but for all Albertans.” 
Rollie Dykstra, Executive Vice President, Impact, Alberta Innovates 

“NSERC is pleased to expand its partnership with Alberta Innovates. By tapping into the talent and technology at Alberta’s universities, this unique opportunity will help create a pathway to commercialization for researchers with innovative ideas to develop their discoveries into emerging technologies that will create tangible benefits for Albertans and Canadians.”
Alejandro Adem, President, NSERC 


The 2020/2021 NSERC Alliance-Alberta Innovates Advance Program will begin accepting applications from NSERC grant holders at Alberta’s Research Universities on January 12, 2021. For full program details, visit the Alberta Innovates website, NSERC Alliance – Alberta Innovates Advance Program.

NSERC aims to make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for the benefit of all Canadians. The agency supports students in their advanced studies, promotes and supports discovery research, and fosters innovation by encouraging Canadian organizations to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. NSERC researchers are on the vanguard of science, building on Canada's long tradition of scientific excellence. Visit NSERC for more information. 

Alberta Innovates invests in research, innovation and entrepreneurship to drive provincial economic growth and diversity. We provide technical expertise, entrepreneurial advice and support, opportunities for partnerships and funding to advance the best ideas. We support a broad range of research and innovation activity – from discovery to use. Collaboration is at the heart of what we do, bringing together bright minds and great ideas. 

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Media inquiries: 
Dwayne Brunner, Media Relations Manager 
Alberta Innovates 
587.572.4091 |