Program details

Objectives

Through Artificial Intelligence, the Quebec government wants to propel Quebec companies towards the adoption of new production methods, more efficient, more current, and more competitive. This program is aimed at consortia of companies that have collaborative research projects in artificial intelligence involving SMEs or startups, in collaboration with a public research center.

The following objectives :

  • To increase research collaborations and partnerships between the various research centers and companies in order to facilitate technology transfer;
  • To encourage and strengthen the technological innovation capacity in companies and contribute to improving the productivity and competitiveness of SMEs;
  • To support the training of qualified young people in accordance with the artificial intelligence needs of industries in all sectors;
  • Promote learning in the workplace as well as the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge through the integration of trainees into the company;

Eligibility criteria

  • Minimum partnership: 2 SMEs or startups in collaboration with 1 academic partner, in Quebec
  • The SME (or Start-up) and the academic partner in Quebec must each represent at least 20% of the project’s eligible expenses.
  • Large Quebec companies can participate as a 4th partner. Their expenses must not represent more than 40% of the eligible expenses of the project and are eligible for funding.
  • The business combination must share the costs, benefits, and intellectual property of the innovation project.
  • Each partner company must provide for the hiring of one intern per year (or the equivalent spread over the duration of the project).
  • Projects of a maximum duration of 3 years

Details on the financing of projects

  • The financial assistance can reach a maximum of $150,000 per company, or $600,000 per project;
  • Financial assistance covers a maximum of 50% of eligible project expenses.
  • Industrial contributions must be a minimum of 25% of eligible expenses.
  • Recipients of financing: companies (SMEs, startups, and large Quebec companies)  through a financing agreement with Investissement Québec.
  • Additional funding from other programs where applicable (e.g., NSERC, MITACS).

Note: Cumulative funding granted to the same company under the Innovation program may not exceed $500,000 between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2021, even for different projects.

Application and Approval Process

CRIAQ’s team accompanies* project teams throughout the development of research proposals. It is essential to include a CRIAQ project manager as soon as possible in the discussions in order to ensure the eligibility of projects to funding programs.  The CRIAQ team will also be able to advise project leaders on the funding structure of their projects.

All files submitted through CRIAQ must be written in French and must include :

  • A project deposit letter signed by the person authorized to sign the financial assistance agreement;
  • The financial assistance application form corresponding to the component concerned completed and signed;
  • The offer of service from the public research center;
  • The financial statements of the partner companies for the last two years (or projected financial statements for a start-up company), its financial forecasts, and its cash flow over two years;
  • The Gantt chart showing the project’s milestone schedule;
  • Letters of commitment from partner companies to the project, if applicable, detailing their contribution to the project and the anticipated benefits of the project (improved positioning of the company, development of a research team, increased productivity, etc.).

* Within the framework of this call, CRIAQ must act as a representative sponsor of the SME group submitting the project. To access CRIAQ’s support, a 5% program management fee will be applied. This is part of the eligible expenses covered at 50% by the Ministry’s support. All participants in the project must be members in good standing with the consortium as soon as the support is provided and for the entire duration of the project.

 

Project Approval Process

  • Sectoral and scientific-technical evaluation by CRIAQ’s Scientific Committee;
  • Approval by the Board of Directors (if required);
  • Submission for financial and economic analysis of projects by Investissement Québec;
  • Approval by other programs may be required when applicable.
  • Establishment of the financing agreement by Investissement Québec;
  • Establishment of a sponsor’s contract with CRIAQ;

Evaluation criteria

Submitted projects will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Objectives, quality, and relevance of the project;
  • The innovative nature of the project;
  • Commercialization potential;
  • The level of commitment of the financial partners or the stakeholder community;
  • The ability of the team and the company or organization to carry out the project;
  • Number and suitability of partners;
  • The contribution to the development of the next generation;
  • Intellectual property protection strategy;
  • Benefits for Quebec (economic and social benefits, consolidation of knowledge, etc.).

Download below the complete application guide. Please note that it is mandatory to contact the CRIAQ manager, Marion Stoffel, in preparation of your application.

DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE GUIDE (FRENCH ONLY)