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Home > Funding Programs > NSERC Alliance – Alberta Innovates Advance Program
Through this program, we offer funding to support Alberta university researchers in advancing discoveries to develop emerging technologies.
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NSERC Alliance – Alberta Innovates Advance (Advance) is a partnership program between Alberta Innovates and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). View their website here.
Through this program, we invest in projects that, in alignment with Alberta’s technology and innovation strategies, advance discoveries to develop emerging technologies that can generate economic, environmental, health and social benefits for Albertans and Canadians.
The Advance Program has two streams:
This stream was launched in 2022-23. It was a special call, pilot initiative offered by Alberta Innovates to provide supplemental funding to NSERC Discovery grant (individual) researchers who hold active NSERC Discovery Grants (Individual) in Alberta awarded in Competition Years (CY) 2020, 2021 and 2022, and have R&D activities focusing on emerging technology subject area(s) listed in the Advance Program Guide (Appendix A).
Alberta Innovates accepted inquiries for the 2022-23 pilot stream until the stream was closed at the end of September 2022. Since then, Alberta Innovates has been processing inquiries/applications of the pilot stream.
In 2023-24, Alberta Innovates will continue to address the inquiries that remain in the queue of the 2022-23 pilot stream through Stream I. Please note no new inquiries will be accepted under Stream I at this time.
Stream II is the general stream of the program. Funding is available to NSERC eligible researchers at Alberta-based universities.
In 2023-24, Stream II targets the following four emerging technology research topics under the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) category:
Please see Appendix B of the Program Guide for detailed description of the four research topics.
The targeted emerging technologies in this program offer transformational promise for challenges across Alberta’s existing sectors and entry into wider global markets. Our investment will augment the Alberta academic researcher’s capacity to accelerate, advance research excellence and create additional HQPs in Alberta’s emerging technology areas. The development of emerging technologies will provide the foundation for economic diversification and job creation into nascent industries in Alberta.
Stream I: Successful applicants will receive 2/3rd of NSERC’s annual Discovery Grants (Individual) award value from Alberta Innovates to a maximum of $20,000 per year per award for a maximum of two (2) years.
Stream II: Individual proposals can request up to $150,000 per year and can be for up to two years in duration. A maximum to $100,000 per year will be provided by Alberta Innovates and NSERC will match the Alberta Innovates contribution at a ratio of 50% up to a maximum of $50,000 per year.
To qualify for funding all Projects must:
Stream I: No new inquiries will be accepted under Stream I at this time. Currently Stream I is only open to researchers who remain in the queue under the 2022-23 pilot stream (i.e., Alberta Innovates NSERC Discovery Grants (Individual) supplemental funding pilot stream) and must have made their inquiries to Alberta Innovates prior to closing of the pilot call at the end of September 2022. Also the applicants must currently hold active NSERC Discovery Grants (Individual) at a post-secondary institution in Alberta for Competition Years 2020, 2021 and 2022 with research focusing on at least one or more of the emerging technology subject area(s) as outlined in the Advance Program Guide (Appendix A).
Stream II: Researchers submitting an application must be from a university on NSERC’s list of Alberta-based universities. To view this list of eligible universities, click here. The researcher must hold an NSERC peer-reviewed grant when they apply and meet NSERC eligibility criteria when applying and when funding is released.
Applicants cannot hold more than one Advance (General stream) grant simultaneously, and only one application per Primary Applicant (PI) per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) is permitted. Current Advance (General stream) grant holders, however, may be eligible to apply for Stream I funding, meeting the eligibility requirements of Stream I.
Alberta Innovates will notify the researchers who currently remain in queue under the 2022-23 pilot stream (i.e., Alberta Innovates NSERC Discovery Grants (Individual) supplemental funding pilot stream), to submit the Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technologies (PSIET) Intake Form within the Funding Opportunities tab on the AI application portal (SmartSimple).
Stream I: We review all applications internally in the order we receive them. During this process the NSERC evaluation group’s comments will be considered. We’ll notify applicants after a decision has been made. Applications we approve will receive the Alberta Innovates funding.
Stream II: We review all applications first and then recommend whether they go to NSERC for review. Meeting all evaluation criteria is not a guarantee that an application will be funded as funding will be awarded on a competitive basis. If we recommend that an application goes to NSERC for review, NSERC will review and evaluate using its own review process. Applications that are approved by both NSERC and Alberta Innovates will receive the Alberta Innovates funding. For both streams, the applicants are strongly recommended to demonstrate the practice of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) adequately in their proposed project.
Senior Business Partner, Post Secondary Investments and Emerging Technologies
Registration closed: August 4, 2023
Stream I: Intake for this program-stream is currently closed. Registration closed: August 4, 2023.
Stream II: This program-stream is currently subscribed to capacity. We are no longer accepting any new inquiries until further notice. Registration closed: July 4, 2023.