Intake status: Open. Accepting applications.

Ministry responsible: Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

Overview

The Alberta Export Expansion Program provides funding support to Alberta small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), municipalities, industry associations, Indigenous communities and economic development organizations promoting Alberta exports through:

  • outbound international business travel
  • bringing international buyers to Alberta

For-profit or municipal applicants may be reimbursed up to 50%, and non-profit applicants up to 75%, on eligible costs such as:

  • accommodation
  • airfare
  • inter-city ground travel
  • registration for tradeshows or events
  • translation or interpretive services for marketing materials
  • conference room space

Each applicant can apply to the program multiple times, but will only be eligible for up to a combined maximum of $25,000 in approved grant agreement(s) per program year (April 1 to March 31).

The applicant organization will receive the funding after travel has concluded.

Companies may also be eligible for funding under the Export Readiness Micro-Voucher Program to assist with the development of a targeted international market strategy focused on one country.

Funding

Eligible companies will be reimbursed in the form of a grant that may range from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $25,000 per year for a select range of approved activities and expenses.

Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the annual program budget has been spent.

Applicants may apply for and receive funding from other sources, but the total level of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) cannot exceed 50% (for-profit applicants) of the total eligible expenses.

Applicants must disclose all sources of funding for a proposed project, both in their application, and in the travel report following the completion of the approved activities.

The program does not pay applicants in advance of carrying out their activity. Payment is issued once the project is complete and the company or organization submits a copy of all invoices, receipts and a travel report through the online application portal.

Eligible entities

Non-profits

Alberta non-profits promoting sales of products and services in a new international export markets are eligible for funding under the program.

To be eligible for funding, an organization must:

  • have a minimum of one full-time employee in Alberta
  • be a recognized legal entity for a minimum of one year
  • have a permanent establishment in Alberta
  • must fully complete the application form

Eligible non-profits include, but are not limited to:

  • municipalities
  • First Nations or Metis Settlements
  • economic development organizations
  • industry associations

For-profits

Alberta SMEs promoting sales of products and services in a new international export market are eligible for the program.

Businesses expanding sales within international markets where they already have a well-established presence are not eligible for funding.

To be eligible for funding, a for-profit applicant must:

  • have annual sales of $50,000 to $25 million
  • have a minimum of one full-time employee in Alberta
  • be an incorporated legal entity in Alberta
  • be operating and have a permanent establishment in Alberta
  • must fully complete the application form
  • present an adequate market entry plan

Eligible sectors

Only Alberta SMEs operating in the following sectors are eligible for funding:

  • Manufacturing:
    • general manufacturing and materials
    • infrastructure and construction
  • Agriculture:
    • agricultural products and Agri-Food*
  • Energy:
    • oil and gas products, services and technology
    • petrochemicals
    • alternative energy
  • Environment:
    • environmental products
    • forestry
  • Technology:
    • aerospace and defense
    • life sciences and health technology
    • cleantech
    • bioindustrial technology
    • information and communication technology
  • Culture:
    • film
    • music recording companies
    • publishing companies
    • other Cultural industries
    • software and interactive digital media companies
  • Tourism**

*Agricultural companies are encouraged to seek funding under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) first. Agricultural companies may be eligible for Alberta Export Expansion Program funding if CAP funding is not available or for expenses that are not reimbursed through the CAP program.

**To be eligible, tourism companies must officially be part of a coordinated mission that is led by government, or an arm's length organization such as Travel Alberta, Destination Canada or the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada.

Technology Start-Ups

Companies focused on emerging technology in sectors such as cleantech, bio industrial technology and life sciences may have reduced application requirements.

The requirement of $50,000 in annual sales in the prior year may be waived. Program staff will consult with subject matter experts within the Government of Alberta and these applications will be considered on a project-by-project basis.

Please contact the program prior to submitting an application.

Eligible activities

Please note: All expense maximums are in Canadian currency and must be fully paid by the applying applicant.

The applicant must pay for all eligible expenses up front before seeking reimbursement.

Once a receipt has been submitted for reimbursement, it cannot be submitted again as part of another claim.

Eligible expenses may be capped. Caps are reviewed on a regular basis and may be subject to change.

Outbound travel

To be an eligible traveller, the individual must be an Alberta-based employee or representative (not including contractors). The reason for travel must also be export related.

Funded activities must aim to promote international business development, new initiatives, and provide an opportunity to yield concrete results.

A maximum of 2 Alberta-based employees or representatives per activity are eligible for funding.

Projects related to attending and participating in trade shows, trade missions, meeting with potential clients, demonstrating and marketing product(s), preparing and growing export sales may be eligible.

Projects primarily focused on finding buyers, personal travel, investment and educational purposes, or without a prototype or product are ineligible.

Eligible outbound travel expenses

The following expenses are eligible for funding:

  • accommodation in a standard room (or equivalent) up to $300 per person, per night
  • return economy airfare with allowance for the first single piece of checked personal luggage and one carry-on
  • economy intercity train fares and economy intercity bus fares
  • registration for participation at select tradeshows and/or events
  • translation of marketing materials

Upgrading an economy airfare ticket is eligible but an economy class receipt is required for full funding.

Please refer to the program guidelines for a detailed list of outbound travel expenses that are ineligible under the program.

Incoming delegations

To be an eligible traveller, the individual must be travelling from outside of Canada and must not be Canada-based.

Funded activities must aim to promote international business development, new initiatives, and provide an opportunity to yield concrete results. A maximum of 10 foreign-based representatives per activity are eligible for funding.

Eligible incoming delegation expenses

Please note: the applicant must pay for all eligible expenses in order to be reimbursed.

  • Accommodation in a standard room (or equivalent) up to $300 per person, per night.
  • Conference room space up to $750 per day.
  • Return economy airfare with allowance for the first single piece of checked personal luggage and one carry-on.
  • Ground transportation to and from airport as well as economy intercity bus fares.
  • Registration for participation at select tradeshows and/or events.
  • Translation of marketing materials and interpretive services.

Upgrading an economy airfare ticket is eligible but an economy class receipt is required for full funding.

Please refer to the program guidelines for a detailed list of incoming delegation expenses that are ineligible under the program.

How to apply

Intake for the program is continuous and will remain open until the annual budget has been spent.

Applications must be submitted no less than 6 weeks before the start of the first activity. Applications received less than 6 weeks before the start of the first activity may be automatically ineligible.

All applications must be submitted through the online application portal.

Step 1. Read the guidelines

Alberta Export Expansion Program guidelines

Step 2. Create a user profile and log in to the online application portal

When logging into the online application portal for the first time, applicants will be prompted to create a My Alberta Digital ID (MADI) user account with a secure login name and password.

Once the account has been created, applicants will gain access to the online application portal, which hosts live application forms and templates available for submission.

Online Application Portal

Step 3. Fill out and submit your application

To apply for grant funding, fill out and submit the application in the online application portal.

Applicants are required to upload supporting documentation as part of their application, including:

  • a market entry plan
  • any additional documents the organization may want to include to describe their project (e.g. itinerary, contacts, certificates for technology, and support for estimated costs related to eligible expenses)

Please note:

  • A separate application must be submitted for each project/activity. An applicant may submit multiple applications at any given time.
  • The Government of Alberta may request additional documents, including but not limited to financial statements, to verify information provided in the application.

Step 4. Sign and return the grant agreement

If the application is approved, successful applicants will receive a grant agreement that sets out :

  • the approved activities and their associated costs
  • the responsibilities and legal obligations of the Government of Alberta and the applicant

The grant agreement must be reviewed and signed by an authorized officer of the applicant, and then returned by mail to the program office within 14 days of being received.

Applicants must send the agreement using a traceable method. Once received, the Government of Alberta will sign the grant agreement and provide the applicant with a final copy for their records.

If the signed grant agreement is not returned to the Government of Alberta in a timely manner, the application may be cancelled, and the applicant may not be eligible to claim any expenses.

After you apply

Evaluation and notification

Applicants can log into their MADI account at any time to view their application, including information on application status, next steps and additional requirements.

Changes to a project

If changes to the project occur prior to the end of travel, the applicant must notify the Government of Alberta by email at edtt.aeep@gov.ab.ca as changes may require an amended grant agreement.

Please note: Changes may not be approved and could result in those expenses not being eligible.

Reimbursement

To receive final payment the applicant must:

  • complete the project in accordance with the program terms, approved application and grant agreement
  • complete and submit the following documentation through the online application portal:
    • Expense Claim
    • Travel Report
    • a copy of all invoices/receipts relating to the approved activities

The travel report must detail the activities and outcomes of the project, measured against the approved activities and project objectives.

If the receipts for the expense claim are not in English, a description of the expenses must also be included and these may be verified with the associated vendors.

When using a foreign currency, please provide a credit card statement with the exchange rate used or a copy of the website page used to calculate the exchange rate. If using the exchange rate from a website, the dates used must be within the timeframe of the activity.

Once the report and invoices are received, audited and approved, the applicant will be reimbursed for the expenses. If an applicant fails to meet the above reporting requirements, the applicant may not be reimbursed for its expenses.

Completed claims will be processed within approximately 6 weeks of receipt.

Reporting

Successful applicants will be required to submit a one-time annual report one year after project completion. This is an obligation under a signed grant agreement and will be used to evaluate the project’s impact.

Contact

Government of Alberta staff are available to discuss your application or answer any questions you may have. To connect with a program advisor:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Email: edtt.aeep@gov.ab.ca