Important dates

Application status: Open. Submission deadline is September 29, 2023.

Overview

The Innovation Catalyst Grant (ICG) is an entrepreneurial fellowship designed to support recent graduates (Master’s or PhD) in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This grant provides a 2-year runway for applicants to develop and commercialize innovative, science-based products and services that contain a hardware component.

The ICG has annual intakes in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 and is administered by partner universities (University of Alberta, University of Calgary, and University of Lethbridge) with participation and oversight by the Ministry of Technology and Innovation. The ICG is designed to provide aspiring entrepreneurs with:

  • annual stipend
  • seed funding
  • lab and office access
  • technical mentorship
  • business development and networking

Read the ICG Program Guidelines for more information.

Proposals and funding

Eligible projects must:

  • be an innovative STEM-based technology with a hardware component
  • have access or have taken reasonable steps toward the legal right to commercialize the underlying intellectual property

Successful applicants (Fellows) will be awarded up to $250,000 over 2 years in fellowship and seed funding.

Eligible applicants

To become an ICG Fellow and participate in the program, you must be:

  • a graduate of an advanced STEM degree (Master’s, PhD) within the last 5 years
  • the primary technology innovator(s) of a science-based business or product concept, with hardware component
  • able to demonstrate access or reasonable steps toward the legal right to commercialize the underlying intellectual property
  • willing to commit to the Fellowship as their full-time job
  • a resident of Alberta with the legal right to work in Canada throughout the program
  • prepared and able to incorporate the venture in Alberta or Canada once accepted and operate in Alberta for at least 3 years after the conclusion of the ICG Fellowship

Applicants will not be able to attend full or part-time educational training or maintain monetary-based affiliations with established companies during participation.

How to apply

The application process and funding recommendations employ a multi-step approach based on a competitive, merit-based evaluation in accordance with the criteria outlined in the ICG Program Guidelines.

Applications are assessed by an evaluation committee of internal and external experts with adequate technical and business knowledge. All evaluators will be subject to the terms of a non-disclosure agreement. To ensure their objectivity and impartiality, the names of reviewers will not be disclosed. The selection process is overseen by the Ministry of Technology and Innovation. The host university will make final selection for admittance into the program.

All applications must be completed through STP Grants. You will require an Alberta.ca Account to gain access to STP Grants.

The ICG application consists of the following steps:

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest.
  2. Submit a full proposal including a budget, if invited (template will be provided).
  3. Interview and business pitch.
  4. Evaluation committee reviews, scores and ranks ICG Fellowship candidates and applications.
  5. Candidates participate in a networking event.
  6. Universities determine final selection and approval.

Successful applicants

2022-2023 ICG Recipients

Nine fellows were chosen to take part in the first round of the program for the January 2023 cohort.

  • C-Zero Inc., Shariful Kibria Nabil
    Utilizing ground-breaking electrochemical technology to separate and transform trace CO2 emissions from industries into valuable products like ethylene to bypass energy-intensive capture and transportation steps.
  • Coagtech Ltd., Tyler Bennett
    Uses machine learning and customized hardware to optimize water treatment processes.
  • Jones Microwave, Thomas Jones
    Development of light-activated, high-speed microwave communication hardware for 5G applications.
  • NanoWaterTech, Afif Hethnawi
    Implementing ground-breaking, easy-to-deploy, and cost-effective technology for industrial water treatment to improve process efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Paramoria Agri-Science, Brent Puchalski
    Fungi detection using spore traps and DNA-based analysis infrastructure.
  • Quantized Technologies Inc., Jordan Smith
    Emerging technology offering quantum cryptography and cybersecurity solutions.
  • Sensyn, Mohsen Janmaleki
    Innovative retrofit leak detection system, ensuring real-time environmental protection and operational safety.
  • Synapsis Medical, Preetam Anbukarasu
    Development of thin film nanosensors and algorithms for cardiovascular disease screening and preventive healthcare.
  • Ultracoustics Technologies, Kyle Scheuer
    Ultrasound sensor arrays with an optical readout for non-destructive testing and acoustic emission detection.

Resources

Contact

Connect with the ICG Program:
Email: [email protected]

Institutional contacts:

University of Alberta
Email: [email protected]

University of Calgary/Innovate Calgary
Email: [email protected]

University of Lethbridge/Agility
Email: [email protected]