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 Jobs, Economy 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.
To become an ICG Fellow and participate in the program, applicants 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 Jobs, Economy and Innovation. The host university will make final selection for admittance into the program.
The application intake uses an online portal and require a MyAlberta Digital ID (MADI). The ICG application consists of the following steps:
- Submit Expression of Interest.
- Submit a full proposal including budget submission, if accepted.
- Evaluation committee reviews, scores, and ranks ICG Fellowship candidates and applications.
- Candidates participate in a pitch and networking event.
- Universities determine final selection and approval.
Connect with the ICG Program:
Email: [email protected]
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