On January 21, 2016, the Government of Alberta announced funding for an initiative that supports innovative Alberta businesses to commercialize high-tech made-in-Alberta solutions (press release here). The funding is focused on helping further diversify and strengthen the provincial economy.
This funding is available through Alberta Innovates Technology Futures (AITF) which supports innovation within technical industries by investing in local research and entrepreneurial talent. In relation to Intellectual Property Rights, AITF’s Micro-Voucher and Voucher scheme can be used to help fund intellectual property assessments and patent development. At Hicks IP, we have been approved as Service Providers for AITF funding and we are experienced in working with clients to apply for funding in order to assess and secure Intellectual Property Rights.
Below are summaries of the Micro-Voucher and Voucher Programmes. More details on the funding schemes and how to apply can be found on the AITF Micro-Voucher and Voucher page. Generally, the outcome of the application will be emailed to the applicant representative approximately 6-8 weeks after AITF receives the application.
The Micro-Voucher is designed to support technologies in the early developmental stages. The Micro-Voucher is intended to fund the SME to retain one Service or Product Provider to assist with early start up development. AITF’s Investment to a successful Applicant is up to $10,000, which is paid directly to the Service or Product Provider named in the application. The funds are provided to cover eligible expenses charged by that Service or Product Provider during the course of providing any one or more of the following items for the benefit of the Applicant:
- Market assessments;
- Industry Development;
- Corporate training;
- Conferences (with the support of a Technology Development Advisor);
- Intellectual property assessments; and/or
- Acquisition of materials and/or equipment critical to the Applicant’s operations.
The Voucher is designed to support technologies in the mid-to-late developmental stages but may include some early developmental stages. The Voucher is intended to fund the SME to work in collaboration with up to three Service or Product Providers to advance the technology closer to commercialization. AITF’s Investment to a successful Applicant is within the range of $10,001 to $100,000, which is paid directly to the Service or Product Provider(s) named in the application. The funds are provided to cover eligible expenses incurred by the Service or Product Provider(s) during the course of any one or more of the following activities:
- New product research and development;
- Leading-edge design, engineering and prototype development;
- Advanced product testing and refinement;
- Patent development;
- Advanced market assessments; and/or
- Other technology development activities may be considered on a case by case basis.