CanExport Program to provide up to $50 million over five years to small/medium sized enterprises in Canada

On 5 January 2016, Global Affairs Canada launched CanExport, a new export development program to support SMEs seeking to develop export opportunities and markets, especially high-growth emerging markets.

CanExport is a five-year, $50-million program that provides financial support for a wide range of export marketing activities to support international business development.  CanExport complements NRC-IRAP’s existing efforts to support the global growth of Canadian firms and provides a great opportunity to connect NRC-IRAP’s business and innovation expertise to Global Affairs Canada international network and resources.  

CanExport is being delivered by the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) of Global Affairs Canada, in partnership with NRC-IRAP.  Specifically, TCS will complete the assessments of the applications, determine the level of funding, and be the point of contact for all questions pertaining to the Program. NRC-IRAP will administer and manage the contribution agreements centrally within IRAP Division Services. 

As of today, SMEs can submit applications online, on a continuous intake basis, via the website of Global Affairs Canada.

CanExport Eligibility Criteria

·         Be a for-profit company;
·         Be an incorporated legal entity or a limited liability partnership (LLP);
·         Have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business identifier number;
·         Have a minimum of 1 full-time equivalent (FTE) employee and a maximum of 250 FTE employees; 

·         Have no less than $200,000 and no more than $50 million in annual revenue declared in Canada.

CanExport Key Parameters

·         Project activities must be incremental to the applicant’s core activities, representing new or expanded initiatives which yield incremental results;
·         Reimburses of up to 50 percent of eligible expenses; applicant must match funds on a one-to-one basis;
·         Provides a minimum contribution of $10,000 (requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $20,000) and a maximum contribution of $99,999 (which requires that the total cost of eligible activities be at least $199, 998).

Complete program details can be found at

IRAP’s Role and Referrals 

NRC-IRAP Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) and Innovation Advisors (IAs) are encouraged to advise clients to discuss their international business development plans with the Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) office in their region, enabling clients to obtain assistance in preparing for international markets and support throughout the implementation. Information on the TCS services offered and a list of trade commissioner contacts by region/sector can be found on the Trade Commissioner Service website at

ITAs are also encouraged to refer clients to the CanExport program , by noting one of two types of referrals: 

  1. Normal referral to the CanExport program where an ITA can simply log a referral as an advisory service.
  2. An attestation of the firm’s ability and capacity to undertake export activities.  Global Affairs Canada will consider a firm’s previous interactions with the TCS, NRC-IRAP, and other TCS partners in their assessment of a CanExport application for funding. 
ITAs should record CanExport referrals in SONAR. Please refer to the Field Manual for more  information.

Please direct questions about IRAP’s role in the CanExport program to Denise Dziubaniuk, IRAP Division Services, denise.dziubaniuk@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca613-993-0336.