(B.C. Fast Pilot Program 2021)

Guidelines for Firms





A program delivered jointly by NRC IRAP; Innovate BC



The need to test and demonstrate new technology operating under real world conditions is a common challenge for small to medium sized companies (SMEs) aiming to commercialize new technologies. A pilot implementation is an essential but often capital-intensive step for companies to progress from prototype stage to commercialization. The B.C. Fast Pilot Program is designed to support SMEs through this important step by helping them measure the value of their solution

within a pilot installation via a contribution to the project. The program is competitive and selections will be made based on the strength of projects and budget availability.



Program Description

The implementation of a pilot installation is a key mechanism SMEs can use to prove the value of an innovative technology to potential customers. The B.C. Fast Pilot Program is for B.C.-based SMEs developing technologies that have passed the prototype stage and now require real-world pilot project validation to demonstrate the value of their innovation to potential customers. Support is available to SMEs to design, build, and operate a pilot plant or small demonstration of their technology in real-world conditions to prove the impact of their product, measure the value of their solution, and encourage customer adoption. The goal of the B.C. Fast Pilot program is to facilitate the sale of an SME’s product or service.


Priority Focus Areas

Priority areas include, but will not be limited to:

  • Pilot initiatives for SMEs or pilot sites located outside of the BC Lower Mainland.

  • Pilot initiatives in the cleantech sector defined as processes, products, or services that reduce negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities.

  • Pilot initiatives involving physical installations and equipment, and are capital intensive in nature.

  • Pilot initiatives involving Indigenous communities or organizations.


Company Eligibility

The program helps B.C. SMEs who have developed a prototype and are ready to take their technology and demonstrate it at a prospective customer site. An SME needs to contact an IRAP Industrial Technology Advisor (ITA) and meet eligibility criteria for NRC IRAP financial support including:

  • Having separate legal status as an incorporated, for-profit SME in Canada with the objective to grow and generate profits.

  • Having less than 500 employees.

  • Operating legally in Canada, and specifically in B.C. for this program.


Project Scope & Funding

This program is funded by NRC IRAP and leveraged Innovate BC funding. The exact amount and ratio of funding per project will be determined on a case by case basis. Pilots may receive up to $200,000 in joint funding for a project, depending on available funds. Projects that are at a Technological Readiness Level (TRL) of 7 or higher will be considered. SME’s must be prepared to implement the solution and execute on the majority of the deliverables of their project by March 31, 2022.


Program Timeline:

  • April 12, 2021 - Expression of Interest submission deadline

  • By Mid-May - Successful applicants invited to submit Full Proposal


How to Apply

The application process is three-step:

1. SMES’s without an IRAP ITA must first connect with IRAP to get assigned an ITA. For more information on finding an ITA, visit: https://nrc.canada.ca/en/support-technology-innovation/nrc-irap-advisory-services or contact IRAP Client Engagement Advisors at 1-877-994-4727.


2. SMEs should request an “Expression of interest for B.C. Fast Pilot” form from their local IRAP ITA. It is highly recommended that SMEs work with their ITA to fill out the form to ensure all requirements are met. Completed forms will be reviewed and submitted by the ITA to the B.C. Fast Pilot Joint Review Committee (JRC), which consists of representatives from both IRAP and Innovate BC. Submitted applications will be screened, evaluated, and selected by the JRC for next steps.


3. Successful applicants will be invited to submit a full IRAP project proposal. The SME will work with their ITA to develop a full proposal according to standard IRAP practices.




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