Alberta Innovates & NSERC | Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement

The 2023-24 Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) program is now open for new applications. This is a continuous intake program. Alberta Innovates and NSERC recommend that potential applicants first connect with the CASBE program manager to discuss the proposed project.

The Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement “CASBE Program” is a funding program within Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technologies at Alberta Innovates to leverage the different research industry partnerships programs offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

During 2022–2023, the CASBE program will offer two streams: 

Stream I: is only for Alberta Colleges and Polytechnics (NSERC ARD program)

Stream II: is only for applicants from Alberta universities (NSERC Alliance or Alliance Quantum Grants).

The CASBE Program aims at: 

  • Facilitate Alberta SMEs (the “Industry Partner”) to adopt emerging technologies in Alberta’s research and commercialization priorities to diversify their technology services and/or products (the “Project”) with the support of post-secondary institutions (the “Applicant”).

  • Provide applicants with funding to effectively use their technology platforms’ world-class knowledge, facilities, and students within Campus Alberta to support Alberta SMEs.



CASBE program is open to:

  •   Researchers from Alberta Post-secondary institutions (Alberta Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities) that meet eligibility criteria for NSERC research programs within the scope of CASBE Stream I and Stream II.

All Applicants must also:

  • Be authorized to undertake the proposed project and execute a grant agreement with Alberta Innovates on our standard terms;
  • Not otherwise be prohibited from receiving Alberta Innovates funding, for instance, due to a past bad debt or otherwise not be in good financial standing with Alberta Innovates or its subsidiaries, InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies;
  • Have a physical presence in Alberta.
  • Notify Alberta Innovates and NSERC immediately if any changes to the status of the Industry Partner (e.g., absence or loss of the Industry Partner) occur during the course of the project. The Applicant must meet the criteria required by NSERC and Alberta Innovates as a result of such changes to ensure the CASBE project eligibility requirements are maintained acceptably.

Partner/Collaborator/Service Provider:

The Industry Partner (s) are required to:

  • be a for-profit SME; with at least 2 Full-Time Employees (FTE)
  • demonstrate the relationship between the Applicant and Industry Partner(s) does not create a conflict of interest;
  • have demonstrated operations in Alberta and can continue to adopt and develop in-house the results of the academic research;
  • meet the following definition of an SME: a company with fewer than 500 Full-Time employees and less than $50,000,000 in annual gross revenue;
  • be a legal entity: - incorporated in Alberta; or - incorporated federally or in another jurisdiction AND extra-provincially registered in Alberta; or - a General Partnership, Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership AND registered in Alberta; and
  • be in good financial and final reporting standing with Alberta Innovates and its subsidiaries, InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies.
Project Eligibility Criteria: To qualify for funding, all Projects must:
  •  Align with the CASBE program objectives;
  •  Meet NSERC’s eligibility criteria; • Align with Alberta's research and commercialization priorities outlined in the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS);
  • Align with any of the emerging technologies priorities outlined in Alberta-Innovates-CASBE-NSERC-program-Priority-Emerging-Technology;
  • Multiple partners, including MNEs are encouraged; however, at least one Alberta SME as an Industry Partner is required to get the CASBE match;
  • Be stepped up with critical milestones, including mid-project and final presentations and a final report;
  • Be completed within the one- or two-year term;
  • Comply with other criteria Alberta Innovates may develop from time to time; and
  • Technology developed by the Project must be within TRL levels 2 to 6.
Important Notes
  • Alberta Innovates and NSERC recommend that the applicant applies first to the Alberta Innovates 2023–24 CASBE program. Then, if recommended, submit the completed AI CASBE NSERC joint application to NSERC for funding consideration.  
  • The applicant completes the AI CASBE application using SmartSimple. As part of the AI CASBE SmartSimple application, the Applicant must attach a draft PDF version of the corresponding NSERC application form using the NSERC online portal. Applicants are advised to read the instructions on the NSERC website for the CASBE program (NSERC ARD, NSERC Alliance, or Alliance Quantum grants), as applicable.

See Full Details & Apply

Agency Name: 
NSERC, Alberta Innovates
Contact Name: 
Partnerships & Commercialization Coordinator and Sola Fasunwon (
Grant Amount: 
Stream II: is only for applicants from Alberta Universities (NSERC Alliance). The CASBE Program supports up to $150,000 per year for 2 years. The CASBE program leverages NSERC’s contribution per project up to $150,000 per year for one year or a maximum of two years, depending on the project duration funded by NSERC. The maximum length of CASBE funds will be 2 years, regardless of the original length of the NSERC project.
Grant Location: 
Grant Type: 
Grant Area: 
Natural Science
Grant Eligibility: