Program Guidelines

The Fast-Track to Financing Program supports projects that help to create strong business or commercialization plans to attract public financing or private investment to support the development of natural product or technologies (Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 4-9).

NPC defines natural products or technologies as biologically-based innovations that leverage or enhance the use of naturally-occurring molecules. NPC is looking for highly innovative products or technologies with proprietary intellectual property. The innovation must benefit people, animals and the planet, and may be applied to a range of industries, including: food production and value-added agriculture; bioproducts and sustainability; human nutrition, health and wellness; animal health and nutrition; and water and waste management. Technologies and solutions based on IT (software, hardware, AI, etc.) or mechanical solutions (drones, automation, etc.) that exclude a biological element fall outside of scope for the Programs.

This program is open to Canadian SMEs or start-up companies and academic research institutes.

SMEs or start-up companies: The intent of the program is to develop strong business or commercialization plans that demonstrate the market and/or growth potential necessary to attract private capital or public funding.

Academic research Institutes: The intent of the program is to develop strong commercialization plans to attract public funding, secure industry partnerships, licensing opportunities, and/or create start-up companies.

The Program supports the costs of engaging one or more experts (external consultant or other service provider) to assist in strengthening or revising the business or commercialization plan. This could include all or a subset of the following components:

  • Market, Customer, & Competitive Analysis
  • Value Proposition
  • Regulatory Plan
  • IP Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Production Plan
  • Sustainability assessment

Successful applicants will receive a contribution of up to 40% of the costs of the expert(s), to a maximum of $25,000. The applicant is required to contribute at least 60% of the cost over the project period. 

The applicant may have a preferred expert(s) at the time of application or may begin their search after the application is submitted. A summary of the qualifications of the expert(s) and the statement of work(s) (SOW) must be submitted to NPC for review prior to final approval.

Companies or academic research institutes interested in applying to the Program should contact NPC at [email protected].

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Canadian incorporated SME, start-up company, or academic research institute.
  • Applicant has a novel natural product or technology that aligns with NPC’s definitions of natural products or technologies (See examples of previously funded projects) and must also fit within the TRL 4-9 of the Government of Canada’s established Technology Readiness Levels.
  • SMEs and start-up companies must have the potential to achieve $10MM to $15MM in annual revenue within a reasonable period for the market or sector.
  • Products or technologies being developed within academic research institutes must address an industry/sector challenge that has a significant market potential.
  • Potential for significant economic, social, health and/or environmental benefits.
  • Technological advancement and benefits to the natural products ecosystem across Canada.
  • Technical feasibility of the project.
  • Potential for commercialization in Canada.
  • Potential spillover benefits to more than one sector.
  • Potential for improving the representation of women, visible minorities, and Indigenous peoples in the natural products ecosystem.
  • A member of Canada’s Natural Product Innovation Cluster.
  • A minimum NPC Contribution of $5,000.

Funding Conditions and Reporting

  • NPC’s contribution is non-dilutive, non-repayable funding.
  • Successful applicants will receive a contract from NPC that includes the project scope, reporting requirements, and mutually agreed upon key deliverables to be achieved.
  • Canadian Government stacking rules apply. There is a limit on the combined level of financial assistance from all government sources (federal, provincial, territorial, municipal) not to exceed 75% of eligible costs by SMEs and start-up companies and 100% of eligible costs by academic research institutes.
  • The funding is provided through reimbursement of eligible project costs upon approval of the quarterly reports. Quarterly reports include a written and financial claim, and must contain invoices and proof of payment.
  • Successful applicants are required to pay a non-refundable project administration fee of 5% of total project costs plus GST/HST. This fee is not considered as an eligible project cost.
  • An annual report will be required during the project and for each of the five (5) years after the project ends.

Application Process

  1. Eligibility Assessment:
  • Companies or academic research institutes interested in this Program should contact NPC at [email protected].
  • An NPC team member will follow up with the applicant to review the Minimum Eligibility Requirements, in addition to the scope of the potential project.
  • Applicants that meet the eligibility assessment will be invited to submit an application.
  1. Application Submission and Evaluation:
  • Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
  • Eligible applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: the novelty of the natural product or technology; market opportunity; business model/commercialization strategy; competitors; strength of the management/research leadership team; need for the business or commercialization plan; anticipated outcomes; and statement of work(s) and qualifications of the selected expert(s).
  • Applications will be reviewed by the NPC team and feedback will be provided. Applicants will have the opportunity to revise the application. The final version of the application will be reviewed, and the funding decision will be made by NPC Executive Management.
  1. Notification:
  • Applicants will be informed of the progress throughout the process outlined above and will be notified of the final funding decision.
  • In the event where an application is not approved for funding, the applicant will be provided feedback on the application. The applicant can request an appeal by providing, in writing, the basis for their objection(s) with the decision within 15 days from receiving the decision from NPC.


All applications will be treated as confidential information. The applications will only be seen by those directly involved in the evaluation of the applications.

For more information, contact NPC at [email protected].