Program introduction

Led by industry, the projects of CARIC’s Aero-Connect Program aim to develop new relationships between the aerospace industry and academia through the new research collaborations. The Aero-Connect Program builds on the Engage Grants Program (EG or Engage) of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

The research for these projects can be carried out in universities and colleges. Aero-Connect Program projects last a maximum of six months and focus on technology that, at the beginning of the project, have a technology readiness level (TRL) from 1 to 4.



Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Aero-Connect Program, a project must meet the following criteria:

  • One Canadian company involved in the project
  • One university and/or college involved in the project
  • Research centres can also participate as a third research partner
  • No present or former connection between the researcher who submits a grant application and the company with the need that must be examined during the project
  • Subject to availability of funds
  • Any other requirement specified by NSERC


The funding recipients are universities, colleges and/or research centres.

Examples of eligible expenses:

  • Salary of necessary staff for the research project (students, postdoctoral fellows, technical or professional assistance)
  • Laboratory equipment and supplies, including the services of third-party providers
  • Equipment or facility rental

Funding allocation

  • Industry partners must make a minimum direct contribution (in-kind).
  • Total public funding is typically supplied by CARIC (up to $10,000) for its members and by NSERC (up to $25,000).

Non-members benefit from CARIC program guidance and support services.

For a membership fee, SMEs receive certain competitive advantages from CARIC, making their integration into CARIC’s network easier.


Project development in three stages

Stage 1: Proposal

Researchers from universities or colleges, in collaboration with their potential industrial partner.

Lead researchers complete NSERC’s Engage Grants (EG) application, including the requested amount ($10,000 maximum) from CARIC in the expenditure rationale.

Lead researchers must submit their completed application to CARIC ( CARIC verifies the eligibility of the requested expenses and the status of the partners. If the application is valid, CARIC sends a letter of support, confirming its financial commitment.

Stage 2: Application assessment process

To receive funding from CARIC, the application must be approved by NSERC.

Who submits the application?
The project’s academic leader must submit the completed application to NSERC.

EG applications can be submitted NSERC year-round. This is also the case with EG funding through the Aero-Connect Program, subject to the availability of funds from CARIC.

NSERC confirmation timeframe
Within six weeks of submitting the application

Stage 3: Signing of the intellectual property agreement

Please consult the NSERC policy on intellectual property.


Still have any questions about the Aero-Connect Program? Do not hesitate to contact our team!

Consult CARIC’s project directory

Compare CARIC’s programs

collaborative projects in preparation & in progress

Discover our members’ projects. Several projects are looking for partners: join them with your expertise!

Learn more