If you are a small to mid-sized business (defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees) planning to apply for a patent to protect your intellectual property, you may want to apply for financial assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of a micro-voucher. The up to $10,000 micro-voucher goes towards paying the service provider (such as ATMAC) for your patent assessment and/or application. ATMAC has previously worked with several companies who have received the micro-voucher funding. As the company, you will need to contribute 25% of the total project costs upon approval.
Alberta Innovates programs are intended to promote entry and growth of competitive Alberta technology-oriented businesses in the global marketplace and generate measureable, timely and material economic, social and/or environmental benefits.
The application process for a micro-voucher is not onerous, but in order to apply for funding, you will need the following:
- Be a business incorporated in Alberta or extra provincially registered in Alberta
- Have a physical presence in Alberta
- Current Business Plan with pro forma forecasts (3 or 5 year)
- Most recent Financial statements that include income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement and statement of retained earnings (can be internally generated)
The micro-voucher program accepts applications on an on-call basis which means that applications can be submitted at any time – no rushing to meet deadlines. Responses on whether the funding application is successful or not are received in just a few weeks. If your application is not successful the first time, you can always apply a second time, while addressing the reviewers’ comments. You must apply before commencing the patent process with a service provider.
Alberta Innovates may make an investment up to $10,000 (or 75% of the total project cost) which is paid directly to a service provider like ATMAC to conduct an intellectual property assessment to determine if your invention should be protected. Other eligible activities include:
- Provisional and non-provisional patent applications in the United States
- Patent applications in Canada
- International patent applications (PCT apps)
- Market assessment
- Industry development and corporate training
- Conferences (with the support of a Technology Development Advisor from Alberta Innovates)
- Acquisition of materials and/or equipment critical to your operations
If you need assistance applying for the micro-voucher, ATMAC works with qualified CMCs (Certified Management Consultants) who are approved service providers with federal and provincial grant programs and help companies through the funding application process.
For more information, please review the August 2017 program guide for Alberta Innovates programs.
Pauline Patenaude, MBA, CMC