Activities supported under the Lab-to-Market fund are those that advance the development of new or improved technologies and/or transfer knowledge that address specific, well-defined market problems. The Lab-to-Market fund emphasizes the importance of validation at all stages of technology development and encourages the application of the scientific method to finding product-market fit.
Researchers applying to the Lab-to-Market fund should have a commercialization partner, student participation, a clear understanding of the market problem being solved and the competitive advantages of their new technology, a self-assessment of technology readiness level (minimum TRL 3), and a plan for the intellectual property. Full assessment criteria are listed in the document here.
Most projects will take between 6 and 18 months to complete. If the project is expected to take longer than 24 months, the researcher should divide the project into an appropriate number of phases and submit applications for each phase separately.
NBIF will fund up to 33% of projects with NB SMEs or not-for-profit organizations, and up to 25% of projects that do not have NB SMEs or not-for-profit organizations as partners.
Lab-to-Market awards can be used for the following expenses, as an example (non-exhaustive list):
Student stipends, researcher salaries;
Course relief cost;
Lab equipment and supplies;
Prototyping and bench testing;
Market research and pilot projects;
Tech transfer, knowledge mobilization; and
Costs to secure IP.
Deliverables and Reporting
Project plans must include clear deliverables and timelines. Funding for the Lab-to-Market program will be milestone-driven based on deliverables with frequent reporting. Some examples of deliverables are:
Formation of industry-academic partnerships;
TRL level self-assessment, and TRL advancement;
Patent applications and knowledge transfer;
Business plans and competitive market analyses;
Entrance into accelerators and business plan competitions;
Incorporation of new business ventures;
Market research and early adopter feedback; and
Prototyping and customer demonstrations.