Lab2Market Build: New Opportunity with NSERC 2023


Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)


Lab2Market Build


Lab2Market (L2M) is a nationwide program that helps brilliant minds in STEM graduate and postdoctoral programs reimagine their futures. L2M's suite of programs exists to guide participants through every step of the entrepreneurial journey – from discovering their passion for entrepreneurship to building an entrepreneurial skillset and connecting with the network they need to turn their ideas into successful businesses.

Lab2Market Build is a new opportunity offered in partnership with NSERC. This 12-month program will provide supplementary entrepreneurship support to recipients of NSERC’s Idea 2 Innovation (I2I) Phase 1 Grant who are looking to build their idea into a market-ready product.

As a participant in the Lab2Market Build program, you will receive:

  • Up to $155,000 in funding through the NSERC I2I Phase 1 grant (see Use of Funds for additional details)
  • A world-class curriculum carefully designed to guide you through all phases of deep tech product development
  • Training from innovation leaders
  • The opportunity to build a customer focused product
  • Access to best-in-class advisors, industry experts, and funders
  • Access to a vast entrepreneurial network and community.

The desired outcomes of the program align directly with that of the NSERC I2I Phase 1 grant:

  • Build valuable intellectual property (e.g., strengthening the commercial value of the technology, broadening patent claims, or strengthening licensing opportunities)
  • Raising early-stage investment
  • Create partnerships (e.g., establishing pilot projects, strategic business partnerships, and/or licensing opportunities)

The program's core aim is to help its participants bring their technologies to market.


Applicants must apply in teams with at least one representative acting as an:

Entrepreneurial Lead (EL)
This is often a full-time graduate (Masters or PhD) student, postdoctoral fellow, or research assistant. The EL is expected to work on the project full-time (20-40 hours/week) over the duration of the program, representing the team in all training sessions and leading all activities.
Please note, full-time refers to both in-lab and Lab2Market activities.

Technical Lead (TL)
The principal investigator of the research project. The TL is expected to assist the EL throughout the program. The TL must be NSERC eligible.
Please note, the principal investigator can also act as the entrepreneurial lead if able to commit to attending all training sessions and leading the program activities.

Lab2Market Build will service research teams from across Canada. All NSERC eligible institutions are able to apply.

  • The research must be primarily in the natural sciences and engineering disciplines, other than the health sciences.
  • The intended objective(s) of the research must primarily be to advance knowledge in one or more of the natural science or engineering disciplines.

Please note, any health-related projects, especially those that require clinical trials will be found to be ineligible (funding for these projects falls under CIHR).

The technology must be sufficiently mature. The basic parameters of the concept must have already been explored and sufficient testing should have been done to assess the potential of the innovation to work in a “product” environment or for its intended purpose. This represents at least a technology readiness level (TRL) 4.

There must be a clearly identified and well-described potential market. Meaningful letters of support from potential receptors, end-users/clients and industrial value-chain players may be very useful.

Funding Availability

NSERC will support 100% of the Phase 1 grant up to $155,000.

Funding is available to support 10 teams for 12 months, with a supplement from NSERC of $30,000, of which $18,000 will be used to pay for the program participation and $12,000 will be held by the principal investigator for program-related travel expenses.

Project Duration

12-month program


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

U of G applicants should inform if their application is selected to proceed. Each application or proposal to be submitted to a research sponsor (government, industry, business, foundation, private or other) must be approved by the University (Research Services Office) before the application is forwarded to the sponsor. To allow time for RSO review and processing, full applications (including an OR-5 Form, research proposal/application, and a budget) should be submitted to two weeks in advance of external deadlines.

For any IP considerations, consult with Steve De Brabandere (, Director, Technology Transfer and Industry Liaison prior to submitting your application.

NSERC Review will take place prior to mid December 2023. 

For Questions, please contact

If you have any questions or concerns, reach out to Wesley Kosiba, Deeptech Startup Manager, at

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