The Early Stage Commercialization Fund (ESCF) helps move Nova Scotia university and community college research to market.

ESCF will return for 2017-2018, so you should return here in early September for all the details and latest forms. In the meantime, check out the list of 2016-2017 ESCF AWARD RECIPIENTS and get an overview of the opportunity below .

If you’re a researcher engaged in information technology, life sciences, clean technology, ocean technology, or other technology development with market potential, this opportunity is for you.

Up to $50,000 in funding is available per project.

Funds can be used to assess market potential, develop go-to-market strategies, perform strategic planning, create/update business plans, assist with intellectual property protection strategies, finish proof-of-concept development, build prototypes and leverage of other funds.

NEW:  Additional funds have been made available this year for smart energy (thanks to support from the Nova Scotia Department of Energy), waste diversion (thanks to support from Divert NS) and bioresource projects. Qualifying smart energy technologies will address issues related to Nova Scotia’s electricity system. Qualifying waste diversion projects will investigate materials and products that incorporate solid waste resources and/or technologies that facilitate the separation and recovery of solid waste resources. Qualifying bioresource projects can include biorefinery feedstock technologies; waste diversion and treatment technologies; and agriculture, seafood and aquaculture technologies.

ESCF Purpose

ESCF assists and supports the academic community in the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. The purpose of ESCF is to provide support for projects demonstrating readiness to advance a technology that has achieved, or is close to achieving, a prototype/proof-of-concept stage and is approaching market readiness with a possibility of attracting industry partners and/or investment. The prospect of generating a new revenue stream must also be apparent.

Administration and management of ESCF follow Innovacorp’s approach to technology commercialization through early stage investment, incubation and other acceleration initiatives.

ESCF Objectives

• Promote and accelerate technology transfer activities in Nova Scotia post-secondary institutions
• Provide the opportunity to assess the commercial potential of intellectual property
• Narrow the gap that exists at the beginning of the commercialization process, and enable projects to move closer to industry collaboration and/or technology spin-off


Nova Scotia university and community college faculty members as well as staff and clinicians at university-affiliated hospitals are eligible to apply. Applications from graduate students and post-doctoral researchers will be considered provided there is a faculty member as a co-applicant.

Innovacorp in our universities and colleges

Innovacorp is committed to strengthening Nova Scotia’s post-secondary research commercialization capacity and entrepreneurial activities. It has been a strategic priority presented in our annual business plan for the past several years. The Early Stage Commercialization Fund is just one example of our recent efforts in this area.