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Helping move Nova Scotia university, college and university-affiliated hospital research to market.

The Early Stage Commercialization Fund (ESCF) is now closed for submissions. The deadline was Monday, February 12, 2024, at 11:59 pm AT.

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.

*Low Carbon Stream* Nova Scotia’s Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (NSDNRR) and Invest Nova Scotia are partnering to offer the Low Carbon Technology Stream of the Early Stage Commercialization Fund. The organizations are working together on the evaluation process and curriculum.

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 other funds.

The details of ESCF are outlined below and are also found in the ESCF INFO KIT.

We’re delighted to once again work with our friends at New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) to offer ESCF. While our two organizations are co-promoting the opportunity and partnering on the evaluation process and curriculum, applications from New Brunswick institutions have to apply through NBIF.

ESCF Purpose

ESCF helps move Nova Scotia university, college and university-affiliated hospital research to market. It assists 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.

Invest Nova Scotia seeks to find and build technologies with the potential for venture capital investment. Although we welcome ESCF applicants who might consider licensing their technology, preference is given to projects with the potential for a venture-grade spin-out company.

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 in support that exists at the beginning of the commercialization process
  • Enable projects to move closer to industry collaboration or a spin-out opportunity

Important Dates:

Call for submissions: Thursday, December 7, 2023
Proposals due: Monday, February 12, 2024
Shortlist notified: Friday, March 1, 2024
Shortlist reviewed and researchers meet with evaluation committee: Friday, March 8, 2024
Recipients notified: Monday, March 11, 2024


Nova Scotia university and college faculty members, as well as staff, clinicians and researchers in university-affiliated institutions, are eligible to apply.

Applications from graduate students and post-docs will be considered, provided a faculty member is a co-applicant. The lead applicant (or principal investigator) must be the faculty member who holds the research account.

Invest Nova Scotia portfolio companies and Accelerate program companies (past or present) are ineligible for this opportunity.

How to Apply

Invest Nova Scotia's Early Stage Commercialization Fund is closed for winter round submissions. The deadline was Monday, February 12, 2024, at 11:59 pm AT.

Applicants were asked to use our Microsoft Word PROPOSAL FORM, complete the table and project description sections and sign the applicant authorization. Submissions were made online by completing the webform and uploading the proposal form along with the CV of the principal investigator(s), highlighting any previous experience in research commercialization.

Details about what evaluators look for in a submission, and other information you should know, can be found in the ESCF INFO KIT.


All information received from the applicant will be kept strictly confidential. All external reviewers will sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). However, the successful applicant herein authorizes Invest Nova Scotia, or its designated representative, to reveal the following ESCF information: the applicant’s name, title, affiliate institution, title and lay summary of the project, duration of support, and approved funding amount. The information received may also be used in evaluating the benefits attributable from the program to the Nova Scotia economy. The applicant’s permission will be sought before releasing any further information. Prior award recipients’ names and the above details may also be used in subsequent promotion of the ESCF program.