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Canada-Italy Innovation Award 2022 - Call for proposals


As we mark the 75th anniversary of Canada-Italy Diplomatic Relations in 2022 and in keeping with the dynamic and forward looking nature of both our countries, the Embassy of Canada to Italy is pleased to accept applications for the 10th edition of the “Canada-Italy Innovation Award”. This Award provides funding to members of the Italian innovation ecosystem including innovation experts, researchers, scientists, start-ups, or creative industry professionals to develop collaborative projects with Canadian partners in areas that will drive innovative, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development.


The “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” seeks to develop new partnerships between Canadian and Italian experts and deepen existing collaborations to deliver innovations that have impact. Applications are open to Italian individuals who connect to Canadian counterparts, to be identified by the applicants. Initial outcomes should be delivered over the first 6 to 12 months following the completion of the project. Ideal outcomes would result in real world applications that can be incubated or scaled in evolving domains. This can include joint publications and projects; student/researcher exchange programs; institutional linkages; sharing of equipment, materials and facilities; exchange of skills and techniques; applied technology development; creative products and applications; and technology transfer. The development of innovative models of collaboration is strongly encouraged as well as the development of sustained relationships that remain lasting/active beyond the first 12 months.

Scope and priority areas

The Embassy of Canada to Italy aims to support the development of strong, targeted relationships between leading individuals, researchers and institutions in Italy and their counterparts in Canada.

Using the tools and concepts of Gender-Based Analysis +, applications must explain how the project may impact diverse groups of people differently.

GBA+ is the analytical process that provides a way to assess systemic inequalities and account for how diverse groups of women, men, and gender diverse people may experience policies, programs and initiatives. The “plus” in GBA+ acknowledges that GBA+ is not just about differences between biological (sexes) and socio-cultural (genders). We all have multiple characteristics that intersect and contribute to who we are. GBA+ considers many other identity factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, age, and mental or physical disability, and how the interaction between these factors influences the way we might experience government policies and initiatives. Using GBA+ involves taking a gender-and diversity-sensitive approach to our work. Considering all intersecting identity factors as part of GBA+, not only sex and gender, is a Government of Canada commitment.

Projects considered for the Award must address one or more of the priorities detailed below, aligned with Government of Canada policy priorities and with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (the Sustainable Development Goals/SDGs).

Priority 1: Mental health

Mental health is the state of our psychological and emotional well-being, and contributes significantly to our overall ability to thrive. Finding innovative ways to foster healthy lives and promote well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development.

Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and/or amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

  1. Help create a healthy and safe environment where we live, learn, work and play;
  2. Build resilience and skills to help improve positive mental health; or
  3. Prevent the onset of mental health problems.

Priority 2: Plastic waste

Plastic pollution has become one of the greatest global challenges of our time. Action is needed to move towards a circular economy, keeping plastics in use as long as possible, maximizing their value, and reducing, reusing, repairing, remanufacturing, recycling, and composting plastics or recovering energy at their end of life.

Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

  1. Increase understanding of the impacts of plastics on wildlife, human health, and the environment;
  2. Decrease the environmental footprint of plastics; or
  3. Support the responsible usage and sustainable management of plastics.

Priority 3: Clean energy to combat climate change

As all countries work to urgently address the impact of climate change and foster a more sustainable future, there is a need to develop effective solutions that will enable an effective and efficient energy transition. To achieve our climate action goals, the world needs to put effort into renewable, affordable and clean energy.

Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

  1. Develop digital technologies for better integration of renewables into the grid;
  2. Accelerate energy efficiency technologies for the built environment;
  3. Discover new technologies for hydrogen production, storage and transport.

Priority 4: Quantum technology

Quantum science presents considerable opportunities for new insights, discoveries, technological developments and applications that can enhance lives and livelihoods. As quantum technologies evolve, there is a need to maximize their benefits.

Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy focussed on:

  1. Quantum computing and simulation: Co-design of hardware and software to advance the state of the art in quantum computing and/or the development of computer science theory of quantum algorithms and architectures;
  2. Privacy and security: Concepts, proofs and applications for secure quantum communication, including device-independent protocols quantum network/repeater protocols, and space-based hardware solutions;
  3. Application-specific quantum sensor development: Device fabrication and characterization, e.g. for magnetometry, prospection, imaging, navigation, and biomedical applications, employing strategies such as the use of entanglement and error correction;
  4. Foster greater participation and enhance conditions for women or gender diverse people to engage in the advanced technology and quantum science field.

Funding scope

Awards are to support the applicant’s project development and/or implementation with a Canadian partner. The value of an Award will be up to a maximum of €3,000 (EUR). Expenses that are eligible for reimbursement include:

The following costs are not eligible for Innovation Award funding:

In the event that the Government of Canada lifts the restrictions to travel to and from Canada, the Award could support the applicant’s travel to Canada, but in any case, the maximum value of an Award will remain €3,000 (EUR).

Travel expenses that are eligible for reimbursement include:

Eligibility and funding criteria

The “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” is available to innovation experts, researchers, scientists, start-ups, and creative industries professionals, collaborating with Canadian partners. Private/public partnerships are encouraged.

Funding through the “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” is to support expenses incurred by the Italian awardee only for the development and/or implementation of a project with a Canadian partner. Successful applicants will be required to complete a report immediately following the completion of the project and must commit to providing brief updates on follow-up activities and outcomes 6 and 12 months after the completion of the project.

Evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Special consideration will be given to applications that demonstrate why the proposed project would particularly benefit from an international collaboration.

Applications will be reviewed by the Embassy of Canada to Italy in collaboration with relevant experts.

How to apply

Applications should be prepared in English or French on the “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” application form and submitted according to the instructions.

Disbursement of the Canada-Italy Innovation Award

Canada-Italy Innovation Award funds will be provided as reimbursement for incurred expenses. Receipts, invoices, and expense summaries, in original, as well as a letter by the Canadian partner, must be returned together with a final report before payment will be issued. Disbursement of funds is contingent upon return of all requested documentation.

Important dates

April 1, 2022 (11:59 pm, Rome time): Deadline for applications

May 16, 2022: Announcement of Award winner(s)

November 15, 2022: Deadline for completion of awarded project development

Within 2 weeks of completion: Final report and expenditure records due

Completed applications should be sent to

Please write “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” in the subject line of your message.

All applicants will receive by email first an acknowledgment of receipt of their submission and later a notification of its status. Winners will be further notified and announced on the Embassy social media accounts. Other applicants will not receive additional communications regarding their submissions.

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