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Canada-Italy Innovation Award 2023 - Call for proposals


The Embassy of Canada to Italy is pleased to accept applications for the 11th edition of the Canada-Italy Innovation Award. This Award provides funding to members of the Italian innovation ecosystem including start-ups, innovation experts, researchers, scientists, or creative industry professionals to develop collaborative projects with Canadian partners in areas that will drive innovative, inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development.
Over the last decade, the award has resulted in transformational discoveries, research and applications, showcasing the significant impact of Canada-Italy cooperation.


The Canada-Italy Innovation Award aims at developing 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 that they will identify.
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:

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

Through this Award, 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.
Projects must address 1 or more of the thematic priorities detailed below, which are aligned with Government of Canada policy priorities:

Thematic 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:

Thematic priority 2: Collection and recycling of critical minerals

“Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements are essential components in many of today's rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles. Demand for these minerals will grow quickly as clean energy transitions gather pace, however the extraction and processing of these minerals often have negative impacts on the environment and local communities.”
Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

Thematic priority 3: Production, storage, and transport of hydrogen as an energy source 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. Hydrogen fuel may have a key role to play in achieving our climate action goals by providing a source of affordable, low-carbon energy.”
Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

Thematic 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:

Thematic priority 5: Preventing gender based violence

“Violence against women and girls in all their diversity, including that which occurs in digital contexts, is prevalent in all societies and is a distinctive feature of conflict and crisis. Finding innovative ways to support them to control their own lives, bodies and futures without fear is an essential component of promoting and protecting human rights, freedom of expression and inclusive democracies.”
Projects funded through the Award are meant to develop and/or amplify new or existing networks and relationships between Canada and Italy that will:

All applicants shall use the tools and concepts of Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the development of their project.

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.

It should be explained in the application how the applicant and the Canadian partner promote gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the composition of their team and/or in their approach. The application should clearly explain how gender equality, diversity and inclusion considerations have been taken into account in the design of the project and how they will be promoted through the project’s objectives and implementation.

Funding scope

Awards are to support the applicant’s travel to Canada. The value of an Award will be up to a maximum of €3,000 (EUR). Travel expenses that are eligible for reimbursement include:

 Insurance is not eligible for Innovation Award funding.

Eligibility and funding criteria

The Canada-Italy Innovation Award is available to start-ups, innovation experts, researchers, scientists, 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 travel to Canada. Successful applicants will be required to complete a report immediately following the completion of the travel or 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 relevant experts from the Embassy of Canada to Italy.

How to apply

Applications should be prepared in English or French using the Canada-Italy Innovation Award application form and submitted according to the instructions. If the link will not open the PDF, you can right-click on the link and select “Save link as…” to download it to your device. For more information, please contact

Disbursement of the Canada-Italy Innovation Award

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

Important dates

April 3, 2023 (11:59 pm, Rome time): Deadline for applications
May 16, 2023: Announcement of Award winner(s)
November 15, 2023: Deadline for completion of travel to Canada
Within 2 weeks of completion: Final report and expenditure records must be submitted.

Date Modified: