Commercialization Consulting & Mentoring

The Commercialization Consulting and Mentoring Program (CCM) provides financial assistance to help Atlantic Canadian businesses and institutions in the final stages of commercialization.

Receive up to $16,250 (65% of project costs) to:

  • Hire consultants or mentors to help get a new and innovative product, technology, or process to market.
  • Host group learning activities that will improve knowledge and preparedness for commercialization

This program is managed by LearnSphere, with financial assistance from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.


To be eligible for financial assistance through CCM, you must be registered and operating in one of the four Atlantic Provinces as a:

  • Small or medium sized business
  • University or Community College
  • Research institution (excluding Federal labs)

CCM is open to all industry sectors, except retail/wholesale, real estate, government services, personal or social services and softwood lumber.

Applicants in the clean technology/green sector could be eligible for reimbursement of 100% of total project costs up to a maximum of $25,000.

The Government of Canada defines clean technology as:

  • Any good or service designed with the primary purpose of contributing to remediating or preventing any type of environmental damage
  • Any good or service that is less polluting or more resource efficient than equivalent normal products that furnish a similar utility

Eligible applicants must demonstrate that the proposed activity supports the commercialization of a new and innovative product, technology, or process; and/or helps develop and maintain partnerships, technology transfers, and/or licensing agreements. Applicants must not make any financial commitments prior to submission, or costs incurred will not be eligible. Once the application is approved, costs incurred as of the date that the application was received by LearnSphere will be deemed admissible.

Please note that meeting the eligibility criteria does not guarantee you will receive funding. Each eligible application will be subject to an evaluation process.

A maximum of two projects is allowed per technology. Activities in a second project must demonstrate a progressive, incremental activity, and must not be a continuation of a previous project.

Eligible Products

An eligible product, technology, or process must be:

1. New – Not yet in the marketplace.

  • Applications may still be considered if reference sales have occurred as part of a testing or pilot phase, over a limited timeframe.
  • The project is not eligible if it is already in the marketplace and the applicant is searching for new geographic markets.
  • The project is not eligible if it is a new version or an upgrade of an existing offering.

2. Innovative & Unique

  • Offers a solution that meets new requirements, unarticulated needs, or more effectively meets existing market needs.
  • Clearly differentiated from other solutions in the marketplace.
  • If applicable, have rights to its patent, trademark, or intellectual property (held or pending).

3. Situated at or above Technology Readiness Level 7: Prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment.

NOTE: Internal testing of a product is not an eligible activity.

Eligible Activities and Costs
Eligible Activities Eligible Costs Ineligible Costs
  • Field trials or focus groups 
  • Pilot production test 
  • Trial sell 
  • Revised financial analysis or gap analysis 
  • Market launch plan 
  • Marketing/sales materials 
  • Product website 
  • Some other activities related to testing/validation and market launch. Contact LearnSphere to discuss
  • Professional fees and travel costs (as per federal government guidelines) for hiring and/or bringing in the consultant
  • Costs associated with holding a focus group session
  • Limited administrative costs that are incremental in nature and directly related to the project
  • Applicant’s travel costs
  • Any costs associated with design or development of the product, technology or process
  • Purchase of physical assets or software
  • Development of general communication tools for the applicant
  • Printing or advertising costs

Funding is provided in the form of a reimbursement. The Applicant must cash flow 100% of costs and will be reimbursed when the project is finished.

Total project costs must be more than $5,000 to apply for assistance. Applicants can receive up to 65% of eligible costs, to a maximum contribution of $16,250. For the minimum project size of $5,000, the reimbursement would equal $3,250; for a project of $25,000 or greater, the maximum reimbursement would be $16,250. At least 35% of the total project costs must be provided by the Applicant. All sources of funds must be identified.

LearnSphere will reimburse the contribution amount after all project costs have been paid, and a claim has been submitted by the Applicant.

To assist with cash flow, LearnSphere can make one progress payment during the project, if the applicant provides proof of payment of the percentage of project costs incurred, and proof of work completed.

Program Process

You must complete the online application form and demonstrate that you comply with the program’s objective and guidelines.

Applications should be supported by a strong complement of information to assist in the evaluation. Additional information may be requested at any point in the evaluation process. Each application will be evaluated using a pre-determined grid, which measures the overall strength of the application, the technical and financial viability of the project, and the degree to which it responds to CCM’s overall goals and criteria.

Once the application form, consultant proposal(s), and other supporting documents are received by LearnSphere, you will be notified of the evaluation outcome as soon as possible, usually within four to five weeks.

If your application is approved, a contract will be issued between LearnSphere and your company. If you would like more information on the Accountability and Management Framework and Redress Provision, please click here.

It is your responsibility to select the consultant(s) you wish to work with. A sample statement of work for engaging a consultant can be found here. (link to Resources page)

All consultants must be at arm’s length to your company, and their fees must be at fair market value. You are responsible to ensure that satisfactory work is completed by the consultant(s).

Applicants must agree to the possibility of a future audit and be willing to participate in program evaluations. Specifically, this means providing baseline information at the start of the activity, follow-up information when the project is completed, and participation in a survey up to four years later.

This [CCM] project has been very helpful in focusing our development effort. The partnership is providing AgoraMobile with access to world class marketing resources and accelerating our path to market.” - Simon Gauvin, CEO, Agora Mobile

Questions? Contact Sally Marchand, Project Manager or Carolyne Mongrain, Project Coordinator at LearnSphere.