Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) Stream II 2023-2024


Opportunity type:



Alberta Innovates

Award amount and duration:

$20,000 to $150,000 per year; max. 2 years





Principal Investigators must:

  • be researchers from Alberta Post-secondary institutions (Alberta Colleges, Polytechnics and Universities);
  • meet eligibility criteria for NSERC research programs within the scope of CASBE;
  • have a physical presence in Alberta; and
  • demonstrate that the relationship with the industry partner does not create a conflict of interest.

If you have received an NSERC Alliance grant in the last 12 months, you are eligible to apply to the CASBE program.

Industry Partners must:

  • be a for-profit SME with at least 2 Full Time Employees (FTE);
  • have demonstrated operations in Alberta and able to continue to adopt and develop in house the results of the academic research; 
  • meet the following definition of an SME: a company with fewer than 500 Full Time employees and less than $50,000,000 annual gross revenue; 
  • be a legal entity: incorporated in Alberta, or incorporated federally or in another jurisdiction AND extra-provincially registered in Alberta, or a General Partnership, Limited Partnership or Limited Liability Partnership AND registered in Alberta; and 
  • be in good financial and final reporting standing with Alberta Innovates and its subsidiaries InnoTech Alberta and C-FER Technologies.

Projects must:


The Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) program leverages the research industry partnerships programs offered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Stream II is for applicants from Alberta Universities who are applying to, or have already been awarded, NSERC Alliance or NSERC Alliance Quantum grants. CASBE aims to facilitate Alberta small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to adopt emerging technologies in Alberta’s research and commercialization priorities to diversify their technological services and/or products with the support of post-secondary institutions.

Funding Considerations

  • Individual proposals can request at least $20,000 and up to $150,000 per year from Alberta Innovates and at least $20,000 from NSERC.
  • NSERC will match contributions to the project from the SME according to the cost-sharing ratios and within the funding brackets and durations of the Alliance program.
  • The CASBE program leverages NSERC’s contribution up to $150,000 per year for 1 year or a maximum of 2 years depending on the project duration funded by NSERC.
  • The maximum length of the CASBE funds will be 2 years regardless of the original length of the project supported by NSERC, which could be 1-5 years for NSERC Alliance or Alliance Quantum grants. 
  • The industry partner(s) is expected to provide cash and in-kind contributions in the NSERC application.
  • If there are additional partners such as large companies providing cash in the proposed NSERC application, the Alberta SME could provide only in-kind contributions in the AI CASBE application. 
  • All partner cash contributions will follow NSERC Alliance matching guidelines. 

Submission Process

Note: This is a continuous intake program. Please be sure to carefully review the application process information found on both the AI CASBE website and the NSERC Alliance and CASBE Stream II website. You must first contact the CASBE program manager, Shabbir Mustafiz ( Alberta Innovates and NSERC recommend that the applicant applies first to the CASBE program and then, if recommended, submit the completed AI CASBE NSERC joint application to NSERC.

The Alberta Innovates-NSERC application process consists of three stages: the Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technologies (PSIET) Intake Form, submission of the Full Application to Alberta Innovates (by invitation), and submission of the Full Application to NSERC (upon approval from Alberta Innovates).

Full applications, plus approval in the Research Management System (RMS), must be submitted to the RSO at least 3 business days ahead of the date you intend to submit the application package to Alberta Innovates.

1. PSIET Intake Form

You must log into the Alberta Innovates SmartSimple portal to complete the Post-Secondary Investments & Emerging Technologies (PSIET) Intake Form. RSO review and RMS approval are not required at this stage.

2. Full Application Submission to Alberta Innovates (by invitation)

Note: This stage of the application process requires that you complete the NSERC Alliance or Alliance Quantum Form 101 in the NSERC Online System and download the draft PDF version for inclusion with the AI CASBE application form. Do not submit the NSERC application at this stage. If you have one or more partners from the private sector, you will also be required to complete the National Security Guidelines for Research Partnerships' Risk Assessment Form in consultation with Research Services' Research Security team.

If invited by Alberta Innovates, the full AI CASBE application, plus approval in the Research Management System (RMS) via a Pre-Award/Application record, must be submitted to the RSO at least 3 business days ahead of the date you intend to submit the application package to Alberta Innovates. Please be sure to select 'Submitted for approval' (under Save & Progress) in RMS in good time to allow for approvals from your Department Head and/or ADR prior to the RSO internal deadline. Consult your department and faculty for more information on their approval processes and timelines.

  • Required uploads in RMS:
    • PDF version of application form (including the attachments)

 A Research Funding Application Approvals (RFAA) form is not required as approvals are collected electronically in RMS.

Do not submit to the agency until RSO's approval has been granted in RMS. Once the institutional signature has been obtained, the Principle Investigator will receive an automated message from RMS to their @ucalgary email address. You can then proceed with submitting your application via the Alberta Innovates SmartSimple portal.

3. Full Application Submission to NSERC (if approved)

Note: No additional RMS approvals are needed at this stage. We will utilize the same RMS record created for the submission to Alberta Innovates

If approved by Alberta Innovates in the previous stage, you may proceed with submission of the full Alliance or Alliance Quantum application to NSERC, where Alberta Innovates has been added as a joint call funding partner. Once you submit the application in the NSERC Online System, please notify Katie Cupello ( in the Research Services Office (RSO) at least 3 business days ahead of the date you intend for NSERC to receive the application. The RSO will then conduct a final review of the application and perform the final submission to NSERC.

Principal Investigators with an approved Alliance/Alliance Quantum Grant:

It is possible to apply to the CASBE program if you received an NSERC Alliance or Alliance Quantum grant in the last 12 months. Please contact the CASBE program manager (Shabbir Mustafiz, to discuss alignment of  your project with the CASBE program. If approved to apply, you will complete steps 1 and 2 of the application process described above.




Application deadlines

Program application deadline

March 31, 2024 - 4:00 PM


NOTE: Consult your Faculty Associate Dean (Research) (ADR) regarding Faculty-specific deadlines and submission processes.

Principal Investigators: Complete a Research Management System (RMS) record, including a copy of your complete application, and submit this for approvals in RMS.

Postdocs, students, and trainees: For fellowships and externally-sponsored research training awards or opportunities, you must complete the Research Funding Application Approval (RFAA) Trainee PDF form, and submit it, along with a complete copy of the application, to Research Services at Trainees should not use RMS at this time.

Approvals: The University of Calgary requires that all funding applications be approved prior to submission. Approval requires signatures via either RMS or the RFAA Trainee form, in the following order:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Department Head
  • Faculty ADR/Dean
  • Research Services (on behalf of the Vice-President Research)

Read the Meaning of Grant Signatures policy to understand what your approval means. Please see the agency guidelines for details about which signatures are required on your application, as it may differ from internal requirements.

Late submissions: Late submissions will only be accepted in cases of medical or family emergencies, or other exceptional circumstances. If you submit your RMS record to Research Services after the internal deadline has passed, you must secure additional approvals. Please read: Late Applications Process.

Additional Information


Contact Details


Alberta Innovates
Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE)
NSERC Alliance
emerging technologies
NSERC Alliance Quantum