Funding Cybersecurity & IP Protection through IRAP

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Luc Roy, CPA
March 31, 2023

Cybersecurity and intellectual property (IP) protection are crucial endeavors for the long-term viability of businesses engaging in research and development (R&D). Without comprehensive cybersecurity and IP protection, businesses risk theft, infringement, or unauthorized use of their technology, which could undermine the hard work and resources they invest. When implemented properly, cybersecurity and IP protection provide businesses with the tools necessary to protect their trade secrets and maintain their competitive advantage.

Most large R&D funding programs in Canada disallow cybersecurity and IP protection costs, preferring to view them as general business expenses that are non-essential to the completion of a R&D project. While understandable, this outlook turns a blind eye to the realities many businesses face: ensuring protection and preservation of their IP is just as important as their decision to carry out R&D in the first place. This creates a needs-gap in the Canadian R&D landscape.

The Government of Canada has quietly implemented two funding solutions (discussed below) to help businesses fund their cybersecurity and IP protection. These two programs, (1) In-Sec-M Cybersecurity Support Program and (2) IP Assist, are facilitated through NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP). These programs are designed to aid companies interested in protecting their R&D, however they must have a pre-existing relationship with the IRAP program.

IRAP In-Sec-M Cybersecurity Support Program


The IRAP In-Sec-M Cybersecurity Support Program (IRAP In-Sec-M) is funding received through a partnership between IRAP and Innovation Security Market (In-Sec-M). In-Sec-M is a non-profit cybersecurity organization. IRAP will cover between $5,000 and $10,000 in cybersecurity consulting costs with In-Sec-M, which can be received in multiple years.


  • The company must be an incorporated small or medium-sized business operating in Canada,
  • Employ fewer than 500 employees,
  • Have an objective to grow through innovation,
  • Have an existing relationship with IRAP.

How does it work?

  1. Reach out to your IRAP representative and discuss the In-Sec-M program.
  2. Your IRAP representative will assess your eligibility and request a consultation with In-Sec-M.
  3. In-Sec-M will contact you directly to schedule a consultation and undertake their work.
  4. IRAP will fund In-Sec-M’s consulting services, up to 25 hours annually. Additional hours may be funded on a case-by-case basis.

What are common eligible costs?

  1. Vulnerability identification
  2. Recommendations and coaching on best practices
  3. Cybersecurity Awareness set-up
  4. Legislation, Regulatory, or Standards compliance
  5. Identifying and creating cybersecurity solutions

IRAP IP Assist


The IRAP IP Assist program was launched in 2022, supported by a $75 million allocation in the 2021 Federal budget over the following three years to help small and medium-sized businesses access IP protection services and consulting. IP Assist covers up to $30,000 in eligible costs per claimant.


  1. The claimant must be an incorporated small or medium-sized business operating in Canada,
  2. Employ fewer than 500 employees,
  3. Have an objective to grow through innovation,
  4. Have an existing relationship with IRAP.

How does it work?

The IP Assist program works in 3 levels. A company is required to work through each level sequentially. Level 1 begins with a discussion with your IRAP representative on your IP needs, while Levels 2 & 3 deal with developing and implementing an IP strategy.

  • Level 1: IP Knowledge and Awareness (Initial scoping)
  • Level 2: Engagement of an IP Professional to develop an IP strategy (Up to $10k in funding)
  • Level 3: Implementation of developed IP Strategy identified in level 2 (Up to $20k funding)

What are common eligible costs?

  1. Trademark searches
  2. Background art review
  3. IP landscaping
  4. Patentability analysis
  5. Competitor IP Identification
  6. Review of trademark strategy
  7. IP audits

Synergy with SR&ED

Both the IRAP In-Sec-M and IRAP IP Assist programs synergize well with SR&ED as they each fund an area of expense not covered by the SR&ED program. Companies can apply and receive the full benefit of all three programs, without having to reduce their SR&ED benefit by amounts received from either IRAP In-Sec-M or IP Assist (as would be the case with many forms of government support).


While the costs of implementing cybersecurity measures and pursuing a patent or other forms of IP protection aren’t claimable under the SR&ED program, both the IRAP In-Sec-M and IRAP IP Assist programs represent a positive step in the right direction for supporting the protection of IP in Canada, both through legal means and by bolstering the cybersecurity of companies conducting R&D.

For more information on these programs, their eligibility, and how they may impact your SR&ED claim, please book a call with your Copoint SR&ED advisory team, or if you’re interested in engaging our services, you can book a discovery call here.