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Research and Development Project Plan

This is an outline of the information required to assist ACOA in evaluating your proposed research and development (R&D) project. Additional information or clarification may be required from you during the due diligence process as the program officer reviews the information provided. Some R&D projects may require advice from experts in a particular field as part of the due diligence process and in determining the overall risk.

a) Project title

Provide a short concise title that conveys what the proposed product/process/service will be once the R&D project is complete.

b) Project summary

Provide a non-technical description (2 pages maximum) of the proposed product/process/service, the issues it will address, and its significance for potential customers. Describe why the R&D project is important and how the results will impact your business or organization.

c) Management’s experience

Identify key project management members. Provide a summary of their roles and responsabilities and their experience in managing projects such as the one proposed. 

d) R&D team

Identify key members of the project team and provide a summary of their roles and responsibilities. For each member identified, please provide a résumé (2 pages maximum) of their specific expertise and experience for the work involved.

e) Summary of equipment and/or facilities

Provide a description of the main equipment and/or facilities required during the project.

f) Key collaborators

Identify the key collaborators, alliances or other linkages that are relevant to the project. Describe their roles and responsibilities and include a rationale as to why they are important to the project. 

g) Summary of work completed to date

Provide a summary of work already completed leading up to this proposal, including any technical evidence (e.g. proof-of-concept, supportive data, references, literature review) that support the feasibility of the proposed project. Describe the current stage of development of the proposed project.

h) Activities to be carried out

Provide an overview of the activities to be carried out. For each activity, specify:
the objective;

  • expected outcome(s);
  • the roles and responsibilities of the team members involved;
  • the time required for each activity;
  • the procedures or methods to be employed; and
  • where applicable, describe the technological uncertainties and risk mitigation strategies for each task.

i) Project Schedule

Using a format similar to the table presented below, provide the project schedule for the activities described in section h.

Activity Description

Start Date

Finish Date


















j) Major Project Milestones

Using a format similar to the table presented below, identify and describe the project’s major milestones, indicators of success and the targeted completion dates. Project milestones are defined as the achievement of specific activities necessary for the completion of the project (i.e. critical path to project success) and may span several of the project’s activities. These milestones can be related to any aspect of the project (e.g. technical, financial, management, commercialization of the resulting product/process/service).
























k) Regulatory Approvals

If applicable, discuss anticipated regulatory approvals required for all phases (e.g. R&D, production, commercialization) of the proposed project. Identify the approvals received to date or outline the strategy that has been developed to obtain all necessary approvals. List anticipated costs and timelines (i.e. industry standards) to obtain the regulatory approvals. 

l) Intellectual Property

If applicable, describe the background and foreground intellectual property arrangements (e.g. copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade secrets) required to exploit the technology involved in the project. Describe the plan for handling intellectual property ownership issues and their associated costs. Describe the measures to be taken to ensure that the resulting technologies provide continuing benefits for Atlantic Canada.

m) Project Costs and Financing

Provide details on the proposed project costs, wages and salaries and project financing by completing Template A: Project Costs, Template B: Wages and Salaries Detail and Template C: Project Financing

n) Commercialization Strategy 

A key component of any proposal is a detailed and practical commercialization strategy, a well-defined plan for how the resulting product, process or service will be introduced to the marketplace and how revenue will be generated. Therefore, applicants are expected to elaborate on how the commercial outcome of the project will be promoted, distributed and sold. The commercialization strategy should include but not be limited to:

  • the need for this product;
  • the size of the market and the targeted niche within the market;
  • the potential competitors and competing products, processes or services;
  • the market penetration objectives and the associated major challenges;
  • the expertise of the team and its collaborators as relates to commercialization of new products and services in the marketplace; and
  • where possible, independent market assessments.

As a second step, based on the market niche/segments identified above, applicants must outline their vision of the revenue model. Topics for discussion should include but not be limited to:

  • the value proposition that resulting products will deliver to the end customer;
  • how the resulting products will achieve competitive advantage in the marketplace;
  • a description of the cost structure (i.e. will the product be competing on pricing or value, percentage of fixed costs vs. variable costs, economies of scale); and
  • a description and rationale for anticipated revenue streams from resulting products (e.g. usage fees, sales of products, subscriptions, licensing, royalties).

A detailed breakdown of anticipated sales and market projections by product and customer should be provided.