Productivity and Innovation Lab (Pi Lab) of Niagara College School of Business, as part of its business productivity initiative, has received funding from Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) of National Research Council Canada (NRC) to offer assistance to local small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). We understand that financial constraints, particularly a lack of free cash flows, coupled with a lack of knowledge resources are holding many SMEs back from realizing growth. With Pi Lab helping to bridge knowledge gaps and offering advice, and IRAP providing funding assistance, we hope to get local businesses over the hump and start realizing rapid growth.
The types of projects for which assistance and funding will be provided fall under the following categories:
- Strategy (i.e. Blue Ocean, corporate, functional, plan, international, IT, mobile)
- Operations (i.e. lean, six sigma, knowledge management, training)
- E-commerce (i.e. eBusiness Plan, Shopify store setup)
- Marketing (i.e. inbound, outbound, diversification, international, expansion)
- Technology (i.e. strategic alignment, ERP/CRM adoption)
- Innovation (i.e. framework, strategy, commercialization)
- Human resource management
Of course, the types of projects with which we will provide assistance and funding are not limited to those listed in the examples above. Any project that falls under strategy, operations, marketing, technology, or innovation may be eligible. Eligible consulting projects cost can be up to $10,000 and SME contribution must be 20% cash and 10% in-kind. For example, for a $10,000 project the SME must provide $2000 of cash at the beginning of the project to meet its cash contribution.
If you own, or work for, a small or medium sized business that you feel may benefit from such consulting services then please feel free to contact us. There is very limited availability (at most 10 projects will be accepted over the next few weeks, and the next eligibility period will not be until next year), and eligible projects will be handled on a first-come first-serve basis, so get in contact with us as soon as possible.
Dr. Musabbir Chowdhury
Project Director, Pi Lab
School of Business and Management
Niagara College Canada