New Alliance Aims to Help Innovators Bridge the Valley of Death

Wednesday, September 27, 2016

This month the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) launches a new business alliance with the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) take their ideas to market. 

Combining expertise, facilities and equipment from two research and innovation powerhouses, the new alliance will enable a ‘one-stop shop’ for many technical product development challenges and offer a wide array of services to help SME’s navigate the often difficult and expensive path to commercialization.

Familiar to those in science, technology, and innovation circles, the commercialization ‘Valley of Death’ is an analogy illustrating the issue preventing the progress of science from the laboratory bench to the point where it provides the basis of a commercially successful business or product. Allied NRC and XRCC services span the wide range of the Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) spectrum and can optimize commercialization activities and accelerate time to market. 

The alliance will offer clients unprecedented joint innovation services, providing the following access and benefits:

A la carte ‘TRL uplift/de-risking’ services

Avoidance of costly internal capital investment by accessing existing infrastructure (NRC and XRCC)

Access to deep expertise: Decades of experience in technology creation and commercialization – across the entire TRL spectrum

Ability to leverage the size and network of the alliance to access unrealized resources and connections

Reliable source of right-sized supply of materials and prototypes to enable cost-efficient MVP deployment and customer/market testing

These allied services were recently communicated to NRC-IRAP’s network of 255 Industrial Technology Advisors (ITA) located in technology communities, local associations, universities, and colleges across the country. ITA’s are typically veteran R&D professionals with extensive experience in a number of industrial sectors.

NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) has provided technology assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises, at all stages of the innovation process, to build their innovation capacity and successfully take their ideas to market. The program provides technology advice, financial assistance, access to business information, contacts, and national and international networks support to some 10,000 SME’s annually and is a vital component of NRC’s innovation strategy.

The National Research Council of Canada is the Government of Canada’s premier research and technology organization, offering innovation support, strategic research, scientific and technical services to provide industry with a lower-risk way to develop innovative ideas, reduce start-up costs, and shorten time to market. 

The Xerox Research Centre of Canada is Canada’s leading advanced materials research centre and delivers real-world solutions for Xerox and external customers in electronic materials, sustainable materials and chemical processes, coatings, and security / anti counterfeiting solutions , and novel technologies for the printing, electronics and manufacturing industries.


Michael Demone
Communication Lead
Xerox Research Centre of Canada
905-823-7091 ext. 337