In 2014, Science-Metrix was mandated by the National Research Council Canada (NRC) to conduct an evaluation of the Business Innovation Access Program (BIAP). The evaluation was completed in mid-2015. In compliance with the Treasury Board Secretariat's Policy on Evaluation, the evaluation assessed the value-for-money of BIAP, including core issues related to relevance, performance and resource utilization.
Science-Metrix was responsible for carrying out an external and independent evaluation, while the NRC Office of Audit and Evaluation (OAE) provided advice and oversight. A mix of quantitative and qualitative data were collected through four evaluation methods, including a literature and document review, an administrative and performance data review, a survey of client SMEs and semi-structured interviews.
BIAP provides contributions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with learning institutions and publicly funded research organizations on research and development (R&D) projects focused on commercialization. This pilot program was launched in April 2014 and was allocated $20 million. Considering the early stage of the Program, the evaluation focused on program implementation modalities and outputs, and on any evidence that could be collected regarding the achievement of outcomes. The objective was to identify program design and delivery improvements that could be readily implemented, based on stakeholder engagement and feedback. The evaluation also sought to identify the specific needs being addressed by BIAP as compared to the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and the type of program delivery mechanisms associated with them.
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