Pilot and Discovery Competition

Pilot and Discovery provides early stage capital for a new or existing business to accelerate the research and development phases of a new product, service or process. Funding is available to ease the financial burden of developing a prototype, alpha or beta, pilot scale production or other activity.

Final products or services should display a high degree of innovation and have commercial or consumer interest in the final product.

Who is eligible for Pilot and Discovery funding?

To be eligible for Pilot and Discovery funding, you must:

  • be from the private sector, industry associations, or academia (government departments, agencies, or crown corporations and their employees are not eligible);
  • reside or be incorporated in Prince Edward Island;
  • demonstrate your capacity to meet project outcomes with appropriate experience, education and training, or partnerships;
  • be a majority owner of your business or the lead researcher on your project.

Please ensure that:

  • Your application is not dependent on an existing or ongoing project
  • Your budget requirements comply with all funding sources if your project is cost shared
  • You clearly differentiate project activities and results if you have received previous government funding
  • You submit only one application for each round of funding to avoid disqualification from the competition
  • You are not in arrears with any government department or crown corporation or you will be disqualified

What activities are eligible for funding?

The proposed project must:

  • Involve early stage research, development and/or testing;
  • Fit clearly within the strategic sectors of bioscience, value-added food, ICT, aerospace, professional services or manufacturing;
  • Demonstrate a high level of innovation, commercial viability, and market interest;
  • Disclose and address any potential ethical considerations regarding use of human subjects and testing, potential impact on the environment, information privacy, etc.;
  • Outline the potential gain (or use) of any intellectual or material property;
  • Create a positive economic impact for the Province (jobs, economic spin-offs, etc.).

What level of assistance is available?

This assistance will contribute up to 50 per cent toward eligible expenses to a maximum of $25,000. Eligible expenses include salaries, direct material, sub-contracting services, and equipment costs of up to $5,000. Indirect costs can total no more than 20 per cent of direct costs.

Ineligible costs include location related costs; rent, insurance, phone lines, internet charges, goodwill, property tax, and other taxes (this list is not exhaustive).

What process will be followed to assess the applications?

Not all projects meeting the minimum criteria will receive funding. Applications will be evaluated against a clear set of criteria using information provided in the application and the following considerations:

  1. Innovation PEI will pre-review each proposal. Projects deemed ineligible will be removed from the competition; withdrawn applicants will be notified.
  2. Approved applications will then move to the peer review committee.
  3. If, during the review process, a change to corporate structure or confirmation of a partner or financial contributor occurs, Innovation PEI may accept additional documents or information after the due date.
  4. You may suggest up to three (3) experts or professionals to evaluate your application in the peer review process. (You may also identify individuals or organizations you do not want to review your application.) Your suggested reviewers should:
    • have expertise or experience in the corresponding field and
    • reside in Prince Edward Island or be willing to travel to Charlottetown without compensation.


The Pilot and Discovery Fund application outlines specific format requirements such as the maximum number of pages or word count permitted for each section.

  • Space allocation is based on a single-sided, 8.5” x 11” page, size 10 font.
  • Charts, pictures and other elements must be posted to space designated.
  • Responses exceeding designated limits will be discarded prior to review and scoring.
  • Supporting or proof documents will be accepted as appendices but must be referenced in the main application.

Performance Monitoring: 

If your project is approved, an accepted letter of offer shall constitute a contract between Innovation PEI and the applicant(s).
Should the project fail to comply with the terms of the contract or be discontinued, Innovation PEI may at its sole discretion:

  • declare the applicant to be in non-performance (default) of the contract
  • request the applicant to repay in full the incentive received
  • take necessary legal action to collect the incentive amount in full with interest


2017 Call for applications is currently being reviewed.

Please check back for updates. 

*This information is provided for information purposes and is not comprehensive and reflective of all Innovation PEI policies.  Not all projects meeting the minimum assistance criteria outlined will receive funding.  Please consult with an Innovation PEI staff member for guidance specific to your company's situation. 

Contact Information

Heather Rossiter, MBA
Telephone: 902-368-5125
c/o Pilot and Discovery Fund
94 Euston Street, PO Box 910

Charlottetown, PE     C1A 7L9


Published date: 
November 1, 2015
Innovation PEI

General Inquiries

Innovation PEI
94 Euston Street
PO Box 910
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7L9

Phone: 902-368-6300
Toll-free (North America): 1-800-563-3734
Fax: 902-368-6301

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