About the TACs and Tech-Access Canada

A Technology Access Centre (TAC) is a state-of-the-art applied research and innovation centre, affiliated with a Canadian college or cégep, that provides companies with access to cutting-edge technology and equipment, as well as a multi-disciplinary team with the expertise to turn brilliant ideas into market-ready products.

A TAC is your one-stop-shop innovation intermediary for applied R&D support and technology adoption assistance.

TACs offer value-added R&D and innovation services to Canadian businesses - particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) - to develop new prototypes, scale-up processes and solve unique business challenges. They also provide customized training for industry to upgrade technical skills, and de-risk the financial investment of implementing new equipment and adopting emerging technologies. They aim to generate innovation and productivity results, while enhancing the competitiveness of their industry partners.

Companies that work with the TACs benefit from flexible intellectual property (IP) policies, and have the right to commercialize the research results and IP. TACs also help de-risk the financial investment required when taking on applied research projects by helping businesses to access and leverage government funding programs, including the Interactive Visits program supported by NRC IRAP.

Tech-Access Canada is a national, not-for-profit organization representing the TACs. We are passionate about expanding the reach of our 64 TAC members, making their R&D support and technology adoption services accessible to all entrepreneurs and innovators across Canada, contributing to the development of a more inclusive innovation economy.

Interactive Visits provide eligible companies with 20 hours of collaboration with a TAC to solve an innovation challenge, such as:

  • Evaluating technical/economic feasibility of new products, processes, or services.
  • Short-term R&D assistance and prototype development.
  • Providing access to cutting edge technology a company doesn’t have in-house.
  • Providing objective scientific, technical and business advice.

The Interactive Visit program is open only to incorporated Canadian for-profit firms with under 500 employees and the potential to grow through innovation.

We strongly encourage and welcome the participation of companies owned by members of traditionally underrepresented groups (women, Indigenous persons, members of visible minorities, and persons with disabilities).

Tech-Access Canada gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) to enable this initiative.

Request an Interactive Visit »

The iVisit Process

  1. Define and describe your innovation challenge and gather the required information.
  2. Fill out the appropriate iVisit Request form.
  3. We’ll confirm receipt and get to work behind the scenes.
  4. Over two business days, TACs will assess their ability to assist with your challenge.
  5. You discuss your challenge with the TAC(s) after signing mutual NDAs, and collaborate to solve your innovation challenge!
  6. You become more innovative and competitive by increasing revenues, decreasing costs, getting new products or processes to market, and/or hiring talented new employees – creating wealth for Canada.
Request an Interactive Visit »

What we’ll ask you

  1. Some general background and contact information about you/your company, including who we should contact. All information is securely stored in accordance with Tech-Access Canada’s privacy policy. Discretion is assured.
  2. Describe your problem/innovation challenge/assistance required with as much detail as you’re able to share. The more detail you share, the better the TACs will be able to determine their ability to assist. Your identity will be kept confidential, and your request will only be shared with the TACs. Attachments are fine.
  3. What - to date - has been attempted to solve the problem? Again, please provide as much technical detail as you’re able to share. Attachments are fine.
  4. A deadline for assistance if there are time pressures. When do you need to start, and what date must the project be completed by?

Sample of previous iVisit Projects

  • Connection to an experienced health-innovation app developer
  • Develop and deliver a custom training module for existing staff on a newly purchased piece technology
  • Facilitate access to a multi-axis water jet cutting machine
  • Guidance on new carbon sequestration regulations and how they will impact operations
  • Referral for scale-up assistance for GMP manufacturing in the food industry
  • Fresh eyes to evaluate our in-house production process and suggest improvements and optimizations
  • Help refining an orthotics-related alpha prototype into a beta level prototype
  • Advice and guidance on adopting new technologies to reduce monthly hydro bills in a manufacturing facility

Contact us

If you’ve made it this far, sincerely, thank you again for your interest in connecting with the TACs!

More information on Tech-Access Canada and the TACs can be found here:


Profiles of the TACs, their facilities, equipment, and expertise can be found here:


We look forward to collaborating with you to overcome your hurdles, unlocking even more wealth creation for Canada!

Please direct any further inquiries to info@tech-access.ca or visit the Our Team section of the Tech-Access Canada website.