How Did We Get And Use The Canadian Cida Grant Fund? – OpEd


We established a Turkish-North American joint venture (jv for short) company in 1990 in Ankara. Our British general manager was appointed to us from our foreign partner’s Canadian company. Other personnel were recruited from the staff of our local partner. We had a wide range of licenses, but we haven’t received any orders yet. Days pass, we were constantly taking advances from our local partner for staff salaries and office expenses, we had no cash inflow.

One day, our British general manager brought a huge folder after visiting our Canadian company. Inside of folder was a sample of the draft application to be made to the Canadian international development agency (cida). We have received the draft grant fund application to finance the R&D investment to be made in a university by a Canadian-affiliated company and adapted the application work for us. Approval came out, a grant of 500 thousand Canadian dollars was given on the condition that all expenditures made by us were invoiced and withdrawn piecemeal.

METU chemical engineering academics showed close interest in the subject project. We have prepared an atmospheric fluidized bed test unit project with a capacity of 0.3 mwt for the METU chemical engineering Thermic laboratory. METU made the process design. We obtained the draft drawings of a similar North American Afbc test rig project free of charge from our foreign Canadian partner company and detailed them ourselves. We had the necessary material purchased  and fabricated at the factory of our steel manufacturing partner, to pay the price later. Again, we made on-site assembly with our local partner field personnel.

Instrumentation and control equipment was purchased from sister North American company at reasonable discount prices. We purchased desktop computers licensed word excel and technical software for the technical personnel in our jv office. Big screen computers and licensed autocad drawing software were purchased for our technical drafters.
Atmospheric fluidized bed test unit started to work in METU thermal laboratory within a few years. Combustion experiments of domestic lignite coals in fluidized bed test rig have begun. Successful results were obtained. Numerous MSc and Phd studies have been included in METU academic publications. Technical publications have been written for many journals, and presentations have been made at international congresses, conferences and symposiums.

Thanks to this grant fund, our local joint venture company overcame the rarely establishment bottleneck, we made more offers, received orders, and started to use new thermal softwares.

It is difficult to reach grant funds in our geography. Those who need it can’t get it, those who don’t need it get it anyway. The grant of the Canadian R&D development institution gave us the opportunity. We received orders, we paid the license fee to our foreign partner over the total prices of the orders we received. In other words, we have paid back the money we received from the Canadian grant fund as the license fee.

Our British general manager has retired and returned to his homeland. Metu academics still use the test unit with success. Our jv company was closed due to the financial difficulties of the foreign partner, the share of the foreign partner was transferred to the domestic partner. The company continues to exist in the market under the new name. The name of the Cida fund has changed, and it continues to provide grant support to R&D studies all over the world.

“The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) was a federal Canadian organization that administered foreign aid programs in developing countries. The agency was merged into the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2013 by the federal government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.” Ref. Wikipedia

Haluk Direskeneli

Haluk Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department (1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP, Entergy), in fabrication, basic and detail design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities and research institutions. He is a member of Chamber of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.

One thought on “How Did We Get And Use The Canadian Cida Grant Fund? – OpEd

  • September 17, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Great story of successful grant implementation.

    CIDA is a relatively unknown agency in Turkey. It would be hoped that this story of success is better publicized. Also, CIDA should become acquainted and more involved in Angel Funding opportunities in a Turkey.


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