Funding Provided for Job Positions in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics Fields
The Student Work-Integrated Learning Program awards up to 50% in grants to a maximum of $5,000 to hire post-secondary students for positions in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) fields. Eligible roles include, but are not limited to: software developers, engineers, computer programmers, environmental sciences, etc. Students must be either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, protected person, or recent immigrant and legally entitled to work in Canada. Additionally, employers may be eligible to receive up to 70% of wages to a maximum of $7,000 to hire a person from an underrepresented group (women, indigenous students, immigrants, persons with disabilities, and first-year students). If an application is successful, the student may begin working immediately.
Program Offers Funding for Research and Development
The Canadian Food Innovators (CFI) Cluster program is promoting 2/3rds grant funding for research projects that increase productivity, sustainability, competition, and/or create new market opportunities within the food processing sector. Applicants can be food/beverage processors, goods or services suppliers to the food processing sector (e.g., packagers, equipment manufacturers or growers), associations, processor consortiums and research institutes (e.g. universities). Lead applicants are responsible for submitting the proposal, achieving project goals, and meeting financial obligations. All projects must demonstrate beneficial results for the food processing sector, and/or customers of Canadian food/beverage products. Projects that align with the following priority areas will have a greater chance of receiving funding:
- Food solutions that build public trust and address consumer needs (e.g., reducing sugar, fat or sodium in processed foods)
- Food safety innovation (e.g. packaging innovations that increase shelf life)
- Innovative technologies that contribute to sustainable practices and climate change mitigation (e.g. process improvements for increased efficiency)
- Value-added products and processes for market growth and global competitiveness (e.g. extending the value of food ingredients through non-food applications such as edible cosmetics)
Only projects beginning no earlier than April 1, 2018 and lasting 5 years or less will be considered for support. Although not necessary to receive funding, collaborations involving more than one company is being encouraged by the program suggesting an additional 5%-15% support towards eligible project costs. Seafood and fish companies are ineligible for funding. Requests for funding are to be submitted no later than September 22, 2017. Specific details regarding what the program will support will become available in October. Applicants approved for funding will be required to pay a contingency fee of 10% based on approved expenses to Canadian Food Innovators for program administration.
No Moo Money For Dairy Farmers
The Dairy Farm Investment Program which provided funding up to 50% to $250,000 per licensed dairy farm in Canada has stopped accepting applications less than two weeks after opening. The demand was udderly more than available funding. Submitted applications will be reviewed on a first come first serve basis. Any slippage of funding will then be available to later submitted applications placed on a waiting list. Re-opening of the fund will announced when and if the program can milk more money from the federal government. Dairy farmers with on-farm processing can apply to the Dairy Processing Investment Fund which offers up to 50% funding to a maximum of $10 million.
Funding for Cow, Ewes, Goat and Water Buffalo Milk Processors
The Dairy Processing Investment Fund is offering up to 50% grant funding to Canadian dairy processors (including processors whose products use a significant amount of milk) and up to 75% to not-for-profit organizations to a maximum of $10 million towards adapting to market changes resulting from the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Eligible activities include construction or expansion of dairy processing establishments, improving manufacturing through purchasing and installing new equipment, hiring consultants related to plant improvements, and market development (e.g., planning strategies and investments, identifying best practices). Eligible costs are those which are directly related to the project, such as: the purchasing of assets, consulting fees, salaries/benefits for employees, etc. To be eligible for funding, the applicant must prove that their project did not start before November 10, 2016. All projects must be completed by March 21, 2021.
Funding Available to All Sectors
The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) is advertising to provide up to 50% in funding towards innovative product development, business expansion and growth and investment attraction. Eligible activities include but are not limited to:
- R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
- Business growth and expansion;
- Investment attraction and retention
Eligible costs include project-related direct labour, overhead, subcontracts, consultants, direct materials and equipment as well as land/building purchases.
Based on INAC’s interpretation/investigation of the fund, we believe that most of the awarded SIF funding will be long-term interest bearing (e.g. 3%) loans. Conditions may be applied to receiving loan payments, e.g. generate jobs, sales, etc. However, actual terms of financing will not be known until after the applicant has submitted a comprehensive proposal which has been approved for funding. Our experience with other major federal funding programs suggests that it will take approximately 8 weeks to complete an SIF proposal and 6 months for decision to be made by the funder.
Please note that securing SIF funding may reduce an applicant’s claim for Science Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits as well as other federal funding. Additionally, it is recommended that an applicant investigates any additional tax implications prior to accepting SIF funding. As well, unlike U.S. or European funding programs this Canadian fund does not allow applicants to pay a consultant on a contingency/performance fee basis to complete the application.
Less Training is Eligible for Program Support
Effective April 1st, 2017, the Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG) will no longer provide funding for vendor training. Whereas vendor training was previously supported it is now part of the list of ineligible activities which includes professional certification such as executive training courses (MBA, CFA), preparatory training courses (LSAT, MCAT, GMAT), business consulting services, and attending conferences.
The Canada Ontario Job Grant will contribute 2/3rds of out-of-pocket costs towards employee training to a maximum of $10,000 per trainee per training course. Funding is available for training existing as well as new employees in:
- Career or Development Instruction: upgrade the knowledge, skills, and ability of employees to help them assume greater responsibility in higher positions e.g. technical skills development, enrollment in a university or college course.
- Maintenance and Refresher Skills: update and sustain the specialized subject-matter knowledge of trainees the beneficiaries. Maintenance or refresher training usually deals with new information and new methods, as well as review of older materials e.g. equipment, quality assurance, HACCP, GSFI training.
- Essential Skills: skills needed for work, learning and life e.g. ESL, reading, writing, ESL numeracy.
Eligible training costs include instruction/tuition fees, instructional materials and tools expenditures as well as certification and examination expenses. Training must be delivered by a for-profit training company, a public university, college or school, or a government recognized unionized or private training institution. For companies with 50 or fewer employees, 50% of the applicant 1/3rd contribution can be wages of employees while being trained. Expenses such as instruction provided by applicant employees or owners, as well as trainee wages and other internal costs are not eligible for funding. There is no limit on the amount of funding requested or the frequency and number of applications, which can be made. However, funding will only be awarded for instruction given by one trainer over a period of one year or less.