Innovation Superclusters Initiative: Funding for Innovative Canadian-led Growth and Development
The Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) will provide funding of up to 75% to a maximum of $200 million over five years time to five superclusters within Canada. The purpose of ISI is to help accelerate the growth and development of business-led innovation within Canada. The ISI will contribute to not-for-profit entities led by an industry undergoing the following activities:
- Building a shared competitive advantage for their cluster that attracts cutting-edge research, investment and talent leading to a position of a world-leading innovation hotbed;
- Increasing business expenditures on R&D, and advancing a range of innovations and technological leadership activities leading to strong Canadian sectors of economic strength;
- Generating new companies, commercializing new products, processes and services which position firms to scale, integrate into global value chains, and lead to becoming global market leaders; and
- Fostering growth-oriented firms, bolstering collaboration between private, public and academic organizations pursuing private-sector led innovation to enhance the cluster’s pool of resources, capabilities and knowledge.
Funded eligible costs include costs to which ISI will make a financial contribution as established by the agreement with the applicant. These costs include administration and operating costs that support the day-to-day operations of the applicant entities. Such expenses include: salaries for staff, marketing costs, travel costs, recruitment and networking costs, and general operational costs such as maintenance, purchasing materials and supplies. Costs incurred which directly relate to the activities undertaken to execute a Supercluster strategy are also eligible for funding. These costs include: portion of gross wage, salaries or contracts incurred, equipment, facility and supplies (purchase, rental, operation, and maintenance costs), room or facility rentals, materials, and travel costs. The ISI is intended to be a partnership between government and industry. Therefore, any funding allocated by the Supercluster toward completion of projects must be matched 1:1 overall by industry contributions. The remaining eligible administration and operating costs (minimum 25%) can be met by industry, other levels of government, and/or not-for-profit contributions. Up to 25% of the industry match may be in-kind contributions. To apply for funding from ISI, applicants must form a consortium consisting of 2 large businesses, 1 medium business, 1 small business, and 1 post-secondary institution. Participants in the consortium must be organizations incorporated in Canada and active in Canada. Superclusters may be partnered anywhere in Canada; however, the lead applicant is required to define a region, and reason for partnership. To apply for funding through ISI, applicants are required to undergo a two-phase application process. Phase 1 of the process involves all applicants writing a letter of commitment which will be reviewed by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED). Successful applicants will then be invited to partake in phase 2 of the application process, which involves a full Innovation Superclusters Initiative application. The deadline for phase 1 is July 21, 2017 12pm Eastern Daylight Time.
Career Focus: Funding to Hire Canadian Youth
The Career Focus program offers government funding of up to 80% to a maximum of $20,000/new employee to hire youth aged 15 to 30. Employers are to provide new employees with work experience that is related to their field of studies and/or career goals. To receive funding, employers must hire a minimum of 8 youth for no less than 24 weeks. New hires must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons who have been granted refugee status that are not currently receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits. Eligible costs include but are not limited to participant wages and expenses, third-party trainer fees, plus instructional materials and equipment purchases. Wages of applicant-employed trainers, mentors or coaches are not eligible for funding nor are the purchase of golf memberships or illegal substances.
Agricultural Youth Green Jobs – The Green Internships Stream
The Green Internships Stream provides 50% up to $16,000 in government funding for businesses to hire post-secondary graduates to undertake work in the agricultural sector that will benefit the natural environment. Eligible employers include private businesses, not-for-profit organizations, provincial and municipal governments, associations, boards, councils, and universities. Subsidized employees must be under 30 years of age, have graduated from a college, university or CEGEP, have not previously received funding from Youth Employment Strategy programs, and be a Canadian citizen/permanent resident. Internships are to be at least 4 months long, ending no later than March 31st, 2019. Not-for-profit organizations may be eligible for government funding of up to 80% on a case-by-case basis. There is no deadline to apply to this program, however INAC urges any interested organizations to apply for funding as soon as possible.
Grant Supports Purchase of Local Food by Public Institutions
The Broader Public Sector Grant Stream provides government funding of up to 50% towards partnered activities that will increase the purchase and sale of Ontario agri-food products by public institutions, such as hospitals or schools. Program areas of focus include innovation and product development, value chain collaboration, organizational and policy change, and skills development. Funding can be requested provided for research, training, business plan development, marketing, professional/consultant fees, software upgrades, travel in Ontario, salaries for time spent on the project, as well as essential equipment purchases (e.g. freezers, packaging, labellers) to specifically address barriers in accessing the public sector marketplace. Partnerships must include at least one provincial private sector food business and one public sector institutions e.g. school, government facility, hospital, etc. The deadline to apply for the Broader Public Sector Grant is Thursday, May 18 2017. Please note that the demand for funding far exceeds this program’s budget.
Program Supports Promotion of Ontario Food Products
The Market Access Stream offers funding for businesses of up to 50% (typically between $10,000- $130,000) for partnered activities and investments that will boost provincial consumer awareness, access and/or purchasing of Ontario farm food products. Funding can be requested for supporting product preparation, processing, storage, marketing, sales, and distribution. Eligible project costs include but are not limited to equipment purchases, facility upgrades and retrofits, consulting and professional fees, wages of existing and new employees allocated to the project, as well as promotional, communication, translation and other incremental expenses. All applications must be made by two or more project partners, which may include public institutions, producers, processors, cooperatives, co-packers, distributors, retailers, contract caterers, and Ontario municipalities. Individuals are not eligible for this government funding program. The deadline for a Letter of Inquiry is April 26, 2017.
Program has Funding for up to 7 More Projects – Apply Now!
The Bloom Clean Tech Demonstration Program provides funding of up to 50% to a maximum of $150,000 for businesses to demonstrate innovative technologies or low carbon solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Eligible expenditures include:
- Personnel salaries and benefits
- Professional, scientific, technical and contracting services
- Purchase, installation, testing and/or commissioning of equipment, materials and products to be used throughout the duration of the project
- Supplies and materials such as testing supplies, chemicals, raw materials, etc.
Expenses must be incurred after receiving approval and before March 31, 2018. Projects require collaboration between the developers of a clean technology/low carbon solution and a potential customer willing to demonstrate the technology in their business. Demonstrations should result in greater awareness and market demand of clean technologies/low carbon solutions, and reduce businesses’ hesitancy in adopting such products. Deadline for applications is March 24th, 2017.