Funding to purchase equipment, develop exports and expansion.
Ontario’s Forest Sector Investment and Innovation Program: offers 30% 4-year interest-free loans towards projects costing $3 million or more. Up to 50% of the loan may be forgiven (i.e., becomes a grant) if hiring and investment targets are reached. Funding is available for equipment, building retrofits, export marketing, R&D, training and salaries. Available to Ontario wood product manufacturers and processors including pulp and paper mills, sawmills, secondary manufacturers (e.g., pallets, furniture, plywood, floor and staircase makers) and bio-economy projects. Projects are assessed on number of jobs to be created and overall benefits to the sector and to Ontario. Repayment loan rate is 3%. Next deadline to submit a pre-proposal is June 18, 2021.
Support for purchasing state-of-the-art technology
Ontario’s Agri-tech Innovation Program is allocating $22 million to two funding streams:
- The Early Adopters stream will contribute 35% up to $100,000 towards the cost of purchasing advanced production and automation technologies which have yet to be widely adopted by processors or producers. These technologies are to enhance the health and safety of workers plus improve efficiency and productivity. (e.g., advanced technologies for optical grading and sorting system in vegetable processing or automated, robotic vineyard pruning machines). This stream is designed for significant projects with a minimum value of $150,000. Applications will be available May 17 until June 21, 2021.
- The Innovators stream will focus on truly innovative projects, where the innovation is new to Ontario, North America or the specific sector (e.g., prototyping/customization of an autonomous farm harvesting equipment). The projects will involve piloting or demonstrating the technology and will need to be a collaboration between at least two businesses/organizations. More details to follow. Applications are projected to be available June 22, 2021.
Funding is open to Ontario farmers, producers and processors. Details regarding timing for eligible costs (e.g., need to wait for approval before incurring) and definition of novelty are forthcoming. However, we suggest deferring any payments of possible eligible costs until more details are given. Moreover, based on previous programs, “novelty” will be defined as the technology having been adopted by less than 10% of an applicant’s direct competitors. Lastly, we recommend applying as soon as funding comes available as support may be granted on a first come first serve basis.
Support for pilot projects and plants
British Columbia’s Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up Grant Program will contribute 75% up to $250,000 in grant funding towards developing and commercializing innovative ideas or increasing supply chain resiliency by manufacturing critical goods currently being relied on through international markets. The funding is available to incorporated B.C. processors and manufacturers (e.g., aerospace, shipbuilding, food processing, forestry) with 2 to 149 employees, and have files B.C. taxes for no less than a 12-month period. An eligible project can include any of the following activities:
New technology prototyping, piloting or demonstration
- Trialing production efficiency methods
- Pilot project design and construction for a potential customer,
- Pilot plant commissioning, plus mechanical systems testing,
- Data collection and recording
- Equipment, capital investment
New technology and/or product commercialization
- Supporting patenting/IP protection
- Product features and performance validation, testing and certification.
- Preparing reports and documentation
- Accessing co-manufacturing capacity
- Supply chain support or business development to enter new markets.
- process and operational improvements to increase production capacity, profitability or competitiveness,
- technology assessment to identify opportunities for systems, processes, and/or equipment improvement. Such assessment should focus on manufacturing modernization, building resilience, and developing new revenue generating opportunities.
Multiple businesses can apply together but the maximum funding is $500,000. Please note that the minimum requests for funding for all applicants is $50,000. Projects must be completed by January 31, 2022. The deadline for applications is Monday, May 31, 2021.
Manitoba’s Innovation Growth Program (IGP) offers 50% grant (non-repayable) funding up to $100,000 to businesses with less than 100 employees or sales under $15 million.
Eligible applicants can apply for the following activities under IGP:
- Development of new innovative products and processes: building prototypes, testing, trial runs in an operational environment, obtaining certification, and registering intellectual property. Tooling may be eligible if required as part of the prototyping or production process. Innovation in the context of the IGP is defined as a product or process that is not currently available in the market.
- Commercializing market ready innovative products or processes: adapting commercially viable products for a new market, market development or expansion activities, and scale up activities, such as testing, obtaining certifications, packaging, translation, etc.
- Net new Manitoba employee hires (internal labour): salaries and wages for net new Manitoba employees directly working on an approved project. Support for new Manitoba hires is capped at 50% of total funding received under IGP.
Eligible costs include:
- Designing and building of prototypes
- Tools, moulds,
- Testing costs,
- Product modifications for a new market
- Third party advisory, technical services certifications and legal fees associated with I.P. registration.
- Business to business tradeshows or events intended to secure distributors.
- Internal labour of net new Manitoba hires directly working on the project (capped at 50% of total funding received under IGP).
- The program does not pay be equipment purchases.
Open to for-profit, taxable Canadian Controlled Private Corporations with a permanent establishment in Manitoba that pay at least 50% of total salaries and wages to Manitoba resident employees. Application deadline is June 15, 2021.
The Production and Concept Definition component of the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Fund offers grant funding for projects such as e-learning content, mobile content applications, digital publishing projects and other web properties, video games, XR content projects, video and web series. Areas of “linear and non-linear” funding are:
- Concept Definition: 50% up to $50,000 for early-stage activities for moving towards the production of a market-ready content project. The types of activities that may be supported include but are not limited to prototype creation, preparation of pre-production documents and pitch material, business planning and research.
- Production: 50% up to $300,000 for the creation of a market-ready content project that will be released to end users. The types of projects that may be supported include but are not limited to video games, mobile content apps, e-learning content, XR experiences with substantial interactive content, digital publishing projects, video content and other web properties.
To be eligible, applicants must have at least:
- 25% of revenue or 50% of expenditures over the previous two fiscal years coming from the creation of completed screen-based content projects or
- 50% revenues over the previous two fiscal years comes from eligible publishing activities as described in the Ontario Creates Book Fund and Ontario Creates Magazine Fund.
- one owner or full-time employee with a minimum full-time equivalent of three years of experience in the creation of professional, commercialized content for interactive platforms, networks or devices.
Additionally, applicants having less than a year of operation or yet to release a product must:
- have an executive team including at least one owner or full-time employee with a minimum full-time equivalent of three years of experience in creating professional, commercialized content for interactive platforms, networks or devices or in the publishing industry. Work completed while enrolled in a post-secondary education program is not considered professional content creation.
Those interested in applying should first discuss their project with a program representative. Deadlines for applications are 5:00 p.m. April 12, 2021 by 5:00 pm and August 30, 2021.
UP TO $10 MILLION AVAILABLE
Western Canada’s Business Scale-up and Productivity program offers 50% up to $10 million in 7-year-interest free loan funding for eligible projects undertaken by Western Canadian businesses operating for at least 2 years, with 500 employees or less, and, who have experienced significant growth (e.g., 20%) prior to Covid-19. Eligible projects include accelerating or supporting:
- Productivity Improvement: includes acquiring, adapting, and adopting new technologies and processes; process re-engineering; improving manufacturing capacity.
- Business Scale-up: includes market development or expansion, adopting best management practices, processes and systems; business opportunity development.
- Technology Commercialization: includes late-stage product development to grow and diversify markets, as well as technology showcasing and technology demonstration. (Technology Readiness Levels 7-9 as defined by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada)
Priority will be given to projects involving advanced manufacturing, clean resources or technology (e.g., zero-emissions heavy equipment vehicles), digital information or communication technologies, health/biosciences (e.g., health analytics and diagnostics), and value-added natural resource and agriculture (e.g., plant-based foods and ingredients) processing.
Intake of applications will be from March 15th to April 14th, 2021.