Federal Government Invests in Innovation

February 07, 2021
Ottawa Journal (February 07 – February 11, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

Canada is a well-known leader in innovation. It drives our economy and creates jobs. Our Government recognizes the importance of supporting innovative small businesses and the challenges they often face in attempting to deliver new services and products to the marketplace. This is why we introduced the Investing in Business Innovation program, as part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

The Investing in Business Innovation program answers the call from business leaders, academics, and community leaders from across southern Ontario for the Government to assist with funding gaps for start-up businesses. The Government responded with this program, which is delivered through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). FedDev’s mandate is to support projects that can deliver economic growth throughout the region.

The Government of Canada will allocate up to $190 million to the four-year program (from 2010 to 2014), which aims to provide improved access to financing for start-up businesses (50 employees or less). These businesses are eligible to apply for up to $1 million in repayable funding, if they have funding commitments from accredited angel or registered venture capital investors; are located in Southern Ontario; and are planning to undertake commercialization activities. In addition, they must be using mentoring, counseling, or other business support services.

Another aim of the program is to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses. Not-for-profit angel investor networks in southern Ontario (who are registered with reputable industry associations), are eligible to apply for one-time, non-repayable funding up to $50,000 to support outreach and promotion activities. Lastly, the program also aims to help accelerate the research and development of new products and ideas and bring them to the marketplace. This is done by assisting start-up businesses bring new services, processes, and practices to consumers through increased private sector investment.

Ineligible recipients under the program include: federal and provincial government departments, agencies, boards, corporations, and commissions; municipal governments; business associations; and post-secondary institutions (i.e. colleges, polytechnic institutes, universities, and teaching institutions).

Applications to the program are being accepted on an ongoing basis and will be reviewed as they are received by FedDev Ontario. All projects must be completed by March 31st, 2014. More information on the program can be found at: www.feddevontario.gc.ca. FedDev Ontario can also be reached by telephone at: 1-866-593-5505.

The future is looking bright for Canada and Ontario through the work of FedDev Ontario and Canada’s Economic Action Plan. Our Government’s Investing in Business Innovation program will create jobs and ensure our economy will be more competitive, stronger, and diversified for the long-term by giving small businesses the necessary tools to succeed and prosper.