The Government of Canada has now launched its much anticipated $1.26B Strategic Innovation Fund, a new program to attract and support high-quality business investments across all industry sectors.
- This new five-year fund was first announced in Budget 2017.
- It consolidates and simplifies the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), the Technology Demonstration Program (TDP), the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP).
- The Strategic Innovation Fund is open to all industries and will support four types of innovation activities: (1) research, development and commercialization of new products and services; (2) growth and scale-up of high-potential firms; (3) attraction of new investments to Canada; and (4) public-private collaborations in developing and demonstrating new technologies.
- The fund will provide both grants and repayable contributions to businesses of all sizes.
The fund will offer four distinct applicant streams:
- Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services.
- Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada.
- Stream 3: Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada.
- Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, nonprofits and the private sector.
- Under Streams 1-3, the Applicant must be a for-profit business.
- Under Stream 4, applicants are consortia or networks that may include Canadian universities, colleges, research institutes, businesses and/or nonprofits.
- Eligible projects must correspond to the approved Technology Readiness Levels associated with each Stream:
- Stream 1: TRL 1 to 9 (Basic principles observed and reported to Actual product and/or process proven successful)
- Stream 2: TRL 8 to 9 (Actual product and/or process completed and qualified through test and demonstration to Actual product and/or process proven successful)
- Stream 3: TRL 2 and above (Technology concept and/or application formulated to Actual product and/or process proven successful)
- Stream 4: TRL 1 to 7 (Basic principles observed and reported to Product and/or process prototype demonstration in an operational environment).
- The amount awarded to each applicant will vary depending on eligible activities.
- The government will not contribute more than 50% of eligible costs. The maximum level of funding will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
- Contributions under Stream 4 will be non-repayable and will not exceed 50% of eligible costs, except for recipients that are academic institutions or networks, where the contribution provided may cover 100% of eligible costs.