Still room for improvement when it comes to funding for Canadian manufacturers

Despite several funding programs for the sector, feds could be doing more

The numbers are looking good for Canada’s manufacturing industry, but there is still room for improvement, according to Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).

On average, Canada’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was at 52.69 points between 2011 until 2021. Although the country’s PMI was at an all time low of 33 in April 2020 because of COVID-19, the good news is that it reached a record high of 58.50 in March 2021 and was at an impressive 57.2 in September 2021.

While this is good news for the manufacturing sector, the impacts of COVID-19, combined with years of being under funded and lacking a clear industrial strategy have taken their toll on the industry’s overall growth.

During the lead up to the federal election, CME presented a platform called Manufacturing Now that urged elected officials to prioritize manufacturing’s role in the Canadian economy. The platform proposes that Canada should be positioning itself to obtain a minimum of 2% of the OECD’s annual manufacturing funding, for a total of $50 billion over the next ten years.

The CME recommends that Canada launches a strategy focused on helping the manufacturing sector obtain skilled labour, invest in innovation and advanced technologies, increase exports, and work towards net-zero emissions.

The manufacturing sector has proven to be essential to the economy during the pandemic, and the hope is that the federal government will recognize this as they work toward earmarking more future funding initiatives.  

In the meantime, there are several national and provincial programs in existence for manufacturers currently seeking funding.

Fundingportal’s AI-driven tools are helping manufacturers access, apply for and leverage available funding for their projects, including these national programs:

Strategic Innovation Fund: Streams 1-3

Making sure that Canada is a top destination for businesses to invest, grow and create jobs and prosperity for Canadians is one of the Government’s top priorities. The Strategic Innovation Fund’s (SIF) objective is to spur innovation for a better Canada by providing funding for large projects (over $10 million in requested contribution). The program covers 50 per cent of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $220 million per applicant.

Strategic Innovation Fund. Stream 5 – National Innovation Ecosystems

This funding helps support industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations, and the private sector. The program covers 100 per cent of eligible expenses for a maximum of $275 million per applicant.

Collaborative Research and Development Grants (including DND/NSERC Research Partnership Grants)

The Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) Grants are intended to give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge, expertise, and educational resources available at Canadian postsecondary institutions and to train students in essential technical skills required by industry. The mutually beneficial collaborations are expected to result in industrial and/or economic benefits to Canada. The program covers 66 per cent of eligible expenses up to a maximum of $500 thousand per applicant.

Subscribe to Fundsearch to access funding for Canadian manufacturers and other industries.  

Melanie Tabet

Melanie Tabet is chief marketing officer at Fundingportal. Her marketing and communications career spans nearly two decades, and includes leadership roles in software, travel and government funding organizations. In addition to driving strong marketing, branding and communications results, she has published numerous thought leadership articles on the topics of branding, customer experience, customer centricity, technology, and finance in industry magazines such as Forbes. She holds a degree in Commerce (Marketing) from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business in Montreal, and is a passionate marketer, effective communicator, analytical thinker, and strong leader.

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