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Here is just a sample partial list of funding and financing sources of interest to Canadian (especially Ontario) tech companies. We have secured grants for various companies through most of these agencies.
Innovative Solutions Canada – this government program is an innovation procurement program designed to support Canadian small businesses. The participating federal departments and agencies issue challenges through Innovative Solutions Canada. The challenges are designed to seek novel solutions and not commercially available products or services. The challenges issued by federal departments and agencies will be designed around desired outcomes rather than known products or process specifications.
IRAP – provides funding to qualified firms and their innovative R&D projects. This is a workhorse program for Canadian technology startups. I have dealt with them many times on various projects. The amount of funding (grants) varies from year to year depending on the current program budget and the number of applicants. In general, typical amounts fall into the $50-$300K range but I had projects with up to $500K support. It is a well run program and likely the first one to tap for startups.
EUREKA is an EU-based international R&D collaboration to support market-oriented R&D and innovation projects by industry, research centers and universities across all technological sectors. It is composed of 41 member states, including the European Union represented by the Commission and three associated states – Canada, South Africa and South Korea. With its flexible and decentralized network, EUREKA offers project partners rapid access to skills and expertise across Europe and national public and private funding schemes. Yariba Tech was involved and helped to secure about $1M in Eureka funding.
Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) – fosters and supports collaborative industrial R&D projects with high potential for commercialization between Canada and partner countries. It also stimulates bilateral science and technology networking and matchmaking activities to further new partnerships and accelerate the R&D commercialization. The CIIP is a “seed fund”, meaning that various other public and private sector participants are also encouraged to bring science and technology expertise and funds of their own to the bilateral relationship. Partner countries are: Brazil, China, India, Israel, and South Korea.
Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) – this program is funding solutions to support the development of Canadian defence and security capabilities. IDEaS supports the development of solutions from their conceptual stage, through prototype testing and capability development. The program includes several elements that promote collaboration between innovators, provides developmental resources and provides opportunities to interact with DND’s science and military members.
Impact Canada – is a Government of Canada-wide effort to accelerate the adoption of innovative funding approaches to deliver meaningful results to Canadians. It is a platform listing challenges or calls for proposal on a common site to reach a diverse group of problem solvers and innovators.
CanExport the program is a government funding mechanism that supports export marketing projects including participation in trade shows and government-led trade missions. A wide range of businesses can access its funding to target international markets where less than $20,000 or 10% of total international sales have been generated over the previous 24 months. Through the CanExport program, companies may access up to 25-50% of trade show costs to a maximum $50,000 per project. Up to two applications can be submitted per government fiscal year to a maximum $99,999. To qualify for CanExport funding, companies must maintain 1-500 full-time employees, not be in the agricultural or agri-food sector, earn annual revenues of $100K to $100M, be federally incorporated, and generate eligible project expenses of at least $20K.
Canada Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation (CIIRDF) – supports bilateral industrial research projects between Canadian and Israeli companies and supports up to 50% of the costs of approved joint research projects. I have dealt with this organization and secured a grant for one of my ventures through this well run program.
AgriScience Program – aims to accelerate the pace of innovation by providing funding and support for pre-commercial science activities and cutting-edge research that benefits the agriculture and agri-food sector and Canadians.
Youth Employment Program – provides grants of $15K-$30K supporting hiring of recent young grads. This program is administered by IRAP. I dealt with them several times and found the process smooth.
Finally, there is a government maintained searchable database of always changing government programs and funding sources that is worth checking out.
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