Investing in Regional Diversification - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives?
  2. What is the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative (IRD)?
  3. How much funding is available?
  4. What projects will be funded under the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative?
  5. What types of activities will be funded under the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative?
  6. How is IRD different from the Prosperity Initiative?
  7. Who is eligible?
  8. How do I apply?
  9. I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?
  10. What is the deadline for applications?
  11. How will projects be assessed?
  12. When will I find out if my project has been approved?
  13. When do projects need to be completed?
  14. How many applications can an organization or company submit?
  15. What costs will be supported under the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative?
  16. Do I need an environmental assessment completed for my project?
  17. Will multi-year projects be considered for funding?
  18. How will intellectual property be managed?
  19. Can we apply to IRD if we already receive or have received government funding through a similar initiative?
  20. If my project is funded, what are the next steps?
  21. How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?
  22. How do I get more information about the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative?
  23. How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?
  24. Will any more economic development funding be available in southern Ontario?
  25. Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?
  26. Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

1) What are the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives?

The Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPIs) are:

Each of these initiatives is uniquely designed to help retain, attract and grow businesses in Southern Ontario to make the region globally competitive. Over $530 million in funding is available under the SOPIs.

These initiatives, created based on feedback from stakeholders, build on the Agency's successes to date and reinforce a continued commitment to building a strong and prosperous southern Ontario.

2) What is the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative?

The Investing in Regional Diversification (IRD) initiative supports the long-term development of stronger, more diverse economies in southern Ontario communities. IRD leverages unique regional assets and local expertise to attract new investment and opportunities for economic growth and development.

The initiative brings not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) and private sector/community partners together to build on economic strengths, and opportunities to respond to challenges, and develop ways to create competitive and resilient communities.

3) How much funding is available?

Incorporated NFPs located in southern Ontario, whose mandate includes economic development, will be eligible for non-repayable contributions of up to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs.

4) What projects will be funded under IRD?

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will provide funding to eligible projects that:

  • Enhance business attraction, investment and employment opportunities in southern Ontario regions and communities;
  • Strengthen regional businesses and clusters with the goal of economic diversification and sustainability;
  • Develop and expand collaborative efforts to strengthen regional assets and competitiveness; and
  • Improve the economic circumstances of communities facing distress.

top of page

5) What types of activities will be funded under IRD?

IRD will support projects that are aligned with the initiative's objectives. Eligible activities may include:

  • Diversification of Economic Assets (capacity building)
    • Industry/sector cluster development and expansion
    • Human capital retention and attraction
    • Implementation of community/regional action plans
  • Business Infrastructure
    • Business incubators
    • Supply chain analysis and development

6) How is IRD different from the Prosperity Initiative?

While the Prosperity Initiative was successful in investing in productivity, regional diversification and cluster development, IRD is focused on helping community and regional organizations develop partnerships to leverage economic assets to build strong and prosperous communities.

7) Who is eligible?

Incorporated NFPs located in southern Ontario, whose mandate includes economic development, are eligible to receive support for proposals aligned with IRD objectives.

Funding under this initiative is for costs incurred by the NFP only; no transfer of funds to for-profit project participants will be permitted.

For specific details regarding the types of organizations eligible for funding under IRD, please see the IRD Guidelines.

8) How do I apply?

There is a two-phased application process.

In Phase I, applicants must submit the following:

  1. A completed Statement of Intent; and
  2. Mandatory information requirements.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and may be deemed ineligible.

Upon written direction from FedDev Ontario that applicants may proceed to Phase II, additional details and substantiation of the Phase I information will be required. Applicants should refer to the Application Process section of the program guidelines for details.

Prior to submitting a Statement of Intent, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Agency at 1-866-593-5505 for help with applications and to discuss other government programs that may be applicable.

9) I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?

The application is accessible through the IRD home page and linked from the Quick Links menu. The application is in PDF format and will open automatically within Internet Explorer if you click on the link. However, if you are using another browser, right-click on the link and select ‘save target as’ or ‘save link as’ to download the file to your computer before opening with a PDF reader. Please note that the PDF application has been optimized for use in a Windows environment and may not work as expected in other operating systems.

Once the statement of intent form is complete, it can be submitted electronically by clicking on the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the form. Please note that you must include the additional information requirements with your Statement of Intent.

If you are unable to access, complete or submit your application using the online application tool, please call the toll free line at 1-866-593-5505 for an alternate format.

10) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for IRD is ongoing. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Applications will be received until funding is fully committed.

11) How will projects be assessed?

Please see the Application Review section of IRD Guidelines.

12) When will I find out if my project has been approved?

FedDev Ontario will notify applicants when their projects are approved for funding.

13) When do projects need to be completed?

All project activities must be completed by December 31, 2018.

14) How many applications can an organization or company submit?

Normally, eligible applicants will be limited to one approval under this initiative.

top of page

15) What costs will be supported under IRD?

NFPs will be eligible for non-repayable contributions of up to 50 percent of direct eligible project costs to a maximum of $20 million.

Only costs that are reasonable, incremental and relate directly to the eligible activities will be accepted for projects funded. Hospitality costs will not be supported. Claims for reimbursement of eligible project costs will be submitted to FedDev Ontario. Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Labour;
  • Expertise;
  • Non-capital; and
  • Capital.

16) Do I need an environmental assessment completed for my project?

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, a project will require a federal environmental assessment only if it is a "designated project" under the Act. Designated projects are normally large scale, complex projects and those regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board. For more information about what constitutes a designated project, contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Applicants should also note that projects on federal land will require a determination of the potential for significant adverse environmental effects before they can be approved.

17) Will multi-year projects be considered for funding?

Multi-year projects may be considered, however, all projects must be completed by December 31, 2018.

18) How will intellectual property be managed?

When submitting the application to IRD, applicants will be asked to describe measures that would be taken to ensure that any intellectual property developed as a result of the project will provide continuing benefits for southern Ontario. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate they have sufficient rights to any intellectual property prior to the beginning of the project so as to allow it to be further developed or commercialized.

19) Can we apply to IRD if we already receive or have received government funding through a similar initiative?

FedDev Ontario will take other government funding into consideration when determining eligibility.

In no instance will the total government assistance be allowed to exceed the eligible costs. All recipients of financial assistance are required to inform FedDev Ontario before the start and at the end of a project of any other government assistance received or requested for the eligible costs of the project that are described in the contribution agreement.

Recipients must confirm with their partners whether any of their funding comes from government sources.

The contribution agreement will contain a “continuing disclosure” obligation concerning other government assistance and provides for the right of FedDev Ontario to reduce the contribution to the extent of any such assistance or require the recipient to repay.

20) If my project is funded, what are the next steps?

Following approval of a project, an environmental assessment must be completed where required. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, a project will require a federal environmental assessment only if it is a "designated project" under the Act. Designated projects are normally large scale, complex projects and those regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board. For more information about what constitutes a designated project, contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Following approval of the assessment, Agency staff will develop a contribution agreement with approved recipients to outline an implementation framework; project details; repayment terms and environmental mitigation measures, if applicable; and requirements for communications and signage for funded projects.

Approved recipients must meet the terms and conditions outlined in the contribution agreement before being reimbursed for incurred costs.

21) How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?

Contributions are normally paid on a reimbursement basis through signed contribution agreements, against eligible costs incurred once the project is approved and initiated.

22) How do I get more information about IRD?

For further information, if you have questions, or would like to talk to a program officer, please check our website for program details, email or call 1-866-593-5505.

23) How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Approved projects will be monitored by FedDev Ontario and recipients will be required to report on activities and outcomes as projects are being implemented.

24) Will any more economic development funding be available in southern Ontario?

The Agency has also launched the renewed Eastern Ontario Development Program, the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, the Investing in Business Growth and Productivity initiative, and the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative. Please visit our programs page for more information.

Interested parties can also subscribe to email updates on the FedDev Ontario website.

25) Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?

FedDev Ontario works directly with the organization applying for funding, also known as the “named applicant” (e.g., the SME or NFP). Some organizations hire a consultant to support the preparation of a program funding application. It is not a requirement to use a consultant to apply for funding.

26) Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

Former Government of Canada employees who work as consultants must comply with the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. After the post-employment limitation has passed, any statements made by a past employee about their ability to secure funding belongs solely to that individual.

top of page

  • Rate
  • Share
Date modified: