Government of Canada Launches New Initiatives for a Stronger Southern Ontario

For immediate release
December 6, 2013

Toronto, Ontario—The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), today launched the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPIs), a new suite of initiatives designed to support and develop a stronger, more vibrant southern Ontario economy. The Minister made the announcement at the Innovation 2013 Conference presented by the Alliance for Commercialization of Canadian Technologies (ACCT), accompanied by Mark Adler, Member of Parliament for York Centre.

"Our Government is committed to securing long-term economic prosperity and to do so, we will continue to invest in projects and companies where the return on our investment will be of direct benefit to taxpayers and the country," said Minister Goodyear. "The Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives mark the next phase of the FedDev Ontario's focus on growing innovative businesses, building strong communities and cultivating the most effective partnerships here in one of Canada's most important economic hubs."

These initiatives, created based on feedback from business leaders and stakeholders, build on FedDev Ontario's successes to-date and send a clear message about the benefits of investing in a strong and prosperous southern Ontario.

"Supporting the drivers of growth and job creation is a priority for our Government," said MP Adler. "That is why we continue to put forth world-class programs and initiatives aimed at giving Canadians the tools they need to prosper."

The Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives are:

Each of these initiatives is uniquely designed to help retain, attract and grow businesses in southern Ontario to increase the region's global competitiveness. Over $530 million in funding is available under the SOPIs. See the backgrounders for more information.

"We are pleased to have Minister Goodyear speak at this year's conference," said Janet Scholz, President, ACCT Canada. "Our theme this year is ‘the changing landscape of partnerships and commercialization,' and it is very clear that the work of FedDev Ontario—past and future—is in line with what we are trying to achieve for all of those in Canadian innovation."

"The Ontario Chamber of Commerce is Ontario's Business Advocate," said Allan O'Dette, President, Ontario Chamber of Commerce. "Our work with FedDev Ontario has proven to be beneficial for businesses in Ontario, and we look forward to the next phase of programs and initiatives to support economic growth in Ontario."

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million over five years for the Agency, starting on April 1, 2014.

To learn more about the details of new programming, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call toll-free at 1-866-593-5505. Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652
FedDevMedia@FedDevOntario.gc.ca


Backgrounders

Investing in Business Innovation Initiative

The Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative provides mentorship, entrepreneurial support and financing to help new businesses grow and succeed. The initiative is designed to foster a more competitive southern Ontario economy by focusing on providing business support to new entrepreneurs, helping them transform their ideas into globally-competitive products and services, and increasing their access to private sector investment and advice.

High-growth businesses and new entrepreneurs are critical to southern Ontario's competitiveness. Support through IBI increases the potential for businesses to succeed by strengthening angel networks and encouraging the development of partnerships between early-stage businesses and investors so that entrepreneurs have the tools and capital they need to become world-leading innovators.

Funding is available through three streams under IBI:

Not-For-Profit Organizations

Incorporated not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) such as Regional Innovation and Commercialization Centres, incubators, accelerators, angel networks and Community Futures Development Corporations located in southern Ontario, are eligible to apply for projects related to providing entrepreneurial skills development, education, and seed financing to new entrepreneurs and businesses to help them to be investment ready.

Eligible applicants will be considered for a non-repayable contribution to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to 100 percent of eligible costs. Funding of up to $10,000 per new entrepreneur may be provided for business training, and matching funding to new start-up entrepreneurs will cover up to 50 percent of eligible costs to start a business, up to a maximum of $30,000.

Early-Stage Businesses

Canadian incorporated companies located in southern Ontario with funding commitments from angel/venture capital investors, employing fewer than 50 full-time equivalent positions, and whose projects meet the initiative's requirements are eligible to apply for funding under IBI.

Eligible early-stage business applicants will be considered for a repayable contribution to a maximum of $1 million per project for up to one-third (33 1/3 percent) of eligible costs.

Angel Networks

Incorporated NFPs network associations representing angel investors in southern Ontario and located in southern Ontario whose activities support the growth of investment funds in the region, may apply.

Eligible applicants will be considered for a non-repayable contribution to a maximum of $500,000 for up to 100 percent of eligible costs.

Multi-year projects will be considered, however, all project activities must be completed prior to December 31, 2018.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. There is a continuous intake application process for IBI, in which applicants must submit an application form. Applicants should refer to the Application Process for details.

Greater innovation is one of the critical components to southern Ontario long-term prosperity. By encouraging the development of partnerships with these investors, our Government is helping high-growth start-ups and entrepreneurs secure the tools and capital they need for success.

For more information and detailed initiative guidelines, please refer to www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call the toll-free telephone number at 1-866-593-5505.

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Investing in Business Growth and Productivity

The Investing in Business Growth and Productivity (IBGP) initiative focuses on established southern Ontario businesses that have the potential to be global players with innovative and unique opportunities to accelerate growth and support job creation. This initiative supports economic growth and job creation by helping businesses diversify markets and expand facilities, adopt new technologies and processes to improve productivity, and increase business capacity to grow and diversify markets.

Funding will be available, under two streams over the next five years, for projects that:

  • Assist established businesses in their growth through market diversification and expanding facilities;
  • Increase their adoption of new technologies and processes to improve productivity; and
  • Increase business capacity to participate in global markets through integration in global value chains.

Established small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible to apply for a repayable contribution towards eligible costs to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to 25 percent of eligible project costs.

Not-for-profit organizations (NFPs) will be eligible to apply for a non-repayable contribution towards eligible project costs to a maximum of $20 million. For projects involving collaborations between NFPs and SMEs, the SMEs must contribute a minimum 50 percent cash contribution to cover 50 percent of project costs. There is a limit of $100,000 per SME under a project with a NFPs organization.

Multi-year projects will be considered, however, all project activities must be completed prior to December 31, 2018.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. For SME applicants, there is a two-phased application process in which applicants must first submit a Statement of Intent application form. Upon written direction from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) that applicants may proceed to Phase II, additional detail and substantiation of the Phase I information will be required. Applicants should refer to the Application Process for details. In the case of NFPs, there is a single-phase application process in which applicants must submit an application form. Applicants should refer to the Application Process for details.

By helping businesses achieve greater scale and improve productivity, IBGP enables businesses to compete globally, while accelerating economic growth and job creation here at home.

For more information and detailed initiative guidelines, please refer to www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call the toll-free telephone number at 1-866-593-5505.

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Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Initiative

The Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP) initiative supports business-led partnerships with a focus on developing globally-competitive products and services. Increased collaboration among businesses, post-secondary institutions and research organizations narrows the gap between innovation and commercialization. This initiative helps to increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems and the development of competitive economic clusters in southern Ontario.

Through ICP, the Federal Economic Development Agency (FedDev Ontario) is encouraging the technology transfer between research and business to help bring new ideas to market.

ICP supports large-scale collaborations between the private sector, post-secondary institutions and not-for-profit (NFP) research organizations. The initiative encourages businesses to unlock and capitalize on regional economic strengths and extract greater value from public investments in education and research. Through ICP, FedDev Ontario is contributing to southern Ontario and Canada's position as a global leader in the knowledge economy.

Post-secondary institutions, including publicly-funded colleges and universities and incorporated NFPs, including research institutions, and industry associations located in southern Ontario, are eligible to apply under this initiative for non-repayable contributions of up to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs.

Eligible projects are business-led and aim to:

  • Increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems within southern Ontario to collaborate with the private sector;
  • Create innovative products, technologies and services through business-led collaborations;
  • Develop commercially-relevant technology platforms; or,
  • Support the development of a critical mass of research and development commercialization activity in emerging clusters in southern Ontario.

Multi-year projects will be considered, however, all project activities must be completed prior to December 31, 2018.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. There is a continuous intake application process for ICP, in which applicants must submit an application form. Applicants should refer to the Application Process for details.

For more information and detailed initiative guidelines, please refer to www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call the toll-free telephone number at 1-866-593-5505.

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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.

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

Funding is available for 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.

The initiative will support eligible NFPs to undertake activities to diversify the economic base and have a regional impact by working with private sector and other community stakeholders to develop assets, such as:

  • 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

Multi-year projects will be considered, however, all project activities must be completed prior to December 31, 2018.

Applications will be accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis and applicants will be notified as their projects are approved. There is a two-phased application process in which applicants must submit a Statement of Intent application form. Upon written direction from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) that applicants may proceed to Phase II, additional detail and substantiation of the Phase I information will be required. Applicants should refer to the Application Process for details.

Southern Ontario's communities and regions have diverse economic strengths, opportunities, gaps and challenges. Through IRD, networks of community partners will be empowered to find the best ideas that will help make these communities stronger.

For more information and detailed initiative guidelines, please refer to www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call the toll-free telephone number at 1-866-593-5505.

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