Frequently asked questions

General questions

  1. What funding opportunities are available through FedDev Ontario?
  2. How has programming changed?

Eligibility

  1. Who is eligible to apply?
  2. What types of projects are eligible?
  3. What are the start and end dates for eligible projects?
  4. What are eligible costs?

Project funding

  1. How much funding is available per project?
  2. Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?
  3. Will FedDev Ontario funding have any tax implications for my business?
  4. Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I have already received government funding through a similar initiative?

Application process

  1. How do I apply?
  2. What is the deadline for applications?
  3. How many applications can an organization or business submit?
  4. Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my Application for Funding?
  5. Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

Assessment process

  1. How will projects be assessed?
  2. How much time does it take to process an application?
  3. Do I need an environmental assessment completed for my project?
  4. How is intellectual property managed?

Support for rural innovation and growth in southern Ontario

  1. What dedicated funding is available for rural communities?
  2. Why has FedDev Ontario dedicated a minimum of $100 million from its three streams for rural innovation and growth?
  3. Is my business or organization eligible?
  4. I have a rural innovation project. How do I apply?
  5. What else is FedDev Ontario doing to support rural communities?

Becoming a recipient

  1. If my project is funded, what are the next steps?
  2. How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?
  3. How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Other stream 1 project questions

  1. What does an accredited investor mean?
  2. What are the Technology Readiness Levels?

Additional information

  1. How do I get more information?

General questions

1) What funding opportunities are available through FedDev Ontario?

FedDev Ontario will support projects through three streams:

Stream 1: Business Scale-up and Productivity aims to accelerate the growth of firms and assist with the adoption and adaptation of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity, development of and entry into new markets to help companies become globally competitive.

Stream 2: Regional Innovation Ecosystem aims to create, grow and develop strong and inclusive regional networks that support business growth and innovation, as well as the entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Stream 3: Community Economic Development and Diversification aims to develop, diversify and transform local economies by promoting small business development, community innovation and strategic collaborations.

2) How has programming changed?

Canada’s regional development agencies (RDAs) are one of the ways that the Government of Canada delivers on its Innovation and Skills Plan in the regions. RDAs across Canada deliver two common streams of programming to fuel economic growth through innovation and create more well-paying jobs for Canadians. These streams, along with tailored programming in each region, will foster the right environment to start and grow businesses and create the conditions for the development of strong, dynamic and inclusive regional innovation ecosystems across the country.

With $920 million in renewed funding provided in Budget 2018, FedDev Ontario is now accepting applications through the national Business Scale-up and Productivity stream and the Regional Innovation Ecosystem stream, as well as an additional Community Economic Development and Diversification stream.

These simplified funding streams are easy to navigate, and have been designed to meet the needs of our innovators, job creators and communities.

Eligibility

3) Who is eligible to apply?

Eligible applicants vary by stream. Businesses can apply directly to Stream 1 or Stream 3. Not-for-profit organizations can apply directly to Stream 2 or Stream 3.

Please review the guidelines for more information.

4) What types of projects are eligible?

The types of projects that can be considered eligible vary by stream. Please review the guidelines for more information.

5) What are the start and end dates for eligible projects?

FedDev Ontario can consider projects costs no earlier than the date an application is received.

All project activities must be completed by December 31, 2023, or the date indicated in the contribution agreement.

6) What are eligible costs?

Only costs that are reasonable, incremental and relate directly to the eligible project activities will be considered.

Please review the guidelines for more information on what costs can be considered eligible as part of a project submission.

Project funding

7) How much funding is available per project?

The levels of project funding vary under the three streams:

  • Stream 1: The Business Scale-up and Productivity stream will normally target investments that range from $500,000 up to a maximum of $10 million or up to 35 percent of eligible and supported project costs.
  • Stream 2: The Regional Innovation Ecosystem stream will normally target investments that range from $500,000 to $10 million or up to 50 percent of eligible and support project costs.
  • Stream 3: The Community Economic Development and Diversification stream will normally target investments that range from $250,000 to $5 million or up to 50 percent of eligible and support project costs.

On an exceptional basis, FedDev Ontario may consider funding amounts outside of these ranges.

The amount of the awarded contribution will be based on the minimum amount required for the project to proceed and the extent to which other sources of available funding have been leveraged.

8) Does the funding have to be repaid? What are the terms?

Stream 1: Business Scale-up and Productivity funding provides repayable contributions.

Stream 2: Regional Innovation Ecosystem funding provides non-repayable contributions.

Stream 3: Community Economic Development and Diversification provides non-repayable contributions to not-for-profit organizations and repayable contributions to businesses.

Repayable contributions to businesses under Stream 1 and 3 are interest-free and unsecured. Repayments of contributions will be expected to commence as soon as reasonably possible, without compromising the success of the project or the business receiving the funding. The specific terms of repayment, including date of commencement and length of repayment term, will be determined on a case-by-case basis during the development of the contribution agreement. Normally, repayment will begin no later than one year following the completion of the project.

9) Will FedDev Ontario funding have any tax implications for my business?

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for your business. It is recommended that advice be obtained from a qualified tax professional.

10) Can I apply to FedDev Ontario if I am already receiving or have received government funding through a similar initiative?

FedDev Ontario will consider other government funding when determining eligible funding. Stacking of government funding is allowed under all streams.

For repayable contributions direct to business (under Stream 1 or Stream 3), total government funding (including federal, provincial and municipal) for a project cannot exceed 75 percent of eligible non-capital costs and 50 percent of eligible capital costs. Indigenous-owned businesses may be exempt from the stacking of government assistance limits noted above.

Non-repayable contributions to not-for-profit organizations under Stream 2 or Stream 3 allow for government stacking up to 100 percent of project costs.

Application process

11) How do I apply?

FedDev Ontario has simplified its application process. A single-phase application process and Application for Funding are being used.

Refer to the Application Guide for instructions on how to complete FedDev Ontario’s Application for Funding.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and will be deemed ineligible.

Prior to submitting an Application for Funding, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact FedDev Ontario to discuss their project with a program officer, who will also explore other government programs that may be applicable. For more information, visit the Funding opportunities page or call 1-866-593-5505.

12) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for each stream is ongoing. There are no submission deadlines. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Note that FedDev Ontario reserves the right to initiate calls for proposals as deemed necessary to encourage applications in priority areas or sectors. Information regarding calls for proposals will be provided on FedDev Ontario’s website.

13) How many applications can an organization or business submit?

Applicants are encouraged to prioritize project submissions.

Normally, eligible applicants will be limited to one approval.

14) Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my Application for Funding?

It is not a requirement to use a consultant to apply for funding.

Some organizations hire a consultant to support the preparation of an Application for Funding. Should an applicant opt to hire a consultant to prepare an Application for Funding, FedDev Ontario will not support any portion of the cost of the consultant. FedDev Ontario works only directly with the organization applying for or receiving funding.

Any person paid to communicate with FedDev Ontario with regard to the awarding of a contribution on behalf of an applicant must comply with the Lobbying Act. Details on who should register as a lobbyist and instructions on how to register are available on the website for the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada.

15) 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 belong solely to that individual.

Assessment process

16) How will projects be assessed?

A complete Application for Funding will undergo a due diligence review. It will be assessed against a number of factors, including managerial, operational, financial and market risks, benefits and impacts.

The guidelines for each stream provide more information on project review and assessment.

17) How much time does it take to process an application?

FedDev Ontario will contact an applicant within 10 business days of receiving an Application for Funding and will provide a contact that will be available to respond to applicant inquiries.

Multiple factors impact the assessment of an application. FedDev Ontario aims to process every application as quickly as possible. Each project is assessed against various objective criteria established by each stream. The time taken to assess an application depends on a number of factors including:

  • The complexity of the project and completeness of the application;
  • Additional regulatory requirements or consultations required;
  • The extent to which public funds are available; and
  • Whether additional information is needed to properly assess the project.

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

18) 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 considered 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.

19) How is intellectual property managed?

Applicants will be asked to describe measures that would be taken to ensure that 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 commercialized.

Title to any intellectual property developed as a result of the project supported by FedDev Ontario will rest exclusively with the recipient, not the Government of Canada.

Support for rural innovation and growth in southern Ontario

20) What dedicated funding is available for rural communities?

Rural innovation and growth is a high priority for FedDev Ontario, to emphasize this, the Agency has dedicated a minimum of $100 million, over the next three years, to help kick start projects that drive innovation and growth in rural southern Ontario. This support is available to eligible applicants through FedDev Ontario’s three funding streams.

21) Why has FedDev Ontario dedicated a minimum of $100 million from its three streams for rural innovation and growth?

Home to about 3 million, or 25 percent, of the region’s population, southern Ontario’s smaller and rural areas play a vital role in the overall well-being of the region’s economy. Many rural communities face unique challenges that can create barriers to growth, when compared with urban counterparts.

The Agency is dedicating a minimum of $100 million, over the next three years, to spur more rural applications and investment. It creates a focus on innovation in rural southern Ontario, and aims to support those communities facing economic, social and/or demographic challenges to unlock opportunities that nurture business development, strengthen economic prospects, and create more resilient communities.  

22) Is my business or organization eligible?

To qualify for funding, applicants must meet the eligibility criteria listed in the stream guidelines and be located in rural areas in southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario’s definition of rural areas aligns with the current Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) coverage in the region (East and West), and, in some cases, smaller towns located on the fringes of larger cities. If you are unsure if your location is applicable, contact FedDev Ontario for more information.  

23) I have a rural innovation project. How do I apply? 

All rural innovation projects will use FedDev Ontario’s single-phase application process and Application for Funding. There are no extra steps or forms to complete.

FedDev Ontario will determine eligibility under the $100 million dedicated for rural projects based on:

  1. Postal code provided on the Application for Funding; and/or
  2. Project activities, benefits and results described through the Project Information, Project Outcomes and Corporate Information sections of the Application for Funding.

Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis. Please refer to the Application Guide for instructions on how to complete an application.

24) What else is FedDev Ontario doing to support rural communities?

FedDev Ontario supports rural communities through its three funding streams, the Community Futures Program and Economic Development Initiative.

Becoming a recipient

25) 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 which is a written agreement between the Government of Canada and an eligible Applicant that sets out the obligations and understandings of both with respect to one or more transfer payments. Upon execution of the Contribution Agreement the Applicant is referred to as the Recipient. The Government of Canada is responsible for drafting contribution agreements.

The contribution agreement will outline the project's implementation framework; project details; repayment terms and environmental mitigation measures, if applicable; and requirements for communications which may include a public announcement and federal visibility for funded projects.

Approved recipients must meet the terms and conditions outlined in the contribution agreement before accessing any funds.

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

Progress payments will be made on the basis of documented claims for reasonable eligible costs incurred or on the basis of the achievement of pre-determined performance objectives (for example, project milestone payments) and on the costing formula described in the contribution agreement.

FedDev Ontario will not provide advance payments to businesses approved under Stream 1 or 3.

To receive funding, recipients must submit claims forms, on templates provided by FedDev Ontario, that summarize eligible costs incurred and paid within a defined period. Generally, the duration of these periods will be no more than once a month and no less than quarterly.

Approved recipients must meet the terms and conditions outlined in the contribution agreement before accessing any funds.

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

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

Other stream 1 project questions

28) What does an accredited investor mean?

To be eligible as an accredited investor, the person or entity must comply with special Canadian and provincial securities laws, which generally require that the investor satisfies factors such as income level, net worth, asset size, governance status or professional experience. Two types of accredited investors include:

  • Angel Investor: A private sector entity or an individual operating as an angel investor, qualifying as an “accredited investor” as defined in Ontario Securities Commission’s Rule 45-501 and as evidenced by the Angel Investors’ Declaration and a member in good standing of an angel network or association in southern Ontario registered with the National Angel Organization - Ontario or other reputable industry association.
  • Venture Capital Investor: A private sector entity or an individual operating as a venture capital investor and a member in good standing with the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association.

29) What are the Technology Readiness Levels?

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) is a method of estimating a technology’s maturity. The TRL is measured on a scale from 1 to 9 with 1 representing the lowest level of technology readiness and level 9 representing the technology having been proven successful through deployment in an operational setting. The Business Scale-up and Productivity Stream will normally support projects in TRL levels 7-9.

For more detail on the TRL, please refer to the Application Guide.

30) How do I get more information?

Please review the Applicant Toolkit for more detailed information.

Prior to submitting an Application for Funding, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact FedDev Ontario to discuss their project with a program officer, who will also explore other government programs that may be applicable. For more information, visit the Funding opportunities page or call 1-866-593-5505.

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