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Government of Canada launches 1.26-billion dollars Strategic Innovation Fund

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, launched the Strategic Innovation Fund, a 1.26-billion dollars investment that is fully aligned with the strong, coordinated government action Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has long advocated for to reinvigorate the Canadian manufacturing sector and help it compete globally.

To be competitive on a global scale, Canadian manufacturers must adopt the newest advanced manufacturing techniques and commercialize new or improved goods to develop new business lines, attract investment and new production mandates and, expand the range of goods produced in Canada. CME has assessed that, without decisive action from the government to facilitate the transition to innovative technologies, Canada is at risk of falling behind other countries with whom we compete and trade. The Government of Canada Strategic Innovation Fund is a step in the right direction to encourage high-quality investments in new technologies and help close the gap with our major international competitors.

This fund is open to all industries and will support four streams of innovation activities:

  • Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
  • Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada;
  • Stream 3: Attract and retain large-scale investments to Canada; and
  • Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector.

For-profit corporations are eligible for all four streams (some restrictions applying to Stream 4) and can apply for more than one stream. Applicants are invited to submit a “Statement of Interest” prior to moving forward with their full application. Successful applicants to the Streams 1,2 and 3 could be granted up to 50 per cent of the cost of a project while 100% of costs could be covered under Stream 4. More details about the Strategic Innovation Fund, including application processes, guidelines, and project eligibility, can be found here.

Through its Industrie 2030 initiative, CME identified fostering innovation, commercialization and new product development, as a key priority for the manufacturing sector. Industrie 2030 is the result of consultations with more than 1,250 leading industry executives and detailed research to define specific recommendations to overcome challenges and create a roadmap for the future of manufacturing, to strengthen its footprint across the country, and to drive growth, innovation, wealth creation and jobs. Last year, we called on the government to create a manufacturing commercialization investment fund to provide risk-sharing supports as part of the of pre-budget recommendations. CME has also made fostering innovation part of its key NAFTA asks.

Thank you for your ongoing support of CME’s efforts to make your company, manufacturing and exporting in Canada innovative, growing and, globally competitive. If you have any questions on this program or other activities that CME is pursuing on your behalf, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time at president@cme-mec.ca.

Dennis A. Darby, P.Eng., ICD.D
President & CEO, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters