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By Teri Kirk, Founder & CEO, The Funding Portal
One of the findings of the 2011 Jenkins Report on federal support for R&D was that Canada provides the second highest level of government support for R&D, as a percentage of GDP. The Funding Portal independently tracks all business support programs in Canada and has found that our country’s federal, provincial and major municipal governments disburse $27.5 billion annually to businesses and other organizations, largely in the form of grants and other non-repayable contributions
Almost $12 billion — 45 per cent — is available to manufacturers, through 775 distinct programs.
Among these, 270 funds are specifically targeted at manufacturers to boost their productivity and promote
new technologies. Here is a sampling of four,
one in each of Canada’s major regions:
Atlantic Canada: Business Development Program, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
- This program provides funding to help start up, expand or modernize your business. Under its productivity component, the fund can finance up to 75 per cent of the cost of hiring consultants to develop and implement a productivity plan.
Quebec: Quebec Economic Development Program, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
- This program provides manufacturers with grants and repayable contributions to support 50 per cent of the costs of purchasing new equipment, improving processes or operations management, certification activities and management capacity building.
Ontario: Investing in Business Growth and Productivity, FedDev Ontario
- Open to SMEs with at least 15 employees, this fund provides up to $20 million in repayable funding to support the adoption of new technologies and processes, skills development, global value chains, and facilities, markets and business expansion.
Western Canada: Western Innovation Initiative (WINN), Western Economic Diversification Canada
- This $20-million/year fund launches its second intake round this fall, providing SMEs with contributions of
up to $3.5M per project, with some repayment terms attached, for launching new or enhancing existing products, processes or services, technology development, acceleration, pilots, demonstration projects, certifications and commercialization activities.
In the past six months alone, manufacturers in Canada have secured more than $109.5 million in government funding. Many have used The Funding Portal, which assists manufacturers to identify the optimal government funding sources, to apply for and secure funding, and to also track awards to competitors and in the sector more broadly.
Manufacturers asked the portal if we could build out our web-based platform and services to assist them to secure private financing as well. Earlier this year, the portal did exactly that, becoming registered by securities commissions as Canada’s first and only Exempt Market Dealer portal able to assist companies like yours to secure both government funding and private financing, from angels and VCs to bank financing.
How can your company benefit? The portal now hosts a MyFundCardTM network to link businesses with government funders, issuers with investors, primes with subs and R&D firms with commercialization partners. As a manufacturer, you can use MyFundCard to create a company profile on the portal, define your funding objectives, secure qualified leads and register for alerts when matches with funding agencies and other targets exist.
Uptake has been tremendous, with more than 35,000 businesses, investors, funders, universities, hospitals and other possible R&D and commercialization partnerships already registered on Canada’s first national platform for facilitating improved access to funding, investment and commercialization partnerships.
MyFundCardTM attracts a small cost — just $20/month ($10/month for pre-revenue startups). Think premium LinkedIn but for attracting funding, financing and commercialization opportunities. Other services, ranging from grant-writing to secure issuer workrooms for meeting investors, can be added on, if you choose.
CME has chosen The Funding Portal as its platform to assist CME members to improve their awareness of funding programs such as those highlighted above, and to improve their outcomes when applying for government funding. Now, the portal is providing you with an opportunity to post your company’s profile, and make yourself eligible for matches and alerts. To learn more and register on the MyFundCard network, go to cme-mec.ca/thefundingportal.