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Technology and innovation: Financial support

Table of contents

Introduction
Government support
Tax credits
Non-government collaborative support
 

Introduction

Many funding options are available for businesses in Ontario. This guide will give you an overview of some of the programs and services available to the technology and innovation sector.

For general financing options that are available to businesses in Ontario, you can use the Innovation Canada financing search, refer to our financing guides or contact us directly.

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Financing a business guide

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1-888-576-4444

Government support

Several federal departments and provincial ministries work directly with technology and innovation entrepreneurs. You may be able to access resources and information from either level of government, based on your industry or business project.

Contact your local municipal office for information on financing and support that may be available for your area. You can find the number for your municipality on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario website.

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Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Federal resources

Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Canada include:

Innovation Canada

If you are looking for funding or expert advice, Innovation Canada has programs and services to help your business innovate, create jobs and grow the economy. 

  • Innovation Canada digital platform is a tool where you can get a tailored list of everything that government can do for your business.
  • Innovation Advisors provide free, one-on-one assistance to help guide you to the most appropriate innovation programs and services. If you are incorporated and creating a new innovative product, process or service, an advisor can help you find funding, expertise, facilities and global opportunities.
  • Strategic Innovation Fund invests in innovative businesses, helping you to scale-up, research, develop and commercialize cutting-edge ideas and collaborate in new ways.
  • Innovative Solutions Canada enables the Government of Canada to partner with eligible small businesses and innovators to help with early development, testing and validation of prototypes that solve challenges.
  • Clean Growth Hub gives businesses with clean technology projects a personal guide to answer questions, talk through options or make introductions.
  • Accelerated Growth Service gives high-growth companies one advisor for all government programs and services.

Business Development Bank of Canada

Investment capital for your business may be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Funding is offered for every stage of a company's development, from seed through to expansion.

  • BDC Venture capital
    Apply for funding for your business at any stage, particularly if your business is technology-based and works in sectors such as communications, health, information technology and energy/clean technology.

  • BDC Invest in technology
    Financing may be available if you plan to upgrade or purchase information and communications technology (ICT) for your business.

If you want intellectual property (IP) protection but need financing, consider the following business loan options:

  • Xpansion Loan
    If you are looking to expand into new markets, this loan could help you invest in technology, develop new products or purchase tech licences and patents.
     
  • Growth and Transition Capital
    As an established or high-growth business you may be able to access this more flexible funding program to support your research and development (R&D).

Canadian International Innovation Program

If you are a for-profit Canadian company looking to collaborate with a foreign partner in Brazil, China, India, Israel and South Korea, you could get up to 50% of the costs associated with the commercialization of your innovation, including development, adaptation and validation of technology. To qualify, you must have a project that:

  • Could be a commercial success
  • Is technologically feasible
  • Is for non-military purposes

Other conditions apply.

Read online:
Canadian International Innovation Program

Going Global Innovation

Are you a Canadian researcher from a small- or medium-sized enterprise, university or a non-government research centre looking to solidify an international partnership needed to commercialize your technology? If so, you could receive up to 75% of the costs associated with partnership development activities.

You will need to demonstrate that your targeted partnership would enable you to develop or improve a product or service that is technologically feasible. Other conditions apply.

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Going Global Innovation

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – AgriInnovate Program

If you have an agri-business, you can apply for an R&D contribution to get your new agricultural product or technology ready for the market.

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AgriInnovate Program

Natural Resources Canada – CANMET laboratories

You can find information about current research, as well as information about ways that your business may be able to partner with a CANMET laboratory in your field to develop new technologies and innovations. Natural Resources Canada oversees a variety of CANMET laboratories engaged in cutting-edge research in a variety of sectors, including:

Read online:
Natural Resources Canada

National Research Council Canada

Find out how the National Research Council (NRC) may be able to support your business innovation.

  • NRC-IRAP Financial assistance
    You may be eligible for funding through the Industrial Research Assistance Program if your small- to medium-sized business is planning to develop technologies to improve your competitive advantage.

Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada

You could get support for your business when you work with academic partners on cutting-edge, university-based research and training.

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Networks of Centres of Excellence

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

If you would like innovation expertise to help advance your R&D projects and lower your costs, you can explore support and financing options from NSERC.

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How does it work?

Government of Canada Youth Employment Strategy

If your business is active in innovation and technology, you may be able to access funding to lower the cost of hiring new employees with skills and knowledge of value to your business. Youth-specific programs include:

  • NRC-IRAP - Youth Employment Programs
    If you are a small to medium sized, incorporated business wanting to innovate, including doing green innovation, you may be able to access funding to hire youth or highly-skilled post-secondary graduates.

  • Environmental Youth Corps Internship Program
    If your Canadian-owned business or Canadian subsidiary is in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of up to $15,000 to hire a young professional for a full-time environmental position.
     
  • College and Institutes Canada Clean Tech Internship
    If your business is in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy up to $15,000 to hire an intern for a new environmental position or project.

  • Natural Resources Canada - Green Jobs in Natural Resources
    You may be eligible for funding to help cover the cost of hiring a recent graduate in science or engineering. The program provides support for innovation in certain technology sectors.

You can also explore the Career Focus component of the Youth Employment Strategy to find more programs to help cut innovation costs for your business.

Provincial Resources

Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Ontario include:

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) 

The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade funds a number of programs aimed at fostering research, innovation and commercialization of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. Some of the programs include:

  • Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
    If your business is an emerging Ontario technology company, investment funding of up to $500,000 may be available. Administered by MaRS and delivered through the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, the program offers funding for the technology sector, including the life sciences sub-sector.
  • Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund (OETF)
    Apply for capital investment funding if you operate an innovative, high-growth, emerging technology business.

Explore more financing options on MEDJCT’s website to find one that meets your technology and innovation business needs.

Read online:
MEDJCT - Programs and Funding

Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)

The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is a network funded by the Government of Ontario. With close to 90 centres located throughout the province, ONE represents a one-stop shop for anyone involved in planning, launching or building a company - whether it is a main street retailer, a high-tech start-up or a growing manufacturer.

Read online:
Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)

Tax credits

Businesses involved in technology and innovation research and development may also be interested in the following tax credits.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Program

You may qualify for a federal tax credit if your business conducted research and development that led to new, improved or technologically-advanced products or processes in Canada.

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency:
1-800-959-5525
(SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program

Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC)

A provincial tax credit may be available if your business conducted scientific research and experimental development in Ontario.

Contact the Ministry of Finance:
1-866-668-8297
Ontario Innovation Tax Credit

There are tax credits for Ontario corporations covering activity in research and development (R&D), innovation and business-research institute projects:

Contact the Canada Revenue Agency:
1-800-959-5525 

Non-government collaborative support

In addition to financing available through government sources, there are many non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the government to provide financing to technology and innovation entrepreneurs, including:

Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII)

You could get innovation and technology support from colleges in Ontario to help reduce the cost of your applied research and commercialization projects.

Read online:
CONII

Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)

You could be eligible for funding support to develop clean technology projects that show strong market potential.

Read online:
SDTC

You can also find books, magazines and other relevant print material at business service organizations in your community. To locate a Small Business Services (SBS) community partner, contact us at 1-888-576-4444.