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Technology and Innovation: Non-Financial Support
Table of contents
There are many types of support and assistance available for businesses in Ontario. This guide provides an overview of some of the non-financial support programs and services available to the technology and innovation sector.
To learn about financing options for your business, please refer to the following guides:
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.
Association of Municipalities of Ontario
Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Canada include:
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.
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)
Visit the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website to find information on commercialization, technology transfers and research programs.
Science and Innovation
Build in Canada Innovation Program
Access opportunities to sell your innovative products or services in the areas of environment, health, safety and security or enabling technologies to federal government departments or showcase them to potential markets. You could:
- Connect with potential customers in federal government departments
- Showcase your products and services at events across Canada
- Test your goods or services and receive feedback
- Find markets
Understanding the Build in Canada Innovation Program
Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC)
If you are looking for assistance with communications research and development, including finding licensable software and other intellectual properties like patents, data and technical know-how, you may be able to take advantage of CRC’s Innovation Centre services and facilities.
Doing business with CRC
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)
You can find clean energy technology research and development information through NRCan. Explore resources offered through their CANMET laboratories and take advantage of partnership opportunities in a variety of sectors, including:
You can also access benchmarking guides, tools and calculators and software applications to help you make more informed decisions about your resources and technology:
- Partner tools and affiliate resources
- Benchmarking guides for industry
- Energy performance benchmarking
- Energy performance software tools
- Products and services for industrial systems optimization
- Savings calculators for bulk buying of energy efficient products
- Tools and applications for geodetic reference systems
- Energy efficiency e-tools for commercial vehicles
National Research Council Canada (NRC)
The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) may be able to support your business innovation.
- National Science Library
Find innovation and commercialization tools and services for your business from the National Science Library.
- Technical and business advisory services
Receive advice from experienced Industrial Technology Advisors who can help guide your innovative ideas from concept to product.
- Networking and linkages
Network with potential partners, individuals and organizations to find innovation resources and support for your business.
- Research facilities
You may be able to access state-of-the-art equipment and training programs to help you with business innovation projects.
- Licensing opportunities
Take advantage of NRC-patented technologies to strengthen your own product or services.
Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Ontario include:
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT)
As a technology and innovation entrepreneur, you can find government support and programs through MEDJCT, including:
- Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) and community-based provider locations
Visit your local SBEC office in Ontario to access a variety of services, including market intelligence, support for innovation and new technologies, and networking and expert advice to help you make your business grow and succeed.
Visit MEDJCT’s website for more information and resources to help you move forward with your technology and innovation ideas.
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)
You may be able to access information and support for agricultural or agri-food research and technology through OMAFRA's Laboratory Program.
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
Find regional support ranging from skills training and technical problem solving to licensing opportunities in the development and commercialization of your new technologies.
Ontario Centres of Excellence
The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)
Connect with an entire network of innovation centres. Take advantage of sector-based expertise and business acceleration services from anywhere in the network by contacting your local regional organization.
Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)
Non-government collaborative resources
There are many non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the government to provide support to technology and innovation entrepreneurs, including:
Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC)
Develop and commercialize your invention or technology with help from CIC’s Learning Centre, Education and Training Programs or their online Tools for Entrepreneurs.
Contact the CIC:
Canadian Innovation Centre
Find out how your company could make use of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure. You can learn about the advantages of using international standards for data sets, how to share, access and use Canadian geospatial information, and connect with other stakeholders in the sector.
Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR)
If you run a Canadian small- or medium-sized business (with less than 500 employees) and are involved in software development, testing and demonstration, you may benefit from the DAIR program’s high-performance cloud resources. Advantages include:
- Free self-serve access to 4 high performance virtual servers
- Easy, online application process
- Ability to develop and test many types of software applications for tech-based businesses
- Ability to develop e-commerce applications, services or websites, either for internal or external use for non-tech businesses
- Storage of data in Canada (may be a legal or contractual requirement for some businesses)
Additional services and resources are also available for a fee.
Note: All use of the service must be non-commercial (pre-commercial or non-revenue generating). Other conditions apply.
Cloud Technology: DAIR - For Entrepreneurs
From day-to-day operations to long-term planning, learn how to manage your business efficiently.
If you are interested in finding an industry association, use our secondary market research service request and have us search for one based on your needs.
As an innovation entrepreneur, you may need to protect your business’s intellectual property, inventions or designs. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada.
CIPO for business
You can find more information about registering or patenting new inventions or technologies on Canada Business.
Copyright and Intellectual Property
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.