New FedDev Money for Canadian Manufacturing Including the Agro-Food Processing Sector

The Conservative federal government is injecting $190-million until March 31, 2014 for Investing in Business Innovation in southern Ontario.   FedDev Ontario is focused on helping early-stage and small to medium businesses that are recognized as having the potential for high growth and a net long-term economic benefit for southern Ontario.

Unlike previous years, FedDev has decided to put a further emphasis on initiatives Agricultural and Agro Food Processing sectors to identify where operational improvement and capital equipment investment can increase and strengthen local markets for not just increased import export, but also local job creation.  Lean Design Canada was instrumental in carrying out the initial pilot benchmarking assessments which have so far received very positive reviews from the participating companies.

Up to $5,950,000 is also being provided through FedDev Ontario’s Prosperity Initiative to support three projects that contribute to building an economic advantage in southern Ontario. The projects will include upgrades in technology and expansion of food processing capacity, as well as mentoring and support for students and recent graduates developing and commercializing digital media for mobile devices. FedDev Ontario funding for these projects have been leveraged to attract up to $19,400,000 in private sector investment.

For start-up businesses, approximately $9,438,833 will be invested in 16 projects to support product development and commercialization through FedDev Ontario’s “Investing in Business Innovation” initiative.  An additional leveraging of the FedDev funding  is looking to Angel and Venture capital to attract up to $33,941,667 for additional projects financing.

Ontario’s Youth “STEM” initiative will support development and delivery, for 2 projects aimed at encouraging young people to pursue education and future careers in the engineering, science, technology and math fields.  Funding up to $1,795,000 will reach up to 28,350 students across southern Ontario included for in field mentorships, in-school programs, and online initiatives.

The Nation Research Council (NRC) IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) grant which is aimed at helping small to medium companies develop new technology and products that have the potential to materially increase the firm’s sales or employment.  IRAP offers up to $100,000 of matching funds (50/50) for furthering innovative programs and products.

The Nation Research Council also has another program entitled DTAPP (Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program) which is aimed at companies furthering or adopting best practices programs such as Design Profit and Munro MAP3.  Although it does not pay for the capital investment in software, it will pay for training in new software and customization costs of adopting these new technologies for companies to become competitive in the market place.

Beyond this, Canada has a healthy ongoing tax program that helps companies of any size, in any sector, to receive tax credits to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada called the SR&ED tax credit program.  The SR&ED program is administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and is up to 50% – the highest tax credit program of its type in the world.

Lean Design Canada and Munro & Associates have been involved with grant programs in Canada since 2008/2009 and have had many success stories come of it.