About the program
Why is the Government of Canada funding assistive technologies?
The Accessible Technology Program is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class, equipping Canadians with the skills to prepare them for jobs of the future, and ensuring that the benefits of a more innovative society are shared equally among all Canadians. This program will remove barriers to ensure persons with disabilities have greater opportunities to join in and be active members in the workforce, as well as facilitate and encourage participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in the digital economy.
Will this be a permanent program?
No. The Accessible Technology Program will provide co-funding for up to 5 years to innovative projects beginning in the 2017-18 and ending in 2021-22. Project-based funding will be made available through continual national calls-for-proposals over the 5 years, subject to availability of funds. Approved projects must be completed by March 31, 2022. Costs incurred after that date will not be eligible for funding under the program.
Does the technology need to be related to the digital economy?
Yes. Technology developed through funding from the program will be expected to achieve the outcomes of the program which include improving access to the digital economy for persons with disabilities, making the technology commercially available, creating affordable solutions that are financial accessible to Canadians with disabilities, enhancing the employability and marketability of Canadian with disabilities through enabling new technologies, and developing a network of partners throughout the country.
About the application process
Will there be other application processes and what are the deadlines?
Yes. Project-based funding will be made available through multiple application processes over five years, subject to the availability of funds. Applications for funding over the 5 years are due no later than 11:59:59 p.m. PST by the dates outlined below:
- January 2, 2020
- June 2, 2020
- January 2, 2021
How will projects be selected for funding?
Proposals are selected through a competitive process. Proposals that include all program requirements may be given priority consideration. Applicants must clearly demonstrate the extent to which the project meets the following criteria: Need, distribution, affordability, budget, project management and strategic collaboration.
Who is eligible for funding?
Eligible applicants must demonstrate their expertise and capacity to manage and/or develop and implement an eligible single or combined group of projects in Canada. Applicants must also demonstrate that the proposed project(s) requires a funding contribution from ISED in order to achieve the objectives.
To qualify for funding, applicants must be Canadian legal entities, including:
- For-profit organizations;
- Not-for-profit organizations; and
- Research institutes.
In this context, a research institute is defined as any establishment that functions with the primary objective of conducting research, which may include activities in the natural, health or social sciences. This may include any institutes affiliated with post-secondary institutions.
Are post-secondary institutions eligible for funding?
Yes. Any research institute affiliated with a post-secondary institution is eligible to apply for funding.
Can an individual apply for funding?
No. Eligible applicants must be a legal entity under one of the following category: for-profit organizations, not-for-profit organization and research institutions.
Is an organization ineligible to apply if they cannot provide two years of audited financial statements?
Yes, applicants are required to provide the two most recent years of audited financial statements for their organization to support their application for funding and allow the Department to perform its due diligence in assessing the organization's financial viability and risk.
However, organizations who cannot meet this requirement are encouraged to consider the following:
- partnering with other organizations. Where an application is submitted by a consortium of applicants, it is the lead applicant that will be responsible for providing its financial statements to satisfy the requirements of the program. The lead applicant is the entity with whom Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada would ultimately enter into an agreement should the proposal be selected for funding.
- provide alternative income statements.
About the delivery of the program
Once the projects are selected, what will be the next steps?
Once projects are selected for funding, contribution agreements will be negotiated between successful applicants and the department. Once agreements are established projects will be publicly announced.
How will the projects be monitored?
Similar to other grants and contributions programs managed by the federal government, the Accessible Technology Program will have a project management framework with a number of control mechanisms (i.e.: regular reporting) that will allow for tracking of project progress and funding throughout the project lifecycle.
About the funding
What is considered an eligible activity under this program?
Eligible activities under the Accessible Technology Program may include the following:
- Developing and testing assistive technologies to assist Canadians living with disabilities to better participate in the digital economy;
- Repairing, retrofitting, and improving assistive technologies to help Canadians living with disabilities access the digital economy;
- Activities aimed at promoting awareness of new assistive technologies developed through the program, such as workshops and events open to the public; and,
- Collaborations that support the development and implementation of assistive technologies.
Is the program a grant or a contribution?
The Accessible Technology Program is a contribution program where eligible costs are subject to performance conditions which are specified in a contribution agreement.
What is the maximum level of funding available per project?
The Program will co-fund projects through non-repayable contribution agreements. Where the primary recipient is a not-for-profit organization or research institute the maximum cost-sharing ratio will 80%. Where the primary recipient is a for-profit organization the maximum cost-sharing ratio will be 50%.
How will funding be disbursed?
Funding will be distributed through claims for reimbursement of eligible costs incurred as outlined in a funding agreement.
Will an in-kind contribution count towards a project's cost sharing ratio?
Yes, but only for not-for-profit organizations and research institutes. In-kind contributions attribute to the total project cost and count towards the cost sharing ratio. Recipients will only be reimbursed for eligible supported costs specified in a contribution agreement. No part of any program contributions will be paid on in-kind costs.