Learn about programs and initiatives
Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Canada Business App
In June 2019, the Government of Canada launched the Canada Business App. The app makes it easier for small business owners to navigate government services and provides tailored recommendations and personalized notifications on funding applications.
Download the app at the App Store or get it on Google Play.
The Innovation Canada webpage allows businesses to find programs and services tailored to their needs. Companies can filter available programs based on their region, business sector, number of employees, and more.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
SIF's objective is to spur innovation for a better Canada. Specifically, it serves to simplify application processes, accelerate processing, and provide assistance that is more responsive and focused on results.
The program has five streams, each with its own objective:
- Stream 1: Encourage research and development (R&D) that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
- Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada;
- Stream 3: Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada; and
- Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between the private sector, researchers and non-profit organizations.
- Stream 5: Support large-scale, national innovation ecosystems through high impact collaborations across Canada.
Innovative Solutions Canada
Innovative Solutions Canada is aimed squarely at innovators. By funding proposed solutions, the program is supporting the development of early-stage, pre-commercial innovations. Participating federal departments and agencies will issue public challenges designed around a desired outcome rather than a known product or process specification and will be based on each department's mission and mandate.
Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS)
The Defence Procurement Strategy (DPS) has three key objectives: delivering the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and the Canadian Coast Guard in a timely manner; leveraging our purchases of defence equipment to create jobs and economic growth in Canada; and streamlining defence procurement processes.
Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy
The ITB Policy is a new, powerful investment attraction tool for Canada. It will encourage companies to establish or grow their presence in Canada, strengthen Canada's supply chains, and develop Canadian industrial capabilities.
Women Entrepreneurship Fund
As part of the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, the Government is making funding available directly to women entrepreneurs through the Women Entrepreneurship Fund. The objective is to provide support to women to grow their businesses and facilitate their pursuit of opportunities in markets abroad. The Fund is a $20 million investment providing up to $100,000 in non-repayable contribution funding for 12 months.
This fund supports women-owned and women-led businesses to invest in activities that focus on: supporting pursuit of market opportunities abroad, supporting scale-up, expansion and growth, and additional activities that support the objectives of the women Entrepreneurship Fund.
Other Federal Support and Initiatives
Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP)
The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) was created to bolster innovation in Canada's business sector; BCIP helps companies bridge the pre-commercialization gap by procuring and testing late stage innovative goods and services within the federal government before taking them to market.
Business Development Bank of Canada
Whether you are looking to expand production, purchase new equipment or access financing for a special project, the Business Development Bank of Canada can help you move forward with the right business loan.
Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network finds financing programs for your business, and learn about the different types of financing that are available.
Canada Small Business Financing Program
The Canada Small Business Financing Program helps small businesses obtain term loans of up to $1 million for the purchase or improvement of tangible assets, of which no more than $350,000 can be used to finance the purchase or improvement of equipment and the purchase of leasehold improvements.
Canadian Space Agency
- The Space Technology Development Fund (STDP) is available to organizations seeking financial and technical support to perform R&D on space technologies. The development of space technologies required for future Canadian missions are contracted through a competitive request for proposal process; funding (repayable contribution, typically $100K to $1M) is made available typically on an annual basis through an Announcement of Opportunity (AO).
- SmartEarth is the Canadian Space Agency's (CSA) renewed funding initiative related to Earth observation applications development. It fosters a smart use of satellite data to develop solutions to key challenges on Earth and in our everyday lives.
- The Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) is a CSA program that is looking to foster innovation in areas of strength for Canada, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, science and health. It will support the commercialization of innovative ideas from Canadian industry, including small and medium-sized businesses, in order to help them become an integral part of the growing new-space economy. With a specific focus on deep space, LEAP will enable the Canadian space sector to develop and conduct science experiments designed for lunar conditions, advance and demonstrate innovative technologies in lunar orbit, the lunar surface, and beyond, and develop technologies that will be required as part of future deep-space missions.
- Other Canadian and International Opportunities: CSA provides the space community with numerous funding opportunities through contracts, grants, and contributions.
CanExport provides financial support to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) develop new export opportunities and markets.
Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation Canada (CARIC)
Innovation, Science and Economic Development provides funding to Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation Canada (CARIC) a national non-for-profit research network, to support collaborative R&D projects at the early to mid-stages of technology readiness.
Export Development Canada
Export Development Canada is Canada's export credit agency; it supports and develops Canada's Export trade by providing insurance and financial services to Canadian Exporters and their international buyers.
National Research Council Programs
- Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) enables SMEs to access technology and business advice, contacts, and national and international networks. It also engages in cost-shared R&D projects with its clients.
- Networks of Centres of Excellence offers a suite of programs that mobilize Canada's best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise and focus it on specific issues and strategic areas.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) is a Federal tax incentive program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which encourages Canadian businesses to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada.
The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP)
The Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) fosters and supports collaborative industrial R&D projects with high potential for commercialization between Canada and partner countries. It also stimulates bilateral science and technology networking and matchmaking activities to further new partnerships and accelerate the commercialization of R&D.
Regional Development Agencies
Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)
REGI is a national program delivered by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) across Canada to fuel economic growth through innovation and create more well-paying jobs for Canadians. It comprises two streams, which, along with tailored programming in each region, will foster the right environment to start and grow businesses and create the conditions for the development of strong, dynamic, and inclusive regional innovation ecosystems across the country. Under REGI, innovation funding programs across all of Canada’s seven RDAs will focus on two key areas: business scale-up and productivity and regional innovation ecosystems.
Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency
The Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency offers programs such as the Atlantic Innovation Fund and initiatives like the Atlantic Shipbuilding Action Plan designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses ready themselves to take advantage of opportunities related to the Government of Canada's renewal of the country's naval and coast guard fleets.
Canadian Economic Development Agency for the regions of Quebec
The Canadian Economic Development Agency for the regions of Quebec provides information, support, and advice to small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to access funds refundable and non-refundable and to meet their specific needs to facilitate the achievement of their projects.
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) supports the growth and expansion of northern businesses, including SMEs, through training, advisory services, and through dynamic and flexible contribution programs for businesses and communities that build capacity.
Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario
The programs of the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario support Ontario's economic and community development, innovation, and economic diversification, with contributions to communities and businesses. FedDev supports workers, communities, and businesses in Southern Ontario to position themselves to compete globally.
FedNor supports projects that strengthen community economic development, enhance business growth and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Western Economic Diversification Canada offers grants and contributions that support a wide range of programs responding to Western Canada's economic development needs and priorities.
Other Support and Initiatives
Innovacorp is a Nova Scotia crown corporation managing an early-stage venture capital fund.
Nova Scotia Business Inc
Nova Scotia Business Inc. is the private-sector led business development agency of Nova Scotia, Canada.
BC Innovation Council
BCIC encourages the development and application of advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in BC. We accelerate technology commercialization by supporting start-ups and developing entrepreneurs.
Springboard is a non-profit that builds stronger communities by helping at risk and vulnerable youth and adults through critical transitions in their lives with a focus on community justice, employment and developmental disability services.
Ottawa Community Loan Fund
The Ottawa Community Loan Fund turns investments and donations into accessible financing to fuel innovation, expand opportunities and improve lives.
Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB)
Opportunities New Brunswick is accelerating growth by attracting global business, strengthening exports, and empowering local companies and entrepreneurs.
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF)
New Brunswick Innovation Foundation is an independent non-profit corporation that specializes in venture capital and research investments. Dedicated to building innovation in our province, they deliver the resources and expertise required to achieve new opportunities, growth, and advancements in New Brunswick.
Finance and Sustainability Initiative (FSI)
Based in Montreal, Quebec, the Finance and Sustainability Initiative (FSI) is a non-profit organization that brings together finance professionals dedicated to promoting sustainable finance and, more specifically, responsible investment to financial institutions, companies, and universities.
Quebec Economic Development Program (QEDP)
The Quebec Economic Development Program helps support entrepreneurship, business performance, regional mobilization and investment in the regions while providing support for economic activity in Quebec communities on an ad hoc basis to stabilize or strengthen their economies.
Prince Edward Island
Community Revitalization Program
The purpose of the Community Revitalization Program is to support the revitalization of rural communities through strategic investments in infrastructure that is important for rural culture, society, and economic development.
Community Initiatives Program (CIP)
Community Initiatives Program (CIP) provides funding to support initiatives that enhance and enrich communities throughout Alberta.
Strategic Investments Program
The Strategic Investments Program offers assistance to businesses majority-owned by Nunavut residents, municipalities, not-for-profit corporations and societies. Under the program, businesses can get a contribution to cover expansion or start-up costs. Municipalities, not-for-profit corporations and societies can get funding for training, marketing and community development. There are two funds within this program.
Business Incentive Program
The Business Incentive Program provides rebates to contractors working on eligible Government of Yukon contracts as incentive to hire Yukon residents and use Yukon manufactured goods and services.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Investment Attraction Fund
The Investment Attraction Fund is designed to attract large-scale businesses and foreign direct investment to the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It provides customized financial assistance to inward investors in support of establishing a business in the province or expanding a business as a result of FDI.
Economic Diversification and Growth Enterprises (EDGE)
The Economic Diversification and Growth Enterprises (EDGE) Program provides incentives to encourage significant new business investment in the province to help diversify the economy and stimulate new private sector job creation, particularly in rural areas.
Regional Development Fund
The Regional Development Program provides support by way of non-repayable contributions to organizations for the development and implementation of economic initiatives with respect to regional and sectoral development, diversification, innovation, and key emerging sectors.
Business Investment Program
The Business Investment Program provides term loans and equity investments to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in strategic growth sectors as identified by TCII. The fund is also available to businesses which have export potential and require assistance to enter or expand in external markets.
Business Development Support Program
The Business Development Support Program assists Newfoundland and Labrador SMEs with opportunities to increase their productivity and improve their competitiveness. The program supports SMEs who demonstrate a desire to develop and grow by improving the operations of the business, investing in its people, and focusing on trade opportunities.