The West Means Business: Overview of WINN

Nov 01 2013
By: boastcapital
Categories: Innovation Funding

Western Canada Innovation InitiativeUPDATED: Second intake of applications are planned for Fall of 2014. Stay tuned!

If you’ve considered developing a new product or launching a new technology in Western Canada, now is the right time. In Oct 2013, the federal government announced its Western Innovation Initiative (WINN), a new funding program available to help innovators commercialize technology-based products, processes, and services. Over the next 5 years, WINN will provide up to $100M in repayable assistance to applicable small-to-medium businesses (SME’s).

WINN Launches in Western Canada

According to Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification during the Federal Announcement on Oct 26, 2013:

“WINN demonstrates our Government’s commitment to ensuring that Canadian businesses continue to grow and generate high-value jobs across the West. This initiative will help address a need identified by western Canadian businesses to help bring leading-edge innovations to domestic and global markets.”

More specifically, the WINN initiative seeks to stimulate innovation in health and life sciences, clean technology and energy, aerospace and defence, nanotechnology, and information and communications technology.

WINN Criteria

According to the Western Economic Diversification Canada website, incorporated businesses that have been in operation for at least 1 year and are located in Western Canada – this includes Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, or British Columbia – with less than 500 employees can apply the funding to:

  • Introducing a new product, process or service to new or existing markets
  • Improvement of products, processes or services;
  • Technology development/acceleration;
  • Product certifications, including Controlled Goods Registration;
  • Pilot projects (first user) and technology demonstration projects;
  • Validation of market potential and end-user acceptance; and
  • Support for marketing, human resources development, productivity, and process or quality improvement directly related to the commercialization of new opportunities.

Want More Info?

If you have any questions about the Western Innovation Initiative, you can contact them directly. If you’d like to learn more about how receiving this funding may affect your SR&ED claim, contact us.




  1. November 7, 2013

    This is probably a silly question but how stringent do you think they are with the date of incorporation? We are 11 months old and i suspect that is the only reason we wouldnt qualify.

    • boastcapital
      November 7, 2013

      Thanks for reaching out! This is definitely not a silly question as there are probably others in the same situation.
      Given that this is a new program, we called the WD Toll-free number and will post their answer once we receive a response. We highly recommend giving them a call at 1-888-338-WEST (9378) to clarify before proceeding.

    • Boast Capital
      November 7, 2013

      Thanks for reaching out! This is definitely not a silly question as there are probably others in the same situation.

      We called the WD Toll-free number (1-888-338-WEST (9378)) and spoke with an officer about your question. They mentioned that the 12 month incorporation minimum still applies. So, unfortunately you won’t qualify for this application period but are encouraged to apply for their next intake (around Summer 2014). We will post another blog when they announce their next call for proposals. Hope this helps!

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    Boast Capital is a team of engineers and finance professionals with over 20 years experience helping companies in Canada and the U.S. successfully claim and maximize R&D tax credits.
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