UPDATED: 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.
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.