Mentor Works Ltd. http://www.mentorworks.ca The Canadian Government Grants and Loan for Business Experts Fri, 22 Jul 2016 15:16:38 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 Ontario150 Government Grants to Strengthen and Enhance Communities http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-ontario150-government-grants-to-enhance-communities-overview/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-ontario150-government-grants-to-enhance-communities-overview/#respond Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:58:49 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=25014 Ontario150 Grants for Municipalities and non-profits

In 2017 Canada will celebrate 150 years since the country’s confederation. As one of the founding provinces of Canada, Ontario will also celebrate its 150th year in existence. This exciting milestone in the province’s history will be celebrated by many across Ontario, and the provincial government has created a new ambitious funding program that ensures […]

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Ontario150 Grants for Municipalities and non-profits

In 2017 Canada will celebrate 150 years since the country’s confederation. As one of the founding provinces of Canada, Ontario will also celebrate its 150th year in existence. This exciting milestone in the province’s history will be celebrated by many across Ontario, and the provincial government has created a new ambitious funding program that ensures all Ontarians will be able to celebrate a healthy, growing, and prosperous province.

Ontario150 is a suite of government grants for non-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities that eliminate barriers and enable Ontarians to get involved during the province’s 150th anniversary. The three streams of funding that comprise Ontario150 seek to promote community celebration, enhance the well-being of youth, and build or repair critical infrastructure.

Projects eligible for Ontario150 may be entitled for 50-75% of project expenses to a maximum $100,000 to $500,000, depending on the stream applied for and the size of the applicant organization. For more information on the three Ontario government funding streams, continue reading this article.

Ontario150 Streams of Ontario Government Grants

Ontario150 applicants may apply for government grants via one of the three streams outlined below:

Community Celebration Program

Initiatives that support the celebration of Canada or Ontario’s 150th anniversary may receive up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of:

  • $10,000 (for organizations with operating expenses less than $250,000);
  • $25,000 (for organizations with operating expenses between $250,000 and $1 million); and
  • $70,000 (for organizations with operating expenses in excess of $1 million).

Partnership Program

Projects that foster innovative ways to engage and/or empower youth may receive up to 75% of eligible expenses to a maximum of $100,000.

Community Capital Program

Initiatives that support the repair, renovation, or retrofit of existing infrastructure. Applicants may receive government grants valued up to:

  • 75% of eligible project costs to a maximum $250,000 (for organizations with operating expenses less than $1 million); and
  • 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $500,000 (for organizations with operating expenses more than $1 million).

Does Your Organization or Community Building Project Qualify for an Ontario150 Government Grant?

To become eligible for the Ontario150 government funding program, please ensure that your organization and project meet the following eligibility criteria for the most applicable stream:

Community Celebration Program

Not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities/ organizations may apply for funding to reduce the cost of implementing:

  • Ontario150 anniversary events and community celebrations;
  • Commemorative installation ceremonies;
  • 150 Anniversary-themed public workshops, forums, or conferences;
  • Food festivals celebrating local chefs, locally-grown products, and local food movements;
  • Public art exhibitions showcasing local or iconic artists;
  • Sporting events and competitions; and
  • Youth innovation or entrepreneur competitions.

Please Note: Ontario for-profit businesses, Chambers of Commerce, and academic institutions may receive project funding if they partner with a not-for-profit organization who applies on behalf of the partnership.

Partnership Program

A range of applicants, including not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, indigenous communities/ organizations, business associations, and businesses (supporting non-commercial projects) may apply for youth empowerment projects, including those supporting:

  • Diversity and inclusion;
  • Creativity and cultural expression;
  • Youth entrepreneurship;
  • Civic engagement;
  • Environmental stewardship; and
  • Healthy living.

Community Capital Program

Likewise, not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, and indigenous communities/ organizations may apply for funding to support infrastructure projects, including:

  • Multicultural centres;
  • Sports facilities;
  • Elderly person centres;
  • Playgrounds;
  • Cenotaphs; and
  • Other public meeting places/ spaces.

If you’re a for-profit organization, or otherwise ineligible for Ontario150, please consider other Canadian government funding programs which may be able to provide government grants and loans for your projects.

How to Apply for Ontario150 Grants for Community Building Projects

Each stream of funding operates on its own individual application timelines. Prospective applicants should note that their Ontario government funding applications are due by:

  • Community Celebration Program: September 2, 2016.
  • Partnership Program: September 30, 2016.
  • Community Capital Program: September 14, 2016

Application to the Ontario150 program is dependent on the stream of funding being applied to. Applicants of the Community Celebration Program or Partnership Program may do so by accessing the Government of Ontario’s online portal and filling out a program application.

Applicants of the Community Capital Program should note that funding is administered by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). To apply, organizations must first register with OTF and access their online portal where application packages may be found.

Newsletter

Recent Not-for-Profit Funding News:

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Greenbelt Fund Local Food Investment Fund Grants: Apply by September 12, 2016 http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-greenbelt-fund-local-food-investment-fund-agriculture-grants-deadline/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-greenbelt-fund-local-food-investment-fund-agriculture-grants-deadline/#respond Thu, 21 Jul 2016 12:25:35 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=25001 Greenbelt Fund Local Food Investment Fund Ontario Small Business Grants

Ontario’s dynamic agriculture industry continues to grow and diversify thanks to key investments from federal, provincial, and local sources. Canadian government funding programs, in addition to advocacy initiatives for local food consumption, have helped agricultural producers and processors increase revenues and introduce new products and services. This approach has been a key factor in the […]

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Greenbelt Fund Local Food Investment Fund Ontario Small Business Grants

Ontario’s dynamic agriculture industry continues to grow and diversify thanks to key investments from federal, provincial, and local sources. Canadian government funding programs, in addition to advocacy initiatives for local food consumption, have helped agricultural producers and processors increase revenues and introduce new products and services. This approach has been a key factor in the success of Ontario agribusiness.

The Greenbelt Fund, a not-for-profit organization in Ontario, has been instrumental in driving demand for locally grown and processed food. Greenbelt Fund also administers provincial funding for agribusiness, municipalities, and food services through the Local Food Investment Fund. These Ontario government grants may provide up to 50% of expenses for projects that increase awareness and consumption of local food across the province.

The Local Food Investment Fund’s current call for Letter of Intent applications will conclude on September 12, 2016. Businesses and agricultural not-for-profits who are eligible to apply for the fund should consider beginning the application process soon. The following article will help guide you through the most critical details of the program and identify if your organization qualifies.

Greenbelt Fund – Streams of Agribusiness Grants

The Local Food Investment Fund seeks to bolster Ontario’s agricultural industry through three unique ways. This includes:

  1. Increasing the amount of local food purchased and consumed by the broader public sector;
  2. Improving agribusiness’ ability to access new market opportunities; and
  3. Enhancing local food literacy among Ontario consumers.

Does your business or organization support any of the following project types? If so, you may be eligible to recover up to 50% of project costs through Ontario government grants.

Broader Public Sector Projects

Project funding will be extended to recipients who are:

  • Developing strategies that increase public sector food consumption;
  • Revising institutional food ordering to track the amount of local food purchased;
  • Implementing food purchasing systems that identify where food was produced and processed;
  • Providing resources and training to increase staff knowledge of how to promote local food to broader public sector purchasers; and
  • Enhancing or upgrading equipment to enable year-round delivery of local food products.

Market Access Projects

Ontario organizations and agribusiness may also receive Greenbelt funding for projects that involve:

  • Conducting market research to better understand consumer food preferences;
  • Developing value-added food processing techniques such as washing, canning, freezing or dehydrating;
  • Developing training and/or education materials that reduce market barriers for local agribusiness; and
  • Business planning that leads to greater value chain relationships between local food processors, food hubs, and aggregators.

Local Food Literacy Projects

The Local Food Investment Fund will also provide up to 50% of project expenses for:

  • Developing and producing education/training materials, promotional materials, and sales resources;
  • Organizing local food competitions or events that promote the benefits of consuming locally-grown food; and
  • Delivering local food education sessions or training (including providing classes, in-facility education, or farm visits).

Applicants Eligible for Greenbelt Fund Agribusiness Grants

A wide range of applicants are eligible to receive government grants through the Local Food Investment Fund. Please ensure that your project fits one of the streams above, and that your organization is:

  • A member of the private or public sector;
  • Able to execute the proposed project;
  • Able to contribute a minimum of 50% of the project expenses in cash; and
  • Willing to enter a formal written agreement with the Greenbelt Fund.

[Free White Paper] Discover eligibility criteria for a variety of lucrative government grants and loans. Download the Canadian Small Business Funding Guide.

How to Apply for Greenbelt Fund Local Food Investment Grants

Greenbelt Fund grant applications can be submitted online through the Local Food Investment Fund application portal. This requires applicants to register their business/organization and complete a statement of intent (SOI) identifying project impacts.

Approved SOIs are invited to submit a full application (approximately 15-20 pages) to be considered for Ontario government grants. This includes the submission of financial statements and a comprehensive evaluation of how the project will increase local food consumption.

The next deadline for Local Food Investment Fund Statements of Intent is September 12, 2016.

If your business, municipality, or not-for-profit organization has questions regarding program eligibility, or would like to request assistance for the application process, please contact a Government Funding Planner from Mentor Works.

Canadian Small Business Funding Guide

Learn More About Greenbelt Fund Government Grants Ontario

Get Started     Program Overview     Eligibility Criteria

Recent Canadian Government Funding News for Agribusiness:

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Ontario and Alberta Commit to New Greentech R&D Partnership http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/market-trends/ontario-alberta-greentech-rd-partnership/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/market-trends/ontario-alberta-greentech-rd-partnership/#respond Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:51:02 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24998 Greentech grants for green technology research and development

Reducing carbon emissions and creating a sustainable low-carbon economy are top priorities for provincial governments across Canada. While some provinces have taken more ambitious steps than others, all provinces and territories are beginning to shape the future of climate change legislation, and with it, a series of new incentives for businesses ‘going green’. Ontario and […]

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Greentech grants for green technology research and development

Reducing carbon emissions and creating a sustainable low-carbon economy are top priorities for provincial governments across Canada. While some provinces have taken more ambitious steps than others, all provinces and territories are beginning to shape the future of climate change legislation, and with it, a series of new incentives for businesses ‘going green’.

Ontario and Alberta are among the provinces leading the way when it comes to creating new partnerships and incentives for innovative green technologies (greentech) and clean technologies (cleantech). While each offer their own unique solutions to create a low-carbon economy, they are also working together to form new research and development partnerships.

The newest of these partnerships will feature the collaboration of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and Alberta’s Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC). These groups will work together to accelerate the development of new cleantech funding initiatives while seeking ways that businesses can collaborate with post-secondary research institutions.

How Greentech Advancements will be Assisted by the OCE and CCEMC Partnership

To date, the two organizations have only released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), however the explicit missions of each party detail what can be expected from this announcement.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Connects Businesses to Student Researchers

OCE is a publicly funded organization that supports the research, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies. The group works with industry partners to provide research grants for technology projects that incorporate student researchers from the province’s universities, colleges, and research hospitals.

The partnerships created by OCE ensure that Ontario businesses can access leading research facilities and talent, while also providing valuable experience to student researchers. This approach seeks to eliminate talent gaps in the workforce while commercializing new technologies at an accelerated pace.

Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) Accelerates Greentech Innovations

CCEMC is an Alberta-based not-for-profit organization that was formed to accelerate Alberta’s progress towards becoming a low-carbon economy. The group supports the strategic direction of Alberta’s climate change initiatives, which includes receiving funding from heavy industry polluters and investing those funds into businesses researching and developing green technologies. These activities help CCEMC to enhance Canada’s innovation ecosystem.

The organization also supports other not-for-profits and associations across Canada who actively support a low-carbon economy. CCEMC’s vast network of financers supporting cleantech development and matchmaking services that can help businesses commercialize their innovations more quickly.

Greentech Funding Provided through Carbon Taxes and Cap and Trade Initiatives

Provinces across Canada are steadily implementing carbon taxes and cap and trade policies to raise funding in support of innovative technology development. Ontario and Alberta are two provinces using these programs, each in their own way.

Alberta’s carbon taxing system sets a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide may emit over an annual basis. Heavy polluters who surpass this level have a variety of options to pay for their polluting, which includes paying into a Climate Change Emissions Management Fund. This fund is used by government officials to create new green technology research and development incentives that will improve energy efficiency and reduce future emissions.

Alternately, Ontario’s proposed cap and trade system seeks to provide certain allowances, or ‘caps’ on an industry-by-industry basis throughout the province. In this model, heavy polluters will need to purchase cap space, as required, from the government or other businesses who do not pollute as much. This system, already implemented by Québec, will provide a market for businesses to sell cap space to raise money for innovative R&D or other strategic initiatives.

Small Business Funding for Research in Greentech

All levels of Canadian government have begun their shift towards embracing a low-carbon economy. This provides new opportunities for businesses that are committed to researching, developing, and commercializing energy efficient technologies. Canadian government grants are steadily shifting towards this innovative mindset and will continue to provide a variety of funding programs for business. Some of these programs include:

  • IRAP ARP: IRAP’s Accelerated Review Process (ARP) research grants provide funding for businesses overcoming an internal technical challenge. Up to $50,000 is available to offset the costs of direct labour and contractors performing research or engineering-oriented tasks
  • IRAP Mid-Size Projects: Similar to IRAP ARP, IRAP Mid-Size projects involve research and development activities that lead to the creation of innovative products, services, or processes. Up to 65% of internal labour costs may be recovered to a maximum of $500,000 in government grants per project.
  • Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP): CIIP focuses on creating international research and development partnerships between Canadian businesses and global research partners in Brazil, China, India, Israel, and South Korea. Businesses may receive up to 50% of eligible expenses to a maximum $600,000 in government grants.
  • SD Tech Fund: Companies researching green technologies, sustainable energy generation, and waste management solutions may be eligible for up to 33% of eligible project expenses. SD Tech provides Canadian government grants valued between $200,000 and $15,000,000 for R&D projects that typically span 2-3 years in length.
  • OCE TalentEdge: Canadian businesses can host a post-secondary or post-graduate researcher for 4-month internships or 12-month fellowships. Businesses may receive up to $10,000 in grant funding per internship or $35,000 per fellowship provided.

Canadian Small Business Funding News

Recent Greentech and Low-Carbon Economy News:

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IRAP Mid-Size Projects: Innovation Research Grants for Business R&D http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-irap-mid-size-projects-research-grants-overview/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-irap-mid-size-projects-research-grants-overview/#respond Tue, 19 Jul 2016 11:56:09 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24987 IRAP Mid-Size Projects Canadian Government Grants for Research

Businesses with substantial internal research and development projects may access a variety of Canadian government funding options. Available at the federal and provincial levels, research grants can enhance a business’ ability to become more innovative and develop new products or services. Of the many research and development funding options available, funding through the National Research […]

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IRAP Mid-Size Projects Canadian Government Grants for Research

Businesses with substantial internal research and development projects may access a variety of Canadian government funding options. Available at the federal and provincial levels, research grants can enhance a business’ ability to become more innovative and develop new products or services. Of the many research and development funding options available, funding through the National Research Commission’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) may provide the most value.

As the national research and innovation arm of the government, NRC-IRAP administers several Canadian government grants for small and mid-sized businesses. One of the most popular programs offered is the IRAP Mid-Size Program which provides government grants for research projects with sizable budgets.

IRAP Mid-Size may provide businesses with up to 65% of labour costs for employees directly involved in completing exploratory research projects. Government funding awarded through IRAP Mid-Size may range from $50,000 to amounts in excess of $500,000. Projects that cannot receive the program minimum of $50,000 in grant funding may be better suited for IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) grants.

IRAP Mid-Size Research and Development Grants Business Eligibility

Businesses may apply to IRAP’s Mid-Size projects stream if they:

  • Are located in Canada;
  • Are incorporated and profit-oriented;
  • Maintain between 1-500 full-time equivalent employees; and
  • Generate profits through the development and commercialization of innovative products, services, or processes.

Projects Suitable for NRC-IRAP Mid-Size Grants

A wide range of innovative research projects may apply for IRAP funding. This includes most exploratory research projects supporting new product, service, or process development. The project must include at least $77,000 is labour costs directly related to internal employees working on the project.

Projects must also provide quantifiable benefits for the company and Canada as a whole. For every $1 invested in a business’ research project, IRAP Mid-Size expects projects to generate an additional $10 in company revenue growth as well as $12 in contributions to the Canadian economy.

Successful Recipients of IRAP Mid-Size Research Grants for Business

Several businesses throughout Canada have already used IRAP Mid-Size to offset the costs of their internal research and development project. Some of these successful recipients include:

  • Rianta Solutions: This Kanata, Ontario-based designer, developer, and manufacturer of innovative data centre technologies received up to $440,000 from IRAP Mid-Size.
  • TRC Manufacturing: Moncton, New Brunswick hydraulics manufacturer receives IRAP Mid-Size funding for two projects, including the development of a low-cost pump jack for oil shafts, and development of undercutting technologies for use in salt mines.

How to Apply for IRAP Research and Development Grants Canada

Canadian businesses may begin their IRAP Mid-Size project application by contacting their local IRAP representative who will discuss the project’s eligibility and provide initial application forms.

Please Note: Eligible projects are not guaranteed Canadian government grants through IRAP. Businesses must be diligent in their document preparation and follow-up with IRAP representatives to ensure their eligible projects will receive government funding contributions.

Completed application packages typically range from 16-20 pages and include company financial statements. To check your eligibility and receive assistance in preparing your IRAP funding submission, please contact a Proactive Funding Planner who can identify how IRAP Mid-Size fits into your company’s overall funding strategy.

Learn More About IRAP Mid-Size Research and Development Funding for Business

Get Started     Eligibility Criteria

Canadian Small Business Funding Guide

Recent Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) Mid-Size Projects News:

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Disruptive Innovation: How to Find and Flourish in a Blue Ocean http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/business-consulting/disruptive-innovation-how-to-find-a-blue-ocean/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/business-consulting/disruptive-innovation-how-to-find-a-blue-ocean/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 13:01:02 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24978 Disruptive Innovation Among Canadian Businesses

What if everything your business has been doing since its inception was flipped upside down and the complete opposite approach was enforced? This is the concept behind W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Maurborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy, which was created based off of primary research conducted on over 150 businesses across more than 30 industries […]

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Disruptive Innovation Among Canadian Businesses

What if everything your business has been doing since its inception was flipped upside down and the complete opposite approach was enforced? This is the concept behind W. Chan Kim and Renée A. Maurborgne’s Blue Ocean Strategy, which was created based off of primary research conducted on over 150 businesses across more than 30 industries spanning over 100 years.

Businesses that undertake a Blue Ocean Strategy approach to strategic planning can discover new, innovative ways of conducting business and uncover markets with little to no competition.

Apple, Uber, and AirBNB all benefitted from this approach to discover unique market opportunities. This article will dive into this renowned method of discovering opportunities for disruptive innovation and how you can try this with your current or prospective business ventures.

Blue Ocean vs. Red Ocean

Most businesses operate in a Red Ocean: a highly competitive, crowded area of the market where businesses compete on small variances in price, service, speed and/or quality with shrinking profit margins.Blue Oceans are the complete opposite, as they are underserviced, high-growth markets that have a very high potential for healthy profit margins. Blue Oceans can be created by all types of businesses in any industry. Finding a Blue Ocean is all about driving high value for your customers while striving to reduce costs for businesses.

Leverage Your Blue Ocean: Disruptive technologies may receive Canadian government research grants through the IRAP ARP and IRAP Mid-Size Projects stream. Use these R&D funding opportunities to reduce the costs of internal and third-party researchers.

How Disruptive Businesses Found Blue Oceans

Most disruptive technologies are discovered by exploring what the opposite of a Red Ocean would look like, often integrating modern trends such as customer personalization, mobile technologies, the Internet, or artificial intelligence. Some of the most prevalent examples of Blue Ocean discoveries can be seen in Apple’s iPod, Uber, and AirBNB.

Apple’s iPod and iTunes Digital Music Disruption

While Apple sported their “Think Different” slogan, the business was able to create a revolution in the music industry with the development of the iPod and iTunes. By deviating from physical based media, the iPod created a new market for digital portable media players and mobile applications such as iPod games, while tight integration with Apple’s iTunes desktop music player and music storefront gave users a comprehensive solution for the music needs.

The creation of this Blue Ocean did lead to competition, however Apple continued their dominant position in the industry by leveraging their music industry clout as a pioneer in digital music and brand loyalty, which set an excellent foundation for future successes, such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple Music.

Uber’s Taxi Revolution

Uber found disruptive innovation in a longstanding transportation industry: taxi services. Before Uber, innovation in the taxi services had, for the most part, stayed relatively stagnant. Uber saw a massive opportunity in putting the power of taxi services in the hands of everyone, fueled by mobile technologies.

They built their platform to lower the barrier to entry for drivers, while providing a more intuitive, informative, and affordable platform for passengers. And while Uber has seen its fair share of controversy and legal disputes, it is a system that now operates in 400 cities across 70 countries with over 8 million users.

AirBNB’s Hotel for Everyone

Another example of a business that revolutionized a long-standing industry is AirBNB. Their business model analyzed the hospitality industry, which was dominated by large multi-national corporations, and opened up this model to be inclusive of anyone that wanted to offer a room for rent.

AirBNB created an excellent marketplace and marketing strategy for hosts to post and promote their private room, apartment, or building to interested tenants, creating revenue opportunities for hosts and flexible, affordable options for guests. AirBNB now has 60 million users and 640,000 hosts offering room and board across the globe.

Finding your Blue Ocean

Take a look at your business and evaluate all of the aspects that define your company, including your product/service offerings, customer support, sales, marketing, warranty protocol, supply chain, branding, locations, promotions, and pricing. Now, one by one, think of the opposite approach to what your business is doing.

  • Do you sell your products exclusively through distributors? What if you created an e-commerce portal and sold directly to the end users?
  • Does your business charge a one-time flat fee for your products? Recurring financing or leasing options may be another approach.
  • Is your product made out of metal? Investigate if there are viable composite or synthetic material solutions.

Even if you don’t discover a clear Blue Ocean, improvements are often found by using this approach. It’s valuable to step back and look at the business’ components from a new perspective.

If you discover a Blue Ocean idea and need the cash to help make it a reality, Canadian businesses can tap into several research grants to help you materialize your disruptive innovation. Two great examples are the IRAP Accelerate Review Process and IRAP Mid-Size Project Canadian government grants that help cover internal research labour costs, as well as related third party consulting costs throughout your product’s development.

Feel free to explore Canadian government funding in more depth with the free Business Funding Guide download below.

Canadian Small Business Funding Guide

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Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) Enters New Fiscal Year http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-build-in-canada-innovation-program-bcip-new-fiscal-year-update/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-build-in-canada-innovation-program-bcip-new-fiscal-year-update/#respond Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:56:41 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24972 Build in Canada Innovation Program BCIP First Procurement for Canadian Businesses

The Government of Canada is constantly seeking new innovative technologies to improve the function of government. Since 2012, the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) has provided a first-procurement program that enables Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to test and sell their innovative pre-commercial technologies to the government. This partnership bolsters the innovative abilities […]

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Build in Canada Innovation Program BCIP First Procurement for Canadian Businesses

The Government of Canada is constantly seeking new innovative technologies to improve the function of government. Since 2012, the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) has provided a first-procurement program that enables Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to test and sell their innovative pre-commercial technologies to the government. This partnership bolsters the innovative abilities of government while also supporting Canadian businesses.

As of June 1, 2016, the Build in Canada Innovation Program entered a new fiscal year and called for potential applicants to apply for the program. Although BCIP accepts program applications year-round, new fiscal years offered renewed funding for the program and provide applicants with an optimal time to apply.

Most technologies sold to the government may have the opportunity to receive up to $500,000 in revenue, however technologies that have an innovative military application may receive up to $1 million.

How Does the Build in Canada Innovation Program Work?

Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses may use BCIP to test their new, pre-revenue technologies on a large scale, thus bringing their pre-commercialized innovations closer to market readiness. The Government of Canada will test the innovation, and if it provides value to the government, they may act as a first buyer of the technology, helping businesses to overcome pre-commercialization hurdles, while creating the opportunity to have a government entity become the first buyer of the technology.

The business remains in possession of the innovation’s intellectual property (IP) and may continue the development of the technology, as well as sell it to numerous other buyers. Through BCIP, the Government of Canada helps businesses by acting as a reputable buyer who may also connect the business to new customers around the world.

Eligible Applicants of the Build in Canada Innovation Program

Across Canada, BCIP supports a variety of businesses with pre-commercialized innovations. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the innovation’s unique abilities, in addition to being either:

  • A Canadian company, not-for-profit organization, or university;
  • A partnership, economic cluster, or post-secondary collaboration; or
  • An international entity with an eligible Canadian bidder.

Furthermore, applicants must:

  • Own the product’s intellectual property (IP) rights;
  • Not be generating revenue from the product at application time;
  • Ensure the product contains at least 80% Canadian-made resources; and
  • Be chosen by a government department as a buyer of your product.

Projects Eligible for BCIP First-Procurement and Testing

All innovations or projects being tested and sold to the Government of Canada should be in the pre-commercialization stage of product development. To ensure your project is at the right stage of its research and development, compare it to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) standards. BCIP-ready innovations will have a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of 7-9, signifying that the technology is ready for demonstration in a realistic environment or that the technology has passed realistic testing procedures.

Projects submitted to the Build in Canada Innovation Program should fit into one of the 10 priority areas outlined by the Canadian government. These include:

Standard Component Stream (Non-Military Innovations)

  • Health: Food assurance and tracking systems, monitoring or tracking of health effects, public health and research, assistive devices.
  • Environment: Improving the efficiency of traditional and alternative (renewable) environmental technologies, enhancing energy conservation, monitoring/reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Enabling Technologies: Technologies that improves the productivity, sustainability, or communication of people through information and communications technology (ICT), information management, nanotechnologies, or biotechnologies.
  • Safety and Security: Critical infrastructure protection, emergency management systems, surveillance, network security, communications technologies.

Military Component Stream (Innovative Security and Defense Technologies)

  • Arctic and Maritime Security: Aircraft fabrication, communications and navigations systems, radar and sonar components, fire control, guidance systems, missiles, rockets, and drones.
  • Command & Support: Communications and navigation equipment, earth and space-based vehicles and systems, health care, training.
  • Cyber Security: Communications systems and components, navigation systems and radar/sonar components, software and other smart systems to prevent systems becoming compromised.
  • In-Service Support: Aircraft and other combat vehicles/components, naval systems and components, and simulation systems.
  • Protecting the Soldier: Combat vehicles and equipment, firearms and other weaponry, munitions, naval system and component creation, repair, or maintenance.
  • Training Systems: Programs, modules, or software that will let operators become trained on the innovation prior to using it in-field.

How to Apply for the Build in Canada Innovation Program

If your business is interested in selling its innovative technology to the Government of Canada, the first and most valuable step includes ensuring that your company and technology is eligible. Potential BCIP participants may contact Mentor Works to assess their eligibility and to see if they would be better suited for Canadian government grants and loans.

Those who enter the Build in Canada Innovation Program will first need to enter a 5-step procurement process before their technology can be sold to the government. This includes registering as an official Government of Canada supplier and searching for selling opportunities promoted by the federal government.

Learn More About the Build in Canada Innovation Program

Get Started     Program Overview     Eligibility Criteria

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Connecting Links: Infrastructure Grants for Ontario Municipalities http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/connecting-links-infrastructure-grants-for-ontario-municipalities-overview/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/connecting-links-infrastructure-grants-for-ontario-municipalities-overview/#respond Thu, 14 Jul 2016 12:23:07 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24957 Infrastructure Grants for Ontario Municipalities

The Province of Ontario is making its largest investment into public transportation systems ever. In its mission to keep people and goods moving, connect communities, and improve quality of life in the province, Ontario is investing $160 billion over 12 years to assess, build, and repair infrastructure. As part of this investment, the provincial government […]

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Infrastructure Grants for Ontario Municipalities

The Province of Ontario is making its largest investment into public transportation systems ever. In its mission to keep people and goods moving, connect communities, and improve quality of life in the province, Ontario is investing $160 billion over 12 years to assess, build, and repair infrastructure. As part of this investment, the provincial government created the Connecting Links program to repair critical roadways and bridges.

Municipalities across Ontario may apply to receive up to 90% of eligible project expenses to a maximum of $3 million per connecting infrastructure project. $20 million was provided to the program last year and funding support will increase to provide $25 million in 2016-2017, while providing upwards of $30 million each year during 2017-2018 and beyond.

‘Connecting Links’ are defined as municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community, or to a border crossing. There are currently 352 kilometres of connecting links spanning across Ontario located in 77 municipalities.

Objectives of the Connecting Links Ontario Infrastructure Program

Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, the government department overseeing the Connecting Links program, has identified several objectives to guide the program’s investments. Connecting Links will make strategic investments that:

  • Address critical improvements for connecting links;
  • Extend the life of connecting links;
  • Are cost effective and appropriate in addressing the needs of the link; and
  • Provide safe, efficient movement of provincial traffic.

‘Connecting Links’ are defined as municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community, or to a border crossing.

Ontario Connecting Links Program Eligible Applicants

There are a total of 77 municipalities across Ontario that have connecting links. All Ontario municipalities who have a connecting link may apply for the Connecting Links program. This includes:

  • The Municipality of Chatham-Kent;
  • The City of Barrie;
  • The City of Guelph;
  • The City of Brantford;
  • The City of Cornwall;
  • The City of Windsor; and
  • Niagara Region.

To access a complete list of eligible municipalities, please view the Government of Ontario’s Connecting Links backgrounder.

Projects Eligible for the Connecting Links Ontario Government Funding Program

Connecting Links will provide Ontario government funding to municipalities who are designing, constructing, renewing, rehabilitating, or replacing critical connecting link infrastructure.

As an important distinction, only upgrading projects will be considered for these government grants. Maintenance costs, including repairs completed as part of winter maintenance, cannot be included in a municipality’s funding proposal.

All projects must demonstrate a clear need for upgrades, whether to address growing provincial traffic across the connecting link or otherwise. Detailed analysis and project planning may be required.

Ontario is investing $160 billion over 12 years to assess, build, and repair infrastructure.

How to Apply for Connecting Links Ontario Government Grants

There is a one-stage application process for Connecting Links, however substantial planning must occur before applicants submit their documentation. Included in the overall application package for Connecting Links, municipalities must submit:

  • A project application form;
  • An asset management plan;
  • A declaration by municipal official certifying that all submission requirements have been met; and
  • A council resolution or bylaw in support of the application.

Applications for the 2016-2017 Connecting Links program must be received by the Ministry of Transportation by Friday, October 21, 2016 at 5:00pm.

If your municipality would like to apply for the Connecting Links program, but are considering your eligibility or have questions about the application process, please contact a Proactive Funding Planner to consider how the program fits with your connecting link project.

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Balancing Your Business’ Definition of Success: KPIs and Team Input http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/business-consulting/balancing-success-between-kpis-and-team-input/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/business-consulting/balancing-success-between-kpis-and-team-input/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2016 12:40:14 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24953 Measuring Business Success through KPIs and Team Feedback

I’m a big advocate for metrics and key performance indicator (KPI) driven workflows. I believe in the value of data-driven processes, and have seen first-hand the impact of KPI focused process improvement projects. For many manufacturers, the increased use of software systems that document all of their processes has allowed them to identify even more […]

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Measuring Business Success through KPIs and Team Feedback

I’m a big advocate for metrics and key performance indicator (KPI) driven workflows. I believe in the value of data-driven processes, and have seen first-hand the impact of KPI focused process improvement projects.

For many manufacturers, the increased use of software systems that document all of their processes has allowed them to identify even more ways to improve production. Companies are increasingly able to deploy lean production processes to help them further improve their products, innovate production, and increase profitability.

However, there comes a point when metrics and KPIs can hurt your business. Firms can become so hyper focused on metrics and processes that they lose sight of the bigger picture, the human element, or even worse – their customers’ or market’s wants and needs. All of this can translate into long-term harm to your company.

In this article I will discuss the need to review business practices and put metric-driven management in its place.

Process Improvement is a Good Thing

Focusing on process improvement is a good thing. Many manufacturers have implemented a continuous improvement program that focuses on evolving production and management process in order to increase efficiencies and reduce waste throughout the company. This type of program can lead to significant innovation across a company – by shining a light on waste, companies can make adjustments to the way they operate that can have a big impact on the whole company.

This can help improve company spending, increase throughput and output, reduce scrap and waste, and have a myriad of other impacts.

The companies who are most successful at this have continuous improvement as a key part of their company culture. More importantly, they see improvement as everyone’s responsibility and solicit feedback from everyone from front-line operators to C-level execs. This helps create a culture of feedback and openness.

When Processes Can Haunt You

Continuous improvement is good, however it can become dangerous when it leads to a culture of standardization. When companies see the benefits of continuous improvement, it’s very easy to become blinded by the benefits and try to standardize everything into a process, checklist, or set of steps. In doing so you may gain some efficiencies but it can also lead to negative consequences.

Employees may be less likely to provide feedback if their tasks are so standardized that it leaves little room for creativity. Likewise, management may be less willing to hear feedback if it falls outside of the process, and overall team morale can suffer.

The Pontiac Aztek is a great example of how over-standardization (amongst other things) can lead to failure.

Lessons Learned from one of the Automotive Industry’s Biggest Failures

The Pontiac Aztek was launched in 2001 to much fanfare. CBS gave one away to the first winner of the Survivor reality show, marketing campaigns targeted an active lifestyle and features such as an attachable tent showed the seemingly limitless potential of the vehicle, and yet it was a complete failure.

Launched as “quite possibly the most versatile vehicle on the planet”, General Motors (Pontiac’s parent company) sold 119,692 vehicles over the seven-year life of the car, compared against a sales forecast of 75,000 vehicles per year. The vehicle was panned widely for its design despite the fact that it was a competent vehicle.

Bob Lutz, industry expert, cites a totalitarian management culture and a focus on the process as critical factors that led to the Aztek’s failure. According to Lutz, management was unwilling to listen to feedback and had declared the Aztek a winner before production even began. Project managers assigned to the project saw the Aztek as a success: all of their milestones and gates were met, the Gantt charts stayed on schedule, and they successfully delivered on the project. Internally, GM saw the Aztek as an ideal program, but the market didn’t respond.

Listening to Your Audience and Team

One of the big failures of the Aztek program was management’s unwillingness to listen to their own team or their customer base. By deciding the program was a success from the outset, management was unable to see issues with the design and corners that would need to be cut in order to deliver the final product.

This had an impact on team morale as the project team wasn’t valued or able to provide input if it was perceived negatively. GM also ignored the feedback from their market research – they weren’t alone in this behavior, but it really shows why you need to listen to your customer base.

The Aztek was ultimately put into a market that was already cold to the design of the vehicle. In today’s social media-driven economy it’s impossible to ignore the customers. Both of these seem to be pretty basic points, however, and healthy corporate culture is usually focused on fostering feedback loops, but this was more of a mindset problem. The team decided that the Aztek was a winner from the outset and there was no way of looking at the project from a critical standpoint, so no one on the team could stand back and look at the project in the wider picture. The team were given their project tasks and had to achieve their milestones.

Don’t Focus Only on the Processes

From a project management standpoint this project was a dream. As mentioned above, everything was delivered on time. The team hit their goals and considered the project to be a success. Outside of the company, however, the Aztek is almost universally looked at as a failure, and something that could be seen as leading to the end of Pontiac.

The team was so focused on the project and hitting all milestones that success was defined by delivering the project and not how successful the product was in the market.

Large companies such as GM need to be process driven. Repeatability and consistency are keys to efficient manufacturing and operations. However, by over emphasizing the process, management sets the team up for failure.

KPIs were disconnected from the end-result of the project (i.e. market success), and as a result the project team was disconnected from success of the project. Success of a project should consider how well the project team delivered on the original objectives and deliverables, but also how the project impacts the wider company. By over-focusing on processes it’s easy to lose sight of the wider picture and for companies to become over departmentalized. This can lead to a culture of isolation where employees only contribute exactly what is asked of them, instead of viewing themselves as an important part in the overall success of the company.

Striking the Balance Between KPIs and Team Input

The failures of the Aztek go well beyond these two points but they help to illustrate something that goes beyond automotive and into virtually every business; standardization and processes need to be balanced with responsive management and a culture of feedback. As mentioned above, properly implemented continuous improvement programs foster feedback and help create a loop that engages the whole team in company success.

Many companies find that bringing in an external consultant or third-party can help them implement a strong process improvement or continuous improvement program. By bringing in someone from the outside it can be easier to see issues and opportunities for improvement. They can also bring a wealth of experience from different companies and industries to help you improve your business.

At the end of the day, a process improvement program can help your business tremendously. KPIs and metrics certainly have their place in the business world, but it’s important to not rely on them exclusively and to look at individual impact in the wider success of a company – sometimes the qualitative contributions that go beyond meeting a metric can have a bigger impact on outcomes.

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Southwestern Ontario Manufacturer Awarded Over $800k SWODF Grant http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/client-spotlight/southwestern-ontario-development-fund-manufacturing-grants/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/client-spotlight/southwestern-ontario-development-fund-manufacturing-grants/#respond Tue, 12 Jul 2016 11:35:33 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24949 SWODF Ontario Government Grants for Small Business

Kromet International is a leading engineer and manufacturer of finished metal components and assemblies. Their range of customized products serve the household appliance, automotive, LED lighting, health care, furniture, and transportation industries. As a multi-continent manufacturing network, the company provides low-cost manufacturing capabilities in addition to local, specialized support. For over 45 years the business […]

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SWODF Ontario Government Grants for Small Business

Kromet International is a leading engineer and manufacturer of finished metal components and assemblies. Their range of customized products serve the household appliance, automotive, LED lighting, health care, furniture, and transportation industries. As a multi-continent manufacturing network, the company provides low-cost manufacturing capabilities in addition to local, specialized support.

For over 45 years the business has been expanding to deliver unparalleled service to a growing customer base. This growth has led to numerous investments within the company’s manufacturing plants in Cambridge and Hamilton, Ontario. On several occasions in the past, Kromet has used Canadian government funding to secure additional investment and move forward with their projects.

In their most recent government funding success, Kromet will be granted over $800,000 in small business grants through the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF). The program is designed to encourage business investment and job creation and may provide businesses with a combination of grants and loans valued up to $5 million.

Kromet’s Project Invests in their Cambridge, Ontario Manufacturing Facility

The company’s most recent expansion project includes a $5.3 million investment into productivity and additive manufacturing equipment. Specifically, Kromet will be investing in robotics and 3D printing equipment to increase the company’s efficiency and ability to custom manufacture solutions for clients.

“It allows us to respond to our customers quicker. We can print it overnight with this technology.”
– Mike Owens, CEO of Kromet International

Kromet’s new 3D printing technology will be especially useful when it comes to attracting and retaining some of its biggest clients. The company currently manufacturers parts for Bombardier, Jeep, Whirlpool, GE, and Sharp, to name a few. 3D printing technology will enable the company to demonstrate their abilities by developing product samples and prototypes.

“We’re buying new sales opportunities with this technology.”
– Mike Owens, CEO of Kromet International

Other robotics will increase the company’s ability to manufacture products for a greater number of customers. This will increase the business’ profitability and ability to export Canadian products around the world. Increased production will also mean the increase of skilled manufacturing jobs in the province. As part of the project, Kromet has committed to adding 50 new jobs at their Cambridge facility. The business also predicts an increase of jobs at their Hamilton facility due to an increased number of orders.

About the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)

The Southwestern Ontario Development Fund is an Ontario government funding program that provides a combination of grants and repayable funding (loans) for growing businesses. The funding program seeks to attract new business investment in Ontario while creating sustainable jobs.

Projects with an investment of less than $10 million may receive up to 15% of expenses to a maximum $1.5 million in Ontario government grants. Alternately, projects surpassing $10 million in expenses may be eligible for up to $1.5 million in grants plus an additional $3.5 in business loans.

Projects that are a good fit for SWODF funding will provide:

  • New investments in southwestern Ontario businesses;
  • Sustainable, high-value jobs in the southwestern Ontario region; and
  • Productivity enhancements, new innovative capabilities, and the ability to export goods internationally.

Become the Next Canadian Government Funding Success Story

Most business owners and executives across Canada are unaware of the government funding opportunities available to them. Like Kromet International, your business may have the ability to extend cash flow and grow more rapidly with the use of government funding programs.

Want to get started and determine how much government funding your company may be able to access? Simply fill in this Project Funding Calculator and it will calculate the range of business grants and loans that your company may be able to access. The spreadsheet’s built-in eligibility checker will even let you know what types of funding you may be able to apply for.

Find Small Business Grants and Loans Canada

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Mitacs Accelerate Small Business Research Grants for Hiring Interns http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-mitacs-accelerate-internship-research-grants-overview/ http://www.mentorworks.ca/blog/government-funding/2016-07-mitacs-accelerate-internship-research-grants-overview/#respond Mon, 11 Jul 2016 12:43:53 +0000 http://www.mentorworks.ca/?p=24946 Mitacs Accelerate Research Grants to Hire Student Researchers

Companies looking to solve internal research and development challenges have a variety of options available to them, of which, hiring highly-skilled research interns may be the most logical. Providing internship opportunities is a temporary solution for your business that can reduce payroll costs and access expertise not otherwise available. Businesses may even be able to […]

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Mitacs Accelerate Research Grants to Hire Student Researchers

Companies looking to solve internal research and development challenges have a variety of options available to them, of which, hiring highly-skilled research interns may be the most logical. Providing internship opportunities is a temporary solution for your business that can reduce payroll costs and access expertise not otherwise available.

Businesses may even be able to secure Canadian government research grants to offset the cost of hiring graduate students to perform valuable research and development activities. Through the Mitacs Accelerate program, Canadian businesses may receive up to 50% of a Master’s or PhD intern’s wages to a maximum $7,500 per 4-month internship period. Companies may leverage as many internship periods as necessary to complete the project.

Program participants will be able to access top research talent from leading Canadian universities. Companies will be able to engage a team of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to leverage their knowledge, skills, and university resources.

Benefits of Providing Mitacs Accelerate Research Internships

Participants of the Mitacs Accelerate program in 2015 were asked to complete a survey upon completion of their research project. The results of these surveys were analyzed to determine how the program helps businesses break through their technical challenges. Some of the findings include:

  • 92% of companies would recommend other businesses to use Mitacs Accelerate;
  • 66% of companies had project results that have been commercialized or will be commercialized;
  • 37% launched new research and development projects;
  • 34% of companies identified new market segments that could be further explored;
  • 30% of businesses hired at least one of their research interns; and
  • 18% of companies reduced costs.

Mitacs Accelerate Research Grants: Business Eligibility

A wide range of Canadian businesses may apply for Mitacs Accelerate. Research and development grants for business may be provided to:

  • Incorporated, for-profit businesses within Canada;
  • Select not-for-profit organizations; and
  • All industries and sectors within the Canadian economy.

Industries with Successful Mitacs Accelerate Applicants

Past participants of the Mitacs Accelerate program have come from a variety of industries throughout Canada. These include:

  • Technology;
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT);
  • Environmental Sciences and Technology;
  • Sustainability and the Environment;
  • Healthcare;
  • Mining;
  • Agriculture & Agri-Food;
  • Forestry;
  • Biotechnology; and
  • Water.

Projects Eligible for Mitacs Accelerate Business Research Grants

All eligible businesses who have an internal technical challenge may apply for Mitacs Accelerate. Projects will be assessed based on their technical merit and ability to effectively use the skills of graduate student researchers.

How to Apply for Mitacs Accelerate Small Business Grants

To apply for Mitacs Accelerate, businesses must begin by contacting a Mitacs representative. This session will largely revolve around discussing your research project, university collaborators who can assist your challenge, and further define research objectives.

Companies may submit Mitacs Accelerate applications whenever they are ready, at which point the application will undergo a review period that typically spans up to 6 weeks. Once approved, the research project may begin and the business may start to collaborate with university researchers.

Businesses should also consider contacting Mentor Works to determine if this is the best Canadian government funding program for your upcoming research project. There are several Canadian government funding programs for research and development, and finding the best fit is critical to ensuring the success of your project. A member of Mentor Works’ Proactive Funding Planner team can also assist you when preparing your application package.

Successful Applicants of Mitacs Accelerate Canadian Government Funding

Many companies have already accessed Mitacs Accelerate to grow their research and development capabilities. This includes:

  • Mercedes-Benz refined quality control measures in fuel-cell manufacturing;
  • Durston Honey Farms created new beehive monitoring and record-keeping systems;
  • Canfor measured historical water levels to forecast how climate change might affect demand for natural resources; and
  • Two Hat Security developed a new algorithm that detects negative messages posted online. This will help to cut down on cyberbullying and other online threats.

Learn More About Mitacs Accelerate Research and Development Grants for Business

Get Started    Eligibility Criteria

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