Qualify for Jobs and Prosperity Fund Ontario Government Funding

Jobs and Prosperity Fund Ontario Government Grants

Ontario’s future as a key economic player in Canada’s economy is heavily dependent on the health and success of businesses that operate in the province. In a technologically advancing global market, Ontario must be willing to invest in innovation to enable the province and country as a whole to become leaders in priority industries. To spur innovation investment in Ontario, the provincial government has created Jobs and Prosperity Fund (JPF), a 10-year $2.5 billion fund providing Ontario government business grants and repayable funding for eligible innovative projects that lead to the creation of leading edge technologies, processes, and products that ultimately cause large-scale job creation, significant productivity enhancements, and export growth.

The Jobs and Prosperity Fund is comprised of three streams tailored towards the unique needs of businesses across Ontario. This includes the New Economy Stream, Food and Beverage Growth Fund, and Strategic Partnerships streams. For more information on which stream most accurately fits your business’ strategy and activities, read Mentor Works’ Jobs and Prosperity Fund overview blog.

Jobs and Prosperity Funding: How Much Funding is Available?

Each stream of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund is unique and requires businesses to apply for the stream most appropriate to their business type and project goals. Consider how the streams below would fit for your innovative business projects.

New Economy Stream

Ontario businesses can receive funding in a variety of formats, depending on how well their project matches JPF’s program objectives. Companies can receive Ontario government grants worth up to 20% of eligible expenses, repayable funding (loans) worth up to 40%, or a combination of grants and loans valued up to 40% of eligible project costs.

Food and Beverage Growth Fund

Like the New Economy Stream, the Food and Beverage Growth Fund administers similar funding amounts. Ontario food and beverage processors can receive up to 20% of eligible project expenses in government business grants, up to 40% of expenses in small business loans, or 40% of expenses in a mixture of grants and loans.

Strategic Partnerships Stream

Collaborative innovation partnerships can receive between $5 million and $25 million in Ontario government grants for their project. These productivity enhancing partnerships can be provided with up to 66% of eligible project expenses between Jobs and Prosperity funding and other municipal and federal government funding sources. Strategic Partnership Stream recipients must be able to match government funding with cash or in-kind contributions.

Ontario Business Eligibility for Jobs and Prosperity Fund

New Economy Stream

Ontario businesses are eligible for the New Economy Stream if they:

  • Have been in operation for at least three years;
  • Can demonstrate eligible project expenses totaling at least $10 million; and
  • Contribute to JPF priority sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, information and communications technology (ICT), and life sciences.

Food and Beverage Growth Fund

Applicants for the Food and Beverage Growth Fund are most likely to be approved for funding if they are:

  • A food and beverage processor; or
  • Manufacture bio-products that use agricultural-based inputs; and
  • Have eligible project expenses totaling $5 million or more.

Strategic Partnerships Stream

Formalized strategic partnerships must collaboratively work together to satisfy the stream’s eligibility criteria, including:

  • Having one or more anchor firms (who provides market leadership, influences supply chains and markets, and supports training/ skills development);
  • Having a partnership coordinator (a not for-profit who is viewed as an industry leader, and is responsible for finalizing the partnership’s funding agreement with Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure (MEDEI);
  • Incorporating two or more post-secondary research institutions;
  • Incorporating members of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE);
  • Incorporating supply chain or innovation and commercialization stakeholders;
  • Meeting the five program objectives, which includes (1) Driving innovation, (2) Enhancing productivity, (3) Accelerating access to global markets, (4) Building a skilled workforce, and (5) Stimulate industry collaborations; and
  • Having at least $10 million in eligible project costs.

Projects Eligible for Jobs and Prosperity Funding

New Economy Stream

Ontario government funding will be provided to businesses that accomplish projects such as:

  • Productivity, competitiveness, and performance enhancements;
  • Innovation capacity building; and
  • Accessing international markets.

Food and Beverage Growth Fund

Ontario food and beverage processors, as well as bio-product manufacturers share similar project requirements as the New Economy Stream. Projects eligible for this stream include:

  • Solidifying local supply chains;
  • Productivity, competitiveness, and performance enhancements;
  • Increasing processing and manufacturing capacity to allow for job creation; and
  • Increasing exposure to international markets.

Strategic Partnerships Stream

Promoting innovative technology partnerships, the Jobs and Prosperity Fund will encourage solutions to industry-wide problems. Strategic Partnership projects will develop enabling technologies including:

  • Customized 3D printing solutions;
  • Robotics;
  • New or improved ‘advanced’ materials;
  • The ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT); and
  • Geonomics

Project Expenses Eligible for JPF Ontario Government Funding

For all three streams of Jobs and Prosperity funding, eligible costs are those which have a direct impact on the completion of the project, and are one-time (non-recurring) costs. Eligible expenses must be documented through receipts or invoices. Program applicants are eligible to receive up to 40% of eligible expenses, which includes:

  • Facility upgrades or required modifications;
  • Equipment and machinery (including leased equipment – less interest fees);
  • Research and development costs;
  • Specialized computer hardware and software;
  • Salaries, wages, and benefits related to employees solely working on the proposed project;
  • Consultant fees;
  • Market access expenses (including market research, certifications, altering of marketing materials, and attending trade shows);
  • Economy-class travel costs;
  • Legal and accounting fees;
  • Training programs located in Ontario; and
  • Bonuses related to employee performance targets. Senior executive personnel bonuses are not eligible for funding through JPF.

Jobs and Prosperity Fund Application and Selection Process

Businesses and strategic partnerships interested in receiving Ontario government funding through the Jobs and Prosperity Fund must follow an application process, then be selected to participate.

Application into the Jobs and Prosperity Fund

Applicants to Jobs and Prosperity will need to submit a Statement of Intent (SOI) which indicates their interest for program funding. Upon the Ontario government’s reception of this statement, they may issue a Business Plan Invitation Letter. Businesses and partnerships will then work with provincial staff to further define the project and prepare the business plan, and the business plan will be submitted for evaluation. If the business plan is evaluated and accepted, the application will be deemed as approved, however, business plans prepared with provincial staff are not guaranteed to be approved. Application success is largely dependent on the project’s quality and ability to meet the program’s objectives and evaluation criteria.

Application Evaluation Criteria and Selection Process

Project applications are evaluated based on PIE principles (Productivity, Innovation, Exports) and the business/ partnership’s ability to fund the remaining project costs. PIE principles being evaluated include:

  • Productivity – Ability to improve products or processes, serving a larger amount of the market.
  • Innovation – Technological improvements over old products or processes; how unique the solution is.
  • Exports – Increased access to new international markets, or an increase in the amount of exports.

Other evaluation criteria for Jobs and Prosperity include the project’s impact on an industry or sector, the project’s net economic impact, return on investment, and the degree of which Ontario’s investment will increase the scope or benefits of the project.

Learn More about JPF Ontario Business Funding

Get Started     Program Overview

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