The Interactive Digital Media Fund (IDMF) is an Ontario government funding program supporting the development of interactive digital media projects that educate, inform, and/or entertain end users. Applicants are encouraged to apply during two annual intake periods to secure additional project funding and improve their final product.
The Interactive Digital Media Fund is divided into three program streams which include:
- Concept Definition Projects: Up to 50% of expenses to a maximum $50,000
- Production Projects: Up to 50% of expenses to a maximum $250,000
- Marketing Support Projects: Up to 75% of expenses to a maximum $50,000
Interested businesses must apply for the Concept Definition and Production Projects streams by either April 10, 2017 or August 28, 2017. The Marketing Support stream is accepting applications until January 31, 2018.
The application deadlines for this year’s funding are earlier than previous years; businesses with potential projects should begin preparing for these deadlines immediately.
Interactive Digital Media Fund (OMDC IDMF) Research and Development Grants
As Canada’s digital media industry grows, businesses need access to resources supporting the creation of original, high-quality content. This is the purpose of the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)’s Interactive Digital Media Fund, to offset project costs related to the conceptualization and development of unique media projects.
The OMDC IDM Fund provides support for two types of media projects. These include:
1. Digital Media Concept Definition Projects
The Concept Definition stream provides support for early-stage project activities that allow the applicant company to move towards the production of a market-ready digital media content. Funding can be used to offset conceptualization and planning activities, including prototyping and pre-production tasks.
Applicants may be eligible to receive up to 50% of project expenses to a maximum of $50,000 in Ontario government grants.
2. Digital Media Production Projects
The Production stream provides businesses with access to Ontario business grants that support the production of original, market-ready digital media content. Ideal projects include the development of mobile content, web series, applications, and video game development that will be released to end-users once the project concludes.
Applicants may be eligible to receive up to 50% of project expenses to a maximum contribution of $250,000 in Ontario small business grants.
3. Digital Media Marketing Support Projects
The Marketing Support stream supports OMDC-funded interactive digital media projects by providing government grants to increase the visibility and financial capability of a market-ready product/service. Funding can be used to offset expenses directly related to executing a strategic marketing plan to promote project’s outcomes.
Applicants may be eligible to receive up to 75% of project expenses to a maximum contribution of $50,000 in Ontario government funding.
Businesses Eligible for ODMC’s Interactive Digital Media Fund
Ontario-based businesses that are conducting an interactive digital media project may qualify for government funding if the company meets the following criteria:
- Is an Ontario-based, Canadian-owned, for-profit business;
- Is incorporated (either federally or provincially);
- Has at least 3 years of experience in digital media products; and
- Confirms that at least 50% of the company’s expenditures are generated through interactive digital media projects (within the past 2 years); or
- Demonstrates that at least 25% of the company’s revenue comes from the creation of screen-based content products (within the past 2 years); or
- Validates that at least 50% of company’s revenue is established through publishing activities related to digital media (within the past 2 years).
Projects Eligible for ODMC’s Interactive Digital Media Fund
To qualify for OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund Ontario small business grants, the project’s content must:
- Include cultural connections;
- Combine text, sound, and images (must incorporate at least 2 elements);
- Be a source of information, education, and/or entertainment;
- Be original content that demonstrates uniqueness;
- Be ready for release on interactive digital media platforms (including online app stores such as Google Play Store and the Apple App Store, as the primary Canadian distribution channel);
- Target consumers, groups of consumers, or educational institutions; and
- Generate new revenues.
Though the OMDC’s Interactive Digital Media Fund supports a range of projects, certain activities are not eligible to receive program funding. This includes:
- Content creation that is targeted towards enterprise users;
- Advertising software or sales related initiatives directed at products, services, and/or companies;
- Development of interpersonal communication platforms;
- Creation of catalogues and/or databases;
- Promotion of company/corporate agendas;
- Repurposed physical or offline content that has not been improved or extended; and
- Actions that are not for consumption by the general public and/or are offensive.
Please Note: The OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund will not fund activities that have been started prior to approval and/or before the contribution agreement has been signed.
When to Apply for Interactive Digital Media Fund Grants
Ontario businesses with digital media projects are encouraged to apply now for ODMC’s Interactive Digital Media Fund.
For the Spring 2017 deadline, all applications must be submitted by April 10, 2017 at 5pm EST.
The Fall 2017 deadline has also been set. All applications for this deadline must be submitted by August 28, 2017. Applicants should also consider this availability of funding, since not all projects may be ready for submission on this round of grants. For businesses applying to the Marketing Support stream, application packages must be submitted by January 31, 2o18.
Apply Now to Receive Interactive Digital Media Grants
The OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund is currently accepting applications.
Businesses interested in applying may contact Mentor Works to discuss their project’s fit. Our team of Government Funding Planners™ can confirm your eligibility and help accelerate the application process.