In Canada, automotive suppliers represent a sophisticated value chain that includes hundreds (or even thousands) of manufacturers. Each auto part manufacturer must maintain high productivity to fulfill customer demand, however this can be challenging without innovative equipment, strong internal processes, and skilled employees. Thankfully, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) will continue providing support to help Ontario-based automotive manufacturers implement productivity-boosting projects through their productivity grants for businesses in the automotive sector.
OCE and APMA’s program is called the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) and provides manufacturing grants to support Ontario-based automotive parts suppliers investing in equipment and software. Up to 50% of eligible project costs may be received to a maximum $100,000 in Ontario government funding. Originally launched in 2016, ASCIP announced additional application deadlines throughout 2017 to provide new opportunities to access these Ontario business grants for productivity improvements.
ASCIP’s upcoming application intake deadline is scheduled for April 27, 2017 at 2:00pm.
Automotive parts manufacturers should consider developing an application to receive funding for soon-to-be-started productivity enhancements. For those unable to participate in the first application round in April, an additional intake period will follow in November, closing on November 28, 2017 at 2:00pm.
Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program: Productivity Grants
The ASCIP program is unique in its structure and approach to supporting the automotive industry. Not only does the program provide up to $100k in Ontario manufacturing grants, but it can also provide mentorship opportunities with industry leaders. Applicants should apply for the ASCIP stream most suited to their immediate growth plans.
Stream 1: Technology Projects
Technology adoption is the most common ASCIP project submitted for funding. Through this stream, applicants are encouraged to adopt new software or hardware, and train their workforce on how to use it efficiently. Although multiple types of technology will be considered, enterprise resource planning (ERP) system implementation is most widely used. ERP implementations require significant time and resource investments, and can transform a company to make it more efficient.
ASCIP provides up to 50% of eligible technology adoption costs to a maximum $100,000. Accessing a $100,000 grant requires eligible project expenses of at least $200,000.
Stream 2: Mentorship Projects
Mentorship from an industry expert is an exceptional opportunity for small and medium sized business leaders. Through the ASCIP program, automotive executives will receive valuable feedback on business operations so a more growth-oriented plan can be implemented. Mentors are generally matched to specific participants; this provides one-on-one learning opportunities specific to an industry or growth barrier.
In order to qualify for any ASCIP grants, businesses must ensure that their project budget does not include >25% for consulting fees, in addition to >25% to offset employee salaries.
Automotive Manufacturers Eligible for ASCIP
The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) will provide Ontario government grants to incorporated automotive suppliers whom:
- Have not previously participated in ASCIP;
- Derive at least 50% of revenues from the automotive supply sector;
- Are based in Ontario;
- Are a small or medium-sized business (defined as having either >500 global employees OR >$1 million in global revenues; and
- Have not previously accessed funding through the Automotive Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP).
Please Note: Only projects completed in Ontario, by Ontario-based companies will be considered for program participation.
Apply for the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program
To receive funding or mentorship through ASCIP, interested applicants must complete an application via OCE’s online portal. Applications must be received prior to the intake deadline to be considered, therefore, early planning and documentation preparation is advised.
Application Intake Periods
There are two application intake periods planned for 2017 however funding is already limited and may not be as widely available during the second intake period. Companies should plan their funding submission to correspond with:
- 2017 Intake #1: April 27, 2017 @ 2:00pm (Presentations for applications requesting >$50k will be on May 31, 2017)
- 2017 Intake #2: November 7, 2017 @ 2:00pm (Presentations for applications requesting >$50k will be on December 11, 2017)
Learn More About the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program
- How to Embrace USMCA with Canadian Government Funding
- ASCIP Automotive Manufacturing Grants: January 31, 2019 Deadline
- Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program Eligibility
- Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program: $100k Grant
- Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP): Apply by Nov. 7, 2017