Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program Automotive Grants Ontario

Please Note: ASCIP’s final application intake has closed. Ontario automotive manufacturers should explore the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (OAMP) for funding support.

Spanning 700+ parts suppliers and 500+ tool, die, and mould makers, Ontario’s automotive industry is one of the world’s strongest automotive supply chains. Its competitive edge is driven by several key industry associations, such as the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA), who advocate on behalf of automotive suppliers. It’s also supported through Ontario government funding programs that help automotive manufacturers to complete strategic projects.

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) is one of the government funding programs that Ontario-based automotive suppliers can use to offset a portion of project expenses. ASCIP funding is specifically aligned to support hardware and software costs related to productivity and competitiveness improvement projects. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Materials Resource Planning (MRP) systems are commonly funded through the program.

Through the ASCIP funding program, automotive suppliers can access up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $100,000 in automotive manufacturing grants.

To get started with the program, automotive suppliers must ensure that their company and project meet basic eligibility requirements. Companies who have received ASCIP funding in the past are not eligible to participate in the program again. All applications must be received during one of the program’s intake periods.

Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) Funding Details

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) is an Ontario government grant administered through the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). It offers tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 automotive suppliers funding to become more competitive through completing hardware and software projects, typically ERP and MRP system integration.

ASCIP grants offer up to 50% coverage for eligible project expenses to a maximum $100,000 in funding. This can significantly benefit manufacturers investing in competitiveness-boosting technologies.

There are two streams of support available through the ASCIP grant. These include:

Stream 1: Technology Adoption Projects

ASCIP was created to make automotive suppliers more productive, competitive, and/or innovative. The Technology Adoption stream of ASCIP achieves this objective by encouraging automotive suppliers to adopt new software or hardware.

Applicants must explain what hardware or software will make them more productive with key impact metrics related to these productivity improvements.

For example, a business may need to adopt an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which will require them to purchase the software license, utilize consultants and internal technical labour for implementation, and adopt new equipment to leverage its product scheduling and inventory management features. This will lead to a reduction in 1.5 full-time production employees’ labour, improve annual inventory turns, and reduce changeover times by 5%.

Please Note: If you are using a third-party consultant, they must not be directly related to the applicant’s business or ownership.

Stream 2: Mentorship Pilot Program

ASCIP’s Mentorship Pilot Program addresses automotive supplier competitiveness by matching applicants to industry experts who can provide their expertise and leadership. Mentors will be matched to applicants based on the company’s goals and project outcomes.

Applicants must explain how guidance from industry experts will lead to efficiency and competitiveness improvements, such as the identification of production bottlenecks.

To qualify for any ASCIP programs, businesses must ensure that their project budget does not include more than 25% for consulting fees, in addition to more than 25% to offset employee salaries.

Eligibility for ASCIP Automotive Manufacturing Grants Ontario

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program is open to Ontario-based automotive suppliers that are considered small to medium enterprises (SMEs) In this case, automotive supplier SMEs are defined as:

  • Incorporated businesses;
  • Having fewer than 500 employees or less than $1 billion in global annual revenue; and
  • Deriving ≥50% of revenue from the automotive sector.

Companies that have already received ASCIP funding in the past, as well as entities applying for projects taking place outside of Ontario, are ineligible.

How to Apply for the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP)

To apply for ASCIP funding, companies must develop a comprehensive application package that reviews the project, including expenses and outcomes. Applications are collected via OCE’s online portal and reviewed shortly thereafter. Companies with successful applications will be notified when they have been approved, at which time funding-eligible expenses can be incurred.

The upcoming application intake deadline for ASCIP funding is January 31, 2019.

Application review timelines/processes are very dependent on project budget. There are two ways ASCIP applications are assessed; these include:

  1. <$50,000 Funding Ask: One-step review and approval process that features a three-person panel that makes the decision on the Ontario government funding awarded.
  2. ≥$50,000 Funding Ask: In addition to the three-person review panel, applicants will be asked to conduct an in-person presentation to a larger review board, including clarification questions.

Please contact Mentor Works to determine your organization’s eligibility and discuss ways to optimize the application process.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

Posted: October 7, 2016 by Chris Casemore. Updated: December 19, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.

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Jeff holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Guelph. He is passionate about Canadian business, economics, and politics. As Marketing Coordinator for Mentor Works, Jeff educates business leaders about proactive funding strategies.

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