Canada Media Fund Interactive Digital Media and Software Development Funding

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is an organization that promotes, fosters, and finances projects led by Canadian media developers. Since its inception in 2010, CMF has grown to support a wide range of programs, including the Canada Media Fund Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program, that directly offsets software prototyping, production, and marketing costs.

The Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program offers up to 50-75% of project costs to a maximum $250k-$1M in repayable/recoupable software development funding.

To qualify for the program, applicants should be a Canadian for-profit company that is developing projects in Canada. Projects should be interactive by nature and commonly include applications or software that is innovative and leading-edge. Other eligibility criteria apply; continue reading this article to determine whether the CMF Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program is a good fit for your upcoming project.

What is the Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program?

The CMF Experimental Stream – Innovation Program is a government funding mechanism used to support Canadian software and interactive digital media developers’ projects. Through the program, companies can access repayable and recoupable funding to offset upfront project costs. This helps media developers complete projects and payback investments once the product generates revenue.

Interactive digital media projects can receive up to $250k to $1M in Canadian government funding.

There are three broad types of projects supported through CMF Experimental’s Innovation Program, including prototyping, production, and marketing/promotion projects. To learn more about each of these three streams and receive more background information on the program, please read this program overview blog.

CMF Experimental: Interactive Digital Media Business Eligibility

To be eligible for the Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream’s Innovation Program, applicants must be either:

  • A Canadian-controlled for-profit company with its head office in Canada; or
  • A Canadian Radio-television & Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) licensed public or private Canadian broadcaster.

Project Eligibility for Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream – Innovation Program

Eligible Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream – Innovation Program projects must:

  • Contain digital media content and/or application software that is innovative, interactive, and is connected to the Canadian cultural sector;
  • Be produced in Canada with at least 50-75% of project costs incurred in Canada; and
  • Remain under Canadian ownership.

CMF Experimental: Eligible Project Types

Projects that are eligible for the CMF Experimental Innovation Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Video games (PC, console, handheld console, mobile or other platforms);
  • Mobile applications;
  • Web 2.0 or higher applications;
  • Software applications with a connection to the Canadian cultural sector; and
  • Other projects containing audio-visual content and significant user interactivity.

CMF Experimental: Ineligible Project Types

Some types of projects that cannot receive support through the CMF Experimental Innovation Program include, but are not limited to:

  • Film and television projects;
  • System software;
  • Products with a specific corporate, industrial or promotional focus;
  • Curriculum-based products (including e-learning applications, software and technologies);
  • Partial or split projects (and project portions) that cannot be exploited independently;
  • Project adaptation from one platform to another;
  • Catalogues or compilations of repurposed material, presented without benefit of new, value-added original content; and
  • Casino type games.

Expense Eligibility for CMF Experimental Stream – Innovation Program

Up to 75% of expenses may be provided through the Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream – Innovation Program. This includes:

  • Salaries, benefits, and wages for employees directly responsible for the project;
  • Contractors;
  • Technology infrastructure (hardware and software);
  • Making content accessible online, including copyright clearance, documentation, design and development, translation costs;
  • Research and preparation of content;
  • Project audit fees;
  • Technical and administration expenses; and
  • Marketing and promotion.

Expenses Ineligible for the CMF Experimental Innovation Program

Unlike the project-specific expenses mentioned above, core business operations or capital expenditures will not be eligible for funding. This includes:

  • Rent;
  • Real estate purchases; and
  • Maintenance costs.

Confirm Your Eligibility and Get Started with CMF Experimental

Does your company and upcoming project meet the above eligibility criteria? The Canada Media Fund: Experimental Stream – Innovation Program offers a bi-annual call for applications; interested applicants should start developing an application as soon as possible to ensure they’re ready to request funding during an active intake period.

The CMF Experimental Steam – Innovation program has a current application deadline scheduled for September 25, 2018 (Production) and November 6, 2018 (Prototyping and Marketing/Promotion).

To get ready for these upcoming deadlines, contact a Government Funding Planner who can review your eligibility and help your business efficiently navigate the application process.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

Posted: September 14, 2016 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: July 6, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.

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Jeff Shepherd 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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