Canadian Government Funding for Manufacturers: Top Grants and Loans

Manufacturers in Canada are eligible to apply for a wide range of grants and loans to offset the costs of strategic growth projects. In fact, manufacturers tend to have access to more government funding than any other industry, making them highly suited to access financial incentives. Each provincial government offers additional funding programs for manufacturers, and the federal funding programs are available to all Canadian manufacturers . A few of the programs listed here have temporary changes due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Manufacturing grants, loans, and tax credits can support technology adoption, facility and export expansion, research and development, and hiring and training projects.

Developing and executing a strategic government funding plan starts by identifying manufacturing grants and loans that could support your business’ upcoming projects. This is the first area where most companies benefit from partnering with Mentor Works; you can tap into our pool of resources to identify funding programs worth applying to. Our team of Canadian government grant and loan consultants and application writers can support this matchmaking process; just contact us to start a conversation about accessing funding for your upcoming growth projects.

Before You Access Government Funding for Manufacturers: Build a Plan

Canadian manufacturers are a primary target for some of the most valuable government funding programs available. While it’s possible to access funding programs on a project-by-project basis, we recommend incorporating grants and loans as part of your overall growth strategy.

Government funding plans are a proactive means to offset a portion of all strategic project costs with manufacturing grants, loans, and tax credits.

The first step is to identify all company investments over the coming 12–24 months. With this roadmap in mind, it becomes easier to align government funding programs, either independently or by using a Canadian Government Funding Planner. Mentor Works routinely supports Canadian manufacturers with government funding planning, application, and reporting. To learn more about some of these success stories, check out our Client Spotlight blogs.

Please note: Agri-food manufacturers will find more applicable funding programs from the Top 4 Funding Programs for Ontario’s Agri-Food Industry.

Top Canadian Manufacturing Grants, Loans, and Tax Credits

Provided through the Government of Canada, these manufacturing funding programs are available to manufacturers across the country. Discover how they can help your business grow and become more innovative:

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)

Over 20,000 companies claim tax incentives under the SR&ED program each year, resulting in more than $3 billion in tax credits. The federal government awards more than $1 billion through this program. This program is designed to encourage Canadian businesses to pursue research and development projects.

This program provides tax credits of up to 69% of labour and overhead costs, up to 36% of costs for contractors, and up to 45% of material costs. The expenses must be commensurate with the needs of the scientific research and experimental development activity taking place within the company. Learn more about the eligibility criteria for SR&ED projects.

Learn more about the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program and how your business may be eligible to receive tax credits through this program.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

The Industrial Research Assistance Program offers funding for technical or research-oriented projects to solve an internal innovation challenge. Funding supports software implementation, productivity improvements, and production design or marketing projects. Note that this program is not suited for training projects.

  • Amount: Up to $10M, non-repayable grant with 80% of direct labour and 50% of sub-contractor expenses.
  • Eligibility: 1–500 people on payroll; 2 years incorporated with internal technical R&D expertise.

Learn more about the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) program.


CanExport provides support for export marketing and international expansion activities. The program helps exporters improve their sales and brand exposure in international markets through trade shows and marketing activities, packaging modifications, and market research.

  • Amount: Up to 50% of project costs to a maximum of $50,000 in non-repayable funding per project. Up to two applications can be submitted per government fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).
  • Eligibility:
    • Be a for-profit organization;
    • Earn annual revenues ranging from $100,000 to $100,000,000;
    • Maintain 1 to 500 full-time employees;
    • Be incorporated federally or classified as a limited liability partnership (LLP);
    • Create eligible project expenses of $20,000 or more; and
    • Be financially stable and able to pay all project expenses not covered by the program. Businesses in the agricultural or agri-food sector are NOW eligible for CanExport grants.

Learn more about the CanExport funding program.

Canada Job Grant (CJG)

The Canada Job Grant is a Canadian government funding program designed to reduce the costs of providing third-party skills training to new and existing employees. It’s available across Canada, with each province and territory responsible for co-branding and developing a system that’s suited towards its workforce and business makeup.

  • Amount: Non-repayable grant contributions of 50%–100% of training costs (i.e., course, exams, textbooks, software resources, etc.) to a maximum of $5,000 to $15,000 per trainee.
  • Eligibility: Canadian small–medium-sized enterprise (SME) with $2 million liability insurance. Trainees must be a permanent Canadian citizen or granted refugee status.

Learn more about the Canada Job Grant (CJG) program and each of its provincial variants.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)

ISC provides government grants and procurement contracts to stimulate technology research, development, and commercialization. The program helps start-ups and SMEs overcome technology development hurdles so that they can produce globally demanded products and services, while also improving government operations.

  • Amount:
    • Phase 1: Grants up to $150,000;
    • Phase 2: Grants up to $1 million;
    • Phase 3: Government procurement contracts with no fixed maximum.
  • Eligibility: For-profit, privately held Canadian businesses with fewer than 499 FTEs.

Learn more about the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program.

Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

IDEaS is a federal government procurement program. Administered through the Department of National Defence (DND), it seeks pre-commercial military and defence technologies that have the potential to address current challenges faced by Canada’s Armed Forces.

  • Amount: Dependent on the challenge being responded to, applicants could earn a maximum of $20 million per project.
  • Eligibility: All organization types are eligible to apply. Applicants must demonstrate at least 50% Canadian content for goods and services.

Learn more about the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program.

NGen Manufacturing Supercluster Funding

The NGen Manufacturing Program supports collaborative technology development and application projects that help Canadian manufacturing companies compete globally.

  • Amount: Offsets up to 44.4% of eligible project expenses. Project costs should be between $1M and $20M, providing non-repayable funding of approximately $444,000 to $8,880,000.
  • Eligibility: Open to all industries and sectors. Must have a minimum of three private-sector project partners; lead partner and participants must be NGen members.

Learn more about the NGen Manufacturing Supercluster Funding program.

Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)

SIF offers Canadian industrial and technology-based businesses financial support to fuel company expansion and R&D of products, processes, and services.

  • Amount: Minimum funding contribution of $10 million per project. Type of financial support awarded is at the discretion of the program; this can consist of a combination of repayable financial support and/or financial reimbursements up to 50% of project costs.
  • Eligibility: Incorporated Canadian businesses with high growth potential and the ability to drive innovation.

Learn more about the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) program.

Top Manufacturing Grants Ontario

In addition to the Canadian manufacturing grants and loans listed above, Ontario-based manufacturers may also qualify for provincially funded or targeted incentives. These include:

Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP)

O-AMP helps automotive businesses improve productivity through technology adoption projects. It builds off the success of the former Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) and focuses on integrating innovative equipment that reduces costs and expands manufacturing capabilities.

  • Amount: Up to 50% of eligible project costs to a maximum $100,000 in Ontario government grants (cost-sharing contributions).
  • Eligibility: Ontario automotive businesses with fewer than 500 employees. At least 50% of revenue must come from the automotive supply sector.

Learn more about the Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) program.

Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (BSP) Southern Ontario

BSP accelerates company growth and helps businesses adopt and adapt innovative technologies that support productivity. Funding supports early adoption or adaptation of innovative technologies and processes, commercializing/producing new products or processes, expanding management capacity, and researching/developing export markets.

  • Amount: Repayable contribution (no-interest loan) of up to 35% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $10 million. Minimum ask of $500,000.
  • Eligibility: Southern Ontario businesses, incorporated and profitable for three or more years. Must have five or more employees. Pre-revenue companies and those with fewer than five employees require proof of scale-up potential.

Learn more about the Business Scale-up and Productivity Program (BSP) Southern Ontario program.

Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF)

EODF provides financial support to Canadian SMEs expanding operations and creating jobs in Eastern Ontario. Funding is suited to accommodate projects that will involve investing in new capital equipment, improving existing operations and processes, and pursuing new market opportunities.

  • Amount: Up to 15% of eligible expenses to a maximum $1.5 million in non-repayable grant funding for projects with budgets up to $10 million. Projects with budgets that exceed this amount may be eligible to receive a combination of grants and loans of up to $5 million.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be incorporated for at least three years, have 10 or more full-time employees, and operate in Eastern Ontario. Projects must create at least 10 new full-time positions.

Learn more about the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) program.

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF)

SWODF offers funding to support projects that involve investing in new capital equipment, developing skills, enhancing productivity, and developing new infrastructure.

  • Amount: Up to 15% of eligible expenses to a maximum $1.5 million in non-repayable grant funding for projects with budgets up to $10 million. Projects with budgets that exceed this amount may be eligible to receive a combination of grants and loans of up to $5 million.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be established for at least three years, have 10 or more full-time employees, and operate in southwestern Ontario. Projects must be completed within a two to four-year timeline and create at least 10–15 new full-time positions depending upon project size and company size.

Learn more about the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) program.

Top Manufacturing Grants Western Canada

In addition to the Canadian manufacturing grants and loans listed above, manufacturers based in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba may also qualify for provincially funded or targeted incentives. These include:

Western Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program

BSP helps businesses with high-growth potential adopt/adapt innovative technologies that support productivity, grow operations, and increase exports to global markets.

  • Amount: Repayable contribution (no-interest loan) of up to 50% of eligible project expenses to a maximum $5 million per project and $10 million per applicant.
  • Eligibility: Must have maintained profitable operations in Western Canada (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba) for at least two years and be incorporated at the time of application.

Learn more about the Western Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Program.

Top Manufacturing Grants Atlantic Canada

In addition to the Canadian manufacturing grants and loans listed above, maritime-based manufacturers may also qualify for provincially funded or targeted incentives. These include the following:

Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF)

AIF is a Canadian government funding program dedicated to supporting innovative technology research projects. The program enables both private-sector research and collaborations with academia and research institutions. Projects should focus on commercially viable technology development or adaptation.

  • Amount: Business-led projects may receive up to 75% of expenses; non-profit applicants may receive up to 80% of expenses. Maximum funding per project is capped at $3 million.
  • Eligibility: Businesses, research institutions, and academic institutions operating in Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island).

Learn more about the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) program.

Apply for Manufacturing Grants, Loans, and Tax Credits

The programs listed throughout this article are just some of the many grants, loans, and tax credit programs available to Canadian manufacturers. Identification of government funding programs is just one stage of the funding process, however. With this information, your business must align applicable projects and strategic spends, then craft and submit a detailed application that reviews your opportunity.

You’re not alone in the process. Mentor Works can help you optimize the entire funding application process; download our free slide deck to learn more about your options or contact our team to get started on applying for these programs.


    1. Hi Peter, thanks for your comment. I’ll ask a colleague to reach out and discuss your funding options. Please expect their message in the next 1-2 business days.

  1. We are a growing manufacturing company based in British Columbia, we manufacture a variety of shade products for the residential and commercial markets. Due to growth we are required to purchase new and larger equipment in order to remain competitive against the United States companies. Are there any grants to assist with the purchase of new large pieces of equipment

    1. Hello Mike,

      There may be funding programs to assist with this coming out around the corner. This is something I would recommend us connecting on to take a more in depth on what you are doing, and the timelines involved. Please fill out a contact form on our website here and we can have a team member connect with you on this. I am excited to see what we can do together.

  2. Can I get a grant for steel roof manufacturing in Ontario? I need less than 500 000 $. I can create 5-10 jobs in first year and 100 in the next 2-3 years…Where to search? Thank you!
    Best regards,

    1. Hello Anton,

      If you are an established business with a couple of years of financials behind you we invite you to connect with us for a discussion to uncover exactly what programs would be at your disposal. You can start this process by filling out a contact form on our website here.

      Mentor Works specializes in working on programs designed for established businesses to access. If you are looking to start a company up, I would advise connecting with one of the resources outlined on our Canadian Business Startup website page, which can be found here.

  3. We’re looking to place orders with a small start up Cdn textile manufacturing company for mens casual pants.
    We are a new E retailer looking to place initially small orders with plans for rapid growth based on sales.
    Can you recommend any companies we could work with?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *