In the wake of a new report which comments on Canadian firms falling behind with innovation despite receiving funding support, The Canadian government continues to modify and improve upon established research and development funding initiatives to maximize their support of innovation. However there is always a risk with R&D. Even the most promising of projects can be overvalued. These government programs are created to share the financial risks associated with innovation projects, thus creating an environment that encourages the exploration of new frontiers and technological capabilities.
Recent funding investments in highly innovative companies have paved the way for 8 small businesses in southern Ontario to capitalize on government funding initiatives. Over $4.5 million has been awarded to these companies through the Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) fund from FedDev Ontario. This 0% interest Ontario business loan will assist firms in developing and commercializing their new technologies.
Recipients of Repayable IBI Ontario Government Loans
Although there were eight recent recipients of provincial loans through FedDev Ontario’s IBI program, the following projects received the highest amount of funding for their display of innovation potential.
Exact Imaging’s $980,000 Win for Design and Development of Ultrasound Technology
In addition to over $3.5 million in funding outside of IBI, Exact Imaging has received $980,000 towards the development of a high-resolution micro-ultrasound which allows for better screening of prostate cancer. The funding received from FedDev Ontario will be used to finalize the design and development of a commercial-use device so that it can receive regulatory approval and be brought to market in 2016.
OTI Lumionics Receives $662,616 to Implement OLED Technology
OTI Lumionics will be using their Ontario government loan funding for the installation and operation of an organic light producing diode (OLED) rapid prototyping system for their Toronto facility. While this investment will aid the company to hire an additional 11 employees, it will also significantly increase its market reach.
Sightline Innovation Inc. Awarded $750,000 to Develop Manufacturing Quality Control Systems
Through the use of advanced mathematics, cloud computing, and machine learning, Sightline Innovation has created a verification system that simulates human interaction and characteristics associated with the human brain. This technology will be of significant benefit to manufacturers who are seeking to maximize quality control on assembly lines. The funding received through IBI will assist the company to further enhance their technology and increase sales/marketing activities, while also creating an additional 20 jobs.
WealthSimple Financial Inc. Provided $775,000 to Commercialize Investments Platform
WealthSimple’s wealth management platform is a cost-effective solution that has built-in transparency and accessibility – even for smaller investment portfolios. With FedDev’s contribution through the IBI Ontario government grant, the company will be able to commercialize its platform, leading to more marketing and higher sales. With these activities, WealthSimple projects the creation of 9 new jobs and the maintenance of an additional 5.
Investing in Business Innovation Small Business Grants
FedDev Ontario’s IBI repayable grant program is comprised of three main streams; (1) early stage businesses, (2) not-for-profit organizations, and (3) angel networks. The government funding recipients mentioned above all fit into the ‘Early Stage Businesses’ stream and are able to receive a maximum of $1 million (up to 1/3 of total costs) per project. Late-stage development or early-stage commercialization projects with a high degree of innovation are of significant interest to FedDev and are most likely to receive funds.
Mentor Works’ Resources for Innovative Small Businesses
As experts in Canadian government grants and loans, Mentor Works have developed many resources for business owners to learn more about the government grant funding process. If you are interested in the Investing in Business Innovation program, be sure to register for one of our free funding webinars to learn more. Not sure the difference between government grants and repayable funding? Download our Comparing Government Funding Types info sheet to determine the government funding that will make the biggest impact to your current operations. Have a specific question? Contact Mentor Works at any time to speak directly to one of our government funding professionals.