IFIT Program Invests $82.9M to Support the Canadian Forest Industry

Trees stacked in a forest

Canada’s vast forest industry is an economic leader in innovative clean technologies as well as a major jobs supplier for Canadians all around the country, including Indigenous groups and people living in rural and remote communities.

The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program is pledging $82,900,000 over the next three years to support forest sector businesses affected by the pandemic.

The IFIT government funding will support Canada’s innovation capacity and bioeconomy while creating and maintaining jobs in Indigenous groups, rural communities, and across Canada.

What is the IFIT Government Funding Program?

Originally launched in 2010 by the Government of Canada through Natural Resources Canada (NRC), the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program was created to address a critical need for capital investment in new forest industry technologies that would innovate and bring new jobs to the ever-growing and expanding Canadian forest industry.

To date, IFIT has provided funding to over 43 projects, including the research and development of winning technologies to produce various innovative environmental products and create new revenue streams for forest sector companies. These projects have also helped to create over 5,000 sector jobs and led to the development of 500 brand new innovation-related jobs in the forest industry.

“Canada’s resource industries are among the economic sectors hit hardest by the pandemic. We are taking action to help Canada’s forest sector keep people working and come out of this difficult period stronger than before.”

– The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

The IFIT program has recently been renewed for 2020 to address COVID-19 economic impacts, with $82.9 million of government funding to be distributed over the next three years. IFIT’s reinstated funding pledge will help bring innovative advancements to Canada’s forest facilities, strengthening Canada’s position as a leader in forest sector transformation and creating new jobs across the country to assist in rebuilding the economy.

Funding Eligibility: Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) Program

Applicant Eligibility:

For-profit companies located in Canada, that:

  • Produce forest products in an existing forest product manufacturing facility (for example, pulp, paper, or lumber mills) or;
  • Are/will be new entrants in the Canadian forest sector for the purpose of the proposed project.

Amount Eligibility:

There are two IFIT streams; applicants may apply to one or both:

  • Capital Investment Projects Stream
    • General Enterprise Capital Investment Projects (all company sizes): 50% to a maximum of $20,000,000
    • Small Enterprise Capital Investment Projects (50 employees or less): 50% to a maximum of $1,000,000
  • Studies Projects Stream
    • 50% to a maximum of $500,000

Eligible Projects:

  • Capital Investment Projects must meet ALL of the following criteria:
    • Be primarily based on wood fibre;
    • Be integrated with existing industrial processes in the forest sector and located in Canada;
    • Represent an advancement of a technology or process innovation; and
    • Lead to a more diversified product mix that includes high-value bioproducts, including bioenergy, biomaterials, and next generation wood building products.
  • Studies Projects must meet at least ONE of the following criteria:
    • Support the initial investment for technologies, processes, product trial, or market assessments with strong potential for advancement towards commercialization;
    • Support a recipient towards their eventual demonstration or commercialization of an innovative technology or development of a new product; or
    • Advance innovation to full commercialization, for example, research and trials related to market acceptance of new bioproducts.

Deadlines and How to Apply for IFIT Funding


  • Capital Investment Projects
    • Deadline: Thursday, August 13, 2020 5:00pm EDT
    • Majority of project expenditures should be incurred by March 31, 2021 and all costs must be complete by March 31, 2023
  • Studies Projects
    • Ongoing intake
    • Project expenditures must be completed by March 31, 2023
    • Applicants can receive funding for up to three studies over the current funding window (April 1, 2020 – March 31, 2023)

Eligible applicants may apply for both streams; funding approval will be in December 2020.

If your organization is interested in government grants through the IFIT program, and your project objectives meet the above eligibility criteria, please contact the Mentor Works team to help meet your organization’s goals.

 Funding Funding Now, Contact Mentor Works

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