The Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) recently committed close to $1.5M in federal investments to promote greater innovation and competitiveness within northern Ontario.
On October 28, 2016, FedNor announced that it would provide up to $1,488,972 in Ontario government funding to support the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. The Innovation Centre provides support services for small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) to commercialize new products and services within ‘new economy’ high-value industries.
FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program provides funding to northern Ontario organizations, such as the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, to promote sustainable economic development, support business development, and facilitate technological innovations.
Northern Ontario Government Funding Supports Manufacturing Innovation
The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre was established in 1999 with the purpose of generating industry knowledge while promoting economic development within the information technology (IT) and manufacturing industries.
Northern Ontario Development Program funding will allow the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to provide continued support for 3 of their key business divisions, including:
Sustainable Northern Agri-Food Products and Productivity Program (SNAPP)
The Innovation Centre has designated $921, 300 to renew and expand its SNAPP initiative. The program provides up to $5,000 in small business grants to assist food producers/processors purchasing new equipment or materials. This support will help northern Ontario businesses enhance productivity and cultivate new agri-food products.
Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN)
The Rural Agri-Innovation Network (RAIN) will receive $167,672 to assist demonstrations and incubation of innovative agricultural products/processes. This program, initiated by the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, aids innovative research, business management training, and capacity-building projects to strengthen growing agri-food companies.
Information Communication Technologies (ICT) Network
The ICT Network will leverage $400,000 in funding to expand its organized community of ICT leaders. The Information Communication Technologies Network started as a 2-year pilot program and has grown to encompass government officials, ICT industry stakeholders, and other partners to address gaps in northern Ontario’s ICT infrastructure.
FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program Supports Economic Diversification
FedNor provides Canadian government funding to growing businesses and organizations in northern Ontario. FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program is specifically targeted towards non-profit organizations and research institutions, such as the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, to support economic development and diversification.
Since 2006, NODP has invested a total of $329 million to support more than 1,600 projects in northern Ontario.
The Northern Ontario Development Program features 3 unique streams of funding for municipalities and non-profits to access. This includes:
- Community Economic Development Projects: Enhancing business growth and exploiting new opportunities for economic development;
- Business Growth and Competitiveness Projects: Improving productivity, market reach, and access to capital; and
- Innovation Projects: Adoption, adaptation, and commercialization of new technologies.
Ontario Government Funding Supports Business Innovation
To grow, Ontario SMEs need to focus on differentiating their products and providing innovative solutions. Performing research and development projects is the most common way to become more innovative, yet few northern Ontario businesses conduct R&D because of the cost and resources required. Thankfully, Ontario government funding is available to offset a portion of these costs and help companies become more innovative.
Growth-oriented businesses may check their eligibility for northern Ontario government grants and loans by contacting Mentor Works. Our team of Government Funding Planners can discuss your eligibility for NODP and an extensive portfolio of other funding programs.
- Northern Ontario Recovery Program: Funding to Improve Business Operations
- Northern Ontario Development Program Awards Sault College $1M
- Rapid Growth Expected for Northern Ontario’s Agriculture Industry in 2017
- FedNor Invests $1.5 in Innovation Centre for Northern Ontario SMEs
- $30K FedNor Northern Ontario Business Funding Awarded to Muskoka SME