The Government of Ontario has a vested interest in the development and commercialization of innovative disruptive technologies. We see this through a number of available government funding programs. Rapid advances in technology, such as 3D printing and artificial intelligence, are transforming many of Ontario’s key industries and the government wants to help. To support this technology shift, Ontario government funding is available to help disruptor companies develop and showcase the value of their latest technologies.
The OCE Customer Demonstration Program provides small business grants to support collaborative technology demonstration projects. The program provides up to 50% coverage of eligible expenses to a maximum $50,000 in Ontario government grants. Funding can be used to help the applicant demonstrate smart computing solutions that address an opportunity or challenge to potential clients.
Through these strategic partnerships, Ontario-based businesses can demonstrate innovation, improve competitiveness, create new jobs, and offer viable technical solutions to clients. By participating in the program, disruptors will also become more visible to IBM Canada, which promotes the creation of innovative products, services, and technologies.
OCE Customer Demonstration Program Supports Technology Demonstrations
The OCE Customer Demonstration Program helps innovative market disruptors demonstrate the value of their pre-market technologies to a potential receptor. Ontario government funding encourages the formation of commercial relationships by supporting early market engagement and strategic collaboration projects. Applicants must partner with at least one other business to access this government funding opportunity.
The program provides up to 50% coverage of project expenses to a maximum contribution of $50,000 in Ontario small business grants.
By accessing Ontario small business grants, partners can offset labour and contractor expenses, as well as equipment, materials, and travel costs directly associated with the project.
The OCE Customer Demonstration Program seeks to support projects that lead to:
- Advanced computing innovation and capabilities;
- Increased productivity, skills development, and competitiveness; and
- Identifying and addressing technology adoption barriers.
Do You Qualify for the OCE Customer Demonstration Program?
Ontario government funding may be awarded to applicants that meet the following program requirements:
To qualify for Ontario government funding, the ‘disruptor’ applicant must:
- Be an Ontario-based business;
- Have less than 500 employees, with at least 50% of the labour force living and working in Ontario;
- Operates within the research and development and/or manufacturing industry;
- Demonstrate the ability to develop a sustainable commercial relationship with the receptor; and
- Possess a validated innovative product, service, or technology that is currently ready for demonstration.
To qualify as a receptor, applicants must:
- Be an Ontario-based business;
- Be a significant potential commercial partner and/or strategic client for the disruptor’s innovation;
- Demonstrate the ability to develop a sustainable commercial relationship with the disruptor; and
- Have an arm’s-length business relationship with the disruptor.
Please Note: Ideal receptors are typically considered a market leader within a specific industry.
What Types of Projects Are Eligible for Ontario Government Funding?
The OCE Customer Demonstration Program will provide Ontario small business grants to projects that:
- Supports the demonstration of the disruptor’s solution to a receptor to address a specific opportunity or industry barrier;
- Creates a case for receptor adoption, by providing enhanced productivity or improvement of products and services;
- Allows the receptor to provide disruptor an opportunity to scale its technology;
- Possesses early market validation (Minimum Viable Product (MVP) exists and has been piloted with, or sold to, at least one client);
- Leads to highly innovative or disruptive solution that provide a profoundly different approach to solve a problem faced by the receptor or target industry; and
- Generates new revenues, job opportunities, increase competitiveness, and productivity improvements.
Please Note: Disruptors must possess all necessary certifications for their solutions before the project can be executed.
Apply to the OCE Customer Demonstration Program
Ontario businesses interested in leveraging the OCE Customer Demonstration Program must have their prospective project endorsed by an OCE Business Development Manager. Once the project has been validated, eligible candidates will be invited to submit an online application. Applicants are encouraged to submit project proposals at least one week prior to the intake deadline to allow the initiation and endorsement steps to be completed.
Interested businesses may contact Mentor Works to learn more and discuss their eligibility for the Customer Demonstration Program.