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With businesses around the world looking for new and innovative solutions to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases, the Canadian government is expediting bio-manufacturing projects related to COVID-19 through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). The funding for bio-manufacturing opportunities made through the focuses on funding activities that fall under one of three streams: (1) research & development, (2) business expansion, or (3) investment attraction.

This program covers up to 50% of eligible costs, with no set maximum dollar amount.

It is important to note that project expenses that have been incurred before getting approval will not be eligible to receive funding. Read on to learn more about how your organization can receive funding to help advance COVID-19 countermeasures.

What Companies are Eligible to Receive Funding?

Due to the immediate need to increase domestic bio-manufacturing capacity related to COVID-19, each of the three streams within the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) are open to all incorporated companies that carry on business in Canada.

How Much Funding Can My Business Receive?

This funding program covers up to 50% of eligible costs, with no maximum dollar amount, but funding over $50M requires special approval. Funding support will be provided in the form of repayable or non-repayable contributions, or a combination of both. Funding amount and form of funding will be determined during the due diligence period of the application process.

What Activities and Costs Are Eligible?

Eligible Activities: Projects may be 1 to 5 years in duration. Each of the three program streams have their own requirements for project Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs).

  1. R&D & Commercialization: Activities must be within TRL 1-9 and should support the development of a bio-manufacturing technology that combats COVID-19 with the potential for implementation or commercialization.
  2. Firm Expansion & Growth: The project must support the expansion or material improvement of existing facilities or projects. Activities need to be within TRL 8-9 and should result in improved bio-manufacturing capacity in Canada.
  3. Investment Attraction & Reinvestment: Activities need to be at a minimum of TRL 2 and should support the establishment of new industrial or technological facilities or bring new mandates to Canada regarding improved bio-manufacturing capacity.

Project Impacts:

  • A competitive project must commit to creating new jobs, demonstrating innovation to the company/industry, and demonstrating how the project will help improve the company’s standing.
  • Projects/applications that can demonstrate more immediate impacts in the fight against COVID-19 will be prioritized.

Eligible Expenses:

  • Labour
  • Overhead
  • Contractors and consultants
  • Materials and equipment
  • Land and buildings
  • Other direct costs

Deadline to Apply for Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) Bio-Manufacturing Funding

All three program streams are currently open and accepting applications. There are two phases to this program’s application process: (1) a Statement of Intent (SOI) and (2) a Full Application (invite only). Invitation to the full application stage and overall approval timelines will vary based on the project, overall innovation level, and impact to the company/sector, with projects that can demonstrate more immediate impacts on the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics being prioritized.

Due to the immediate need for COVID-19 solutions, we strongly encourage you to reach out to the Mentor Works team as soon as possible to discuss and develop your application for funding from the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF).

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

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Matthew has a background in digital marketing, working with small business owners on their branding, digital marketing strategy, and the execution of their campaigns. As a Marketing Coordinator at Mentor Works, Matthew continues to help business owners by creating educational content on what Government funding opportunities are available to Canadian businesses. Follow Matthew Mongeon on Twitter or add him on LinkedIn for government funding updates.

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