The Canadian government has announced how it’s renewed commitment of $750 million over five years will be allocated to global innovation clusters. The funding will be administered through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) and the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
“Since their implementation, the clusters have had positive impacts by fostering collaboration across Canada’s innovation ecosystem, supporting hundreds of groundbreaking projects and creating thousands of well-paying jobs. Our government will continue to double down on spurring innovation and strengthen Canada’s position as a global innovation leader.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry
This renewed innovation funding aims to support the development and growth of innovation clusters across Canada, with a focus on five key sectors: advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, and health and biosciences.
Breakdown of Canadian Innovation Cluster Funding
As of December 2022, Canadian innovation clusters have facilitated over 500 projects, worth over $2 billion, and engaged 2,465 partners. These investments have resulted in the creation of 855 patent applications, copyrights, trademarks, or trade secrets. In addition, clusters are on track to meet or exceed the overall job creation target of 15,000 jobs by 2023 and 50,000 by 2028.
New investments being administered will be allocated, from lowest to highest amount, as follows:
- $4 million will be allocated to the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) to support the growth and development of the digital industries sector;
- $4 million will be allocated to the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) to support the growth and development of innovation hubs across Canada;
- $110 million will be allocated through the REGI program to support smaller-scale projects that promote innovation and growth in the targeted sectors in specific regions across Canada;
- $150 million will be allocated to the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) to build on the success of the five superclusters that were established in 2018; and
- $440 million will be allocated through the SIF to support large-scale, transformative projects that advance research and development in the targeted sectors.
This funding from the Strategic Innovation Fundwill help create and maintain jobs in Canada’s innovation sector, promote economic growth, and support the development and adoption of new technologies and processes. It will also aim to help strengthen Canada’s innovation ecosystem and position the country as a global leader in key sectors.
Canadian Government Funding for Innovation Projects
In addition to SIF’s funding announcement, the Canadian government has unveiled the creation of an Innovation Advisory Council which will be composed of industry experts working to provide strategic advice on innovation-related challenges.
Both the funding and the creation of the Innovation Advisory Council are seen as important steps towards supporting innovation and promoting economic growth across Canada.
Innovation funding can help Canadian industries across all different sectors, such as clean technology, agri-food, automotive, manufacturing, software, and more. There are many currently active programs that range in types of grants, loans, and tax credits which can support the research and development of new technologies, processes, and/or systems.