In 2023, Nokia will commence construction on its new $340 million research and development center in Ottawa that is expected to open in 2026. As part of a mixed-use commercial hub projected to create more than 340 jobs in the city, the facility will focus on a range of technologies, including 5G, AI, cloud software, and digital identity management. In addition, 100 student internships in STEM fields will be created through this hub.
“Once again, the Ottawa region continues to show itself as the number one place in Ontario to work and do business in. This announcement by Nokia means more jobs will be created for the people of Carleton, and I’m proud to be part of a government that works for the people.”Goldie Ghamari, MPP for Carleton
For this project, Nokia received a $30 million loan from Invest Ontario, while the federal government will contribute up to $40 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). Canada’s telecommunications infrastructure relies heavily on Nokia. A cluster of three key cities, Ottawa, Toronto, and Waterloo, make up Ontario’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry.
“Nokia’s investment and expansion project are strong signals that Ontario continues to be the best place for businesses around the world to invest and grow.”Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
This new Nokia investment represents Ontario’s commitment to innovative and forward-looking approaches, which include funding R&D facilities that will advance technology to create dramatic network integration advancements. As a leading business destination, these initiatives play a key role in Canada’s global strategy of attracting domestic and international investments.
“Today’s announcement reinforces Nokia’s commitment to the Ontario and Canadian markets, where we have invested $1.4 billion in R&D over the past five years. Nokia’s Ottawa-based R&D hub will generate net-new IP and bring innovative advanced telecommunications and cyber security technologies to market, helping us achieve our goal of improving people’s lives in Ontario, in Canada, and across the world.”Jeffrey Maddox, President of Nokia Canada
As part of Nokia’s global target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030, the new Ottawa site will implement sustainable technologies to support the company’s sustainability initiatives
Invest Ontario Program
Invest Ontario is funding Nokia’s new infrastructure project. A $30 million loan will be used to fund the investment.
Life sciences, advanced manufacturing, and technology sectors in Ontario are supported by Invest Ontario, which is governed by a board of directors. Invest Ontario is mandated with attracting and securing investment that will create jobs, generate returns to the province, and help the sectors sustain growth and competitiveness.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund targets the industrial and technology sectors. It promotes investment in activities that drive sustained productivity and economic benefits by making both repayable and non-repayable financial contributions. Applications for funding are reviewed by the funding application review committee, which determines the amount and type of financial support offered. There are five funding streams are available through SIF.
Amount of Funding
The SIF program offers financial contributions (both repayable and non-repayable) valued up to 50% of project costs. In order to qualify for the program, a project must request a minimum of $10 million in contributions, which translates to a minimum project size of $20 million.
Applicant Eligibility Criteria
This program is extremely competitive, although the eligibility criteria for the Strategic Innovation Fund are fairly open to all businesses.
In addition to demonstrating high growth potential and the ability to drive innovation, your company may also be eligible for funding if it meets the following considerations:
SIF Business Eligibility: Streams 1-3
Eligible: Businesses incorporated under Canadian laws, who plan to do business in Canada and complete their project there.
Ineligible: Non-incorporated businesses.
SIF Organization Eligibility: Stream 4
Eligible: For-profit and non-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions in Canada.
Ineligible: Single entities; collaborative projects with multiple partners are eligible for this stream.
SIF Organization Eligibility: Stream 5
Eligible: Businesses and non-profits operating in Canada are eligible to apply. Businesses, non-profits, industry associations, and academia are required to develop an innovation network with the lead applicants.
Ineligible: Academia cannot be the lead applicant but can support for-profit/non-profit led projects.
Stream 1: Research, Development, and Commercialization
Innovative technologies can be researched, developed, and commercialized through this stream. There are several levels of technology readiness (TRL) that are eligible, which may range from 1-9. All activities must focus on progressing the innovation’s development.
Stream 2: Business Growth and Expansion
Innovation funding is available through stream two for the expansion and material improvement of existing industrial or technological facilities. It is important to increase productivity and efficiency to ultimately increase competitiveness. Business activities for this stream should involve well-developed products and processes, falling within a TRL of 8-9.
Stream 3: Investment Attraction and Retention
New investments in industrial or technological facilities in Canada are supported by the third stream of SIF. This program is designed to encourage large-scale investments in Canada and to support the development of Canada’s most innovative companies. TRL 2 or higher is required for companies to apply.
Stream 4: Collaborative Technology Development and Demonstration
This stream supports collaborative research involving the discovery or demonstration of new knowledge. The stream will provide funding for new technology-driven products, processes, or services at a technology readiness level of 1-7.
Stream 5: National Ecosystems
In partnership with many other businesses, non-profits, and academic institutions, the Strategic Innovation Fund’s National Ecosystems stream supports research activities that facilitate collaboration between the Canadian R&D community and Canadian businesses. Technology development from TRL 1 to 9 may be considered for funding, though activities for this stream mainly fall within TRLs 3 to 7.
Streams 1, 2, 3, and 5 do not have a deadline for applications. Applications may be submitted year-round, although businesses must complete a two-stage application process. Stream 4 operates on a competitive basis, in which SOIs are accepted after a request for proposals is issued.
Government Funding Opportunities for Ontario Businesses
Canadian businesses operating out of Ontario may be eligible for significant funding opportunities via grants, loans, tax incentives, and more. To see a comprehensive list of funding programs, visit our Government Funding Directory today.