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Many funding options are available for businesses in Ontario. This guide will give you an overview of some of the programs and services available to the technology and innovation sector.
For general financing options that are available to businesses in Ontario, you can use the Innovation Canada financing search, refer to our financing guides or contact us directly.
Business Benefits Finder
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Several federal departments and provincial ministries work directly with technology and innovation entrepreneurs. You may be able to access resources and information from either level of government, based on your industry or business project.
Contact your local municipal office for information on financing and support that may be available for your area. You can find the number for your municipality on the Association of Municipalities of Ontario website.
Association of Municipalities of Ontario
Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Canada include:
If you are looking for funding or expert advice, Innovation Canada has programs and services to help your business innovate, create jobs and grow the economy.
- Business Benefits Finder is a tool where you can get a tailored list of everything that government can do for your business.
- Innovation Advisors provide free, one-on-one assistance to help guide you to the most appropriate innovation programs and services. If you are incorporated and creating a new innovative product, process or service, an advisor can help you find funding, expertise, facilities and global opportunities.
- Strategic Innovation Fund invests in innovative businesses, helping you to scale-up, research, develop and commercialize cutting-edge ideas and collaborate in new ways.
- Innovative Solutions Canada enables the Government of Canada to partner with eligible small businesses and innovators to help with early development, testing and validation of prototypes that solve challenges.
- Clean Growth Hub gives businesses with clean technology projects a personal guide to answer questions, talk through options or make introductions.
- Accelerated Growth Service gives high-growth companies one advisor for all government programs and services.
Global Innovation Clusters
You may be able to access specialized information, networking and funding programs from the five Canadian clusters. Each location has a specific focus. Review their websites or contact them directly for more information.
- Next Generation Manufacturing (NGen)
Focuses on next-generation manufacturing capabilities, incorporating technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, cybersecurity, and additive manufacturing (3D printing). Also aims to raise the reputation of the “Made in Canada” brand through training and technology adoption.
- AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster (Scale AI)
Focuses on bring various sectors and industries together, including retail and manufacturing, to build intelligent supply chains through artificial intelligence and robotics.
- Digital Technology Supercluster
Focuses on virtual, mixed and augmented reality, data collection and analytics along with quantum computing to improve service delivery in the natural resources, precision health and manufacturing sectors.
- Ocean Supercluster
Focuses on emerging technologies like digital sensors and monitoring, energy generation, marine biotechnology and marine engineering technologies to strengthen Canada's marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence, shipbuilding, and transportation industries.
- Protein Industries Canada
Focuses on agri-food enabling technologies, including genomics, processing, information technology (IT) to increase the value of key Canadian crops in high-growth foreign markets and boost the sales of plant-based meat alternatives and new food products to markets in North America and Europe.
Business Development Bank of Canada
Investment capital for your business may be available through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). Funding is offered for different stages of a company's development, from seed through to expansion.
- BDC Venture capital
Apply for funding for your business at any stage, particularly if your business is technology-based and works in sectors such as communications, health, information technology and energy/clean technology.
- BDC Technology financing
Financing may be available if you plan to upgrade or purchase information and communications technology (ICT) for your business.
- Growth and Transition Capital
As an established or high-growth business you may be able to access this more flexible funding program.
Canadian International Innovation Program
If you are a for-profit Canadian company looking to collaborate with a foreign partner in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Israel, South Korea and United Kingdom, you could get up to 50% of the costs associated with the commercialization of your innovation, including development, adaptation and validation of technology. To qualify, you must have a project that:
- Could be a commercial success
- Is technologically feasible
- Is for non-military purposes
Other conditions apply.
Canadian International Innovation Program
CanExport Innovation (formerly Going Global Innovation)
Are you a Canadian researcher from a small- or medium-sized enterprise, university or a non-government research centre looking to solidify an international partnership needed to commercialize your technology? If so, you could receive up to 75% of the costs associated with partnership development activities up to $75,000.
You will need to demonstrate that your targeted partnership would enable you to develop or improve a product or service that is technologically feasible. Other conditions apply.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – AgriInnovate Program
If you have an agri-business, you can apply for an R&D contribution to get your new agricultural product or technology ready for the market.
Natural Resources Canada – CANMET laboratories
You can find information about current research, as well as information about ways that your business may be able to partner with a CANMET laboratory in your field to develop new technologies and innovations. Natural Resources Canada oversees a variety of CANMET laboratories engaged in cutting-edge research in a variety of sectors, including:
Natural Resources Canada
National Research Council Canada
Find out how the National Research Council (NRC) may be able to support your business innovation.
- NRC-IRAP Financial assistance
You may be eligible for funding through the Industrial Research Assistance Program if your small- to medium-sized business is planning to develop technologies to improve your competitive advantage.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
If you would like innovation expertise to help advance your R&D projects and lower your costs, you can explore support and financing options from NSERC.
Government of Canada Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS)
If your business is active in innovation and technology, you may be able to access funding to lower the cost of hiring new employees with skills and knowledge of value to your business. Youth-specific programs include:
- NRC-IRAP - Youth Employment Programs
If you are a small to medium sized, for-profit incorporated business wanting to innovate, including doing green innovation, you may be able to access funding to hire youth or highly-skilled post-secondary graduates.
- ECO Employment Programs
If you are Canadian-owned business or Canadian subsidiary, you may be eligible to apply for a wage subsidy to hire a young professional for a full-time environmental position.
- College and Institutes Canada Clean Tech Internship
If your business is looking for help in the science, technology, engineering or mathematics fields, you may be eligible for salary, training and wrap-around service costs of up to $30,000 to hire an intern for a new environmental or clean-tech position or project.
- Natural Resources Canada - Green Jobs in Natural Resources
You may be eligible for funding to help cover the cost of hiring a recent graduate in science or engineering. The program provides support for innovation in certain technology sectors including in energy, forestry, mining, earth science, and clean technology.
You can also explore the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy to find more programs to help cut innovation costs for your business.
Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Ontario include:
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT)
The Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade funds a number of programs aimed at fostering research, innovation and commercialization of new scientific and technological breakthroughs. Some of the programs include:
- Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF)
If your business is an emerging Ontario technology company, investment funding of up to $500,000 may be available. Administered by MaRS, the program offers seed funding for the technology sector, with a focus on Information technology (IT), health and cleantech.
Explore more financing options on MEDJCT’s website to find one that meets your technology and innovation business needs.
MEDJCT - Programs and Funding
Businesses involved in technology and innovation research and development may also be interested in the following tax credits.
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentives
You may qualify for a federal tax credit if your business conducted research and development that led to new, improved or technologically-advanced products or processes in Canada.
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency:
(SR&ED) tax incentives
Provincial tax credits for businesses in Ontario
A provincial tax credit may be available if your business conducted scientific research and experimental development in Ontario. There are tax credits for Ontario corporations covering activity in research and development (R&D), innovation and business-research institute projects:
- Ontario provincial research & development (R&D) tax credit
- Ontario innovation tax credit
- Ontario business-research institute tax credit
Contact the Canada Revenue Agency:
Provincial and territorial research and development (R&D) tax credits - Ontario
Non-government collaborative support
In addition to financing available through government sources, there are many non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the government to provide financing to technology and innovation entrepreneurs, including:
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC)
You could be eligible for funding support to develop clean technology projects that show strong market potential.
Explore co-funding programs that can help you find and hire an intern or other talent to help with an innovative technological solution or project. Your for-profit or not-for-profit business must be incorporated and could access support in a range of areas, including:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Intellectual Property (IP)
- Information Communication Technologies (ICT)
Start times, funding and required co-investment amounts and other conditions vary by program.
Mitacs - Programs for business
Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN)
You may be eligible for co-investment funding as an Ontario small to medium-sized business creating innovative technologies in the connected, autonomous, electric, and smart mobility technologies sector. Working with an industry or academic partner you could access financial support from the network for:
- Hiring Ontario students and recent graduates as interns
- Testing and commercializing Ontario-made technologies
- Expanding your existing research and development (R&D)
Start times, funding and required co-investment amounts vary by program. Other conditions apply.
OVIN - Apply for a program