Technology and innovation: Non-financial support

Table of contents

Government resources
Non-government collaborative resources
Other resources


There are many types of support and assistance available for businesses in Ontario. This guide provides an overview of some of the non-financial support programs and services available to the technology and innovation sector.

To learn about financing options for your business, please refer to the following guides:

Government resources

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.

Read online:
Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Federal resources

Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Canada include:

Innovation Canada

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.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED)

Visit the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada website to find information on commercialization, technology transfers and research programs.

Read online:
Science and innovation

Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC)

If you are looking for assistance with communications research and development, including finding licensable software and other intellectual properties like patents, data and technical know-how, you may be able to take advantage of CRC’s services and facilities.

Read online:
CRC's expertise and collaborations

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan)

You can find clean energy technology research and development information through NRCan. Explore resources offered through their CANMET laboratories and take advantage of partnership opportunities in a variety of sectors, including:

You can also access benchmarking guides, tools, calculators and software applications to help you make more informed decisions about your resources and technology:

National Research Council Canada (NRC)

The NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) may be able to support your business innovation.

  • National Science Library
    Find innovation and commercialization tools and services for your business from the National Science Library.
  • Technical and advisory services
    Receive advice from experienced Industrial Technology Advisors who can help guide your innovative ideas from concept to product.
  • NRC facilities
    You may be able to access state-of-the-art equipment and training programs to help you with business innovation projects.
  • Intellectual property licensing
    Take advantage of current licensing opportunities and compare options for managing and licensing intellectual property (IP) to strengthen your own product or services.

Additionally, NRC can also offer you access to cost-effective tools and reference resources on building codes, construction materials, laboratory evaluation and standards.

Provincial resources

Common sources of technology and innovation business support offered by the Government of Ontario include:

Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT)

As a technology and innovation entrepreneur, you can find government support and programs through MEDJCT, including:

Visit MEDJCT’s website for more information and resources to help you move forward with your technology and innovation ideas.

Contact MEDJCT:
Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

You may be able to access information and support for agricultural or agri-food research and technology through OMAFRA's research and innovation programs.

Contact OMAFRA:
Agricultural research and innovation at OMAFRA

Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI)

Find regional support ranging from skills training and technical problem solving to licensing opportunities in the development and commercialization of your new technologies.

Contact OCI:
Ontario Centre of Innovation

Non-government collaborative resources

There are many non-governmental organizations that collaborate with the government to provide support to technology and innovation entrepreneurs, including:

Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform (OCIP)

Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform (OCIP)

You may be able to get matched with expert researchers at Ontario’s postsecondary institutions and access funding opportunities to help you develop your innovative solutions and processes. The online portal could help match you with:

  • Researchers and experts in technical fields
  • Micro-credentials, certification and specialized business and workforce training, 
  • Relevant tax credits, funding programs and partners

Register with the platform to begin the process to access OCIP resources.

Contact Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform:
Welcome to OCIP for Businesses

Canadian Innovation Centre (CIC)

Develop and commercialize your invention or technology with help from CIC’s Learning Centre, Education and Training Programs or their online Tools for Entrepreneurs.

Contact the CIC:
Canadian Innovation Centre

GeoConnections Program

Find out how your company could make use of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure. You can learn about the advantages of using international standards for data sets, how to share, access and use Canadian geospatial information and connect with other stakeholders in the sector.

Read online:
Canada's Spatial Data Infrastructure

Digital Accelerator for Innovation and Research (DAIR)

If you run a Canadian small- or medium-sized business (with less than 500 employees) and are involved in software development, testing and demonstration, you may benefit from the DAIR program’s high-performance cloud resources. Advantages include:

  • Free self-serve access to high performance virtual servers
  • Easy, online application process
  • Ability to develop and test many types of software applications for tech-based businesses
  • Ability to develop e-commerce applications, services or websites, either for internal or external use for non-tech businesses
  • Storage of data in Canada (may be a legal or contractual requirement for some businesses)

Additional services and resources are also available for a fee.

Other conditions apply.

Contact CANARIE: 
DAIR Cloud Program

Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN)

As an Ontario small to medium-sized business creating innovative technologies in the connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AVs) field you could connect to Ontario’s advanced automotive and smart mobility technology sector. The network offers access to:

  • Sector expertise across the province
  • A state-of-the-art site to showcase solutions to potential customers
  • Specialized equipment, hardware and software
  • A tool to discover Ontario’s automotive and mobility ecosystem 

Contact OVIN:
OVIN - Ontario’s ecosystem 

Other resources

Industry-specific information

As an innovation entrepreneur, you may need to protect your business’s intellectual property, inventions or designs. The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) is responsible for the administration and processing of the greater part of intellectual property in Canada.

Contact CIPO:
Canadian Intellectual Property Office