In order to compete and be one of the best, your business must invest in ground-breaking products, processes, and services. The only downside to that is having a sizeable budget specifically for research and development. This is where the importance of government funding can’t be better emphasized.
The government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), provides the necessary funds to support a broad range of technical research projects. The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) aims to empower small businesses for business innovations and help them develop technologies that will eventually be ripe for commercialization.
Understanding the Atlantic Innovation Fund
The Atlantic Innovation Fund is a funding program initiated by the government in support of research efforts for innovative technologies. Through this funding program, private-sector research, as well as partnerships with research institutions and the academe, are made possible. Through the AIF, companies can use the granted funds to further develop commercially-viable technology or adaptation projects.
Who Are Eligible for the Atlantic Innovation Fund?
The AIF can help anyone or any entity that wants to:
- Develop products and services that meet market demands and globalization standards
- Take on new technology in order to answer business needs or market opportunities
- Become a competitive member of Atlantic Canada’s new and traditional business sectors
To be eligible for the AIF, an applicant must:
- Operate in Atlantic Canada, including and limited to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island
- Be a private-sector business, a post-secondary institution, a research institution, or a provincial Crown corporation
What Are Project Eligibilities for the Atlantic Innovation Fund?
The AIF provides government funding for companies to develop products and services that are technology-based provided that the project:
- Has infallible research and development component
- Is developed with a high probability of going commercial
- Is on track to provide Atlantic Canada vast economic development opportunities
- Supports new or improved technologies
- Has scientific and/or technical components
- Can be concluded within a minimum of 18 to 36 months or a maximum of five years
How Much Funding Can Projects Receive from Atlantic Innovation Fund?
Eligible businesses operating in Atlantic Canada may be granted up to 75% of the costs of their eligible projects or up to a maximum of $3 million in research and development funds. Projects requiring less than $500,000 may be directed to a different ACOA program that basically works the same way.
Aside from capital costs, the funding will cover the salaries and wages of employees, as well as other operating expenses relevant to the project. Take note, though, that the funding AIF offers is conditionally-repayable funding, which means repayment amounts and conditions will be set based on the competitiveness of a project. If a project has the potential to rake in benefits for a company and contribute to a broader economy, then there’s a higher chance of getting approved.
Is There an Application Deadline for AIF?
None. The AIF operates on an open-call basis, which means businesses and research institutions have the opportunity to submit their applications any time of the year.