Lines of credit have almost completely dried up in this recession, and it’s harder than ever for businesses to fund their new development projects.  Ontario’s Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy (AMIS) is a great venue for Ontario manufacturers to pursue. What’s more, AMIS is available to companies from all manufacturing sectors in Ontario. The $500 million dollar provincial program focuses on:

  • industrial R&D
  • design/prototyping/engineering
  • new/ advanced products/materials
  • advanced manufacturing processes
  • robotics/software development
  • waste reduction
  • energy conservation

AMIS, when granting a loan, can provide up to 30% of the total eligible costs of a project (up to a limit of $10M). This funding is given in the form of a repayable loan. The loan is interest free and principal free for up to five years, providing the company receiving it meets job and investment targets mutually agreed upon between the company and the province. After that period, the repayment rate is the province’s cost of borrowing, plus an additional 1%.

To be eligible, projects must create and/or retain at least 50 jobs. Alternatively, the projects must invest $10 million over the 5 year period. The costs eligible for the loan (excluding ongoing costs of production or operations) include:

  • research and development
  • equipment and machinery
  • materials
  • construction/facility improvements
  • training
  • overhead
  • labour (one time only)

The terms for the loan are negotiated individually. After completing the application process, most companies receive word of the province’s decision within a relatively speedy 45 calendar days. This sometimes may take longer for the more complicated applications. The Minister of Finance, along with the Minister of Economic Development, approve or deny applications based on the guidelines of the AMIS Assessment Committee.

What’s more, for those manufacturers who regularly claim for SR&ED, receiving an AMIS loan has no impact on SR&ED eligibility. The AMIS loan is not affected if a business has already received an SR&ED return or income tax credits.  Companies that have received AMIS funding often include extra cash procured by SR&ED towards their projects. In fact, any business that has received SR&ED credits is more likely to be meeting the AMIS eligibility requirements.

For more information about AMIS, visit