At NorthBridge, we keep up to date on all the most recent government funding updates, intake announcements and upcoming deadlines so you don’t have to. Each month, we provide a summary of the most important news in government funding. Get in touch today to learn more about each program and assess your eligibility.

For: Alberta-based companies performing R&D

Innovation Employment Grant

The province of Alberta has recently announced details on their replacement for the previous 10% provincial Tax Credit on SR&ED expenditures. The Innovation Employment Grant will support SMEs that invest in R&D with a grant worth up to 20% of qualifying expenditures. Similar to SR&ED, companies will claim the grant when they file their annual corporate tax returns. Eligible expenditures are those that qualify for the federal SR&ED Tax Incentive Program and will be verified by Canada Revenue Agency. The program opened on January 1, 2021; thus, all eligible expenditures must be incurred after December 31, 2020.

For: Ontario Production Companies

Ontario Creates Film Fund – Development

The Development Stream of Ontario Creates Film Fund aims to support development activities in Ontario for the overall goal of benefiting Ontario in return on investment and jobs creation. The fund supports Ontario producers for all stages of development activities across genres. The development stages include Story Optioning, Treatment to First Draft, Second to Final Draft, and Polish and Packaging. Costs do not need to be entirely spent in Ontario or Canada; however, the Ontario spend is a key factor in the decision criteria. Applications will be accepted on a continuous basis until November 30, 2021.

For: Ontario Production Companies

Ontario Creates Export Fund – Film & Television

The Export Fund program supports Ontario companies with funding to participate in export development activities that facilitate international business and audience development. The activities must produce measurable business development results (sales, pre-sales, financing, licensing and/or publishing deals, etc.). The fund has adapted in recognition of the challenges created by COVID-19 by introducing costs associated with virtual events and marketing material creation as eligible activities. Prior to this, the primary activities funded by the program included market event attendance and targeted sales trips. The deadline to apply for funding is May 11, 2021.

For: Saskatchewan-Based companies in Agriculture, Agri-Tech and Agri-Food

Innovation Saskatchewan Agtech Growth Fund (AGF)

The Agtech Growth Fund provides funding to accelerate commercialization of innovations in Saskatchewan’s agricultural sector. Funding is available to R&D projects that solve a specific industry-wide challenge and benefit the sector as a whole, focusing on projects in digital Ag software/hardware, Smart Farm equipment, food processing, indoor agriculture, animal health, supply chain tech and agricultural marketplace/fintech. Projects must be a collaboration between private sector partners, with priority given to proposals that also have an academic partner from a Saskatchewan post-secondary or research institute. The project will fund up to 30% of the proposed budget in the form of a non-repayable grant. The first deadline for intake period 1 in 2021 is April 30 for the EOI submission.

For: SMEs in Western Canada impacted by the economic effects of COVID-19 that do not qualify for other support measures

Western Economic Diversification Canada Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (WD RRRF)

The Regional Relief and Recovery Fund offers support to businesses and organizations affected by COVID-19, that are unable to access other federal relief measures, or require additional support. The program offered by WD recently added some key new features for liquidity support. Priority is now given to businesses in sectors that were hardest hit by COVID-19 including the tourism sector. In addition, RRRF funding may now support eligible operating costs up to a maximum of 12 consecutive months (previously this was 6 months). The RFFF funding remains interest-free and covers 100% of eligible costs. The program will close once WD has fully distributed funds.