The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) today announced a non-repayable contribution of $10 million for Innovation Guelph to lead the delivery of the i.d.e.a. Fund, which will target companies with a focus on agri-innovation, cleantech and advanced manufacturing in urban and rural communities.
“Today’s investment in Innovation Guelph and the i.d.e.a. Fund will provide Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses with the support they need to produce innovative solutions that continue Canada’s transition to a green economy. This investment will create good, secure jobs for Canadians, protect Canadian supply chains, and ensure that the Canadian economy is positioned to be a global leader, now and into the future,” said Helena Jaczek, minister responsible for the FedDev Ontario.
Led by Innovation Guelph, in partnership with five southwestern Ontario Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): HalTech (Halton Region), Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory (Hamilton), TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario (London), and WEtech Alliance (Windsor and Chatham-Kent), the i.d.e.a. Fund was created to support and position local economies in southern Ontario for long-term growth. The goal is to provide high potential businesses with the opportunity to receive non-repayable grant money (seed funding) and business advisory supports to develop new green products, services, processes, and technologies and/or redesign existing products, services, processes, and technologies to reduce their impact on the environment, i.d.e.a. Fund said.
The initiative will support 240 businesses, create and maintain 840 jobs, and result in the commercialization of 135 new products, services, processes, and technologies, FedDev Ontario announced.
With this investment, FedDev Ontario says it aims to help Canadian businesses focused on green technology and clean innovation succeed through access to capital and mentoring to commercialize innovative technologies. The goal is to ensure Canadian green innovators have the necessary support to succeed, create good jobs for Canadians, and continue the growth of a greener, more innovative Canadian economy.
The investment also aims to foster a more diverse and inclusive economy. The RICs will work together to ensure 50 per cent of the businesses are owned or led by women, and 30 per cent are owned or led by Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, Black communities, racialized communities, and members of the LGBTQ2+ community.
“Since its inception, Innovation Guelph and the province’s Regional Innovation Centres have been fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. This funding is an exciting opportunity to extend our reach and impact with an innovative approach, where for the first time, RICs are collaboratively delivering support to under-represented communities who will contribute to a green recovery,” said Alison Crumblehulme, chief executive officer, Innovation Guelph.
Applications for the funding will be accepted starting on May 10 and will close on June 7, 2022. More information on the fund can be found here.