For Canadian small businesses working in the tech industry, additional funding can help progress projects significantly towards further stages and bring you closer to accomplishing your goals. With business grants and software government funding, the funding you receive will not have to be repaid. The payoff to this is that the application process is stringent and there’s more competition for these grants as government agencies are strict about which projects are most eligible for grants that meet their high criteria.
At Innotek, we recognize how important IT startup funding and business grants are for small businesses looking to take their big project to the next level. Our consultants work with establishments, like yours, to successfully secure as much funding as possible. There are several avenues to this and we’ll break down FIVE important government grants that tech entrepreneurs and business managers should take advantage of. All have specific criteria in order to be eligible, so we’ll navigate them and work with you to build a successful application.
Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
For more than 70 years, the IRAP program has provided financial support for small businesses involved in technology driven innovation and endeavours. The grant supports the development and commercialization of new or improved products, services, and processes in Canada. Additionally, you’ll need at least one full time employee to qualify for IRAP and large companies tend to get more funding overall.
- How much is offered in this funding depends on how much you need to incur on expenses. There are two key offerings under the IRAP program:
- Small Technology Innovation Projects: This offers grants of up to $50,000 to further the R&D or commercialization of specialized technological projects.
- Mid-sized Technology Innovation Projects: These are larger grants for big projects involving internal R&D or the creation of an entirely new software
Another interesting IRAP funding subprogram is the Youth Employment Program for tech companies looking to hire interns for co-op placements. This initiative lets companies hire up to two young post-secondary graduates (aged 15-30) to assist with R&D projects, natural sciences, engineering research, and product/process development for 6-12 months at around $30,000.
Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) Incentive
While not considered a government grant, the SR&ED Incentive is a helpful refundable tax credit that helps you offset any expenses incurred during research and development. They are especially geared toward tech companies conducting such activities in Canada. To qualify, your company’s work must be involved in the advancement of science and technology through basic and applied research, investigation, experimentation, and analysis. Once you’re approved for an SR&ED tax credit, you’ll be able to use it to reduce your tax expenditures from your income and expenses between 15-35%.
The SR&ED program can work as your biggest source of funding, which means that the application process is vigorous and you must be able to report your findings in detail. At Innotek, our trusted consultants have the experience and knowledge to help you secure these credits for your R&D project. We’ll help you with your application with detailed consultations and information sessions to make the process much easier.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
The aim of the SIF program is to increase Canadian innovation by contributing large financial commitments to transformative, collaborative projects. It’s divided up into five streams of funding for different sized businesses, with some that can request over $10 million in contributions. To be eligible for the SIF grant, projects must advance Canada’s strategic technological advantage, promote growth through clean technology, and encourage long-term competitiveness in a global economy.
How much your business can receive varies on a case-by-case basis. If your application is accepted, you could receive up to 50% in funding for an eligible project.
For streams 1, 2, and 3, you must be a small, medium, or large for-profit corporation in Canada to qualify. Additionally, your operations must be geared towards R&D commercialization, growth and expansion of firms, and attraction and retention of large investments in Canada.
Meanwhile, streams 4 and 5 funding will support industrial research and development of technology within academia, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.
Canada Job Grant
The Canada Job Grant is available to employers in every province to address the evolving job market requirements. This helps cover the cost of skill development for both new and existing employees. Each trainee would receive $10,000 for short-term training expenses and education must be conducted by an accredited institution. You can apply now at provincial programs like the BC Employer Training Grant or Canada-Ontario Job Grant.
Innovator Skills Initiative (ISI) Grant
The Innovate BC ISI Grant is exclusively available to BC-based tech companies or non-profits hiring for a tech position. Companies can apply for up to $10,000 in funding a year to hire a post-secondary student for R&D projects. It has many benefits for your business because you can take on elite talent and train new employees. You’ll also be able to access resources to advance your project and company, as well as showcase industry challenges to prospective employees.
As we’ve learned, Canada offers many beneficial business grants to help tech companies prosper across the country. Make your application successful and get approved for more grants by working with our consultants today!