The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) seeks to increase the sourcing capabilities of Ontario-based small and medium sized automotive suppliers, while encouraging innovation and productivity initiatives that increase success in the growing export markets.

Small and medium sized automotive suppliers, or large companies partnering with small or medium sized automotive suppliers, can apply for up to $100,000 in project funding. Funding must be matched 1:1 by industry cash and contribute to the adoption of industry leading IT. Projects can be up to two years in duration.

Read more…

$1.26B Strategic Innovation Fund now accepting applications


$1.26B Strategic Innovation Fund now accepting applications

The Government of Canada has now launched its much anticipated $1.26B Strategic Innovation Fund, a new program to attract and support high-quality business investments across all industry sectors.

Quick Facts.

  • This new five-year fund was first announced in Budget 2017.
  • It consolidates and simplifies the Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative (SADI), the Technology Demonstration Program (TDP), the Automotive Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP).
  • The Strategic Innovation Fund is open to all industries and will support four types of innovation activities: (1) research, development and commercialization of new products and services; (2) growth and scale-up of high-potential firms; (3) attraction of new investments to Canada; and (4) public-private collaborations in developing and demonstrating new technologies.
  • The fund will provide both grants and repayable contributions to businesses of all sizes.

Funding Streams.

The fund will offer four distinct applicant streams:

  1. Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services.
  2. Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada.
  3. Stream 3: Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada.
  4. Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between academia, nonprofits and the private sector.

Eligibility Requirements.

  • Under Streams 1-3, the Applicant must be a for-profit business.
  • Under Stream 4, applicants are consortia or networks that may include Canadian universities, colleges, research institutes, businesses and/or nonprofits.
  • Eligible projects must correspond to the approved Technology Readiness Levels associated with each Stream:
  • Stream 1: TRL 1 to 9 (Basic principles observed and reportedto Actual product and/or process proven successful)
  • Stream 2: TRL 8 to 9 (Actual product and/or process completed and qualified through test and demonstrationto Actual product and/or process proven successful)
  • Stream 3: TRL 2 and above (Technology concept and/or application formulatedto Actual product and/or process proven successful)
  • Stream 4: TRL 1 to 7 (Basic principles observed and reportedto Product and/or process prototype demonstration in an operational environment).


  • The amount awarded to each applicant will vary depending on eligible activities.
  • The government will not contribute more than 50% of eligible costs. The maximum level of funding will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
  • Contributions under Stream 4 will be non-repayable and will not exceed 50% of eligible costs, except for recipients that are academic institutions or networks, where the contribution provided may cover 100% of eligible costs.

Details on how to apply can be found here.

Northumberland CFDC brings back N100 Startup Competition

By Joseph Czikk, Betakit

The Northumberland CFDC, a business development corporation dedicated to providing financing, strategy, and a comprehensive ecosystem for entrepreneurs, is bringing back to N100 Startup Competition. The winner takes home a cool $100,000.

Northumberland county is located one hour east of Toronto and part of the Northumberland CFDC’s mission is to establish a stronger startup culture in the area. Thus, while it calls the N100 a “global” startup competition, ultimately applicants are expected to establish a presence in Northumberland to qualify for the $100,000 investment.

Last year marked the first N100 competition, with the Unified Computer Intelligence Corporation taking the prize for it ubiquitous computing device, dubbed “the Ubi.” 34 companies applied in total.

“N100 helps accelerate early-stage companies in Ontario by providing risk capital to fund significant milestones in their development—such as prototyping—and ready them for angel round follow-on investment,” said Wendy Curtis of the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation. “In addition, N100 is an entrepreneurial attraction and development strategy designed to build a nucleus of next generation companies.”

To apply go to:

VentureStart is a NEW Program that combines Business Skills Training, Experienced Mentoring and up to $30,000 in Seed Capital!


VentureStart is a new program that enhances the success rate of start-up enterprises by providing essential business training for technology entrepreneurs. Plus, your start-up enterprise has the opportunity to receive matching seed financing of up to $30,000.

Who can enroll
To be eligible for VentureStart, you must be a university or college graduate of a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) program, and intend to start your business in Southern Ontario.

To qualify for seed financing, you must successfully complete the business training program and Critical Factor Assessment, and be able to provide matching funds.

Low Cost of Entry for Entrepreneurs. Since RIC Centre covers half the cost of the skills development training phase, the enrollment cost for eligible entrepreneurs is only $1,700. There are no other costs for you to continue in the program, other than the requirement of matching funds for any seed financing you will ultimately apply for, up to a maximum of $30,000.

Phase One: Business Skills Development
Online on-demand business and management skills training.*
Best practices training supplemented by one-on-one coaching.
Foundation for a business development plan for your new venture.
Critical Factor Assessment determines readiness for Phase Two and funding.

Phase Two: Business Launch Support
Individual mentoring by experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence.
Access to key services for launching and operating a new business.
Opportunity to qualify for up to $30,000 of matching seed financing.

To find out more about this program, please contact Spark Centre.