Western Economic Diversification Canada
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1. Overview

The Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative is a, five-year federal government initiative that offers repayable contributions to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) proposing to commercialize a new technology (product, process or service)in Western Canada. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will accept applications for WINN through a call for proposals with dates to be announced on WD websites. Applications must be supported by project and business information, recent financial statements and confirmation of all other funding sources.

For the fourth WINN Intake, funding will be provided to SMEs whose projects will support one of the following clusters: clean technology; clean resources; digital technologies; advanced manufacturing; agriculture value-added; health/bio-sciences.

Under WINN, eligible firms may apply for a repayable contribution of up to 50 percent of the costs of a new technology commercialization project. Qualifying organizations must demonstrate evidence of the commercial viability of their proposal (e.g. existing market and/or expected market demand, successful beta testing conducted, clear market advantage, etc.), including the ability to generate commercial sales within three years of the project start date. WINN contributions will only support specific activities and are fully repayable. After a one-year grace period following project completion, the principal will be repaid over 60 equal monthly payments.

The strongest applications, demonstrating the highest merit and fit with WINN objectives, will be considered for funding. The Initiative will be delivered through a two stage call for proposals process that has been simplified from previoius intakes. Applicants will have 30 days from the commencement of the call for proposals, to submit an expression of interest. No applications will be accepted outside the intake period. Applicants invited to Stage 2 will have approximately 15 days to complete Part 2 of the application.

The focus of WINN is on ensuring new and innovative products and processes developed by SMEs reach the marketplace. Examples of innovative projects include, but are not limited to, the introduction of a new product or process to new or existing markets; a technological improvement to an existing product, process or service; accelerating the development of a proven technology; implementing a technology demonstration project; and obtaining validation of market potential and end-user acceptance.

Incubators, accelerators, universities and other non-profit organizations would not be considered eligible under WINN, but will continue to be eligible under the Western Diversification Program (WDP). For more information about this program, please see the WDP web page.