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July 2014 Issue

Bringing New Ideas to the Marketplace

Minister Rempel announces funding to 27 western Canadian businesses.
Minister Rempel announces funding to 27 western Canadian businesses.

After much anticipation, last month the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced the successful recipients of the first round of Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative funding.

Developed in response to feedback received during extensive consultations held last summer with businesses, academia, and entrepreneurs across the West, WINN is a concrete step taken by the federal government to address the commercialization gap in the Canadian innovation process.

In announcing the recipients, Minister Rempel said, "I am proud to support programs such as the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, which will assist small- and medium-sized enterprises in Western Canada in bringing their ideas into the global marketplace. Through WINN we are filling a funding gap identified by Canadian business, and re-affirming our government's commitment to providing opportunities for jobs and growth."

With a planned investment of $100 million over 5 years in the form of repayable contributions, WINN is poised to have a lasting impact on Canada’s western innovation landscape.

WINN’s first intake period garnered enthusiastic interest, with many high quality applications received. Of that, 27 projects were selected to receive over $21 million in funding to bring new products, processes and services to the market over the next three years. Even more, WINN’s investment is leveraging additional private contributions of nearly $24 million.

Successful projects touch on a wide range of economic sectors, from Health and Life Sciences, to Clean Technology, to Value Added Manufacturing. They are also spread across the West in our cities, rural centres and across each province.

A complete list of recipients can be found via the WD website.

The next intake of applications for WINN is planned for Fall 2014.