Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Sub-program 1.1.4: Technology Commercialization

Description

Technology Commercialization supports SMEs, directly or indirectly through not-for-profit entities, in the development and production of prototypes, demonstration of products and third party certification, as well as testing and quality assurance of specific products. In addition, it supports outreach and promotional activities to attract investment, validate market potential and end user acceptance, and facilitate market-ready knowledge-based products, processes and services. Transfer payments in support of this sub-program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.

 

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)
2014-15
Planned Spending
2014-15
Actual Spending
2014-15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
45,528,572 36,015,805 (9,512,767)

Note: Actual spending is lower than planned primarily due to more project approvals in other priority areas following comparative analysis of all proposals received.

 

Human Resources (FTEs)
2014–15
Planned
2014–15
Actual
2014–15
Difference
(actual minus planned)
42 41 (1)

 

Performance Results
Expected Result Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
Advanced Technology Development - the technology in its final form is proven through successful deployment in an operational setting under real-life conditions Number of products, processes or services proven through successful deployment in an operational setting 6 20
Enhanced financial capacity of SMEs to pursue technology development and commercialization Value of incremental private sector investment attracted $0* $3 million
Sales of knowledge-based products, processes and/or services by SMEs Value of sales tied to the knowledge-based product/ process/ service/ technology commercialized $0* $18.6 million

* Although WD began investing in Technology Commercialization activities through the WINN Initiative in 2014–15, these types of activities have historically required more than one year to demonstrate results. Therefore, this target was set to zero for 2014–15.

 

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

WD tracks three indicators to capture the impact of the Technology Commercialization sub-program: number of products, processes or services proven through successful deployment in an operational setting; value of incremental private sector investment attracted; and value of sales tied to the knowledge-based product/ process/ service/ technology commercialized.

WD met or exceeded its targets for all three performance indicators related to the Technology Commercialization sub-program (see Performance Results table above). For all three indicators, the higher than expected results stem from projects achieving results earlier than anticipated.

WD successfully launched the new WINN Initiative[xvi] in 2013–14, and 2014–15 saw 30 projects approved for a total of $28.1 million in WD support. This funding will assist for-profit SMEs in Western Canada to bring new technology-based products, processes and services to market. In addition, WD contributed to 23 new projects under the Western Diversification Program (WDP) in 2014–15 in support of this priority area, totaling $41.5 million. Generally, these types of activities require a few years to demonstrate results.

In addition to funding technology commercialization projects, the Department engaged innovation stakeholders and partners around ways to advance technology commercialization activities in Western Canada. For example, WD convened public investors in conjunction with the Propel Energy Tech Forum held in Calgary in January 2015 as well as an investor roundtable in conjunction with the Canadian Financing Forum held in Vancouver in February 2015.  WD officials have also pursued discussions separately with Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Natural Research Council officials in a structured engagement aimed at establishing collaborative arrangements that support western Canada's innovation eco-system and technology commercialization. In addition, WD officials met with Polytechnics Canada in November 2014 to discuss WD programs as they relate to the group's research and commercialization interests.