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Harper Government Announces New Initiative to Support Technology Commercialization and Business Growth in the West

October 25, 2013
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Minister Rempel announces the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative.

Minister Rempel announces the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative.

Corresponding Document: Photo Gallery

Western Canadian businesses will now be able to access support to help bring their innovative new technologies to market, thanks to Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, an initiative launched today by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

WINN demonstrates our Government’s commitment to ensuring that Canadian businesses continue to grow and generate high-value jobs across the West,” said Minister Rempel. “This initiative will help address a need identified by western Canadian businesses to help bring leading-edge innovations to domestic and global markets.

Under WINN, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for funding for a variety of tasks that are essential in taking a product from the R&D stage to the market, such as product testing and technology demonstrations, equipment purchases and installation, regulatory approval, marketing, and intellectual property protection.

Over the next five years, WINN will provide up to $100 million in repayable assistance to SMEs working to commercialize their products, processes, and services.

Getting a new idea into the marketplace can be a difficult prospect for a small business,” explained Noah Decter-Jackson, CEO & Creative Director, Complex Games Inc., and Board Member of New Media Manitoba. “The biggest challenge for western Canadian emerging businesses is the funding gap just prior to commercialization, where private investment becomes scarce and companies find themselves without the cash flow to take their innovation to the next level. WINN will help to bridge that gap.

By responding to the needs of our entrepreneurs and innovators with this targeted initiative, we are positioning them for long-term success and enabling them to emerge as leaders in a competitive global economy,” added Minister Rempel.

The WINN Initiative through Canada’s Economic Action Plan will support smaller firms across a range of sectors, including health and life sciences, clean technology and energy, aerospace and defence, nanotechnology, and information and communications technology. The Initiative is expected to help stimulate greater private sector investment, while also making it easier for innovative SMEs to secure funding.

Western Economic Diversification Canada, in partnership with the provinces, businesses, industry associations, and communities, promotes the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.

For media inquiries, contact:

Emily Goucher
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification
Telephone: 613-954-8097
E-mail: Emily.Goucher@wd-deo.gc.ca

For Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative inquiries, contact:

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is focused on creating jobs and economic growth for Canadians. Part of this challenge includes helping small businesses to develop innovative products and services, and get them to market. To help accelerate business-led innovation in Western Canada, the Harper Government is announcing the creation of the Western Innovation Initiative. WINN is a five-year, $100 million federal funding program for western Canadian businesses with less than 500 employees, to commercialize innovative technology-based products, processes or services.

Under this Initiative, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have new market-ready, technology-driven products and services may be eligible to apply for up to $3.5 million in direct, repayable funding. Eligible project activities for businesses include:

  • Introduction of a new product, process or service to new or existing markets;
  • Improvement of products, processes or services;
  • Technology development/acceleration;
  • Product certifications, including Controlled Goods Registration;
  • Pilot projects (first user) and technology demonstration projects;
  • Validation of market potential and end-user acceptance; and
  • Support for marketing, productivity, and process or quality improvement directly related to the commercialization of new opportunities.

The application intake period will begin on November 9, 2013. SMEs interested in the initiative can find more information on WD’s website.

In addition, SMEs wishing to participate in information sessions should contact the nearest WD Office or call 1-888-338-WEST (9378).

The West Means Business.