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Western Innovation Initiative (WINN) Applicant Guide

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Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) reserves the right to modify these guidelines at any time without notice.

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.

Program Description

2. Background

WINN will promote the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy by providing financial support to qualified SMEs to help them accelerate the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services in Western Canada, and by stimulating greater private sector investment in Western Canadian commercialization activities.

Attracting early-stage capital for technology commercialization has been identified as a key challenge for SMEs in Western Canada. WINN will address the pre-commercialization funding gaps inhibiting firmsfrom bringing new knowledge-based products and services to market.

Text Version: WINN Relative to Pre-Commercialization Funding Gaps

WINN Relative to Pre–Commercialization Funding Gaps

3. Objectives

The WINN aims to:

  • Commercialize innovative, technology-based products, processes and services.
  • Stimulate greater private sector investments in commercialization activities.
  • Increase the number of jobs for highly qualified personnel (HQP) in Canada.
  • Enable company growth.

4. Eligibility

4.1 Eligible Recipients — Mandatory Criteria

WINN is open to enterprises that meet the following mandatory eligibility criteria:

  • For-profit businesses incorporated to conduct business in Canada.
  • Less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
  • Have been in operation for at least one year.
  • Have operating facilities located in Western Canada (defined as British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba).
  • Have a viable plan to commercialize (i.e. generate revenue from sales) an innovative, technology-driven, new or improved product, service or process within three years of project commencement.
  • Have sufficient intellectual property rights to carry out the proposed project and to commercially exploit the results of the project.
  • Have provided project and business information that includes elements of the proposed project and recent financial statements.
  • Have confirmed, at the time of application, funding from all other sources, including government and non-government (non-government funding must represent at least 50 percent of the proposed project costs).
  • Are requesting no more than $3.5 million in WINN support.

4.2 Ineligible Recipients

The Initiative is intended to help for-profit firms bring new technologies to market. As such, ineligible recipients include, but are not limited to:

  • Federal and provincial government departments, agencies, boards, corporations and commissions.
  • Municipal governments.
  • Universities, colleges and hospitals.
  • Not-for-profit organizations.
  • Accelerators and incubators.

Depending on the project, organizations of this type may be eligible for support under other WD programs. Please consult the department's website for further information on WD's programs.

4.3 Eligible Activities

Project activities should be those that allow your firm to introduce a new product, process or service to a market or to technologically improve an existing product, process or service for new or existing markets. Examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Support for marketing, human resources development, productivity, and process or quality improvement directly related to the commercialization of new opportunities.

4.4 Eligible Clusters

Applications must support one of these clusters:

  • Clean Technology
  • Clean Resources
  • Digital Technology
  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Value Added Agriculture
  • Health/Bio Sciences

5. Funding

5.1 Level of Assistance

Applicants may apply for WINN funding for up to 50 percent of total eligible costs for each project, to a maximum of $3.5 million per project. Applicants who have received past WINN funding are eligible to submit additional projects, but total support to any one organization cannot exceed $10 million over the life of the Initiative (2013 -2019). An applicant can submit only one application per intake period.

In addition, total government assistance, from any level of government (see glossary for definition) cannot exceed 50 percent of eligible project funding.

In-kind contributions will not be considered in the calculation of project costs. Applicants must provide confirmation of their cash investment into the project at the time of application and show non-governmental funding equal to or greater than the value of the funding request (i.e. the WINN contribution must not exceed 50 percent of the cash required to carry out the project).


5.2 SR&ED and Other Tax Credits

WD considers tax credits received for activities defined under the project, as a source of government assistance. Such credits are considered for calculating the total amount of government funding that has been provided to a project. Likewise, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may consider funding received from WINN to be government assistance, even though it will eventually be repaid.

Applicants are strongly advised to seek independent professional advice to determine the potential effect of WINN funding on project activities for which SR&ED tax credits, or other federal and provincial tax credits, are likely to be sought.

Successful applicants who are in receipt of SR&ED tax credits and other similar federal or provincial tax credits for activities defined in the project are required to inform WD. WD may be required to reduce its overall level of project funding to ensure the total amount of government assistance remains at 50 percent of the project.

Should you also successfully receive WINN funding, CRA will consider that funding as taxable income.


5.3 Disbursements

If you are successful in obtaining WINN funding for your project, WD will provide the repayable funding in periodic reimbursements. These periodic reimbursements will be released to you for the approved portion (e.g. 50 percent) of eligible project costs that you have incurred and paid. Since successful applicants must submit a claim for reimbursement, there will be a delay between the time costs are incurred and when claimed costs are partly reimbursed. Successful applicants will therefore need to plan their project cash flow accordingly. WD will provide detailed instructions on this process to those Applicants approved for WINN funding.

5.4 Repayability

Agreements under the WINN will require recipients to repay the entire principal within six years of project completion. Following a one year grace period after project completion, recipients will be required to make 60 equal monthly payments. Interest equal to the average bank rate plus 3 percent will be charged for any late principal payments.

There is no penalty for early repayment.

5.5 Project Duration

Projects may vary in duration, ranging from a few months to multiple years; however, the intent of WINN is to support projects that demonstrate plans to commercialize a new technology within three years of the Project Start Date (See section 14).

5.6 Eligible Costs

Incremental expenditures that are essential to the implementation of the project that may be eligible for reimbursement include, but may not be limited to:

  • Quantifiable design, engineering and other professional services.
  • Costs of prototype development materials consumed.
  • Costs of transportation of prototype to location of demonstration site.
  • Costs of third party certification, testing, quality assurance, etc.
  • Costs of specialized insurance while items are onsite for demonstration.
  • Material and supplies costs consumed in the product development and production stages.
  • Capital costs for machinery and equipment.
  • Labor costs.
  • Procurement of project-related innovation services (independent of the applicant), including, for example, patenting costs.

Where necessary for the implementation of the proposed project, WD may consider ongoing costs (e.g. labor) associated with incremental project activities eligible for the purposes of WINN. WD reserves the right to make the final determination on the value of contributions and to exclude expenditures deemed to be ineligible or outside the scope of the WINN program.

5.7 Ineligible Activities & Costs

Costs that are deemed unreasonable, not incremental, and/or not directly related to project activities will be ineligible for reimbursement. These include, but may not be limited to:

  • Land and buildings.
  • Basic or applied research.
  • Entertainment expenses.
  • Salary bonuses and dividend payments.
  • Allowance for interest on invested capital, bonds, debentures, and other debt.
  • Losses on investments, bad debts and associated expenses, other projects and contracts.
  • Refinancing of existing debts.
  • Amortization or depreciation of assets.
  • Federal and provincial income taxes, GST (recoverable portion), taxes or surtaxes on excess profit.
  • Provisions for contingencies or commissions paid to consultants to secure funding.
  • Lobbying activities.
  • Donations, dues and membership fees.

Costs incurred prior to the WD Project Start Date will not be eligible. The WD Project Start Date should occur in the future, and after project decisions are made by WD. WD anticipates project decisions will be made approximately 6 months after the close of the application period (Spring 2018).

Intake and Assessment Process

6. Application Process

The WINN program will be delivered through a two stage "Call for Proposals" (CFP) process where applicants will have 30 days from the commencement of the CFP, to submit an application. Dates for these application periods will be posted on WD's website. You may only submit an application once the intake period opens. No applications will be accepted outside the intake period. Saved applications that have not been submitted prior to the deadline will not be accessible and cannot be submitted. All applications will be evaluated on their ability to achieve the objectives ofWINN (see section 3 of these guidelines) and on their relative strengths in the following areas:

  • Market potential.
  • Management capability.
  • Technology readiness.
  • Financial capacity.

6.1 Review process

Stage One: Eligibility & Pre-Screening

The Expression of Interest (part one of the application) will be used to assess eligibility based on the mandatory WINN criteria. Eligible applicants whose applications are supported by project and business information, and evidence of confirmation of other funding sources will be included in the competitive pre-screening process. They will be evaluated against other proposals received during the intake. The strongest proposals, based on an evaluation against the assessment criteria, will be invited to complete Part Two of the WINN application form and advance to Stage Two of the assessment process.

WD will notify applicants if they will be advancing to Stage 2 approximately 4 weeks after the application deadline. Application volumes may impact all timelines.

Stage Two: Detailed Assessment

Applicants that have been invited to Stage Two, will be assessed based on information provided as part of the Expression of Interest and the information provided in Part 2 of the application. Invited applicants will have 15 business days to complete Part Two. Part Two applications submitted after the deadline will not be accepted. As the assessment proceeds, WD may request additional information and supporting documentation from applicants. This would be required within established deadlines. Invitation to Stage Two does not constitute an offer of funding.

WD will engage the technical services of the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) to conduct the technical assessment of proposals. IRAP will use its network of Industrial Technology Advisors for this purpose. Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC) will also be consulted regarding projects related to clean technology. WD reserves the right to seek other professional and technical advice as required.

7. Intellectual Property

Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient intellectual property (IP) rights and appropriate protection for technology that has been developed prior to the beginning of the project that will be required to carry out the project and to commercially exploit its results. This includes, but is not limited to ensuring that sufficient provisions have been made in any agreements with employees, contractors, collaborators (partners), etc. Proof of IP ownership and/or rights to access IP may be requested by WD in the assessment process.

The title to any new IP rights arising from the activities of the project must remain with the Recipient:

  • The Recipient shall not dispose of, or relinquish control over, any asset utilized in the Project, including IP developed or acquired as a result of carrying out the Project, during the term of the Agreement, without the prior written consent of the Minister; and
  • The consent of the Minister is not required when the transfer of ownership or relinquishment of control over IP is needed to commercialize the process, product, and/or technology, as identified as part of the funded project.

8. Confidentiality

All proprietary data, commercially sensitive information and potentially valuable results or ideas will be protected from unauthorized, inadvertent or untimely disclosure. Information provided by applicants in the application and in all supporting documentation is collected under the authority of the Western Economic Diversification Act. This information will be treated in accordance with that Act and with the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.

These laws govern, protect and limit the collection, use and disclosure of personal and confidential information by federal government departments and agencies. Confidential commercial information will not be shared without the applicant's consent.

For all projects that are invited to Stage Two Detailed Assessment, information will be shared with Industrial Technology Advisors from the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program, who will be assisting in the technical assessment of projects. In some cases, WD may seek to confer with other external experts (e.g. scientific, technical, financial, marketing, commercialization) to assist with project review/evaluation. This may include credit agencies. By submitting an application, the applicant affirms that they acknowledge and consent to the sharing of information for this purpose. Before an application is released to an expert for project review/evaluation, the expert will be required to sign a confidentiality agreement and a conflict of interest agreement with WD.

9. Official Languages

WD is committed to providing quality service to all applicants and funding recipients in the official language of their choice. In support of building a society that is respectful of Canada's linguistic duality, in cases where WINN projects benefit members of both official language communities:

  • The project's design and delivery will respect the obligations of the Government of Canada as set out in Part VII of the Official Languages Act through consultation with the Official Language Minority Community.
  • Where appropriate, equitable services and benefits will be made available in both official languages either directly through the funded activities or through an alternative arrangement, in compliance with the Official Languages Act.

10. Environmental Assessment Compliance

Projects involving physical works may be subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. Recipients of WINN funding will be responsible for obtaining all certificates, consents, permits and approvals required for compliance with applicable legislation and for complying with the requirements of such legislation. Should an environmental assessment be required, it will be necessary to plan several months before the WD Project Start Date to allow sufficient time for the completion of the assessment.

11. Reporting Requirements

All contribution agreements issued under the Initiative will include performance indicators to measure the individual project performance and the WINN program effectiveness relative to objectives. Recipients will be required to submit, along with funding claims, regular progress reports and financial statements to WDthroughout the project, from implementation through to the repayment period.

12. Frequently Asked Questions

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (link 1) (FAQ) page for more information.

Find additional information on WD programs.

13. Glossary

Below is a short glossary of terms used in this guide:


Glossary of Terms
Term Description
Assessment Thorough review and analysis of all aspects of an application prior to entering into a contribution agreement. This includes scoping of the project to meet program and departmental objectives, as well as Government of Canada guidelines for funding contributions.
Commercialization For the purposes of WINNcommercialization is the process of introducing a new product, process, or service into the market place and is achieved when commercial level sales and/or production are realized.
Full-Time Equivalent The number of full-time employees working for the organization.
Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Canada's Highly Qualified personnel (HQP) are defined as individuals with university degrees at the bachelor's level and above.
Government assistance Funding from any level of government (Federal, Provincial or Municipal). Also includes funding from any organization that does not make investment decisions independent from government or on a commercial basis.
Incremental Activities and expenditures that are additional to the proponent's current operations or activities.
In-Kind Contributions Contributions toward project costs that do not involve a cost incurred or paid for by the recipient.
Project The group of activities and actions, which are cost-shared, that occurs in the period between the WD Project Start Date and the Project End Date.
Project End Date The date it is anticipated that project activity will cease. This does not include the repayment period.
Repayable Contribution A repayable contribution is a contribution that will be repaid to WD according to repayment conditions specified in the contribution agreement.
WD Project Start Date This is the date that an agreement between a recipient and WD comes into effect. Any costs incurred prior to this date are not eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the agreement. It can be thought of as the start date for the project as defined by the WINN contribution agreement. WD anticipates project decisions will be made approximately 6 months after the close of the application period.

Application Requirements and Instructions

14. Application Requirements

WINN is a competitive two-stage application process. It is highly recommended that you read this Applicant Guide before completing the application form. Stronger projects will evidence a complete and sufficiently detailed application which will allow WD to thoroughly review and validate the information.

For Stage one, applicants must submit:

  • A completed part one WINN application form, with a request for no more than $3.5 million in WINN support.
  • Project and business information, which addresses each area outlined below. The information should include clear rationale/assumptions where necessary and must include:
    • Description of the business.
    • Description of the new product, process, or service being commercialized.
    • An operating/ execution plan for commercializing the new product, process, or service.
    • An analysis of the marketplace (including industry factors, competition, and customers).
    • A detailed sales and marketing strategy.
    • Strong projects will demonstrate how the new product, process or service differentiates itself from those already in the marketplace; or, if new, what the market demand is and why it would be needed.
    • A description of the management team and corporate governance structure. This should include both abilities to manage day to day operations as well as to manage the project. If the management team is not yet complete please comment as to the reasoning and if applicable future intentions.
    • The expectation is that WINN applicants will normally have already sought funding from other sources (e.g., banks, venture capitalists, etc.) prior to applying to WD, and as such, will already possess written documentation (e.g. business plan) that contains much of this information. It is recommended that you consult the Canada Business Network website to access tools (e.g. business plan templates) from the BDC and Canada's major banks to ensure that the project and business information being submitted is complete and contains sufficient information to be assessed.
  • Proof of confirmed funding at time of application from all other sources, including government and non-government (non-government funding must represent at least 50 percent of the proposed project costs).
  • Note that WD considers proof of confirmed funding to include:
    • For funding to be provided by the applicant firm - current bank statements detailing existing cash balances or the unused portion of lines of credit.
    • For third-party funding sources - official letters (on letter head, signed) of confirmed or conditional funding; and/or funding agreements that can be verified.

WD does not consider the following as proof of confirmed funding:

  • Forecasted revenues from future activities.
  • Accounts receivables.
  • Commitments to raise equity.
  • Commitments to obtain future bank financing.
  • Scientific Research & Experimental Design (SR&ED) credit receivables.

For stage two, invited applicants will be required to complete Part Two of the application which captures:

  • Additional information on the technology being commercialized, as well as the IP strategy.
  • Forecasted income statements and cashflow information. These statements should be for current operations, for the new project alone and on a combined basis. The forecasts must include all rationale/assumptions on which they are based and could include various scenarios such as breakeven.
  • Most recent financial statements and current (i.e. no less than three months from the date of this application) interim statements for the current period.
  • A detailed list of expenditures proposed under the project along with their specific timing and cash flow, and information related to the repayment and remuneration of shareholders, partners and management bonuses during the course of the project. Invited applicants will have ten business days to complete Part Two of the application.
  • The following information could also be attached in order to strengthen your application:
    • Written endorsement or review of the technology.
    • Independent market assessment.
    • Evidence of market demand such as purchase orders, letter of intent, etc.

15. Saving Your Application

All applicants are strongly encouraged to use Western Economic Diversification's online application tool, to apply for funding. An online application can be saved, allowing you to complete it in more than one session. All applications must be submitted before 2 PM (MST) on November 29, 2017.

Saving your application form

  • Save your application as soon as you can - To do so, the following nine fields on the application form must be completed so that Western Economic Diversification can find the saved application should you require technical support:
  • Question 1. Full legal name of your organization
  • Question 23. Project Title
  • Question 28. Province
  • Question 33. Salutation
  • Question 34. First name
  • Question 35. Last name
  • Question 36. Title
  • Question 37. Email address
  • Question 38. Telephone
  • Save frequently – This will help prevent you from losing data that you have inputted in the event there is an Internet interruption or your session is timed out.

Accessing your saved application form

Once you have successfully saved your application, an email will be sent to the email address of the Primary Contact (Question 37 in the Application Form). If the Primary Contact is not the person completing the application, he/she must forward this email to the individual who is. You can only access your saved application with the information (weblink) included in this email, therefore it is critical that you save this email.

Upon receiving your 'saved' project application email from WD please do the following:

  • Click on the Application Retrieval Link included in the 'saved' email.
  • You will require a GCKey to open your saved application.
    • A GCKey is a unique username and password that allows access to, and protects your communication with, online Government of Canada programs and services.
    • More information on GCKey is available here.
  • If you do not already have a GCKey, you can register for one when opening your saved application for the first time.
    • Step 1. Select the "Continue to GCKey" button (this will be the second option on your screen).
    • Step 2. Select the "Sign Up" button on the right-hand side of the GCKey login page.
    • Step 3. Follow the instructions on your screens to create a username and password.
  • Once you have registered for a GCKey, select the "Continue to GCKey" button and input your username/password.
    • WD recommends that you create a new (separate) GCKey for each individual application you submit to Western Economic Diversification.  Creating a unique GCKey for each application allows you to share the GCKey with others in your organization who may need to view the application. In the event another individual must gain access to the saved application, sharing the GCKey is at your organization's risk and discretion. As such, we do not recommend using the Sign-in Partner method using financial institutional partners; however, this option is available for those who prefer it.

It is important to note the following:

  • You must save the link contained in the email you receive from WD after saving your application for the first time to retrieve a saved draft of your application. You will not receive another email when saving your work in the future.
  • Once you have accessed the saved application form with your GCKey, only that GCKey will be able to access the form. Therefore it is important that you do not lose your GCKey username and password.
  • In the event another individual must gain access to the saved application, sharing the GCKey is at your organization's risk and discretion.
  • It is important to remember your GC Key username as it cannot be retrieved if lost. In the event your GCKey username is lost, a new application will have to be started.
  • If you experience technical difficulties related to accessing your saved application form, please contact Western Economic Diversification.
  • You must click the "Validate/Submit" button at the top of the application form to formally submit your application to WD. A "saved" application that is not formally submitted will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for funding.
  • Once you submit your application, you can no longer re-open the form. Be sure to either print a copy or convert it to PDF and save before you submit.

Additional Tips:

  • Always save your application form once the minimum number of fields for saving is complete.
  • Always save regularly as the online form does not automatically save.
  • Logout when you are finished with the form for the day.
  • If you are using two separate GCKeys for any reason, you may need to clear your computer browsing history when logging out from one saved form and logging into another.

If you are unable to submit your application using the online application tool, contact a Western Economic Diversification Regional Office for assistance.It is recommended that applicants retain their GCKey information as it may be used for reporting purposes if an application is approved.

Submitting your application form

  1. Save a final version of your application using the 'Save' button at the top of the application form. Please ensure you have attached all required additional documentation (see Section 17 for a complete list).
  2. Print a copy for your records.
  3. Select the 'Validate/Submit' button at the top of the application form to formally submit your online application to WD. Once the validation of your application is complete you will have to select a second 'Submit' button.
  4. The Primary Contact will receive a confirmation email upon successful submission. If you do not receive this confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting please contact a WD Regional Office.  A "saved" application that is not formally submitted will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for funding.

16. Application Instructions

Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the online application form where possible. HTML and PDF versions of the application form are available, but will require applicants to print and sign the documents. In addition, the PDF form cannot be completed electronically.

Questions highlighted in RED on the application form are used to assess mandatory eligibility criteria. If you cannot submit, and receive the message your application does not meet the mandatory eligibility criteria, please refer to these questions and the Section 4 of the Applicant Guide.

You can complete this form in more than one session using your GCKey. Instructions for saving and retrieving your application are available in the Applicant Guide.(Link 1)

Note: The application process for the WINN Initiative is a two-stage process. At this time (Stage One) you are required to complete Part One of the application form. Only the strongest applications demonstrating the highest merit and fit with WINN objectives will receive an invitation to Stage Two and be required to complete Part Two of the application. The invitation will be sent to the e-mail address provided in Field 37. You will have ten business days to complete Part Two of this application once you receive the invitation.  A best practice would be to have all information required to complete Stage 2 on hand should you be invited to Stage 2 in order to meet the short deadline.

Stage One applications received after the close of the intake will not be accepted. Stage Two applications received after the ten business day deadline will also not be accepted.

Enter the required information in the space provided. An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.

Before submitting this application, print a copy for your records.


Part One

Organization Information

1. Full legal name of your organization: The legal name as shown on the certificate of incorporation / registration.

2. If operating under a different name, please identify the name: Provide the name you are operating under if different from the above

3. Mailing address (Including suite, unit, apt #):

4. Mailing address line 2:

5. City:

6. Province / State:

7. Country: 

8. Postal / ZIP Code:

9. Telephone: The telephone number at which the applicant organization can be contacted. Use the following format xxx–xxx–xxxx.

10. Fax: The number at which you will receive faxes. Use the following format xxx–xxx–xxxx.

11. Email address: The primary email at which you can be contacted. Note that when the form is saved for the first time, an email will be sent to the e-mail address provided in field "37. Email address:" This email is only sent the first time the form is saved and contains instructions to retrieve the saved form.

12. Website: Your website address (if available).

13. Canada Revenue Agency business registration number (BN):

The unique Business Number assigned to you by the Canada Revenue Agency. A business number must be obtained through the Canada Revenue Agency. Information on obtaining a business number can be found at: Canada Revenue Agency.

14. Date your organization commenced business operations:  Provide the date you started business operations.

15. Number of employees working for your organization: 

Indicate the number of Full-Time Equivalent employees (FTEs) working for you (and if applicable any affiliated companies). Part-time employees should be calculated based on their equivalent to a FTE i.e. one part time employee working approx. 20hrs/week should be represented as 0.5 FTE.

16. Operating facilities existing in (check all that apply): ): Indicate all areas the you have operating facilities

17. Is the applicant organization a for-profit company registered in Canada? If you answer NO, you are ineligible for the WINN Initiative.

18. Indicate all that apply: If applicable, indicate whether you are:

  • 18a - Incorporated Federally.
  • 18b - Incorporated Provincially and if incorporated provincially, indicate the province or territory.
  • 18c - Date of Incorporation. (attach a copy of your Incorporation documents).

19. Your organization is headquartered in: select the description that represents the location the organization is headquartered in.

20. Is your organization a subsidiary of another company?: Respond yes or no.

21. If yes, provide company name and location: Provide the full legal name of the parent company (21a) and select the corresponding location of the headquarters (21b).

22. What sector do you currently operate in?: Identify the name of the industrial sector in which your business operates. (E.g. Information Communications Technology; Clean Technology; Clean Energy; Health and Life Sciences; Natural Resources; Aerospace, Defense, and Marine; etc.)


Project Information

23. Project Title (Maximum 90 characters including spaces): Provide a project title that accurately reflects the activities and outcomes of the project. Should your project be approved this description will be disclosed on WD's public website as part of its proactive disclosure guidelines. The description should:

  • Start with a verb (produce, create, develop, expand, increase, support), and
  • Concisely capture the essence of the project and, clearly identify the purpose/result expected. The project description must be understandable by anyone.


  • "Develop infrastructure and expertise for micro and nanotechnology commercialization"
  • "Support the implementation of a wireless technology demonstration"

24. Project Address is the same as Mailing Address (If checked, the Mailing Address will be automatically entered.): Indicate if the address at which the project will take place is the same as the mailing address.

25. Project address (Including suite, unit, apt #): If the Project address is different from the mailing address, then enter the location at which the project will take place.

26. Project address line 2:

27. City:

28. Province:

29. Postal Code:

30. Proposed project funding start date: This is the date that an agreement between a recipient and the department comes into effect. The earliest allowable date will be April 1, 2018. Any costs incurred prior to this date will not be eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the agreement. It can be thought of as the start date for project.

31. Proposed project end date: The date anticipated that project activity will cease. This does not include the repayment period and can be up to three years after the project start date.

32. Plan to commercialize: Please select the appropriate category that best reflects what exactly is being commercialized - a product, service, or process.

PROJECT CONTACT PERSON – the authorized contact person for the project

33. Salutation:

34. First Name:

35. Last Name:

36. Title:

37. Email Address:

38. Telephone:

39. Cell:

This is the contact information that will be used by WD for any follow-up to this application. Please ensure that the email address and phone numbers are updated as required to ensure you will be able to comply with WD's timelines outlined in the guide.


Project Description

40. Briefly describe your project in layman's terms. This is important as this section will be used in summary documents to describe your project at various review stages. (Maximum 500 characters including spaces). This should provide an understanding of why you are seeking financial assistance, how you will use the funds, and how the funds will support the commercial objectives of your organization. A suggested opening sentence could be: ABC Company will develop a new XYZ technology by constructing a prototype, testing the prototype, etc.

41. Provide a general overview of your product/service/process.

 a. This should be a non-technical overview that clearly describes the product/service/process and identifies its features and benefits. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Provide an overview of your technology (product/service/process) that describes what it does and why you believe your technology is innovative. Innovation is defined as "an advance on state of the art as compared to similar commercially available solutions". Highlight the unique advantages of your technology, including where appropriate references to advantages such as total cost, speed to implement, ease of use and adoption, maintenance and support, and stability of technology and company.

 b. Describe the market and the problem your product/service/process fixes or resolves (i.e. describe your company's value proposition to the market). (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Describe your value proposition, or why a potential customer would be interested in adopting your solution. A value proposition is a compelling set of reasons that make your innovation the obvious choice to solve the customer's problem. Stronger projects would be able to provide independent (third party) confirmation of the value proposition.



The funding summary will provide all sources of funding of the project. The applicant organization and WD are identified on the form. Please enter all other sources of funding in the spaces provided. If you are using the online application form and more space is required, click on "Add new source of funding" and an additional row will be provided. Please note it is mandatory that all other sources of funding have been identified and confirmed.

42. Project funder: Identify all potential funders of the project.

Source: Where applicable, select the description that best reflects the funding source - Federal, Provincial or Municipal government body, or non-government.

Confirmed: For each funding source, indicate if the funding has been confirmed through a written funding commitment. In the case where your business (Applicant Firm) is a source of funding, indicate yes if you have cash on hand.

Under each fiscal year column, provide the project funding cash flow for each year please use a commencement date of April 1st and an end date of March 31st to match WD's fiscal year.

Total project funding required - If you are using the online application form, this total is calculated automatically.

43. Percentage of confirmed non-government funding (calculated from the data provided above): If you are using the online application form, this percentage is automatically calculated based on the information provided in the table above. If you are using a PDF version of the form, this calculation can be made by taking the sum of all funding identified as "Non-Gov't" divided by the "Total project funding required."

44. It is mandatory that you attach proof of all confirmed funding: Attach proof of all sources of non-WD funding that have been confirmed for your project. Acceptable forms of confirmation include: copies of letters of confirmation, signed agreements and bank statements if any other source please attach and provide rationale as to why it should be considered confirmed.

WD does not consider the following as proof of confirmed funding:

  • Forecasted revenues from future activities.
  • Accounts receivable.
  • Commitments to raise equity.
  • Commitments to obtain future bank financing.
  • Scientific Research & Experimental Design (SR&ED) credit receivables.

A minimum of 50 percent project funding is required from non-government sources.

Current financial statements: (Check highest level available)

45. Select the type of Financial Statements prepared by / for you. "None available" will indicate that you do not have financial statements available making the project ineligible. As financial statements are not required for Stage 1, WD will verify your selection by requesting the submission of financial statements from all Applicants invited to Stage 2.

46. Does your organization have existing revenue from other products / services? Indicate yes or no.



47a. Has your organization had previous experience with the commercialization of a product, service, or process?

  • Respond with Yes or No based on the company's commercialization experience, NOT the commercialization experience of staff or management employed by the company.

47b. Complete the table to indicate the qualification and experience of your key management team members:

  • Include a name for each management responsibility area even if the same person holds multiple responsibilities. Briefly highlight each member's academic qualifications and/or professional designations.
  • The years of experience must be provided in a numeric format (e.g. 5, not five) and be relevant to their current management responsibility.

48a. Is your organization led by a Board of Directors? Indicate yes or no.

48b. Please describe to what extent your organization's board or ownership structure is comprised of under-represented groups (e.g. women, Indigenous, etc.). If your board or ownership structure consists of any individuals from an under-represented group, please outline that information here. Disclosure of this information is optional.  The purpose of collection is to help ensure Government of Canada programming is inclusive and does not negatively impact diverse groups.

49. Identify any strategic or business partnerships with which you are involved that will assist in supporting your project: Note that multiple partnerships can be selected.


Technology Readiness Level

50. What statement best represents the current readiness level of the technology (Select best fit): Select the response that best represents the technology development stage of your product, process, or service. Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure used to assess the maturity of technologies during development through to early operations. In the application form, 9 levels of technology readiness are indicated, from level 1 (basic principles observed) to level 9 (actual technology proven through successful deployment in an operational setting). Find a more detailed description of these Technology Readiness Levels.

51. Has your organization received financial assistance under the National Research Council/Industrial Research Assistance Program or any other technology program for the technology being brought to market with this project? Indicate "yes" or "no" if your organization has received financial assistance within the last five years from any federal government program in the development of the technology you hope to commercialize through this project.

52. Does your organization have a written endorsement or review of the technology that can be made available on request? Indicate "yes" or "no".



53. To meet the mandatory eligibility criteria, you must demonstrate commercialization within three years of the proposed Project Funding Start Date. Enter the anticipated date to realize sales revenues from this product/service. Please indicate the date sales revenue will be generated from the product resulting from the project. The dates should correspond with information provided in the cash flow forecasts.

54. Do you have an independent market assessment that can be made immediately available?Indicate "yes" or "no". If yes, please attach this independent market assessment.

55. What evidence can you provide that best validates your customers' willingness to purchase your product/service? Select all that apply.

56. Competitors are operating within: Select the applicable geographic locations.



57. Which cluster will benefit from commercialization of this product/service/process? (Select best fit).
Note: this is not the cluster that you currently operate in but rather the cluster that will be impacted by the product/service/process that you are commercializing.
Clusters are defined as a dense area of business activity containing a critical mass of large and small companies, post-secondary and research institutions, and other innovation actors. Their close geographic proximity can result in supply-chain benefits, encourage knowledge sharing and collaboration, drive competition and business specialization, and help to attract "anchor " companies from around the world.  For more information on clusters please visit the Innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) website.

58a. Does your organization currently do business in the indicated cluster? Respond yes if you currently sell existing products/services to the target market segment that will be the focus of your marketing efforts for the product/service that will be commercialized through this project.

  • 58b. If yes, for how many years? Indicate the number of years you have been selling in this target market segment.



59. It is mandatory that you attach your Project and Business information to your application. It must comply with the information requirements as outlined in Section 14 of the Applicant Guide.

In reference to the Expression of Interest

60. I have read and agree with the above applicant acknowledgements and certify that all statements and information furnished in this application are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge. The individual authorized to sign the application on your behalf has reviewed the application and agrees that the information provide is accurate.

61. Name - Fill in the name of the individual within your company who has signing power / the authority to enter into an agreement. This person may be different from the contact person.

62. Title - Fill in the title of this individual

  • Date - If you are using the online application, indicate the date the application was submitted. You cannot change this date.
  • Signature - Please sign the document. If you are using the online application form, you do not need to provide a signature on the document.



You will require a GCKey to access your Part Two application. Instructions for obtaining a GCKey if you do not already have one are included in the invitation email. More information on GCKey is available at


63. Has any of the information you submitted in Part One of the form changed? Indicate "yes" or "no".

64. If yes, provide the question number(s) and details on the information that has changed. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). In this section, outline any significant changes that have occurred to your organization, commercialization, plan, funding or any other element that may impact the project.



65a. Project Costs (All costs will be validated) Please list the various costs you will incur in the implementation of the project.  See section 5.6 of the Applicant Guide for eligible expenses. It would be helpful to group specific costs into broader categories (e.g. marketing, building, equipment, supplies, salaries, etc.).  Note: if funding is approved, all costs will be validated and confirmed through the assessment and claim submission process.

Additionally, you may be required to provide evidence that the costs are reasonable for the product/service procured.  This may include evidence of multiple quotations or proof of a competitive process. In the assessment process, applicants may be asked to provide this evidence on short notice and within a short deadline and as such it is recommended you have this information readily accessible.

65b. The following documents are required for WD to assess your submission.  They must comply with the information requirements as outlined in the Applicant Guide.  IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOUR REVIEW THE APPLICANT INSTRUCTION LOCATED AT [ioID]AC7CB603825642999A705602D39349CC. Attach your most recent set of financial statements as identified in question 45, as well as your forecasted income statements and cashflow.   Please review Section 14 for specific requirements with respect to financial information.



66. Based on your responses to question 47, please provide details on your management's abilities and commercialization experience.  (Maximum 500 characters including spaces.). If not already included in your Project and Business information, this section is an opportunity to elaborate on the previous questions on this area.  Provide further information on the management team and its capacity to undertake the project.  Include prior commercialization experience, including the outcome.

For example:

  • a. Mr. Smith, President, was part of a team that successfully commercialized a product while at XYZ Company.
  • b. Mr. Smith, President, was the primary individual who developed a product while at XYZ Company which was unsuccessful at commercialization stage due to….

67. In reference to question 48a provide details on the boards composition, as it pertains to individuals experience and expertise, the Directors' relationship with management, and the board's responsibilities (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Outline the membership, their experience, background, role in decision-making, vis-à-vis the management team.  How specifically does the Board provide support to the company?  Identify if the directors are also investors in the company and identify if any members are major investors.

68. Explain how the strategic and business partnerships identified in question 49 will assist in supporting your project. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces).  While not a requirement of WINN, partnerships can support a corporation's goals. Outline why your organization has entered into the partnerships it has, the strategic value that they offer, and how critical they are to achieving your business goals.



69a. Refer back to the readiness level that you selected in Part 1.

69b. Describe why you believe your technology is at the previously stated readiness level. Include information on all certifications, licenses, and approvals that have been approved and those that are outstanding. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces).

In order to assess the viability of your project plan, it is important that we understand the TRL of your innovation. Please describe in evidence based terms why you believe you are at the stated TRL. Ensure that all relevant information is presented, including state of development (proof-of-concept, early prototype, late stage prototype, final system …), status of certifications/licenses/approvals (citing third party validation), validation status (in-house testing, completed customer trials ) etc.

70.  If your organization answered "Yes" to question 52, please attach your written endorsement or review of the technology. Attach any written third party endorsement to your application.



71. Indicate project milestones that occur between the WD Project Start Date and the project end date.  Provide a list of significant project milestones that can be measured and tracked to ensure the project is proceeding as planned.  These should be significant milestones that will be used to measure your project's performance over the course of the project.  This should not include the milestones that will occur during the period over which you will be repaying the contribution.  If additional milestones are required to adequately describe your project, the list can be expanded.

  • Project funding start date and project end date are defined in Section 13.

72. Comments on project milestones. (Maximum of 500 characters including spacing).
Provide further detail on the activities of the project. This should elaborate on the project description that you provided in question 40 of the Expression of Interest (part one of the application.)



73. If your organization answered "yes' to question 54, please attach your independent market assessment.

74. Provide details of who your competition is and where they operate.  (Maximum 1000 characters). Provide a description of your primary competitors and how you differentiate yourself. Please make specific note of any western Canadian or Canadian competition.



75. Please describe the following direct economic benefits to your company resulting from this project. Note: these should be measured from the WD Project Start Date to one year following the project completion date.

  • a. Total new jobs created in Canada:
  • b. New HQP jobs created in Canada (of total new jobs, how many require highly qualified personnel?). Of the jobs created in your answer to part a., how many of these will be HQP?  See glossary for definition of HQP.
  • c. Total new sales: This is total corporate sales, domestic and international.
  • d. New foreign investment in Canadian operations. This is total investment into your company coming from outside the country, as a result of this project.

76. Provide an estimation of any additional economic benefits that may accrue in Canada. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Please describe any additional economic benefits the project offers outside of the direct economic benefits specified above.



77. a, b, c, d - From the list below please select the choices that best reflect the patent status and patent ownership status of your technology, including other IP protection that applies.Select the best fit from the list provided.

78. Provide a brief description of your organization's IP strategy indicating why this strategy is appropriate for your technology. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Intellectual property is defined as an "intangible creation of the mind that can be legally protected". Legal protection includes several core categories: patents (protects your invention from outright thievery), trademarks (adopting a trademark as a brand name keeps it, and its reputation, all yours), copyrights (holding copyright shields your artistic expression from copying) and industrial rights (registering an industrial design protects the non- functional design features of a product). Two other categories of rights are relevant to an IP strategy: trade secrets (keeping a formula or manufacturing process confidential, safeguards it against imitators) and contractual rights  (licensing the right to use someone else's invention). Unlike the rights described above, these can only be enforced against people with whom you have a contractual relationship. Please provide us with your IP strategy, considering the above key elements.



79. What further development or technical activities are required to bring the technology to market? (Maximum 2000 characters including spaces). From a technical perspective, describe the remaining challenges and/or R&D activities to be completed prior to   being market ready. Describe your plan for addressing these outstanding items including technical resources (in- house or to be hired), partnerships/licensing strategies (private sector, universities, research centres, etc.), facilities (equipment, laboratory, etc.), estimated level of effort and timeline. You can describe these elements in relation to your product roadmap.

80. Describe the technical expertise in your project team including education, qualifications and experience of your technical staff and the organizational structure of the team. Include the track record of key team members in similar projects. (Maximum 4000 characters including spaces). Please provide us with a brief overview of relevant information on the key members of your project team in order for us to assess their capacity to complete the project. Responses should include a description of the key member(s) role and area of expertise, their education/experience related to proposed project, and past accomplishments (track record on similar projects, awards, publications, positions held in other organizations).

81. Describe the additional technology resources (e.g. equipment, external contractors, partnerships, etc.) that are in place to complete the project and, if applicable, what additional resources/partnerships are required to successful carry out the project? (Maximum 2000 characters including spaces). With reference to your project plan, please provide information on the technology resources that are currently in place in order to successfully complete the project. If additional resources are required, describe them and your plan for securing these resources (acquisition, partnerships, external contractors, etc.).

82. Provide a technical description of your technology. This description should clearly describe the functions, key specifications, and outputs that best represent your technology. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). Please provide another level of detail over and above what you have provided in question 41. Responses should address the technical specifications of your proposed product/service/process highlighting, if appropriate, key specifications that distinguish your technology from existing ones.

  • a. You may attach a 1 page document to assist in this description (schematic, process diagram, design document etc.)

83. Provide evidence, including measured, quantified or observed data that prove that the specifications described above were achieved. If the evidence was verified by a third party, please provide references. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). The capabilities and your technology should be supported by internal and/or external testing and evaluation. Results should be presented that explicitly support the claimed specifications, as well as describing the methodology used to verify the evidence and a description of the setting used for the testing (i.e. laboratory, simulated, operational). In cases where third parties were used to evaluate the technology (e.g. testing facility, beta client, etc.) a description of the individual, group or organization should be provided to support the credibility of the results, as well as the specifics of the testing and evaluation process.

84. Describe how your technology will function in a planned operational setting. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). The specific practical application of the technology should be described in terms of its actual deployment and use in the intended environment. The description should relate to the technology in its final form and under real-life conditions, and should reference whether these are the conditions that were used in operational test and evaluations, if they have already occurred. The use of the technology and expected operational results should be clearly stated, as well as details as applicable relating to installation, ease of use, and other relevant factors.

85. Describe the feature and benefits of your technology. Provide a high level comparison between these and those offered by your competition. (Maximum 1000 characters including spaces). The description of features and benefits should highlight performance metrics that have potential to be sought-after by the target customer and should demonstrate the potential for market acceptance and end- user adoption. Comparisons with your competition can be both direct and indirect, and specific advantages of your technology should be clearly indicated with measurable comparisons between your technology and that of your competitors.

86.  Does your project involve development and/or technology demonstration? If there are technical activities required as part of the proposed project to complete development of the technology or increase its Technology Readiness Level, and/or the proposed project involves the operational demonstration of the technology – whether as a completed product or as a prototype, rough example or an otherwise incomplete version – the following questions should be answered.

If yes, answer the following three (3) questions.

  • a. Technology development roadmap indicating current position. (Maximum 1500 characters including spaces). It should be clearly indicated at what TRL the technology is currently at and to what TRL the proposed development will raise the technology to. At a high level, a development path should be described that matches appropriate goals (i.e. short-term and long-term) with specific technology milestones to help meet those goals. The end of the proposed project and its expected results should be indicated with respect to the development roadmap and its timelines.
  • b. Project plan including key activities, duration, and resources in your technical work plan. (Maximum 2500 characters including spaces). The project plan should support an understanding of the methodology required to achieve the planned results and address expected challenges. The structure and schedule of the project should be clearly presented, and both the project roles and estimated levels of effort of the project resources must be included with a level of detail appropriate to the size, scope and complexity of the planned activities.
  • c. You may attach a 1 page document (e.g. Gantt chart) to help describe the plan.
  • d. For technology that requires commercial production, has a limited scale pre-product run been carried out? Describe all quality control procedures and production standards that are in place. Describe how you will manage parts and inventory. (Maximum 4000 characters including spaces). A description of activities and planning that have been carried in anticipation of full-scale commercial production should be detailed. Provide details on additional activities and planning that would be required before commercial production could begin. If production partnerships are in place or will be required or if outsourced production will be used, this should be described, as appropriate.

87. What are the risks associated with bringing the technology to market, including any technical barriers to implementation, and other issues (e.g. environmental, safety of application etc.). What is your plan to mitigate the risks? (Maximum 2000 characters including spaces). As appropriate, the described risks may be short or long term and in addition to their applicability to market entry, can also include in-market risks related to maintaining market position and market share. As directly related to technology issues for development and/or implementation, risk associated with commercialization activities, market risks, financial risks and competition risks can be referenced. If there are outstanding certifications, licenses, and approvals that could present a barrier to market entry, these should be detailed, along with the nature and degree of any related technical issues that need to be addressed. The mitigation strategy for each of the described risks and any residual risk should be described.



In reference to Part Two of this application (etc.)


88. I have read and agree with the above applicant acknowledgements and certify that all statements and information furnished in this application are true, complete, and correct to the best of my knowledge. The individual authorized to sign the application on your behalf has reviewed the application and agrees that the information provide is accurate.

89. Name - Fill in the name of the individual with signing power/ the authority to enter into an agreement. This person may be different from the contact person.

90. Title - Fill in the title of the Individual.

Date - If you are using the online application, indicate the date the application was submitted. You cannot change this date.

Signature - Please sign the document. If you are using the online application form, you do not need to provide a signature on the document.


17. Attachments

You will have noticed throughout this Applicant Guide that in certain cases it is required that attachments be provided with your application. Please review the list below of possible attachments to ensure you have submitted them all. They are as follows:

Stage 1:

  • Project and Business Information
  • Evidence of confirmation of all other (non-WD) sources of funding

Stage 2:

  • Written endorsement or review of the technology (if available)
  • Independent Market Assessment (if available)
  • Evidence of market demand (if available)
  • 1 page schematic, process diagram, design document, etc. (if available)
  • 1 page Gantt chart (or other document)describing the project plan. (if available)Any other information requested by WD
  • Current Financial Statements
  • Forecasted income statements and cash flow complete with rationale and assumptions
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