Regional Economic Growth through Innovation – Steel and Aluminum Initiative
The Steel and Aluminum Initiative supports SMEs operating within Canadian steel and aluminum supply chains, helping them to respond to global market dynamics that impact their competitiveness. Funding supports investments in innovative projects that will enhance productivity and/or augment firm competitiveness. It offers non-repayable funding to western Canadian companies.
Priority will be given to applications received on or before April 8, 2019.
The regional development agencies (RDAs) in their respective regions are delivering the Steel and Aluminum Initiative across Canada. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering it in western Canada. Through this initiative, we are helping grow and modernize sectors heavily dependent on steel or aluminum. This will help Canadian, downstream, SME steel and aluminum users remain competitive as global market dynamics evolve. Non-repayable funding will help qualified SMEs innovate and become more productive and competitive.
The Steel and Aluminum Initiative builds on the federal government's Innovation and Skills Plan. This plan helps make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation that creates well-paying jobs and grows the middle class.
- assist firms with high growth potential to scale up and expand
- support technology demonstration and the commercialization of new technologies
- encourage the early adoption or adaptation of leading-edge technologies and processes to improve productivity
- increase businesses' capacity to grow
This initiative is open to SME intensive users of steel or aluminum across western Canada with 10 to 499 employees.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- businesses such as: partnerships, social enterprises, incorporated companies, corporations or co-operatives, or an indigenous organization such as Indigenous/First Nation/Métis Settlement owned businesses, and all other types of enterprises
- for-profit legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements
- employ between 10 to 499 individuals on a full-time basis in Canada
- intensive users of steel or aluminum (i.e., steel and/or aluminum expenditures are equal to or greater than 20 percent of total input costs)
- capable of demonstrating plans for projects pursuing productivity enhancements, and/or innovations to augment firm competiveness
What projects are funded through the initiative?
Activities that support and accelerate business growth and competitiveness will be eligible. These activities may include:
- Productivity Improvement: acquiring, adapting, adopting new technologies, and/or processes; process re-engineering; improving manufacturing capacity.
- Business Scale-Up: market development/expansion; diagnostics; adopting best management practices, processes, and systems; business opportunity development.
- Technology Commercialization: late stage product development geared toward market diversification and growth, such as technology showcasing and technology demonstration.