In order to compete and be one of the best, your business must invest in ground-breaking products, processes, and services. The only downside to that is having a sizeable budget specifically for research and development. This is where the importance of government funding can’t be better emphasized.

The government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), provides the necessary funds to support a broad range of technical research projects. The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) aims to empower small businesses for business innovations and help them develop technologies that will eventually be ripe for commercialization.

Understanding the Atlantic Innovation Fund

The Atlantic Innovation Fund is a funding program initiated by the government in support of research efforts for innovative technologies. Through this funding program, private-sector research, as well as partnerships with research institutions and the academe, are made possible. Through the AIF, companies can use the granted funds to further develop commercially-viable technology or adaptation projects.

Related: Government Grants for Innovation and Technology

Who Are Eligible for the Atlantic Innovation Fund?

The AIF can help anyone or any entity that wants to:

  • Develop products and services that meet market demands and globalization standards
  • Take on new technology in order to answer business needs or market opportunities
  • Become a competitive member of Atlantic Canada’s new and traditional business sectors

To be eligible for the AIF, an applicant must:

  1. Operate in Atlantic Canada, including and limited to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island
  2. Be a private-sector business, a post-secondary institution, a research institution, or a provincial Crown corporation

Related: Funding for Scientific Research & Experimental Development 

What Are Project Eligibilities for the Atlantic Innovation Fund?

The AIF provides government funding for companies to develop products and services that are technology-based provided that the project:

  1. Has infallible research and development component
  2. Is developed with a high probability of going commercial
  3. Is on track to provide Atlantic Canada vast economic development opportunities
  4. Supports new or improved technologies
  5. Has scientific and/or technical components
  6. Can be concluded within a minimum of 18 to 36 months or a maximum of five years

Related: Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

How Much Funding Can Projects Receive from Atlantic Innovation Fund?

Eligible businesses operating in Atlantic Canada may be granted up to 75% of the costs of their eligible projects or up to a maximum of $3 million in research and development funds. Projects requiring less than $500,000 may be directed to a different ACOA program that basically works the same way.

Aside from capital costs, the funding will cover the salaries and wages of employees, as well as other operating expenses relevant to the project. Take note, though, that the funding AIF offers is conditionally-repayable funding, which means repayment amounts and conditions will be set based on the competitiveness of a project. If a project has the potential to rake in benefits for a company and contribute to a broader economy, then there’s a higher chance of getting approved.

Related: IRAP: Could You Be the Next Company to Receive Millions in Funding?

Is There an Application Deadline for AIF?

None. The AIF operates on an open-call basis, which means businesses and research institutions have the opportunity to submit their applications any time of the year.

If you are interested with AIF or other sources of funding, contact EVAMAX for a free consultation. You may also email us at or call 1-877-711-7733



Canada Summer Jobs 2020


On December 3, 2018, The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister announced a new funding program that will be dedicated to carrying out business scale-up and assist high potential Canadian businesses to thrive in the future.

As mentioned by Navdeep Bains, the said funding Regional Economic Growth Innovation (REGI) program will be accessed in all regions of Canada as he believes that innovation doesn’t only happen in big cities.

The new program will provide consistent support to regions across the country to ensure that innovative businesses anywhere in Canada will have the opportunity to grow, have access to global markets and adopt new technologies and processes. In which will eventually fuel the economy.

Related:Regional Economic Growth through Innovation  Steel & Aluminum Initiative

Under REGI, innovation funding programs across all of Canada’s six RDAs will focus on these new streams:

  • Business scale-up and productivity

Investing in and supporting businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, assist them in scaling up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.

  • Regional innovation ecosystems

To create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth, and competitiveness.

While REGI will focus on these streams, Regional Development Agencies, such as FED Dev Ontario will continue to support businesses and communities through existing programming to foster economic development opportunities and diversification in their regions.

Related: IRAP: Could You Be the Next Company to Receive Millions in Funding?

Learn more about the regional programs by Fed Dev Ontario & see how EVAMAX can help you succeed in your application for funding. 


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