Strategic Innovation Fund

What is Strategic Innovation Fund?

In late February 2018, changes to the SIF Program were announced as part of the Federal Budget and the SIF Program will now focus its support on projects over $10 million(9).

The SIF Program will be expanded to support high-growth sectors such as clean technology, information and communications technology and agri-food. To support SIF Program expansion, the Fall 2018 Economic Statement proposed an additional $800 million over the next five (5) years(10).

The SIF Program is open to all industries and will support five streams of innovation activities: stream 1 is R&D and commercialization, stream 2 is firm expansion and growth, stream 3 is Investment attraction and reinvestment stream 4 is Collaborative technology development and demonstration, and stream 5 is National Ecosystems. . The first three streams require applicants to be for-profit, private corporations. The fourth and fifth could be a non profit, an academic institution, network, research institute or a private company.

The SIF Program offers financial contributions both repayable and non-repayable and can vary between 10-50% of project costs(11). As announced in the 2018 federal budget, the SIF Program will now focus its support on projects requesting at least $10 million in contributions. Applicants for funding are asked to submit a high-level overview or Statement of Interest of their project. If approved, applicants will be invited to complete a full, more detailed project application which will be reviewed for due diligence and a benefits/contribution assessment.

The SIF Program covers non-recurring costs specifically related to the project, including: direct labor, overhead, subcontracts and consultants, direct materials and equipment and land and building costs. The amount and type of financial support will be allocated on a case-by-case basis and the Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Canada will exercise discretion on which projects to fund. The delay between project approval, executing the contribution agreement and receipt of funding is dependent on the project and Borrowers potentially have a need to finance future receipt of funds

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The Short Version


Strategic Innovation Fund Launched in July 2017, the SIF Program has a budget of $1.26 billion over five years and is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan. Learn More