On October 25, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification Michelle Rempel announced the launch of a new funding initiative for small and medium-sized companies called the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative.
The goal of the WINN Initiative is to help businesses bring their innovative new products, processes and services to market.
Over the next five years, this initiative will provide up to $100 million in repayable assistance to businesses in Western Canada with less than 500 full-time employees that are working to commercialize their products, processes, and services.
In addition to having fewer than 500 full-time employees, applicants must be incorporated to conduct business in Canada for at least one year prior to their application, and also have operating facilities in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.
Examples of eligible WINN Initiative projects include the launch or improvement of a new product, process or service, validation of market potential and end-user acceptance, pilot projects, and technology development and acceleration.
A full list of applicant and project eligibility criteria can be found on the Western Economic Diversification Canada website.
How to Apply
WINN applications will be accepted up to twice a year through a call for proposals process.
Business can submit more than one application for funding – even within the same funding period – however, the funding request for a single project cannot exceed $3.5 million, and the total funding awarded to a single recipient over the course the WINN Initiative cannot exceed $7.5 million.
If you’re interested in applying for the first round of funding, you’ll need to act soon. The initial application intake period for WINN will begin on November 9, 2013 and will close on December 8, 2013.
Western Economic Diversification Canada will announce subsequent intake dates on its website in the future.