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About the program

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) supports large-scale, transformative and collaborative projects that help position Canada to prosper in the global knowledge-based economy. SIF projects promote the long-term competitiveness of Canadian industries, clean growth, and the advancement of Canada's strategic technological advantage.

As part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, the Strategic Innovation Fund plays a key role in the continuum of innovation funding, providing support for projects through simplified application processes, accelerated processing, and assistance that is more responsive and focused on results.

For a complete list of projects that have received SIF support, please visit Announced projects.

Program objectives

The Strategic Innovation Fund covers all sectors of the economy and is available to for-profit and not-for profit organizations with the goal of supporting the Canadian innovation ecosystem.

The program has two broad components:

  • Business Innovation and Growth (Streams 1 to 3)
    • Encourage research & development (R&D) that accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services,
    • Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada, and
    • Attract and retain large-scale investments to Canada.
  • Collaborations and Networks (Streams 4 & 5)
    • Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between the private sector, researchers and non-profit organizations, and
    • Support large-scale, national innovation ecosystems through high impact collaborations across Canada.

Eligibility requirements

Eligibility requirements differ between the two broad program components:

  • Business Innovation and Growth (Streams 1 to 3)

    Applications are accepted on a continuous basis. To be considered, applicants must:

    • Be a for-profit corporation – small, medium or large-sized – incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada and proposing to carry on business in Canada,
    • Request a minimum SIF contribution of $10 million for a proposal with total costs of at least $20 million,
    • Undertake a project in Canada,
    • Provide audited financial statements (or equivalent) for the past 3 years, and
    • Be willing to make long-term commitments to Canada (e.g. job creation and maintenance, R&D investments, and other public benefits).
  • Collaborations and Networks (Streams 4 & 5)

    Stream 4 offers periodic competitive calls for proposals based on government priorities. For information on current competitions, please visit the Collaborations and Networks page.

    Applications for Stream 5 are accepted on a continuous basis. To be considered, lead applicants must:

    • Be either a for-profit or not-for-profit incorporated in Canada,
    • Have collaborations with Canadian universities and/or colleges, research institutes, for-profit corporations and/or not-for-profit entities,
    • Support large-scale ecosystems that are national in scope,
    • Undertake national collaborative projects,
    • Request a minimum SIF contribution of $10 million for a proposal with total costs of at least $20 million,
    • Provide audited financial statements (or equivalent) for the past 3 years, and
    • Be willing to make long-term commitments to Canada (e.g. collaborations with public and private entities, R&D investments, co-op/work integrated learning opportunities)

    The lead applicant will be responsible for submitting an application to SIF on behalf of the ecosystem, managing the ecosystem's projects, submitting claims, receiving the Government contribution, and reporting on results.

Process overview

The application process consists of two steps:

  1. Statement of Interest (SOI): Applicants will be required to submit a high-level overview of their project as well as anticipated costs. Applicants must also submit audited financial statements (or equivalent) at this stage; this information will be used to formulate a preliminary assessment of your firm's readiness to undertake the proposed project.

    Following the submission of the SOI form, applicants will be provided with feedback on whether their SOI indicates potential for funding and if advancing to Step 2 is advisable.

  2. Full application: Applicants will be required to complete a full application, outlining in greater detailed the project proposal. Information provided on this form will be used to complete the project due diligence and benefits assessment.

Projects follow the process below:

Text version
  • Successful SIF projects follow a multi-step process from the submission of a Statement of Interest to a finalized agreement and public announcement.
  • The Applicant will receive acknowledgement of receipt within 24 hours, and an outreach call from SIF within 15 days of SOI submission.
  • SIF officials will assess the SOI and the Applicant will be notified within 80 working days of submission whether advancing to the next step is advisable.
  • If advancing to the next step, the Applicant will be required to submit a full application. SIF officials will complete due diligence and analysis on the full application and confirm results.
  • If due diligence is successful, the terms and conditions for funding are negotiated between SIF and the Applicant.
  • Once both parties reach agreement on the funding terms, these are shared with the Minister for approval.
  • Following Ministerial approval, SIF and the Applicant finalize the agreement and the project is publicly announced.
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