On January 7, 2015 the Government of Ontario launched a new $2.5-billion, 10-year Jobs and Prosperity Fund to provide assistance to businesses across the province to enhance their productivity, innovation and export activities. The fund will be delivered through three streams:
- The New Economy Stream, which aims to build R&D capacity, improve business productivity, performance and competitiveness, and support innovative businesses in expanding their market. This stream supports projects of at least $10 million in eligible costs, and targets key industry sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and information and communications technology (ICT). Funding is delivered in the form of a grant or a loan covering up to 20% of eligible project costs;
- The Food and Beverage Growth Fund, which aims to support food, beverage and bio-product manufacturing projects that will help create and retain jobs, strengthen supply chains, increase market access, and enhance innovation and productivity. Projects must have more than $5 million in eligible costs. Funding is delivered in the form of a grant or a loan covering up to 20% of eligible project costs; and
- The Strategic Partnerships Stream, which aims to help entrepreneurs, companies, research institutions, customers and investors work together to compete globally. This stream supports partnership projects of at least $10 million in eligible costs, and focuses on technologies that have the potential to transform industries (also called enabling technologies). Examples of enabling technologies include robotics, 3D printing, advanced materials, Internet of things, and genomics. Priority industry sectors under this stream include advanced manufacturing (automotive, aerospace and cleantech), information and communications technologies (ICT), life sciences, and financial services. Grants awarded under this stream will range between $5 million and $25 million. Recipients must provide matching funds in cash or in-kind. Each project must have at least two 'anchor firms', i.e. companies that demonstrate market leadership, and a partnership coordinator, i.e. a leading non-profit organization active in the technology sector.
To be approved for funding, applicants must demonstrate how they will increase their productivity and innovation, as well as improve their international competitiveness while providing economic benefits to the province and fuelling job creation.