Business Scale-up and Productivity in Northern Ontario

Important note:

The program currently has limited budget availability due to a high demand. Please contact a FedNor officer to discuss your project prior to submitting an application under the program.

The Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) Stream aims to accelerate the growth of firms and assist with the adoption and adaptation of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity, development of and entry into new markets to help companies become competitive in both domestic and global markets.

Through this program, FedNor seeks to:

  • Assist Northern Ontario firms to scale up and expand.
  • Support technology demonstration and the commercialization of new technologies.
  • Encourage the early adoption or adaptation of leading-edge technologies and processes to improve productivity.
  • Increase businesses' capacity to grow through market diversification and entry into domestic and global markets.

FedNor is targeting investments in innovative and trade-oriented businesses seeking to accelerate their growth.

On this page

Expected Results

Projects supported through FedNor's programs work towards achieving one or more of the following departmental results:

  • Businesses in Northern Ontario invest in the development and commercialization of innovative technologies, products, services and processes.
  • Businesses in Northern Ontario are innovative and growing.
  • Communities in Northern Ontario are economically diversified.

Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • Incorporated small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • Indigenous (First Nation/Métis/Inuit) businesses and organizations.

Note: Retail and service-based businesses will not be considered under this program.

Eligible Activities

Eligible activities include:

Technology demonstration, adoption and adaptation

  • Assessing, acquiring, adapting or adopting new technologies/processes and related skills development
  • Process re-engineering
  • Increasing/improving manufacturing capacity
  • Advanced manufacturing capacity development
  • Productivity improvement

Commercialization, Market Development/Expansion

  • Late-stage product, process or service development geared towards market diversification and growth, such as technology showcasing
  • Market diagnostics, development, and expansion
  • Integration in domestic and global value chains
  • Demonstration of new technologies/processes in an operational setting

Business Management

  • Building high-performance teams
  • Adopting best management practices, processes and systems
  • Improving governance and investment readiness
  • Business opportunity development
  • Increasing manufacturing capacity

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs include:

  • Project-specific cost of labour (e.g., wages and benefits) and of material used;
  • Capital costs: purchase of machinery, equipment and infrastructure;
  • Operating costs that are incremental, measurable and directly related to the project;
  • Professional, advisory and technical services fees;
  • Costs related to intellectual property;
  • Preproduction costs (e.g., technological development and commercial demonstrations);
  • Commercialization costs;
  • Costs related to expanding or maintaining markets; and
  • Subcontracting costs

Ineligible Costs

Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to the eligible project activities are ineligible, including:

  • Regular maintenance and/or ongoing operation costs;
  • Regularly scheduled capital expenditures and/or asset replacement;
  • Refinancing of an existing debt;
  • Costs of amortization and goodwill;
  • Acquisition of land and buildings;
  • Basic research;
  • The purchase of any assets for more than the fair market value of the said asset; and
  • Costs for which the applicant has entered into a legal commitment/incurred prior to the eligibility date.

Funding Conditions

Assistance available for SMEs is generally repayable and normally up to a maximum of $500,000 per project.

The amount of the awarded contribution will be based on the minimum amount required for the project to proceed.

Applicants are eligible to receive up to 50 percent of eligible and supported project costs.

Total government funding (including federal, provincial and municipal) for a project cannot exceed 75 percent of supported eligible non-capital costs and 50 percent of supported eligible capital costs.

The applicant must have secured funding of at least 50 percent towards the balance of the project's eligible costs.

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for a business. It is recommended that applicants obtain advice from a qualified tax professional.

Terms of repayment will be determined during the development of the contribution agreement and normally begin no later than one year following the completion of the project.

Other Considerations

To be considered eligible, project benefits must accrue to Northern Ontario.

All eligible applicants must be legal entities capable of entering into legally binding agreements.

To be considered eligible for funding, applicants must demonstrate:

  • A sustainable business model normally supported by two (2) years of operations.
  • Financial capacity to complete the project and repay the contribution in full.
  • Managerial, technical, and operational capacity to achieve the project's stated objectives in a timely manner.
  • Market/industry demand (e.g., how the project addresses a significant gap in the market; global opportunity to be seized within Canada; and evidence that Northern Ontario is uniquely positioned to capture market share).
  • Potential for market growth, diversification of export markets and/or participation in global value chains.
  • A viable project plan with achievable outcomes, supported by verifiable cost estimates.

This program is not intended to support smaller startups and entrepreneurs. Those entities may be eligible for FedNor funding as part of projects supported under the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) streams (e.g., business accelerators and incubators).

Completing an application does not guarantee funding approval. All applications will be assessed as they are received. This will include a review of the business case and financial projections, the applicant’s past results, and the identification of any issues that may impact the project’s success. Approval may also depend upon funding availability.

How to Apply

Please call 1-877-333-6673 to discuss your proposal with a FedNor Officer in your area or begin your application process.

FedNor is committed to providing effective, efficient and client-focused programs and services. Visit our service commitment to find out more.