Hamilton Economic Development

Innovation Programs

Below is a comprehensive list of R&D and Innovation programs offered by various levels of government, not-for-profits, and other delivery agencies. Tax credits, grants, and cost sharing are available may be available for your companies research and development, innovation, and export needs.

Advanced Manufacturing Fund
Export Market Access Program
Industrial Research Assistance Program
Investing in Business Growth and Productivity
Investing in Business Innovation
Investing in Regional Diversification
New Exporters to Border States (NEBS)
OCE Commercialization Program
Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC)
Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program
SD Tech Fund – Sustainable Development Technology Canada
SMART Program
Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (New)

Advanced Manufacturing Fund

The Advanced Manufacturing Fund (AMF) is a $200-million fund that will be delivered province-wide by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). AMF promotes continued growth of Ontario’s advanced manufacturing sector by supporting efforts to develop cutting-edge technologies and large-scale activities that will improve processes and increase productivity, establish clusters or global supply chains and collaborate with private sector, and research and post-secondary institutions.

Repayable funding is available for manufacturing companies that are either undertaking manufacturing activities or conducting research and development in Ontario. Non-repayable funding is available for post-secondary institutions and not-for-profit organizations that are collaborating with Ontario manufacturers. Under both streams, applicants must provide evidence of at least 50 percent support to the total project costs from industry and/or other sources.

For more information including eligibility and how to apply go to:


Export Market Access Program

The Export Market Access (EMA): A Global Expansion Program is specifically intended to:

  • Assist SME’s access and expand their growth in new international markets that are beyond the US;
  • Encourage SME exporters to the US to seek other global markets (based on the application, there may be circumstances for those who are currently exporting to the US to develop another US market); and
  • Increase export sales of Ontario goods and services by sharing the cost of initiatives that companies normally could not or would not undertake alone, thereby reducing risks involved in entering a foreign market.

The Export Market Access Program is a 50/50 cost-sharing grant program.

For more information go to:


Industrial Research Assistance Program

The Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) helps Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) meet technological challenges and builds innovation capacity. The IRAP portfolio of services has four main components:

  • Technology Expertise and Advisory Services
  • Financial Assistance for R & D activities
  • Networking
  • Partnerships

NRC-IRAP funds portions of project costs and reimburses salaries and labour fees through its Youth Employment Strategy program and a Research and Development Activity program. Contributions are targeted towards clients who can present a strong business case for a technology, demonstrate the technical, financial and managerial capacity to take an idea from concept to commercialization; and demonstrate a clear need for financial support.

For more information please visit:


Investing in Business Growth and Productivity (IBGP)

This initiative supports economic growth and job creation by helping businesses to expand their markets and facilities, adopt new technologies and processes to improve productivity, and increase business capacity to participate in global markets and integrate into global value chains. IBGP focuses on established businesses that have the potential to be global players with innovative and unique opportunities to accelerate growth and support job creation.

For more information go to:


Investing in Business Innovation (IBI)

IBI provides mentorship, entrepreneurial support and financing to help new businesses grow and succeed. The initiative is designed to foster a more competitive southern Ontario economy by focusing on providing business support to new entrepreneurs, helping them transform their ideas into globally-competitive products and services, and increasing their access to private sector investment and advice.

High-growth businesses and new entrepreneurs are critical to southern Ontario’s competitiveness. Support through IBI increases the potential for businesses to succeed by strengthening angel networks and encouraging the development of partnerships between early-stage businesses and investors so that entrepreneurs have the tools and capital they need to become world-leading innovators.

For more information go to:


Investing in Regional Diversification (IRD)

This initiative supports the long-term development of stronger, more diverse economies in southern Ontario communities. IRD leverages unique regional assets and local expertise to attract new investment and opportunities for economic growth and development.

The initiative brings not-for-profit organizations and private sector/community partners together to build on economic strengths and opportunities to respond to challenges, and develop ways to create competitive and resilient communities.

For more information go to:


New Exporters to Border States (NEBS)

The New Exporters to Border States program is a practical, hands-on introduction to the basics of exporting to the United States. The two-day NEBS will provide firms with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of exporting to the United States. The wide-ranging program covers many export-related topics including identifying market opportunities, pricing, selecting agents and distributors, banking and legal considerations, immigration issues, export financing and insurance, customs procedures, warehousing and distribution and government support.

For more information go to:


OCE Commercialization Program

The OCE Commercialization Program addresses the “innovation gap” between valuable research results and the new, marketable products and services that drive economic growth. It consists of three initiatives:

  • Market Readiness: Prepares entrepreneurs and their technologies for the market by investing in a range of activities, including market analysis, technology validation and business plan development.
  • Accelerator Investment: Pre-seed investment of up to $250,000 into a new company commercializing academic research.
  • Martin Walmsley Fellowship for Technological Entrepreneurship: Supports a researcher creating a new technology-based startup company.

Researchers at Ontario colleges, universities and research hospitals and previously OCE-funded programs are eligible for funding between $25,000 – $250,000.

For more information, please visit:


Ontario Innovation Tax Credit (OITC)

A 10% refundable tax credit for corporations that make expenditures on scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) carried on in Ontario. The Maximum claim is $200,000 per taxation year.

For more information go to:


Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program

A federal tax incentive program to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development that will lead to new, improved, or technologically advanced products or processes. Claimants can apply for SR&ED investment tax credits for expenditures such as wages, materials, machinery, equipment, some overhead and SR&ED contracts.

For more information go to:


SD Tech Fund – Sustainable Development Technology Canada

The SD Tech Fund is a $550 million fund from the federal government in support of the late-stage development and pre-commercial demonstration of clean technology solutions: products and processes that contribute to clean air, clean water and clean land, that address climate change and improve the productivity and the global competitiveness of the Canadian industry.

For more information go to:


CME’s SMART Program

The SMART Program will provide financial support directly to hundreds of companies embarking on productivity improvement initiatives, ranging from implementations of lean manufacturing and design, to process and quality improvement initiatives. Projects that increase energy efficiency and/or reduce environmental impacts are also eligible, as well as projects implementing best practices in information technology and automation.

SMART Program funding will focus on projects that can be completed within 4-6 months of notification. Funding per project is limited to $50,000, and a maximum of 50% of eligible project costs, which can include capital costs

For more information, please visit:


Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII)

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) has launched a new $20-million program through its Prosperity Initiative. This program will support high-growth, innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in rural and urban communities by offering loans of usually $150,000 to $500,000 to support all aspects of growth challenges facing them. The loans are intended to help finance:

  • Late stage commercialization;
  • New product or service development;
  • New applications or markets; or
  • Development or implementation of new processes or technologies.

The SOFII loan funds will act as a catalyst for increased investment in and support for innovation and will be one element in the emerging climate of support for these high-growth companies in Southern Ontario.

For more information go to:






Ranked Canada's most diversified economy, home to Canada's busiest multi-modal cargo airport, the busiest port on the Canadian Great Lakes, and centrally located within a one hour drive to Toronto, Waterloo and the Niagara/US Border, Hamilton is at the center of it all. With two internationally renowned post-secondary institutions in the city (surrounded by 23 other), a diverse and learned workforce and both ample greenfield and urban sites upon which to build, we're ready for your investment.

Welcome to unstoppable.