Harper Government Announces New Initiative to Support Technology Commercialization and Business Growth in the West

October 25, 2013

Western Canadian businesses will now be able to access support to help bring their innovative new technologies to market, thanks to Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative, an initiative launched today by the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.

“"WINN demonstrates our Government’s commitment to ensuring that Canadian businesses continue to grow and generate high-value jobs across the West,"” said Minister Rempel. “"This initiative will help address a need identified by western Canadian businesses to help bring leading-edge innovations to domestic and global markets."”

Under WINN, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can apply for funding for a variety of tasks that are essential in taking a product from the R&D stage to the market, such as product testing and technology demonstrations, equipment purchases and installation, regulatory approval, marketing, and intellectual property protection.

Over the next five years, WINN will provide up to $100 million in repayable assistance to SMEs working to commercialize their products, processes, and services.

“"Getting a new idea into the marketplace can be a difficult prospect for a small business,"” explained Noah Decter-Jackson, CEO & Creative Director, Complex Games Inc., and Board Member of New Media Manitoba. “"The biggest challenge for western Canadian emerging businesses is the funding gap just prior to commercialization, where private investment becomes scarce and companies find themselves without the cash flow to take their innovation to the next level. WINN will help to bridge that gap."”

“"By responding to the needs of our entrepreneurs and innovators with this targeted initiative, we are positioning them for long-term success and enabling them to emerge as leaders in a competitive global economy,"” added Minister Rempel.

The WINN Initiative through Canada’s Economic Action Plan will support smaller firms across a range of sectors, including health and life sciences, clean technology and energy, aerospace and defence, nanotechnology, and information and communications technology. The Initiative is expected to help stimulate greater private sector investment, while also making it easier for innovative SMEs to secure funding.

Western Economic Diversification Canada, in partnership with the provinces, businesses, industry associations, and communities, promotes the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision-making.

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“WINN demonstrates our Government’s commitment to ensuring that Canadian businesses continue to grow and generate high-value jobs across the West,” said Minister Michelle Rempel. “This initiative will help address a need identified by western Canadian businesses to help bring leading-edge innovations to domestic and global markets."