New Program to Promote Business, Economic Growth: Province Will Invest $30 Million Over Five Years --Selinger

June 2, 2011

A new, $30-million Commercialization Support for Business Program has been established to promote and support entrepreneurism, commercialization and business development, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“Innovation is a central part of Manitoba’s five-year economic strategy. We know the key to strengthening our economy is by creating jobs and opportunities. This program will do that by helping people develop and commercialize new products and services,” said Selinger. “It will provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop new ideas, start new businesses, and get new products and services to market, while at the same time assisting companies in expanding into new markets at home and around the world.”

He added the program will create a one-stop shop for innovation, entrepreneurism and business development, and will streamline the application and approval process, making it simpler to apply and faster to get a response.

The premier said the program will:

* grow the Manitoba economy through new business development, expand existing firms and attract foreign investment;
* strengthen Manitoba-based, private-sector capacity to commercialize research and development; and
* enhance innovation activity by partnerships with private-sector companies, universities and research institutions.

Selinger said the investment builds on advice and feedback received from the Manitoba Innovation Council, the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council, and provincial entrepreneurs and business leaders.

“One of the council’s key recommendations was to provide broader support for a full range of commercialization activities across the whole development lifecycle of a product, especially early stage development,” said the premier.

“The Manitoba Innovation Council was very pleased to see that many of its recommendations were reflected in the recent budget. This new program is tangible evidence of the provincial government’s strong commitment to innovation, which is key to the future economic well-being of our province,” said Dr. Albert Friesen, co-chair of the council.

The Manitoba Innovation Council was created in 2009. It is tasked with developing and implementing an action plan to commercialize innovation and technology projects in the province.

Selinger noted the province intends to introduce legislation which would put in place the framework for the operation of this program.

Commercialization Support for Business Program

Small and medium-sized businesses are the engine of the Manitoba economy and entrepreneurs are the fuel that powers this engine.

That is why the Manitoba government is proud to introduce the new Commercialization Support for Business Program.

This program helps Manitoba continue to move forward by supporting product and process commercialization and business development in all sectors and all regions of the province. The Commercialization Support for Business Program will help entrepreneurs every step of the way at every stage of the business lifecycle.

Commercialization Support for Business includes:

1.Concept Development (Max up to $25,000) – from concept to prototype development
2.Product Development (Max up to $40,000) – pre-commercialization activities like feasibility or engineering analyses, trial production and test marketing
3.Product Commercialization (Max up to $200,000) – moving from prototype to market-ready product.
4.Market Development (Max $30,000) – materials and activities needed to enter new markets successfully
5.Certification Assistance (Max $15,000) – obtaining plant or product certification
6.Intellectual Property (Max $25,000) – securing intellectual property rights for the product or process

More information on the innovation program, including how to apply, is available at www.manitoba.ca/business.

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“Innovation is a central part of Manitoba’s five-year economic strategy. We know the key to strengthening our economy is by creating jobs and opportunities. This program will do that by helping people develop and commercialize new products and services. It will provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop new ideas, start new businesses, and get new products and services to market, while at the same time assisting companies in expanding into new markets at home and around the world.” -Greg Selinger