Southwestern Ontario Development Fund

The fund supports projects that:

  • create jobs and build talent
  • attract and encourage private sector investment
  • lead to business growth and broad positive economic impacts
  • encourage innovation, collaboration and cluster development

Business Projects

To be eligible, businesses need to:

  • invest at least $500,000 in their project (or $200,000 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • employ at least 10 people (or 5 if you are in rural Ontario)
  • commit to creating at least 5 new jobs (or 30% increase for companies with fewer than 15 employees)
  • be able to provide 3 years of operations/financial statements
  • be located in, or plan to locate in, a community in southwestern Ontario
Funding Amount

Up to 15% of eligible project costs.


Up to 15% funding to a maximum of $5M, interest free during the project period (up to 4 years). If you achieve your investment and job targets, up to 30% of the loan (to a maximum of $500,000) may be forgiven.


Grants are available only for specific circumstances, up to 15% to a maximum:

  • Of $500,000 if your company has fewer than 100 employees and is based in rural Ontario (population of your community is less than 100,000 or population density is less than 100 people per square kilometre)
  • Of $1,500,000 for strategic projects that are foreign direct investments or from companies competing against other jurisdictions

Community Economic Development Projects

To be eligible, projects need to:

  • be led by municipalities, economic development organizations (including sector groups) or consortia
  • focus on economic and business development and job creation in the community or region by investing in infrastructure or implementing strategies to advance regional economic development priorities
  • lead to measurable outcomes including private sector investment, growth and job creation
  • invest more than $100,000
  • have private sector support
  • be used for activities that are new to the organization
Funding Amount

Up to 50% of eligible project costs for a maximum grant of up to $1.5 million.


You are not allowed to combine (or “stack”) Southwestern Ontario Development funding with other provincial programs.

Application Period Two

Application opening:
March 5, 2020-April 20, 2020

Application deadline:
April 20, 2020

Application assessment period:
(60 business days)

April 21, 2020-July 15, 2020

Notification date:
(last day to notify applicants)

July 15, 2020

Application Period Three

Application opening:
June 5, 2020-July 20, 2020

Application deadline:
July 20, 2020

Application assessment period:
(60 business days)

July 21, 2020-October 15, 2020

Notification date:
(last day to notify applicants)

October 15, 2020

Ontario Automotive Modernization Program

The Ontario Automotive Modernization Program (O-AMP) is a partnership with small- and medium-sized automotive parts suppliers in Ontario.

The program is not open for applications at this time. Information about future application rounds will be announced in spring 2020.  

Your business could get up to $100,000 to help cover up to 50% of eligible project costs.

As a successful applicant, you are required to contribute at least 50% of remaining project costs through:

  • your own business resources
  • private or bank financing

To be eligible for O-AMP, you must be a small- or medium-sized Ontario-based business in the automotive supply chain.

Specifically, you must meet these requirements:

  • be a for-profit business (with a business number)
  • less than 500 employees globally
  • less than $1 billion in global revenues
  • have at least two years of financial statements
  • at least 50% of the company’s total sales revenue comes from the auto supply sector

Larger companies (i.e. those with more than 500 employees) must partner with at least one Ontario-based small- or medium-sized business to be eligible.

O-AMP provides support to projects that fall under one or both of the following categories:

  • technology adoption – for example, using advanced manufacturing hardware, software and/or training to improve processes and competitiveness. This might include using logistical systems and investing in production hardware or software that digitize production tracking
  • lean manufacturing – for example, improving operational efficiency and competitiveness by using lean manufacturing techniques or hiring the services of a mentor/consultant to help with lean implementation

Projects must also:

  • be achievable – for example, applicants need to have the necessary financing, project management structure and experience to implement the project
  • align with O-AMP’s goals – for example, job creation, revenue increases, cost savings, contributions to regional or automotive sector development

Strategic Innovation Fund

The Strategic Innovation Fund’s objective is to spur innovation for a better Canada. In July 2018, the Government of Canada made available up to $250 million in new support through SIF. The objective of the Program is to enable steel and aluminum producers to enhance their production capabilities to better meet the product demand from end-users within Canada.

The program has five Streams, each with its own precise objective:

  • Stream 1: Encourage R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services;
  • Stream 2: Facilitate the growth and expansion of firms in Canada;
  • Stream 3: Attract and retain large scale investments to Canada; and
  • Stream 4: Advance industrial research, development and technology demonstration through collaboration between the private sector, researchers and non-profit organizations.
  • Stream 5: Support large-scale, national innovation ecosystems through high impact collaborations across Canada.

What are the contribution amounts?

SIF will now focus its support on projects requesting at least $10 million in contributions. Experience shows that the government’s share of funding for a given project usually varies from 10% of project costs up to 50% in exceptional cases. For projects submitted under Streams 1 to 3, contributions are repayable with the possibility of non-repayable only in exceptional cases. All Stream 4 contributions are non-repayable.

The combined level of assistance from all governments (federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal), shall not normally exceed 75% of eligible costs.

AIME Initiative

The AIME Global program supports southern Ontario manufacturers to undertake training or skills-upgrading activities which will support innovation at the manufacturing facilities.

Supportable projects may include developing new engineering skills, training in the use of new software, hardware or other tools necessary to support innovation; and training to adopt and adapt new technologies, new manufacturing methods or any other area of business that will make a southern Ontario manufacturing company more competitive in the global market place.

All initiatives must support innovation which will lead to new global export opportunities or create new global markets. First time applicants whom have never received AIME funding from us in the past, may be eligible for up to a maximum of $100,000 with 50% shared costs. New, this year, manufacturers who have received funding from us in the past, but more than 24 months ago, may be eligible for a second tier of funding; these second generation applications may be eligible for up to $100,000 with a shared contribution up to 25%. In other words, the company must demonstrate 75% of the costs, with a 25% contribution from YLF up to $100,000.

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)

Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) provides financial support to qualified small and medium-sized enterprises in Canada to help them undertake technology innovation.

The basic eligibility criteria for IRAP funding are:

  • Be a small and medium-sized enterprise in Canada, incorporated and profit-oriented;
  • Have 500 or less full-time equivalent employees; and
  • Have the objective to grow and generate profits through development and commercialization of innovative, technology-driven new or improved products, services, or processes in Canada.

Business Scale-up and Productivity

Funding under this stream helps to accelerate the growth of firms and assist with the adoption of new, innovative technologies that support scale-up, productivity, and the development of and entry into new markets to help companies become globally competitive.

Applications can be submitted for:

  • No-interest, repayable contributions up to 35% from $500,000 up to $10 million per project.

Funding is available to:

  • Assist high-growth 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 global markets.