Atlantic Innovation Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the objectives of the AIF?

The objectives of the AIF are to help Atlantic Canadians develop and bring to market innovative new products and services that lead to commercial success and economic growth, help grow strategic sectors, maximize benefits from national R&D programs or lead to the creation of research and commercialization partnerships among businesses, universities and research institutions in Atlantic Canada.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

The AIF supports projects in the area of natural and applied sciences, as well as in social sciences, humanities, arts and culture, that lead to the successful development and commercialization of technology-based products, processes or services. The program also helps businesses work with researchers to adapt existing technology when it is new to the market and there is technical development required to successfully integrate the technology into the company’s operations.

To be eligible under the AIF, a project must involve an R&D component with a strong potential for commercialization.

Eligible activities may include:

Who can apply?

Eligible applicants include private-sector businesses, universities, colleges, non-government research organizations and provincial Crown corporations operating in Atlantic Canada.

Federal departments, including federal research laboratories and institutes, and provincial government departments are not eligible recipients under the AIF.

What is the duration of AIF projects?

Proposed projects can vary in duration from several months to a maximum of five years; however, preference will be given to shorter-term projects ranging from 18 to 36 months.

What are the eligibility criteria?

To be considered under the AIF, projects must meet the following criteria:

While not an absolute requirement, the AIF will favour projects with a combination of the following desirable criteria:

What costs are eligible?

Eligible costs could include wages, salaries, capital costs and other operating expenses directly related to the project.

How much financial assistance is available?

The AIF can provide assistance of up to 80 per cent of total eligible costs for projects led by not-for-profit organizations and up to 75 per cent of total eligible costs for private-sector-led projects. It should be noted that the AIF assistance for eligible building and major renovation costs would not normally exceed 30 per cent of the costs.

Applicants seeking innovation funding between $500,000 and $3 million can be considered under the AIF. Funding requests for innovation projects of less than $500,000 may be eligible under ACOA’s Business Development Program.

Is AIF funding repayable?

Contributions to the private sector are conditionally repayable based on the commercial success of a project. Contributions to not-for-profit organizations are non-repayable.

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