New regional innovation programming supports business development and growth

News release

Government of Canada announces consistent funding programs across regions to assist high-potential Canadian businesses

December 3, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Business innovation and productivity are key to a dynamic economy and to the creation of good jobs for Canadians. That’s why the Government of Canada is providing businesses with consistent support across regions to seize new opportunities created by an innovation economy.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Canada’s regional development agencies (RDA), announced the Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation (REGI) program—a nationally coordinated, regionally tailored program to support the growth of Canadian businesses, their expansion into new markets and their adoption of new technologies and processes, which will help fuel the economy.

Under REGI, innovation funding programs across all of Canada’s six RDAs will focus on two key areas:

  • Business scale-up and productivity: Investing in and supporting businesses at various stages of development, including high-growth firms, to accelerate their growth, assist them in scaling up and enhance their productivity and competitiveness in both domestic and global markets.
  • Regional innovation ecosystems: To create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.

While REGI will focus on these two streams, RDAs will continue to support businesses and communities through existing programming to foster economic development opportunities and diversification in their regions.

The national scope of this program will ensure that innovative businesses are provided with consistent service and support across all regions of Canada. The RDAs are implementing REGI in alignment with the Government of Canada’s national objectives while ensuring that funding programs are tailored to fit and benefit regional needs.


“Innovation doesn’t happen only in big cities; it happens in all regions of Canada. That’s why our regional development agencies play an important role in helping businesses turn innovation into economic growth and good jobs for Canadians. The new REGI program will provide consistent support to regions across the country, ensuring that Canadian businesses can scale up, access global markets and adopt new technologies, no matter where they are in Canada.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Regional development agencies are one of Canada’s four flagship platforms supporting innovation, along with the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fund and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

  • Canada has six regional development agencies supporting economic development in every region of Canada.

  • The Regional Economic Growth Through Innovation program continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan. Its goal is to provide nationally consistent and regionally tailored support for business productivity and scale-up, particularly among SMEs and women entrepreneurs, and for the enhancement of regional technology clusters and innovation ecosystems.

Related products

Associated links


Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Page details

Date modified: