Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) in British Columbia

The Business Scale-up and Productivity program Expression of Interest intake will open June 15, 2022, 12:00 pm PST. The intake will close on July 27, 2022 at 12:00 pm PST. An additional intake is planned for November 2022.

June 22 and 29: BSP virtual information sessions.

PacifiCan makes strategic investments in growing companies through its Business Scale-up and Productivity (BSP) program, in both established sectors creating value now and emerging sectors growing quickly. We are working to strengthen British Columbia’s position as a domestic and international leader in these sectors.

BSP supports high-growth* businesses that are scaling up and producing innovative goods, services or technologies. It offers interest-free, repayable funding to incorporated businesses.

Businesses that do not meet BSP criteria that are seeking to scale and grow their businesses are encouraged to consider the Jobs and Growth Fund.

For information on other available business support, please visit Innovation Canada.

 

*A high growth business can be defined as any for-profit company that has notable and/or consistent revenue increases year-over-year. Typically, this means an increase of at least 20% year-over-year.

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Eligibility

The BSP program is open to incorporated high-growth businesses that have been operating in British Columbia for a minimum of 2 years. Preference may be given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with less than 500 full-time employees (FTEs).

Businesses must meet the following mandatory criteria:

  • high-growth business* that is scaling up and producing innovative goods, services or technologies
  • incorporated to do business in Canada
  • have been in business for at least 2 years in Canada
  • have staffed operating facilities in British Columbia
  • submit evidence of confirmed funding, at the time of expression of interest submission, from all other sources, including government and non-government (non-government funding must represent at least 50% of the proposed project costs)
  • be looking to support or accelerate growth through the following activities:
    • Productivity improvement: includes acquiring, adapting, and/or adopting new technologies and processes; process re-engineering; improving manufacturing capacity
    • Business scale-up: includes market development or expansion, adopting best management practices, processes and systems, business opportunity development
    • Technology commercialization: includes late stage product development to grow and diversify markets, and technology demonstration (Technology Readiness Levels 7-9 as defined by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada)
  • maximum project duration of 3 years

Note that preference may be given to proposals with a demonstrated focus on:

  • Advanced manufacturing is defined by the development and adoption of innovative technologies to create new products, enhance processes and establish more efficient and cost-effective ways of working.
  • Clean resources refers to transitioning from the old resource economy into a new resource economy. It is where innovation drives economic and environmental competitiveness in the energy, mining and forestry sectors, and leverages Canada's natural resources advantage to transition to a low-carbon economy.
  • Clean technology refers to any process, product or service that reduces environmental impacts in order to better control costs, meet new regulatory requirements, improve global competitiveness and reduce impacts on climate, water, land and air.
  • Digital industries includes a combination of information and communication technology (ICT), digital and interactive media, and content industries, as well as manufacturers and service companies that creatively capture, transmit and display information electronically in innovative ways.
  • Health/bio-sciences encompasses a wide range of companies, from the developers and manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, precision oncology advancements, medical devices and biomedical innovations, to producers of digital health solutions, health analytics and diagnostics, and disruptive technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big data analytics, 3-D printing, robotics and nanotechnologies.
  • Natural resources value-added processing includes the processing of natural resources in the energy, mineral or forestry sectors that adds value to primary products/raw materials.
  • Ocean technology is the sector that engages in the development in marine products and services including autonomous underwater or remote vehicles; subsea sensors; marine control, guidance, and navigation systems; renewable energy systems and marine batteries.
  • Value-added agriculture/agritech is a complex and interdependent sector that includes agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, and food and beverage processing/packaging. It is the development and application of technology and innovation to improve production, profitability, and sustainability. 

Eligible costs

Up to 50% of eligible project costs may be requested from PacifiCan:

  • minimum $200,000; maximum $5 million per project
  • maximum $10 million to any 1 organization (through multiple projects)
  • minimum 50% of total project funding required from confirmed non-government sources
  • all non-PacifiCan sources must be confirmed at time of application and after project approval

New costs essential to the project. For example:

  • capital costs (equipment, machinery)
  • labour (wages, benefits)
  • marketing
  • costs related to intellectual property
  • technology development and commercial demonstrations
  • professional, advisory, technical services

Ineligible costs

Costs deemed unreasonable, non-incremental and/or not directly related to project activities, for example:

  • basic and applied R&D (Technology Readiness Level 1-6)
  • land and buildings
  • salary bonuses and dividend payments
  • entertainment expenses
  • refinancing of existing debts
  • amortization or depreciation of assets
  • lobbying activities

Donations, dues and membership fees are ineligible.

Expected results

PacifiCan is looking to support projects that have a viable plan to produce strong economic outcomes.

Applicants must quantify, substantiate and later report on the following expected results:

  • number of high-quality personnel (HQP) jobs created in Canada
  • number of non-HQP jobs created in Canada
  • revenue growth ($)
  • export sales growth ($)
  • business sales growth resulting from commercialization ($) – where applicable

PacifiCan is working to improve the economic participation of Indigenous persons, women and youth.

Applicants are encouraged to report on efforts to support inclusiveness. Refer to the Government of Canada's Inclusive Innovation Agenda

When to submit an expression of interest

The Business Scale-up and Productivity program Expression of Interest intake will open June 15, 2022, 12:00 pm PST. The intake will close on July 27, 2022, at 12:00 pm PST. An additional intake is planned for November 2022.

Applicants will submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) through the PacifiCan Application Portal. First-time applicants will need to create a GCKey account to access it.

After the close of the intake, PacifiCan will invite selected companies to submit a full application for funding consideration. During this process you may wish to check for updates on the status of your EOI in the application portal.

PacifiCan will accept only 1 EOI per business for each intake. In addition, businesses will be limited to 1 successful application per year. A maximum of $5 million can be provided per project and a maximum of $10 million to any 1 organization across multiple projects. Companies that have not been invited to submit an application will not be automatically considered in subsequent intakes. Submission of a new EOI in a future intake will be required. 

How to submit an expression of interest

  1. Thoroughly review the BSP EOI Help Guide before submitting. We strongly recommend that you download or bookmark the guide now for reference while completing the EOI form.
  2. Prepare the following mandatory documents to submit along with your EOI:
    • financial statements for the past 2 years, as well as interim financial statements for at least the last 6-month period
    • other supporting information ( such as business plan, pitch deck) detailing your organization, how it meets the high-growth definition, and details about the proposed project
    • confirmation of other funding sources ( such as bank statements, unused portion of lines of credit, official letters of intent, funding agreements, signed term sheets):
      • funding provided by applicant:
        • current bank statements detailing existing cash balances or the unused portion of lines of credit
      • funding provided by third-party sources: 
        • official letters of confirmed/conditional funding
        • funding agreements
        • signed term sheets

Note that we will not accept the following as confirmed funding:

  • forecasted revenues from future activities
  • accounts receivables
  • commitments to raise equity or to obtain future bank financing
  • Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) credit receivables

After submitting an expression of interest

Invitation to apply

EOIs with the strongest merit and alignment with program objectives, priority areas and significant economic benefit, will be invited to complete a full application and undergo detailed assessment.

Funding decisions

Funding decisions will be communicated within approximately 90 business days of receiving a complete funding application and any additional information required by the department to complete its due diligence.

Assessment process

Applications will be evaluated on their ability to achieve the BSP objectives and on their relative strengths in the following areas:

  • market potential
  • management capability
  • financial capacity
  • economic benefits
  • technology readiness (technology commercialization projects only)
  • agency priorities
  • If undergoing a detailed assessment, PacifiCan will request:
    • business plan (if not already submitted)
    • forecasted income statements and cash flow for the duration of the project
    • detailed breakdown of project costs
    • disclosure of pre-existing disbursements to third parties or senior executives

Although PacifiCan may engage companies directly on outstanding questions or issues, applicants are advised to submit a complete and thorough application.

Not all applications undergoing a detailed assessment will receive an offer of funding.

A technical assessment may be conducted by National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) for projects using novel technology.

Sustainable Development Technologies Canada and Clean Growth Hub may be consulted on projects related to clean technology and clean resources.

Elements of a strong project

  • clear alignment with at least 1 priority area
  • significant economic benefits/outcomes (as outlined under Expected Results) that are supported by reasonable assumptions and rationale
  • comprehensive and well-written business plan
  • independent market assessment and/or evidence of unmet market demand
  • clearly defined market size and opportunity
  • direct competitors identified and assessed
  • detailed description of both the applicant organization and project management team
  • credible financial statements accompanied by logical and reasonable financial projections
  • demonstrated financial capacity to execute the project and the ability to repay
  • well-defined intellectual property (IP) strategy (if applicable)
  • clear explanation as to how the productivity or efficiency savings will enable the company to grow and expand (if applicable)

Funding disbursement

PacifiCan provides funding based on submitted claims.

PacifiCan will reimburse based on approved portion (in other words 50%) of eligible project costs that have been incurred and paid. Claims may be submitted up to 4 times per year.

Other funding considerations

  • Consult your accountant and/or Canada Revenue Agency to determine the full implications of receiving BSP funding ( such as taxable income, Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED) tax credits)
  • SR&ED credits or other similar federal or provincial tax credits expected to be received within the project scope/timeline for project activities will be considered to be other government assistance. This may require PacifiCan to reduce its funding to maintain the level of government assistance at 50%.
  • Where possible, exclude SR&ED eligible costs from your application.

Repayment terms

  • After project completion, there is a 1-year grace period, followed by equal monthly payments over 5 years.
  • Interest-free; no security/collateral will be taken.
  • There is no penalty for early repayment.

Contacts

For additional BSP information, contact us directly at 1-888-338-9378 or at info@pacifican.gc.ca.

BSP is part of the national Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program. 

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