The Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative is a five-year federal initiative that offers repayable contributions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada, in order to help move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace.
WINN is open to western Canadian SMEs with less than 500 employees, who have been in operation for at least one year.
What projects are funded through WINN?
Under WINN, SMEs can apply for funding to support commercialization projects that include a wide range of activities, such as:
Introduction of a new technology-based product, process or service to new or existing markets
Improvement of products, processes or services involving new technology
Product certifications, including Controlled Goods Registration
Pilot projects (first user) and technology demonstration projects
Validation of market potential and end-user acceptance
Support for marketing, productivity, and process or quality improvement directly related to the commercialization of new opportunities
For this latest round of WINN, applications must support one of these clusters:
Value Added Agriculture
Why is WINN important?:
Attracting early-stage capital for technology commercialization is a key challenge for SMEs in Western Canada. Under WINN, eligible western Canadian SMEs can apply for funding to support a wide range of commercialization activities.
WINN promotes the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy by providing financial support to qualified SMEs to help them accelerate the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services in Western Canada. It also stimulates greater private sector investment in western Canadian commercialization activities.
Through WINN, the Government of Canada is addressing a gap in private sector funding and a need to drive innovation, commercial success and economic growth in Western Canada.
WINN supports the federal government's Innovation and Skills Plan. This plan helps to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation that creates well-paying jobs and grows the middle class.
Objectives of WINN:
Commercialize innovative, technology-based products, processes and services;
Stimulate greater private sector investments in commercialization activities;
Increase the number of jobs for highly qualified personnel(HQP) in Canada; and
Enable company growth.