Feds launch $1.26-bil­lion fund for busi­ness

“It’s re­ally about help­ing com­pa­nies grow and com­pete not only within Canada, but glob­ally as well,” says min­is­ter Navdeep Bains

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - NATALIE PAD­DON

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment has launched a $1.26-bil­lion fund to sup­port in­no­va­tive busi­nesses from all sec­tors of the econ­omy grow and bring their prod­ucts to mar­ket.

The aim of the Strate­gic In­no­va­tion Fund, which was an­nounced in the 2017 fed­eral bud­get but started ac­cept­ing ap­pli­ca­tions Wed­nes­day, is to at­tract and sup­port busi­ness in­vest­ments across all in­dus­tries.

“It’s re­ally about help­ing com­pa­nies grow and com­pete not only within Canada, but glob­ally as well,” Min­is­ter of In­no­va­tion, Science and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Navdeep Bains told the crowd at Can­metMATERIALS, Canada’s largest re­search cen­tre ded­i­cated to met­als and ma­te­ri­als, on Longwood Road South.

The fund, whose bud­get spans five years, is de­signed to sup­port the com­mer­cial­iza­tion of Cana­dian prod­ucts and ser­vices, the “scal­ing up” of small- and medium-sized busi­nesses, at­tract in­vest­ments and foster col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tors, the Mis­sis­sauga-Mal­ton MP added.

De­spite the an­nounce­ment be­ing made in Hamil­ton — a city Bains said has “trans­formed re­mark­ably” and di­ver­si­fied its econ­omy — there are no prom­ises lo­cal projects will re­ceive any of the money, he said.

But the city has “a lot of po­ten­tial” when it comes to its ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, life sciences and clean tech­nol­ogy sec­tors, Bains added.

“Hamil­ton is an ideal lo­ca­tion where you have cre­ative peo­ple, where you have in­no­va­tion tak­ing place, where you have tra­di­tional sec­tors and new emerg­ing sec­tors,” he said.

The pro­gram will of­fer a mix­ture of re­payable and non­re­payable con­tri­bu­tions to in­dus­trial and tech­no­log­i­cal firms across Canada.

GARY YOKOYAMA, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Philippe Dauphin, the di­rec­tor gen­eral of Can­metMATERIALS, shows Min­is­ter Navdeep Bains a sam­ple of steel from the rolling mill lab.

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