Northern Innovation Program - Pilot Demonstration & Commercialization Projects

The Northern Innovation Program supports the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by supporting the development and commercialization of new technologies that will contribute to future prosperity in Northern Ontario, and by fostering collaboration and partnerships among the private sector, academic institutions and research institutes.

Eligible projects must involve research and development or commercialization activities for new technologies in the targeted sectors identified and further described in the Growth Plan. Preference is  given to projects falling under the following sectors:

  • natural resources
  • advanced manufacturing
  • clean technology
  • health sciences
  • the bioeconomy
  • the digital economy

The purpose of this program stream is to help Northern Ontario businesses with reducing the technical and financial risks associated with scaling-up and demonstrating their new and innovative technologies. It is also intended to support them as they ramp-up for commercial production.

Who is Eligible?

Private companies alone or in partnership with a Northern Ontario academic or research institutions are eligible to apply. For public-private partnership projects, the private company is the lead applicant and the funding recipient.

The private company must own or have the rights to exploit the intellectual property associated with the technology. It must be able to demonstrate that the technology has been tested and fully validated and that it has the necessary technical, financial and management capacity to complete the proposed demonstration project.

For public-private partnership projects, the partnering academic or research institution must have the relevant expertise and resources required by the private partner to complete the proposed demonstration project.

Preference is given to public-private partnership projects involving Northern Ontario academic or research institutions.

What is Eligible?

Eligible costs are those that are incurred by the applicant after the effective date of the complete application that, in the opinion of the NOHFC, are necessary and directly relate to the project.

Eligible project costs include:

  • direct internal technical labour costs for up to one year of the project’s duration
  • building or renovation costs
  • demonstration prototype costs (engineering and design services and equipment purchase, fabrication and installation costs)
  • material costs
  • product certification costs
  • marketing costs (trade show assistance and marketing material design costs)

What is Not Eligible?

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • land
  • working capital
  • administrative or other indirect operating costs
  • business case or business plan development
  • travel, accommodation and meeting costs
  • office equipment and furnishings
  • vehicles


Financial assistance is limited to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $500,000.

Funding toward labour, material, certification and marketing costs will be in the form of a 100% conditional contribution.

Funding toward building or renovation costs and demonstration prototype costs will be in the form of a 30% conditional contribution and a 70% repayable loan.

Not all projects meeting the program criteria outlined above will receive funding. Applications will be accepted under this program until March 31, 2019. This is subject to change without any prior notice.

How to Apply

Send completed application forms to:

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
70 Foster Drive, Suite 200
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 6V8
fax: 1-705-945-6701

For more information call our toll free line 1-800-461-8329.