Program Name: Small Business Innovation Challenge

NOTE: Attend an info session for your program of interest on December 12 to get started with this challenge.

Program Funding and Details:

The public sector requires innovative solutions to address a diverse range of challenges. Recognizing the role that government can play in building an innovation-driven economy, the Government of Ontario is introducing the Small Business Innovation Challenge (SBIC) to support the growth of high potential, technology-driven, small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Ontario.

The SBIC targets Ontario’s for-profit SMEs that have no more than 500 employees and demonstrate the capacity to develop an innovative technology/solution that could lead to a globally competitive business and market opportunity.

Through the SBIC, participating SMEs will be provided with opportunities to develop and implement innovative technology solutions to challenges identified by the Ontario Government. SMEs may also be invited to conduct real-world demonstration testing using the government as a testing ground.

The overall objectives of the SBIC are to:

  • Engage Ontario’s start-ups and SMEs in solving pressing public sector challenges
  • Provide SMEs with an opportunity to develop, test, and demonstrate their products to a real-world challenge
  • Increase commercialization opportunities for SMEs through direct funding support and applied demonstration opportunities to prove the value of their innovations to domestic and global markets
  • Provide a stronger footing for Ontario SMEs to compete domestically and abroad in both the public and private sectors

This Program is not a public sector procurement program. SMEs that successfully develop technologies through the SBIC and intend to make a commercial sale to the province will be required to participate in accordance with the Government of Ontario’s procurement policies and Trade Agreements.

Critical Dates:

  • Call for Expressions of Interest (EOIs): November 27, 2017
  • Small Business Innovation Challenge Forum: December 12, 2017
  • EOI Submission Deadline
    • Cannabis and Drug-Impaired Driving: 2 p.m. EST, January 9, 2018
    • Electronic Sales Suppression 2 p.m. EST, January 11, 2018
  • Invitations for Full Proposal:February 5, 2018
  • Full Proposal Submission Deadline
    • Cannabis and Drug-Impaired Driving: 2pm EST, February 27, 2018
    • Electronic Sales Suppression: 2pm EST, March 1, 2018
  • Award notifications to Applicants: May, 2018
  • Public Announcement of Results: August, 2018

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The Lead Applicant MUST be a for-profit Ontario-based SME. NOTE: Ontario and other provincially, territorially or federally incorporated companies and foreign incorporated companies are eligible to apply provided they own a subsidiary incorporated in Ontario with R&D and/or manufacturing operations
  • An Ontario- based company is one that:
    1. is privately held;
    2. pays at least 50 per cent of its annual wages, salaries and fees to employees and contractors who spent a majority of their time working in Ontario;
    3. has 50 per cent or more of its full-time employees located as their ordinary place of work in Ontario
    4. has 50 per cent or more of its senior executives (VP and above) with their principal residence in Ontario.
  • The Lead Applicant and Project Partner(s) are committed to research, develop, demonstrate, and commercialize their solution in Ontario
  • more eligibility criteria >>

Apply for the Small Business Innovation Challenge