Ontario boosts funding for CME SMART program
November 6, 2009 by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
Manufacturers in Southern Ontario will have greater opportunities to improve their operations thanks to two new investments worth more than $30 million announced by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
"These two investments will create jobs and help local businesses and communities grow and diversify," said State Minister Gary Goodyear. "Our government is delivering on our commitment in the Economic Action Plan to stimulate the economy and support the people in Southern Ontario."
The funding includes a $15.75-million investment under the Southern Ontario Development Program for the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) SMART program to fund approximately 300 projects that will help small and medium-sized manufacturers increase their productivity and competitiveness in the global economy.
The CME SMART program provides up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $50,000 per project, and focuses on key areas such as Lean design and manufacturing, quality improvement, energy efficiency, information technology best practices and environmental impact reduction. (For details on the CME SMART program, see below.)
"This announcement could not have come at a more crucial time," says CME president and CEO Jayson Myers. "Companies must take the necessary steps to modernize and improve productivity despite the severe economic strains caused by the recession. The projects that will be funded by SMART will give companies the tools they need to remain competitive in this era of economic uncertainty."
A top-up of $15 million for the first application intake of the Southern Ontario Development Program was also announced. On Oct. 2, 2009, the Government of Canada committed $40 million to projects that can be completed by March 2010. Today’s top-up brings the total amount of funding available for the first intake to $55 million.
The new release claimed applications will be accepted until Dec. 1, 2009.
Overall funding for the SODP is $100 million in 2009-10. Other aspects of the program will be announced shortly.
Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP)
Announced in Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) was established to deliver federal economic development programs to support the priorities of workers, businesses and communities in Southern Ontario. Budget 2009 allocated $1 billion over five years for the new agency.
One of the agency’s new programs, the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), is a multi-year funding program which supports productivity, innovation, commercialization, community economic development and diversification in Southern Ontario.
Total agency funding in 2009-10 is $206 million. Of this amount, approximately $100 million has been allocated to the SODP, including $55 million for the first intake process. Other aspects of the program will be announced shortly.
An organization or enterprise may qualify for SODP funds if it is located in Southern Ontario and meets one of the following criteria:
– Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)* with a focus on those with up to 1,000 employees;
– SME groups and/or associations;
– non-profit organizations whose primary mission is business support or economic development;
– organizations or institutions dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of knowledge and know-how, including colleges, polytechnic institutes, universities and teaching institutions;
– Aboriginal organizations; or
* With respect to commercial enterprises, the focus of this program will be on existing businesses with a proven track record that are looking to expand, modernize, innovate, and/or improve their competitiveness. Business start-ups will not be supported.
These include projects that:
– expand capacity;
– improve technology or equipment;
– improve the productivity and competitiveness of a business;
– provide access to new markets;
– innovate products or services;
– promote the commercialization of innovations; and
– improve community-owned tourism facilities (e.g., conference centres, exhibition halls).
A straight-forward application form is available to download online at www.southernontario.gc.ca. Applications should be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to 151 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto ON, M5C 2W7. Each project must have a separate and fully completed application form to be considered. If an applicant submits more than one project, these must be ranked in order of priority.
Applications to access funding in 2009-10 will be accepted until Dec. 1, 2009. FedDev Ontario will favour projects that can be started quickly and completed by March 31, 2010. Applications will be assessed based on merit and against SODP criteria. Applications will be reviewed as they are received by the Agency. The Agency, at a later date, may further refine the criteria for future calls for proposals.
Priority will be given to organizations or enterprises located in communities in Southern Ontario with populations of 500,000 or fewer, as well as to communities whose economies are less diversified and/or are reliant on a limited number of employers.
For more information, please refer to the Program Guidelines available on the web site at www.southernontario.gc.ca, email email@example.com or call 1-866-593-5505.