Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Grant helps to identify manufacturing bottlenecks


Photo: Courtesy Mentor Works

Many would think the ongoing pandemic would slow a company’s ability to find new competitive advantages and adopt new technology, but Ontario manufacturers have been doing just that thanks to the recently announced Technology Assessment Program (TAP).

Administered by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Technology Assessment Program (TAP) supports manufacturers in southern Ontario looking to complete a technology assessment to improve their systems, processes, and equipment.

Southern Ontario manufacturers can receive funding covering 100 per cent of the costs to bring in a third-party technology assessment consultant to a maximum of $25,000 of eligible costs.

Some of the benefits of technology adoption include higher innovation capacity, lower operating costs, increased customer satisfaction and increased product quality.

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Overview

The Technology Assessment Program (TAP) helps businesses understand what technologies are best suited for their needs while offering greater return on their investments.

Once the assessment is finished, a qualified service provider (QSP) will formulate a plan to enable businesses to make informed decisions on which new technologies to assess, purchase, adopt, implement, train and maintain.

These qualified service providers must be authorized by CME, with businesses being able to apply to be a QSP on the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters website.

Qualified assessors will work on-site with organizations to build a customized action plan on how to enhance productivity by making the most of existing assets and implementing the latest advanced manufacturing technologies including software, hardware and cloud computing.

Funding for this program is provided by FedDev Ontario, which is Canada’s economic development organization for southern Ontario.

Who is eligible for funding?

To be an eligible applicant, manufacturers must:

  • Be based in southern Ontario per the census map;
  • Have between 16-499 full-time employees in southern Ontario;
  • Demonstrate financial stability;
  • Be an incorporated business (federally or provincially) for two years or more continuously; and
  • Are not required to be a member of CME to be eligible.

What projects are eligible?

A company’s technology assessments can focus on areas such as:

  • Waste reduction;
  • Productivity;
  • Process flow;
  • Energy efficiency (production level);
  • Quality (for example, ISO Certification);
  • Environmental impact (various green certifications); and
  • Information and management systems.

Qualified service providers (QSPs) authorized by CME must complete the assessment. If there is a current partnership with an expert who is not CME-approved, they can apply to be added to the list of QSPs found on CME’s website. Internal experts are not eligible.

What expenses are eligible?

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) commonly gets applications asking for items that are ineligible for funding, such as meals and entertainment. These costs will not be approved for funding and could even jeopardize the success of an application.

  • Consulting fees (including travel) are eligible.
  • Receipts for travel must be submitted with the final claim to be eligible.
  • Entertainment and meals are not eligible costs.
  • Assessments that have been completed before approval are not eligible costs.

When is the deadline to apply?

The CME TAP program will continue to accept applications until December 31, 2021 if they have a completion date no later than January 31, 2022.

Funding for this program is approved on a first-approved, first-funded basis. Assessments must be completed within 90 days of the application’s approval and cannot commence before approval.

Due to the high levels of demand for grant funding through the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Technology Assessment Program (TAP), it’s strongly recommended that you start the application process sooner rather than later as it’s common for grant programs to stop accepting applications before their original deadline when they have exhausted their budget.

If you believe your project is eligible for grant funding through the Technology Assessment Program (TAP), consider speaking to us to find out if your business should apply for funding through CME TAP or one of the other 75+ ongoing government funding programs, including COVID-19 support programs.

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Matthew Mongeon is a marketing coordinator at Mentor Works, an Ontario-based company that helps businesses build and execute their funding strategy through a mix of federal and provincial government grants, loans and tax credits.

This article originally appeared in the October 2020 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION and was first posted on Oct. 13.