Western Innovation Initiative (WINN)

Program Summary

Through its Inclusive Innovation Agenda, the Government of Canada is dedicated to building on three core priority areas:

  • People – developing Canadian talent and the workforce of tomorrow;
  • Technology – fostering leading-edge technologies; and,
  • Companies – growing world-class companies and accelerating growth.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) works to advance these priority areas by making strategic investments in supports and services that enable western Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including Indigenous businesses, to be more innovative, productive, more export-oriented, and to create good quality jobs.

This call for proposal process invites applications that advance WD’s 2017 investment priorities, which are:

  • Clean technology (clean tech): Building on the competitive advantages of innovative clusters in Western Canada to grow the clean tech sector by supporting the development, commercialization, and export of clean tech products and processes.
  • Indigenous economic growth (IEG): Increasing the number of Indigenous entrepreneurs and businesses, and ensure Indigenous communities in Western Canada are well positioned to capitalize on significant economic development and growth opportunities. Preference will be given to IEG applications submitted by Indigenous organizations or those with Indigenous partners.

Eligible Recipients

WINN is a $100 million five-year federal initiative that offers repayable contributions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada, in order to help move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace.

The intent of WINN is to promote the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy by providing financial support to qualified SMEs to help them accelerate the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services in Western Canada, and by stimulating greater private sector investment in western Canadian commercialization activities.

By helping to seize opportunities for innovation, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will support the creation of jobs and growth while ensuring that new opportunities for success are realized and new products, processes and services are brought from the test bench to the marketplace.

Attracting early-stage capital for technology commercialization has been identified as a key challenge for SMEs in Western Canada. WINN will address the pre-commercialization funding gaps inhibiting firms from bringing new knowledge-based products and services to market. Under WINN, eligible western Canadian SMEs can apply for funding to support a wide range of commercialization activities.

Contact Information

Jennifer Stelzer
Manager, Innovation
Western Economic Diversification, Canada, Government of Canada