The federal government of Canada has set aside a CAD250 million (US$178 million) fund to help its tech sector cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.
A portion of the fund will also be handed to innovative tech startups for commercializing their products.
The technology startups who could not benefit from the wage subsidy or any other financial assistance measures were eagerly waiting for an aid package of this kind, local media reports.
The country’s Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains has also told small and mid-sized tech companies that they can seek additional financial aid if they were going through liquidity problems due to the pandemic.
The announcement comes after several experts warned the government that many entrepreneurs in the technology industry would go under, saying they had been shut out of COVID-19 support measures.
“We’ve heard the call for help from this part of the Canadian economy, and today we’re answering it,” Bains told reporters in Ottawa.
The money will be disbursed through the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which primarily focuses on fostering innovation among domestic tech firms.
Under the program, firms in Canada with fewer than 500 employees can seek up to a CAD10 million fund for technology development and commercialization of projects.
Analysts expect more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs to benefit from the fund over the next three months.