Canada’s federal government will invest CAD$100 million (US$81 million) in a new innovation program designed to stimulate domestic technology startups and small- and medium-sized entrepreneurs.
As part of the program, technology startups will be invited to propose solutions to challenges that the government is facing, such as developing a way to make armor more resistant to chemicals, or improving wireless connectivity in connected vehicles, the Ministry of Science and Innovation stated in a press release.
“The benefits from this program are clear: the Government of Canada will be able to acquire new products and services that will improve our work, while hard-working small business owners will be able to grow their businesses and create more well-paying middle-class jobs,” said Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism.
Funds will come from the 20 departments and agencies participating in the government’s Innovative Solutions Canada program. Each department will set aside 1% of its research and development expenditures for this initiative.
Innovative Solutions Canada is modeled on the US Small Business Innovation Research program and is a major component of the Government of Canada’s efforts to help small businesses.
Canada already has thousands of ICT startups, and their number is likely to grow in the months to come. Beginning this year, the country will start issuing special visas for technology startups from around the world.
“We are being proactive and transforming our challenges into opportunities,” stated Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.