The 2016 by the Liberal government has enacted new provisions for innovation and green technology. This government has re-emphasized that innovation is a key driver of the economy, and must invest in order to become and world leader in technology creation. To achieve this objective, the government has targeted investment to 4 specific streams to boost innovation.
- Entrepreneurship – Extended investment through enhanced funding for incubators and accelerators, internships, apprenticeships and immigration policy. By 2017-18, the government has promised to provide funding of $150 million dollars.
- Science and Technology – Increasing funding for academia, federal laboratories and related foundations. Aggregate funding between 2016-18 will increase funding by approximately $1.75 billion dollars.
- Innovation Infrastructure – Increased funding to the NRC – IRAP and development agencies across Canada. IRAP in particular is earmarked to receive an additional $50 million dollars in 2016-17.
- Commercialization and Growth – Scaling the mandates of BDC, EDC and extending trade agreements across the world.
On a related side note, the federal government has reduced the small business tax rate to 10.5%, and the refund percentages for 2016-17 have not been changed. While we believe that more measures could have been taken to improve innovation support in Canada, this is generally a good budget for companies conducting research and development activities in Canada. It has also reinforced the notion that the Canadian government is committed to supporting the growth of broad-based industry innovation ranging from agriculture and mining, to high-tech and biotechnology to green energy technologies.
More details about innovation support within the 2016 federal budget can be found in the budget summary at http://www.budget.gc.ca/2016/docs/plan/ch2-en.html#_Toc446106698. We will continue to add more information to this blog as specific programs and measures are announced to provide more details regarding access to this funding.