As part of the Global Innovation Clusters (formerly known as Innovation Superclusters Initiative), administered by the Government of Canada, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) is the primary organization spearheading the nation’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. This industry-led, non-profit group supports the development and employment of ground-breaking advanced manufacturing abilities and technologies in Canada, boosting operational efforts for the country’s businesses.
To achieve this goal, NGen Canada supports innovative manufacturing companies conducting research and development (R&D) or enhancing their manufacturing capabilities through project funding, consortium collaborations, and workforce development. Learn more about NGen guidelines to ensure your manufacturing business obtains the support it needs for your next initiative.
What Organizations Qualify for Funding?
Before a business can apply for NGen funding, it must establish its eligibility. Not every organization qualifies for financial assistance from this Supercluster. For instance, international groups, government agencies, post-secondary academic institutions, and federal Crown corporations cannot acquire funding from NGen.
Eligible recipients include for-profit businesses and select non-profit organizations. To qualify, non-profit organizations must support research and development and obtain their funding primarily from private sector companies. Whether the organization is for-profit or non-profit, it must be incorporated in Canada to qualify for funding.
What Makes a Project Eligible for NGen Funding?
Being a for-profit business or non-profit organization that meets eligibility criteria alone is not enough to qualify for NGen funding. The applicant must also show that the project features the following characteristics:
- The application or development of an advanced manufacturing process or technology
- Expertise in manufacturing and technology
- Significant collaboration with three or more partners (two is acceptable provided the project’s total costs are less than $8 million)
- Partner with at least one small and medium-sized enterprise (SME), but more than one SME partner plus academic and research partners are strongly recommended
- Effective project management processes and clear timelines, targets, packages, and estimated expenses for each participant
- Must be applied, collaborative, enduring, and transformative
What Are Eligible Project Expenses?
An R&D project costing between $500 thousand and $20 million will qualify for funding, but NGen will consider an initiative exceeding that range if it demonstrates the potential to transform advanced manufacturing in Canada. Eligible costs are practical expenditures that directly support qualifying project activities, such as:
- Capital expenses that serve the project’s objectives are essential to R&D and unavailable as a shared resource
- Materials and supplies
- Equipment purchased or rented for the initiative (not existing tools)
- Facility rentals used specifically for the project
- License, service, and subscription fees
- Salaries or wages for employees involved with the project
- Sub-contract and consultancy expenses
- Conferences and telecommunication linked to the initiative
- Travel costs that comply with the provisions of the National Joint Council Travel Directive
- Patents for intellectual property developed during the project
- Publication of results
- Foreign costs approved by NGen
- Other direct expenses that facilitate project activities
If you are unsure about the eligibility of a cost not listed here, contact NGen to learn more about eligible and ineligible project activities.
What Is the NGen Funding Process?
Once an organization decides to seek funding from NGen Canada for an R&D project, it can start the application. NGen reviews the applications to ensure the project proposals meet basic requirements and conducts a financial evaluation to verify that each partner can maintain its monetary commitment for the entirety of the initiative.
If the project is not approved following the initial screening, NGen will provide feedback on the assessment and recommendations for the applicant to strengthen their proposal for re-application. If the project is approved, NGen begins the approval process based on the estimated project costs. The organization uses 10 questions to assess these project applications.
Besides an evaluation by NGen, the project is also reviewed by a panel of five external experts. These professionals confirm that approved proposals are high quality, selected without bias, and meet NGen’s goals.
If you need assistance with the application, NGen staff can help you understand more about eligibility criteria, locate potential Supercluster partners, and identify additional funding sources for R&D. NGen mostly offers guidance via webinars and workshops, but also provides first come first serve help to individuals.
Advance NGen Canada Funding with Easly
Funding from NGen can empower your business to develop pioneering advanced manufacturing processes with lasting implications for Canada. To access these funds sooner, consider financing them with Easly. We align with Government mandates and accelerate how funding, such as grants and tax credit refunds, gets into the bank accounts of qualifying Canadian organizations. Companies can access this capital with on-demand and non-dilutive financing through our online Capital-as-a-Service platform.
Our mission is to help innovative businesses in Canada of all sizes experience growth while maintaining the equity they worked diligently to build.
Contact us today to learn more about financing NGen support and other Government funding with Easly.