Exploring new ideas and creating new products is a lot of fun…as long as no one is worried about going broke because of it. One of the many challenges companies face is when to venture into new territory and when to play it safe at the risk of becoming obsolete. A company may have some new ideas that could set them apart from their competition or give them a competitive edge, but will those ideas pay off? Are those ideas too costly to explore? We know that leaders are often innovators and progress isn’t made by sitting idly by, but for small and medium sized businesses it can be a scary challenge to try to lead the pack.
Here in Canada there are a number of different programs provided by the government to help minimize risk that companies take on when developing new product and exploring ideas. By providing grants, incentives, and support towards the development of new products, these programs encourage Canadian companies to explore new ideas, test new designs, and if successful, even produce tooling and develop training programs for their staff. Even in cases where a product or idea may not get past the prototype phase, some loss can still be reduced through these programs.
There is often a misconception that only certain industries are eligible for government grants such as the medical or technology fields, but the reality is, any Canadian company who will take on a level of risk to explore new ideas may be eligible. This means that before your company starts developing that new product it would be a good idea to contact a certified funding agent or get in touch with the Economic Development office for more information. Funding programs cannot be applied retroactively, they are tailored to the specific company with funding goals tied to project milestones. They help the business exploit a new opportunity with the lowest amount of risk possible to the stakeholders.