The Automotive Supplier Innovation Program (ASIP) is a 5 year, $100M program that provides non-repayable funding to Canadian-based suppliers developing innovative products and/or processes in the automotive sector. Canada’s automotive suppliers are critical to Canada’s automotive footprint and success and are an important piece of Canada’s economy. Many of these suppliers are small and medium-sized businesses that make new product development their business strategy in order to stay competitive. Automotive manufacturers require innovative products to meet changing efficiency and safety standards and address consumers’ interest in connected and automated vehicle technologies. Suppliers that help manufacturers meet these demands will find their technological innovations winning manufacturers’ business domestically and globally. If your business produces innovative products that could be applied to improve fuel efficiency, emission reduction, or vehicle connectivity or automation this could be your golden opportunity!

How much money is on the table?

Each company is eligible to receive up to $10M during the term of the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program. Further, the Program will fund up to 50% of the total eligible costs of a project. Thus, your company’s $50,000 budget for developing a hybrid plastic/fabric vehicle component or cloud-connected solution to improve driver connectivity could be supplemented to become a $100,000 budget instead. Just imagine the opportunity for advancement in the market and competitive advantage doubling your R&D budget gives. To date, the largest amount granted has been to Pravala Car, which will receive up to $9,742,500 to develop a platform that provides uninterrupted and reliable network connectivity to vehicles. Several other companies have also received millions for their projects, but with a fund of $100M there’s still plenty of capital left for investment in your small business!

Who can use The Automotive Supplier Innovation Program?

To be eligible for the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program your company must be for-profit, incorporated, and conducting its business activities in Canada. The Automotive Supplier Innovation Program funds development of innovative products or processes at the demonstration and/or prototyping stage. The innovative products or processes being developed must be targeted at the automotive sector in Canada. The ASIP gives priority to funding small- and medium-size companies with fewer than 500 employees globally or global revenues of less than $1B. Larger businesses are eligible for funding through the ASIP but must partner with at least one Canadian-based small- or medium-sized business.

What I liked most

I liked the priority given to funding technological developments by small and medium sized businesses over their larger counterparts. Also, the requirement of large businesses to partner with at least one smaller business in order to be eligible for funding through the ASIP could be a springboard to networking for small business owners. Further, the ASIP is intended to support projects in the middle stages of innovation between early-stage research and pre-commercial development. In short, you don’t need to have a finished product ready for marketing, just an idea that your company has been toying around with. Your company can receive funding for prototype development, product and process engineering, and pre-commercial product and process testing and validation – all the expensive stuff that ordinarily renders no immediate return on investment. As the Automotive Supplier Innovation Program itself describes, this funding is meant for projects that would not proceed without federal funding. So if you have an innovation in development but it requires time and money you don’t have, before you consider putting the project on the back burner or scrapping it, try applying for ASIP!

Final Thought

“Invention is not enough. Tesla invented the electric power we use, but he struggled to get it out to people. You have to combine both things: invention and innovation focus, plus the company that can commercialize things and get them to people.” – Larry Page

How much more perfectly can you sum up this grant? A prototype sitting on your shelf isn’t’ helping anybody! Get it out there (with the help of ASIP) and into the market!

Nikola Tesla was an inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, and physicist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity.

ConnexFund specializes in grants and funding for innovative companies and start-ups with focus on technology and manufacturing. Many Canadian businesses are aware that there is some free money available for them. But not so many know where to find it, how to access it and how to prepare a grant application that is successful. And this is exactly what ConnexFund does!