Advance Program

Early Stage Innovation Assistance Program

In Northwestern Ontario, many small and medium size businesses have difficulty accessing the appropriate expertise and resources to move their idea to the marketplace.

The intent of this program is to provide technical assistance and support services to enable the successful launch and growth of their early stage innovation. This assistance would include, but not be limited to, the following services:

1. Access to engineering design and design-for-manufacture resources

2. Collaboration for prototype development

3. Technical feasibility analysis

4. Productivity enhancement analysis

Small- and medium-sized Enterprises can receive up to $5,000.00 in assistance towards the developmental costs of their idea through the ADVANCE – Early Stage Innovation Initiative Program.


- Must be a For-Profit, Canadian firm (less than 100 employees, incorporated or in the process of incorporating),

- Seeking assistance in the development of new products, processes or services, or in the adoption of technology, which has the potential to  help increase sales, employment or productivity.

- This program is not intended to support, nor is applicable to, retailers or resellers.

Administration Fee

Application processing and other related service provided by the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Center requires an administration fee of $400.00 + HST payable by the applicant at the time of approval.

How to Apply:

You can apply for this program by completing this form:

Application Form

Prior to completing an application we encourage you to contact Jaquelyn Holm at or 768-6676 for further information.

Submit it to:

Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

2400 Nipigon Rd.
Thunder Bay, ON P7C 4W1
Phone: (807) 768-6682
Fax: (807) 768-6683
Toll Free: 1 866 768-6682

Project Completion Deadline

All projects must be complete no later than March 1st, 2016.

This program is supported by the

National Research Council Canada

Industrial Research Assistance Program