The Regional Innovation Ecosystems program aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum – incremental to truly transformative innovations.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) in western Canada. Through RIE, they are making targeted investments in not-for-profit organizations that support businesses in priority sectors to innovate, grow and compete globally. They are also fostering inclusive growth by supporting under-represented groups, mainly women, Indigenous peoples and young entrepreneurs, to more fully participate in the innovation economy.
By providing funds to advance the development of regional innovation ecosystems, WD is delivering on the Budget 2018 commitment to grow the western Canadian economy. This will ensure Canada’s prosperity for decades to come.
The RIE program stream builds on the federal government’s Innovation and Skills Plan. This plan helps make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation that creates well-paying jobs and grows the middle class.
Fostering an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness. Objectives of RIE:
- Support and grow strategic clusters to leverage regional strengths and support businesses commercialize products, technologies and services, and to scale-up.
- Enhance the development and reach of business accelerators and incubators, and other organizations, which support entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies with high-growth potential.
- Support projects led by innovation-oriented organizations to increase and promote business productivity and global competitiveness, and investment and talent attraction.
- Enhance the capacity of ecosystems to support underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, and young entrepreneurs.
Who can apply for RIE?
RIE is open to not-for-profit organizations that support businesses, innovators and entrepreneurs, for start-up, growth, productivity, technology commercialization, technology adoption, export and investment attraction, including:
Businesses must meet the following mandatory criteria:
- post-secondary educational institutions;
- Business Accelerator and Incubators;
- angel networks;
- Indigenous (First Nations, Inuit, Métis) organizations, including Indigenous-led not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous-owned businesses; social enterprises;
- a group of eligible recipients such as an industry association or consortium; and a municipality and all other municipal-type organizations.
WD is now accepting applications for RIE on an ongoing basis. For information on how to apply, please contact their Vancouver office: