Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED)

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Applications are now being accepted

Due to high interest, you are encouraged to apply before December each year. Annual funding is limited and funding allocation decisions are made prior to the end of the fiscal year (March 31st).

What is SINED?

Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) is an economic development program that strengthens key economic sectors in Canada's three territories. SINED supports projects that increase northern economic growth and diversification, support innovation and capacity development, and create jobs for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Northerners.

SINED funding was renewed in Budget 2016 for $20 million per year for two years. This renewed funding will focus on three priority areas, including fostering innovation and clean technology development, driving clean economic growth and economic diversification, and supporting capacity development.

SINED funding is provided to business associations, economic development organizations, territorial and municipal governments, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Funding is project-based, meaning it supports single, short-term projects. SINED funding is not intended to support the core operating costs of an organization or long-term projects.

SINED is delivered directly through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).

Why should I apply?

SINED helps enable Northerners take advantage of northern economic opportunities to grow a strong, diverse, and sustainable economy in Canada's North. SINED does this by offering support for projects that increase capacity and grow key sectors of the Northern economy, increase northern economic diversification, and support innovation and clean technology.

Visit SINED Program Guidelines for more information on the SINED program.

Who can apply to SINED?

Table 1.1 below shows who is eligible to apply to SINED. Please note that applications from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will only be accepted under the innovation and clean technology priority, which aims to help northern businesses to develop innovative and/or clean technology products or services. It should be noted that funding for SMEs is limited to $99,999.

Table 1.1: Eligible applicants for SINED
Who am I? Am I eligible for SINED?
An organization or association whose mandate includes work that advances northern economic development Yes
A non-federal government or agency that facilitates economic development in the North Yes
A small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) employing 500 or fewer workers Yes
An organization or establishment that does not have an interest in economic development. No

Is my project eligible for SINED?

Table 1.2 outlines the types of projects and activities that are eligible for SINED funding.  See if your project may be eligible for SINED by checking if it falls under one or more of the priorities described below.

Table 1.2 Projects and activities eligible for SINED
Priority Description Examples of eligible project activities
Innovation and clean technology Projects that involve the creation, adoption or adaptation of new products, services or processes – especially clean technology – that can be specifically used or applied to the North
  • basic and applied research that contributes directly to economic development
  • development of innovative products and services
  • planning, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies
  • assistance in establishing patents/standards/certification
  • creation of technology clusters
  • demonstration and pilot projects for innovative products, services, or processes that contribute to economic development
  • dissemination of knowledge (e.g., facilitation of forums, meetings and workshops) that contribute directly to economic development
Economic growth and diversification Projects that help grow and diversify the northern economy
  • research and planning, including support for the development of sectoral strategies to guide growth
  • development of products and markets which support growth of economic sectors
  • capitalization of loan funds of eligible financial institutions (such as Community Futures Development Corporations) which provide financial services to SMEs
  • targeted investments, including multi-user economic infrastructure, to support the growth of key and developing economic sectors
  • research, including:
    • geoscience activities
    • resource stock assessments, including fisheries
    • the collection or digitization of economic data in key areas not covered through regular surveys given northern geographic and demographic challenges
    • sectoral data collection and overviews
Capacity development Projects that better enable communities and organizations to contribute to economic development in the territories by increasing their skills, knowledge and organizational capacity
  • research (e.g., needs analysis) and expert support to build the capacity of organizations to serve the economic interests of Northerners
  • the development or translation of appropriate training materials
  • development of certification standards, curriculum, or materials
  • support services to industry organizations to strengthen their ability to service members (other than core expenses)
  • provision of support to communities, organizations and associations to provide expert advice/training in the area of economic and business development (could include workshops, conferences, development of certification standards, curriculum and materials)
  • research, consultations, and investments complementary to initiatives for skill development of Northerners (e.g., gap or needs analysis, curriculum development, inventories of skills and services available in the North)
  • dissemination of knowledge (e.g., facilitation of forums, conferences, meetings,  and workshops)

If you are unable to find a project description or example that matches your project, your project may not be eligible for SINED funding. Please contact your regional CanNor office to speak with someone about your project eligibility.

What types of projects and activities are not eligible for SINED funding?

Projects and activities that are not eligible for SINED are outlined in the Table 1.3.

Table 1.3: Projects and activities not eligible for SINED funding
Projects and activities not eligible for SINED Example(s)
Core expenses
  • funding that covers the cost of the organization's daily and mandated functions
  • standard employee salaries
  • employee duty travel
A construction activity related to large engineering works
  • construction of roads, highways, bridges, airports, rail roads, ports, wharfs, dams, commercial buildings, and other similar infrastructure that would require a CanNor contribution of over $2 million or that would benefit a single commercial operation
Direct skills training for individuals that is normally offered through learning institutions or apprenticeship programs
  • the environment and natural resources technology program, or any other program offered at a college in the North, or any other educational or learning institution
Wage subsidies for persons receiving training through course work or on the job
  • funding to compensate employees for taking skills training

How do I apply?

To apply to SINED you must complete a SINED application form and submit it to your regional CanNor office.  The SINED application guide contains information and tips on properly completing it, but do not hesitate to contact your regional CanNor office if you have questions or would like assistance to complete the form.

Before completing your application form, contact your regional CanNor office. A CanNor representative will work with you to guide you through the process of completing your SINED application.

All SINED applications will be evaluated against the SINED priorities (see table 1.2) and expected results. In addition, applications must demonstrate how the project will help promote economic development or diversification in the North.

Applicants applying for funding for an innovation or clean technology project need to clearly show how their project is either innovative, or will improve environmental performance. To better understand this SINED priority, read more on innovation and clean technology funding.

Not that completing an application is an in-depth process that requires a significant amount of detailed information. Please ensure you have allowed sufficient time to gather all of the information required to submit a complete application. A CanNor representative would be pleased to address any questions or concerns you might have as you complete the application process.

When your completed application has been received, you will be notified by a member of the CanNor staff, and informed of next steps. From there, CanNor takes approximately 8-10 weeks to assess your completed application and determine whether or not your project is eligible for funding.

When do I apply?

There is no deadline to apply to SINED. CanNor receives applications throughout the year. You are encouraged to apply before December each year as annual funding is limited, and funding allocation decisions are made prior to the end of the fiscal year (March 31st).

However, calls for expressions of interest may be used from time to time to support projects in certain priority areas or sectors of the economy. If you are applying under a call for expressions of interest, you will need to submit your expression of interest form by the deadline provided.

Please note that funding must be spent during the same fiscal year that it is provided. See the SINED Program Guidelines – section 5 for more funding details.

Where can I find out more about SINED?

For information on SINED, its eligibility criteria and application requirements, contact your regional CanNor Office. A CanNor representative will be pleased to answer any questions you have about the program and to guide you through the application process.

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