The Government of Ontario understands it can be challenging for manufacturers to take on large-scale capital investments. To address this issue, small business grants are available to boost cash flow and help offset project costs. This support allows Ontario-based manufacturers to accelerate the implementation of productivity-boosting projects.

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) is co-administered by the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA) and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). The program provides Ontario government funding to automotive manufacturers looking to improve their productivity and competitiveness through innovative new processes, hardware, and/or software. Eligible applicants can access up to 50% coverage of project costs to a maximum $100,000 in small business grants.

The deadline to apply is quickly approaching; eligible candidates must submit applications by 2:00pm ET on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 to be considered for funding.

Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Investment Program (ASCIP)

The Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Improvement Program (ASCIP) helps Ontario manufacturers offset capital investments. The program supports software, hardware, and process adoption projects that improve productivity and competitiveness, such as improvements to machine runtime, energy usage, or manufacturing yields. In addition to funding, the program provides businesses with access to mentorship opportunities with Ontario’s automotive industry leaders.

ASCIP will provide up to 50% coverage of project costs to a maximum contribution of $100,000 in Ontario automotive grants.

ASCIP has two unique funding streams, including:

  • Technology Projects: Eligible businesses are encouraged to adopt new software or hardware, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. This stream also helps applicants offset the cost of training employees how to use new software and equipment.
  • Mentorship Projects: Eligible businesses will receive feedback on business operations to develop and implement a growth-oriented plan. This stream provides executives with one-on-one learning opportunities to address specific industry or growth barriers.

How Our Clients Have Leveraged ASCIP Funding

At Mentor Works, we have helped a range of Ontario-based automotive manufacturers leverage government grants through the ASCIP program. Here are some examples of projects we’ve helped secure funding for under ASCIP’s Technology and Mentorship streams:

Some of our recent client success stories include:

  • Client 1: Awarded nearly $90k to participate in ASCIP’s Technology Stream to implement new software, programming, and hardware will lead to new co-processing capabilities, improved efficiency and output. The project helped improve the businesses competitiveness and ability to capitalize on large-scale customer contracts.
  • Client 2: Awarded nearly $50k to participate in ASCIP’s Technology Stream to invest in software that optimizes shop floor data. The project allowed the business to improve cross-department communications, increase productivity, and decrease product imperfections.
  • Client 3: Awarded $21k to participate in ASCIP’s Technology Stream to modify and customize Shoptech E2 software. The project led to improved productivity and industry competitiveness through more informed business decisions.
  • Client 4: Awarded $100k to participate in ASCIP’s Mentorship Stream to work with Harbour Results to assess current processes, improve data collection, and assessment of KPIs. As a result, the company will develop new services and business models, lower costs, increase productivity and flexibility, and boost competitiveness on an international scale.

Eligibility Requirements for the ASCIP Program

Applicant Eligibility Criteria

ASCIP provides small business grants to applicants that:

  • Are an incorporated Canadian business with established manufacturing operations in Ontario; and
  • Employ less than 500 workers or earn less than $1,000,000 in global revenue; and
  • Generate 50% of the company’s annual revenues through the Canadian automotive industry.

Project Eligibility Criteria

ASCIP will fund the following project types:

  • Adoption of new automotive technologies and processes;
  • Advancing product life cycle management;
  • Productivity, capacity, innovation, and competitiveness improvements;
  • Position the business to be more responsive to emerging market trends; and
  • Enhance product life-cycles by improving equipment runtime, energy consumption, technology, and/or sales revenues.

Please Note: All ASCIP projects must be completed in 12-24 months.

Get Started with ASCIP Automotive Manufacturing Grants

Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for funding through the Automotive Supplier Competitiveness Investment Program. Interested automotive manufacturers can get started by discussing their project with OCE and submitting an application, which includes project proposals, budgets, and timelines.

All applications must be completed and submitted by 2:00pm ET on November 7, 2017 to be considered for funding.

If you would like to discuss your business’ eligibility or require assistance with the application process, please contact Mentor Works.

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This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.