Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
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Regional Economic Growth through Innovation - Steel and Aluminum Initiative

Steel and Aluminum Initiative

Canadian SMEs that use steel and aluminum face challenges in making investments to strengthen their productivity and competitiveness.

The Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Steel and Aluminum Initiative, launched on March 11, 2019, aims to support the innovative projects of SMEs operating within the Canadian steel and aluminum supply chain. These investments are expected to maintain and create jobs as well as promote economic growth through adoption of innovative technologies and processes.

More specifically, the Initiative will:

  • Assist firms with high growth potential to scale up and expand;
  • Support technology demonstration and the commercialization of new technologies;
  • Encourage the early adoption or adaptation of leading-edge technologies and processes to improve productivity;
  • Increase businesses’ capacity to grow.

The Initiative will focus on:

  • SMEs that are intensive users of steel or aluminum (i.e., steel and/or aluminum expenditures equal to or greater than 20 percent of total input costs);
  • SMEs with 10 to 499 employees.

The Initiative will provide non-repayable funding, ranging from $150,000 to $1 million to eligible firms that are pursuing business growth and expansion by enhancing productivity/competitiveness. Funding decisions will take into account the minimum amount required to carry out the project, and the level of innovation undertaken by the project. Applicants are eligible to receive up to 45 percent of total eligible projects costs. All project activities must be completed by March 31, 2020.


The initial priority period for applications to the Steel and Aluminum Initiative ended April 8, 2019, with the total value of the applications received exceeding investments available under this fund. Applications received by April 8 are now being assessed on a priority basis, as announced at the launch of the fund.