Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Supporting Information on Sub-Programs

Innovation and Commercialization

Description

Raising the levels of research and development and of innovation in the region is fundamental to increasing Atlantic Canada’s competitiveness and to closing the productivity gap with the rest of the country. The Agency invests in innovation and commercialization by supporting the research and development of new products, services and processes as well as their commercialization in the marketplace. The Agency also provides support for the adoption and adaptation of leading-edge technologies in businesses. Clients include businesses and organizations such as universities and research institutes. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) and the Business Development Program (BDP).

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
93,129,829 77,547,098 (15,582,731)

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
84 75 (9)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
2015-16
Actual Result
Strengthened innovation and commercialization capacity in Atlantic Canada Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA in innovation projects $1.25 $1.07
Number of key collaborators for technology development and commercialization through AIF projects During 2015-16, the Agency will establish a baseline 18
  Five-year Target
2015-16 through 2019-20
Dollar amount of revenues resulting from commercialization $150,000,000
(cumulative)
Actual results for this indicator will be measured in 2020 and reported in the 2019-20 Departmental Performance Report

 

Productivity and Growth

Description

The Agency invests in productivity and growth to enhance Atlantic Canadians’ access to the information, business skills and financing they require to start and/or grow a business. This enables businesses to get established, become more productive and grow, which generates wealth and jobs in the economy. Investments in productivity and growth are made directly by helping businesses to increase competitiveness through activities such as productivity improvement, expansion, modernization, business skills development, training, hiring skilled personnel, and indirectly through contributions to non-profit organizations such as business and economic development associations that undertake activities that foster business productivity and growth. The Agency also administers Canada Business, which acts as a comprehensive source of information on government services, programs, regulations and resources for businesses. By reducing the complexity of dealing with various levels of government, Canada Business plays a role in the business development process. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: the BDP.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
54,819,698 76,567,064 21,747,366

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
91 82 (9)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
2015-16
Actual Result 
Enhanced Atlantic Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises' (SMEs) productivity and growth capacity Percentage points by which the growth in sales of ACOA-assisted firms exceeds that of comparable firms[1] not assisted by ACOA 0.5 3.5
Percentage of participants in business skills development activities indicating that the activity improved their business skills 85% 83%
Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA in commercial productivity and growth projects $2.00 $1.70

 

International Business Development

Description

Canada’s Global Markets Action Plan (GMAP) identifies global value chains and new economic forces as offering opportunities while recognizing increased competition for Canada. To strengthen the country’s position in international markets, the strategy prescribes taking advantage of emerging global opportunities and reinforcing Canada’s image internationally as a preferred business partner and premier investment destination. Consistent with this strategy, the Agency pursues international opportunities with a view to increasing the number of exporters and the volume of export sales, to attracting foreign direct investment and to supporting the international commercialization of technology. Further, the Agency promotes Atlantic Canada abroad as a world leader in energy production, export and research, as a centre of innovation, as a skilled labour pool, as a reliable supplier of quality products at competitive prices and as the gateway to the North American market. The Agency also plays a role in coordinating the efforts of federal, provincial and private-sector organizations in Atlantic Canada in pursuing international business opportunities. Clients include businesses, non-profit organizations, learning and research institutions, and provincial governments. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payment: the BDP.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
23,272,085 17,850,041 (5,422,044)

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
52 51 (1)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
2015-16
Actual Result
Expanded export activity by SMEs in Atlantic Canada Percentage of commercial International Business Development projects that meet expectations, thus contributing to expanded export activity 75% 69%
Percentage of SMEs that expand their international sales within 12 months of participating in an International Business Development activity 50% 84%
New foreign direct investment opportunities in Atlantic Canada Number of foreign direct investment transactions completed (deals closed) where ACOA’s support contributed to bringing the project to fruition 5 16

 

Community Investment

Description

To be sustainable and to grow, communities must take responsibility for their own economic development future. They must have the capacity and resources available to them at a local level to lead the community development process as well as to invest in those initiatives that stimulate their economic development. These communities include geographic communities and communities of interest such as industry sectors, non-profit organizations and Indigenous and francophone organizations. The Agency works with these communities, assisting them to develop their own vision for economic growth through targeted planning and by making strategic investments toward increasing the human capacity present in the community, including skills development, training and coordination, as well as the physical capacity (i.e. community infrastructure). This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) and the BDP.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
71,797,962 73,251,588 1,453,626

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
84 86 2

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
(2015-16)
Actual Result
Communities respond to economic and business development opportunities and challenges Amount leveraged per dollar invested by ACOA in Community Investment projects $1.50 $2.13

 

Community-based Business Development

Description

The lack of business capital available in rural regions of Canada has the potential to be a significant economic development barrier. It impedes the establishment and expansion of small businesses that are essential to the vitality and sustainability of communities in rural areas. The Agency provides targeted support to community-based non-profit organizations to address investment capital gaps that focus on small businesses. As such, the Agency provides contributions to a network of Community Business Development Corporations (CBDCs) in Atlantic Canada that are run by community-based volunteer boards of directors. CBDCs provide an essential source of investment capital that focuses on small rural businesses as well as on other services that include business counselling and skills development. In addition, the Agency assists Indigenous communities by improving access to capital for Indigenous SMEs through the Ulnooweg Development Group. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Community Futures program, the ICF and the BDP.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
17,929,620 18,151,258 221,638

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
17 16 (1)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2015-16) Actual Result
Strengthened and expanded businesses Percentage points by which the growth in sales of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of comparable firms[2] not assisted by the CBDCs 5 0.7
Percentage points by which the employment growth of CBDC-assisted clients exceeds that of comparable firms[3] not assisted by the CBDCs 2 3.3

 

Policy

Description

Policy provides a solid base of understanding for the development of the Agency’s strategic priorities and initiatives, program design and input to national policy development and federal-provincial relations. This includes policy analysis and advice (including the development of policies and frameworks), economic analysis, research, and stakeholder engagement. The Policy function is carried out by officials at head office, in the regional offices and in the Ottawa office. The Agency’s policy work is supported in part by a dedicated Agency fund that contributes to building policy research capacity in Atlantic Canada. This sub-program uses funding from the following transfer payments: the Atlantic Policy Research Initiative and the BDP.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
6,108,991 5,348,353 (760,638)

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
33 32 (1)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
(2015-16)
Actual Result
Well-informed policy decisions reflecting opportunities and challenges of the Atlantic region’s economy while considering enterprise and community development potential Percentage of Policy activities that have met their objectives, thus contributing to Policy’s expected result 80% 100%

 

Advocacy

Description

Federal decision-makers must understand and consider Atlantic Canada’s interests, and regional stakeholders must remain well-informed of federal government actions and of opportunities that are relevant to the economic interests of the region. The Agency’s Advocacy activities aim to advance the region’s interests in national policy and program development. In the case of federal government procurement, particularly major Crown projects, the Agency advocates to leverage industrial benefits for Atlantic Canadian SMEs.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
3,956,303 5,022,608 1,066,305

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
19 20 1

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target (2015-16) Actual Result
Atlantic enterprise and community development interests are considered in emerging and changing federal economic policies, programs and regulations Percentage of Advocacy activities that have met their objectives, thus contributing to Advocacy’s expected result 75% 100%

 

Coordination

Description

The Agency is mandated by legislation to coordinate the policies and programs of the Government of Canada in relation to opportunities for economic development in Atlantic Canada. The Coordination function engages a range of economic partners to address the economic priorities of Atlantic Canada through a coherent and collaborative approach to development, including federal-provincial initiatives, round tables and expert panels. The Agency coordinates with other federal departments on regional development efforts and through the Atlantic Federal Council on Government of Canada priorities.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015-16
Planned Spending
2015-16
Actual Spending
(authorities used)
2015-16
Difference
(actual minus planned)
1,709,455 1,457,274 (252,181)

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015-16
Planned
2015-16
Actual
Difference
(actual minus planned)
17 12 (5)

Performance Results

Expected Result Performance Indicator Annual Target
(2015-16)
Annual Target
Coordination of partners in addressing the economic priorities of Atlantic Canada through a coherent approach to development Percentage of Coordination activities that have met their objectives, thus contributing to Coordination’s expected result 75% 100%

 


 

[1] “Comparable firms” are those of similar age, size, sector and geographic region.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.