RIIEO Program


Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario – Local Stream is non-repayable performance-based funding of $25,000 transitioning SMEs in Cornwall & Counties to expand business growth and adoption of advanced business innovation processes.



Eastern Ontario Innovation Initiative made possible with funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) supports the transition and growth of traditional SMEs, manufacturers and communities into the new rural economy, driving direct investments by private companies in innovation capital producing aggregate local and regional effects.

Innovation capital is investment in Industry 4.O, new or next-generation equipment, technology, products and processes that lead to business growth, access to new markets and investment in people (job creation).

Supported projects will strengthen competitiveness, productivity, business growth, process innovation, new market access, creation and retention of employment opportunities, the re-skilling of the industrial workforce, incremental sales and increased profitability, and as a result, diversify and transform our local communities and economy.

Intake will begin February 17th, 2020 closed April 17th, 2020, with all projects through 15 Eastern Ontario CFDCs being targeted for completion by February 15th, 2021

General Intent

Overall it is the intent of the Cornwall & Counties CFDC to carefully invest in local projects that support the transition of traditional SMEs, manufacturers and our communities into the new rural economy.

Projects will demonstrate sustainability, drive prosperity and job creation/sustainment through innovation, research and development, commercialization, and business practices that work to position the region for global competitiveness, export markets, and economic diversification.

Who is Eligible

Eligible recipients located in Cornwall & Counties may include:

  • Private, for-profit, traditional SMEs with the potential to grow through innovation.
  • Fourth Pillar Not-For-Profit organizations supporting business and community transition into the new rural economy.
What is Eligible

Projects in the following priority sectors will be considered:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Clean Tech
  • Digital Industries
  • Agri­food
  • Food Processing
  • Projects that focus on inclusiveness: youth, women entrepreneurs, Indigenous peoples, Official Language Minority Communities, persons with disabilities, immigrants and visible minorities
Eligible Activity

Eligible activities should expand business growth and allow SMEs to transition into the new rural economy, support the adoption of advanced business and innovation processes such as:

  • New materials
  • Integrated solutions
  • Rapid prototyping and engineering
  • Machine learning
  • Cutting edge services software
  • Cloud computing
  • Robotics and automation
  • Extended intelligence, etc.

Fourth Pillar NFP projects should be business focussed, align with federal government economic development priorities, support priority industry sectors and inclusiveness related priorities. Examples of eligible project activities could include:

  • Support programs for re-skilling of the industrial workforce
  • Business accelerators and hubs diversifying and transitioning local economies

Selected projects will be eligible for a non-repayable performance-based contribution and require a minimum 50 percent cash contribution by the recipient on eligible expenses net of HST. The minimum project size for an Rural Innovation Initiative through the local stream project is $50,000 resulting in a minimum contribution of $25,000 by the recipient.

The combined Stream total support to for-profit recipients will not exceed $100,000.

Eligible Costs

Eligible costs for project activities may include:

  • All costs must be reasonable and directly related to the eligible project activities.
  • Labour
  • Expertise
  • Non-Capital
  • Capital

Ineligible and/or Unsupported Costs include:

  • Any costs deemed not reasonable and/or not directly related to the eligible project activities.
  • Activities in support of regular maintenance and/or ongoing operational costs.
  • Cost incurred prior to the eligibility date as defined in the Contribution Agreement.
  • Costs incurred after December 31, 2020.
  • Any cost that is ineligible under the Contribution Agreement.
  • Acquisition of land or buildings.
Reporting Requirements

Eligible recipients must demonstrate that they are prepared to and have mechanisms in place to submit data, schedules, plans and reports in sufficient detail for the Cornwall & Counties CFDC to:

  • Assess project progress
  • Post project completion monitoring
  • Evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of the contributions

Eligible recipients will provide the Cornwall & Counties CFDC with Progress/Activity Reports and financial claims on a monthly basis, quarterly or as required and outlined in the Contribution Agreement.

Application Process

How to Apply for Eastern Ontario Innovations Initiative – Local Stream

1. Due diligence

Cornwall & Counties CFDC staff carry out review, due diligence and project development

2. Comitee Review

Committee review and recommendation to the Cornwall & Counties CFDC Board of Directors.


3. Project Selection

A decision by Cornwall & Counties CFDC Board of Directors (Accept or Decline).

Important to Note:

  • Financial contributions are performance-based and subject to a 10% holdback until the applicant has completed the project, and met all project requirements as outlined in the Contribution agreement. No project is expected to extend past December 31, 2020.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Officer to discuss proposed projects prior to submitting an online application.

Program Officer

Brittany MacDonald
613-932-4333 ext 5