Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT)

What is IFIT?

The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program offers non-repayable contributions to successful applicants in the Canadian forestry industry to implement innovative, first-in-kind technologies in their facilities. The goal of the program is to provide funding for projects at the pilot to commercialization phase, with the intent of helping these technologies get to market.

Since 2010, the Program has issued three separate calls for proposals. This has resulted in funding being provided to 28 projects to date with 80% of them creating new products or diversifying product offerings at Canadian companies. These projects include bioenergy, biomaterials, biochemicals and next generation building products. They are true Canadian innovation success stories.

In June 2017, the Government of Canada announced it would extend the IFIT program with $55 million in funding over three years (starting in 2017-2018). For more information about the announcement, please visit the softwood lumber backgrounder. This continued commitment will help bring the next wave of innovation to market and will solidify Canada’s position as a leader in forest industry transformation.

Call for proposals #4 is now open

If you are a Canadian for-profit company that is looking for funding to commercialize a highly innovative, first-in-kind technology in the Canadian forest sector, find out if you are eligible for IFIT funding. If you are uncertain, or would like to ask us questions, please contact the IFIT team.

How to apply

Step #1:

Please read our Call for Proposals #4 Applicant’s Guide

Step #2:

Please use these documents for your application:

Step #3:

Please remember these key dates:

The deadline for the Expression of Interest was October 12, 2017 at 17:00 EDT.

The deadline for the full IFIT Proposal form and appendices is November 28, 2017, 17:00 EST.

The Proposal form will only be accepted if an Expression of Interest form was submitted.

Email applications are preferred and can be sent to the IFIT team. Applications may also be submitted via memory key, CD, or hard copy to the address below:

Investments in Forest Industry Transformation
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service
580 Booth St, 7-C6-1
Ottawa ON
K1A 0E9

Late applications will not be accepted.

If you have any questions, you can contact the IFIT Program.

Program information webinars

The IFIT Program will be hosting a series of webinars to provide information and answer questions from organizations interested in applying. The dates are as follows (all times in EDT):

September 20 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) – English session
September 21 (10:30 am – 12:30 pm) – French session

September 26 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) – English session
September 27 (1:00 pm – 3:00 pm) – French session

Depending on demand, additional sessions will be added as needed.

Please register for one of the sessions above by September 22nd, 2017 by sending an email to the IFIT team. Please include the names of those attending and the organization you are representing.

Benefits of IFIT funded-projects

Funded projects benefit the environment by:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Increasing Canada’s green electricity production
  • Creating advanced energy efficient building materials
  • Generating renewable alternatives to fossil fuel-based products
  • Producing renewable fuels, such as biogas
  • Commercializing innovative products made from renewable resources
  • Reducing water and waste and creating effluent treatment efficiency

Funded projects benefit communities by:

  • Creating new jobs and development opportunities
  • Securing jobs in forest resource-dependent communities

Funded projects benefit companies in ways such as:

  • Generating new revenues
  • Reducing internal costs
  • Commercializing Canadian and world-first technologies in Canada
  • Developing new or diversified products
  • Allowing them to generate new patents

History of the IFIT program

IFIT was launched in 2010 to address a critical need for capital investment in new technologies by providing non-repayable contributions of up to 50% of a project’s costs for the demonstration of innovative technologies at the pilot to commercial scale in the Canadian forest industry.

The program focuses on this stage of a project because public funds are often available to support research and development as a given technology matures from concept to prototype development, but once it comes time to construct a pilot, demonstration and/or first-commercial facility, such funding tends to be less available.  Access to funding then increases again once the commercial potential of a new technology has been fully demonstrated and is able to attract private investors. This gap in available investment to demonstrate and deploy technology is typically referred to as “the Valley of death”. IFIT aims to help get these technologies past this stage.

The high number of applications received in response to previous calls for proposals demonstrates the great appetite in the Canadian Forestry Industry to bring innovative, world-first projects into the sector.

From 2010 to 2015, the program issued three calls for proposals and received in response 186 applications.  When added together, the applications were asking for a total of $1.1 billion from the IFIT program, and represented nearly $4 billion in project spending.  As the IFIT program was allocated a total of $190.4 million of funding between 2010 and 2018, these applications were requesting more than five times the amount of IFIT funds available.

Please consult the IFIT Performance Report (2010-2014) and IFIT Performance Report (2015-2016) for detailed results.<

Services

Table displays the IFIT program’s service standards and fiscal year results for 2015-2016.
IFIT services Service standard Results
2015-2016
Responding to general enquiries Within 2 business days (85%) 90%       
Acknowledgement of receipt of expression of interest and/or proposal Within 1 business day (95%) n/a
Providing a decision on initial eligibility of project proposal - i.e. that an applicant has been short listed Within 4 months of the acknowledgement of the applicant's proposal, 95% of the time n/a
Providing a decision on whether the project will receive funding

Within 6 months of an applicant being informed that financial and risk due diligence will be performed on their proposal, 70% of the time

83%
Approval and provision of a funding agreement to an applicant for signature Except as agreed upon with an applicant, within 3 months of an applicant receiving confirmation that they will be provided funding, 90% of the time 100%
Decision on a request for an amendment to a contribution agreement Within 2 months of the acknowledgement of a proponent's request for an amendment, 85% of the time 100%
Provision of an amending agreement to a proponent for signature If an amendment request is approved, within 1 month of the decision, 90% of the time 100%
Issuing quarterly payment based on final and complete supporting information Within 30 calendar days, 90% of the time 100%
Issuing release of holdback based on final and complete supporting information Within 30 calendar days, 90% of the time 100%

 

For more information, please email the IFIT team.