Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT)
Funding opportunity – Ongoing until June 30, 2024 – Apply now!
About the program
Created in 2010, the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program facilitates the adoption of transformative technologies and products in the Canadian forest sector by bridging the gap between development and commercialization. The program aims to create a more competitive, resilient, and environmentally sustainable sector with a focus on innovative, low-carbon projects that result in new or diversified revenue streams.
As part of its 2023 renewal, the IFIT program will increase its efforts to help improve the environmental performance of the forest sector by supporting demonstration and adoption projects that contribute to the decarbonization of industrial processes, as well as the efficient use of resources that generates more value from the same amount of wood. In addition to continuing to fund projects that produce renewable energy and sustainable bioproducts, IFIT will seek to invest in projects that integrate technologies leading to greater energy efficiency and explore bioenergy carbon capture in forest sector operations. These investments will enable the next wave of innovation, solidifying Canada’s position as a leader in forest sector transformation.
The IFIT program is delivered through two streams: capital investment projects and studies.
Capital investment projects
Open for applications
The IFIT capital investment projects stream provides non-repayable contributions of up to $10 million of a project’s eligible costs to enable forest sector firms to adopt transformational technologies and diversify product streams, ensuring industry competitiveness and greater environmental outcomes.
Since its creation, the program has successfully funded over 60 capital investment projects that have resulted in the deployment of first-in-kind technologies and advanced bioproducts derived from wood, such as bioenergy, bioplastics, biochemicals, and next generation building materials. These projects support forest-reliant communities and are estimated to have secured approximately 8,000 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs.
Open for applications
The IFIT studies stream provides non-repayable contributions of up to $1 million of a project’s eligible costs for studies linked to the advancement of innovation in the forest sector in support of a future capital investment or a strategic shift by forest sector firms.
Since 2019, the program has funded over 26 studies to assess the market and technology feasibility of innovative projects. These studies help identify strong potential for advancement toward full commercialization to support a future capital investment or a strategic shift by forest sector firms. Several of these studies have already led to an IFIT-funded capital investment project.
IFIT funding is open to the following applicants:
- Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada including:
- for-profit and not-for-profit organizations such as companies, industry associations, and research associations
- Indigenous organizations and groups
- Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies where applicable
How to apply and key dates
The IFIT program launched an ongoing Expression of Interest (EOI), which is designed to identify potential projects for funding. Applications can be submitted within our 4 application windows, detailed below. The program will process and assess proposals based on the submission date and will provide ongoing decisions as they are determined. Proposals will be assessed in the order in which they are received and efforts will be made to ensure funding is distributed appropriately across all windows.
Note: The screening process for EOIs may take between 15 to 45 days.
Window 1: Apply by September 30, 2023 for a decision by February 29, 2024.
Window 2: Apply by December 31, 2023 for a decision by May 31, 2024.
Window 3: Apply by March 31, 2024 for a decision by August 31, 2024.
Window 4: Apply by June 30, 2024 for a decision by November 30, 2024.
The IFIT program hosted virtual webinars in August (one in English and one in French) to provide information about the program’s application and evaluation process and to answer questions from applicants. Please contact the program for access to the recordings of these webinars.
The program uses a two phase application process:
Phase 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
The initial proposal process requests high-level information about your business and project.
To complete a proposal, you will need to log in with a GCKey through the NRCan Online Submission Portal.
Submit an EOI for the stream you are applying for. You can find additional details in the following applicant guidebooks:
The form will take approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
We strongly recommend preparing your responses in a document offline using the EOI template before copying them into the online form and submitting. Please also ensure you save the online form often (every 10 to 15 minutes).
You can save your progress and return to it at any time or review the form structure prior to beginning the process to get an idea of what to expect. You will also be able to view your EOI after you have submitted it. You can submit multiple EOIs.
Program staff will screen your EOI and contact you about next steps.
Phase 2: Full Project Proposal (FPP)
Applicants who are selected to move on to Phase 2 will receive a link and an editable form to the FPP. They will be asked to submit additional information and documentation such as business financials and project plans.
Applications will be assessed against the specified Rated Program Criteria that can be found in the Applicant Guidebook.
Final funding decisions will consider the assessment results and other criteria, such as:
- funding requested per year and IFIT budget availability
- distribution of funding to projects across Canada including Indigenous, regional, and community based considerations
- distribution of funding to projects that address targeted innovation categories
The assessment criteria will establish a prioritized list of eligible projects. NRCan may provide some or all the funds requested, based on the number of successful projects, the proposal evaluations, and the amount of funding available in any given year.
To apply, applicants must complete and submit their EOI form via the NRCan Online Submission Portal by 11:59 pm PST on September 30, 2023 for consideration within the first solicitation window.
Email the IFIT team for more information or to join our mailing list to receive program updates, webinar dates, and registration details.
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- First photo in banner: iStock/Xavierarnau
- Second photo in banner: Licensed Under Public Domain
- Third photo in banner: Paper Excellence Group
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