New funding programs to drive innovation and economic priorities in the North

January 16, 2018

Prince George, B.C., January 16, 2018 – For immediate release

Northern Development Initiative Trust announced two new funding programs today that will support innovation projects in traditional northern B.C. industries and key community-based strategic economic priorities. The Northern Industries Innovation Fund and the Strategic Initiatives Fund will provide up to $1.65 million annually in grant funding for projects throughout central and northern B.C.

These funds are part of the Trust’s ongoing response to mitigate the economic impact of the mountain pine beetle epidemic, with priority given to projects within the regions and communities most impacted by the pine beetle and decreasing timber supply.

Northern Industries Innovation Fund

Following the success of the Forest Innovation Fund, Northern Development has restructured the program with a commitment of up to $750,000 annually to create the Northern Industries Innovation Fund and support innovation projects across a variety of northern industries.

The Northern Industries Innovation Fund will provide rebate funding up to $50,000 to a maximum of 50% of a project’s budget for small and medium enterprises deploying innovative technologies in industries such as mining, energy, agriculture, aquaculture and forestry.

By supporting applied research, the development of new or improved products /services and the testing of innovative equipment or technologies, the program will help the northern B.C. businesses improve their competitiveness, generate incremental revenue and create jobs.

Eligible companies must be privately owned, incorporated, have less than 500 employees, revenues less than $100 million and be operating within the Northern Development Initiative Trust region.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the annual allocation for the fund is exhausted.

For more information visit

Strategic Initiatives Fund

The Strategic Initiatives Fund is a new proposal-based program that allows municipalities and First Nations to apply for grant funding to support significant projects that focus on long-term economic transformation and sustainability.

The program is supported with a $900,000 commitment from Northern Development with grant funding only limited by the annual funds allocated to the program, up to 80% of a project’s value.

The program allows Northern Development to support strategic projects that may not otherwise fit into its suite of programs, but that are large in scale, regional in impact, enhance a community or multiple communities’ ability to overcome economic challenges and will result in incremental capacity or strategic economic infrastructure within a municipality or First Nation.

Applications for the Strategic Initiatives Fund will be accepted until March 15th with funding decisions determined in April.

For more information visit


Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust

The Trust is continuing to work with its partners and communities to find new ways to mitigate the impacts of the mountain pine beetle epidemic. These two programs will help ensure that small and medium enterprise in our core industries will have the means to innovate, and that our communities have access to funds to support transformational economic development projects.

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology 

The Northern Development Initiative Trust is a key partner in generating economic growth in central and northern B.C. These new programs will help rural communities and small businesses diversify and create stable, long-lasting jobs.

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development 

These two new funding programs complement my ministry’s rural development mandate. Supporting innovation is just one way our government is ensuring the growth of diverse, sustainable economies in B.C.’s northern communities.

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development has a passion for growing the economy of central and northern British Columbia. Communities, First Nations and businesses of the north are leaders in creating jobs, new revenues and improving the quality of life in the region, and the Trust is dedicated to supporting their growth. The Trust combines funding with smart thinking and since 2005 has found more than 2,800 ways to say “yes” to projects that help the region thrive.


Province of BC
Tasha Schollen
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology