1) NS Economic and Rural Development’s Productivity Investment Program (PIP) Description:
The following information is taken from the ERDT PIP website (http://www.gov.ns.ca/econ/pip/).
The PIP program is designed to encourage businesses to become more productive, innovative and globally competitive, and it includes two incentives: the Capital Investment Incentive (CII) with $15million annually and the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (WIPSI) with $10million annually.
1a) The Capital Investment Incentive (http://www.gov.ns.ca/econ/pip/cii/) contributes 20%, up to a maximum of $1 million, toward the cost of technologically-advanced machinery, clean technology, equipment, software and hardware with preference given to exporters in qualified industries. Acquisitions less than $25,000 will not be considered. Click on the link above to learn more.
The CII focuses on new innovative technology that will improve processing productivity. It can be off the shelf technology and they will fund the same piece of equipment to multiple companies.
There has been some confusion based on their published guidelines whether seafood processing is eligible for this fund. It is eligible because it falls under the Advanced Manufacturing and Processing group.
The CII is not likely to fund anything on the vessel side of the industry. That being said, if there an innovation in vessel equipment that will fundamentally improved fishing productivity they MAY look at it.
The contact for the Capital Investment Incentive is: Kathlene Farrell: 902-424-8822
1b) The Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive (http://www.gov.ns.ca/econ/pip/wipsi/) provides funding to companies to encourage investment in skills development and certification. It is also designed to help companies adapt to the introduction of new technology and innovative processes, improve productivity, and strengthen international competitiveness.
A company may apply for support toward the cost of the following activities: purchase of training from a formal training institution or qualified external or internal training provider; registration, tuition or course fees; international training; management skills development; skills development training leading to certification; training that supports workplace diversity; and other skills development and training based on a valid business case. Also covered under this would be training employees in the use of new equipment.
The WIPSI seems like it is a good opportunity for the industry to address some of their training needs. It is a very generous program and seems like it is pretty broad based. The are focusing on training that will improve employee productivity. But it is my impression that if the applicant can make a logical business case for the training relating to their productivity the project will be approved.
The contact for the Workplace Innovation and Productivity Skills Incentive is: Evan Williams: 902-424-5794
2) ACOA Contact – Larry Coles: 902-426-2391