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Harper Government Leveraging Investments for Innovative Canadian Small and Medium Sized Businesses

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb 20, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry, along with colleagues across the country, announced the final enhancement to the Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy. This enhancement will encourage long-term private sector investments in innovative Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in areas related to research, development and commercialization. 

"Our government''s top priorities are jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. Canada''s small and medium-sized enterprises play a crucial role in our economy, punching well above their weight in terms of jobs, gross domestic product and exports," said Minister Paradis. "This enhancement will leverage hundreds of millions of dollars in new private sector investments in small and medium-sized companies to help them get their innovative ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace."

Through the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy, firms that are awarded major defence and security contracts are required to reinvest 100 percent of the contract value back into the Canadian economy. The Investment Framework being launched today provides incentive for contractors to meet their Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy obligations by partnering with innovative Canadian SMEs. By providing more certainty and more credit at the front end of investments, the Investment Framework will foster more strategic, enduring business relationships and high-quality opportunities that will last years beyond the initial commitment. 

"Our government will continue to work with Canadian industry to maximize military and defence procurements in support of Canadian jobs, economic growth and the competitiveness of Canadian industries," said Minister Paradis.

In 2009, the Harper Government announced seven enhancements to the Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy aimed at maximizing access to international business opportunities and improving the commercialization of innovative Canadian technology. The Investment Framework is the seventh and final enhancement. The government consulted widely with stakeholders at all stages of the enhancements'' development, dating back to 2008. Industry Canada also sought independent third-party expertise to validate the Investment Framework model, engaging Ernst & Young in 2011 to give advice and to provide information on industry best practices.

For more information, visit the Industrial and Regional Benefits website (www.ic.gc.ca/irb).