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Ontario Centre of Innovation

Critical Industrial Technologies initiative

Driving the commercialization and adoption of critical technologies to advance Ontario’s mining, advanced manufacturing, construction, and agri-food sectors. 

The Initiative

The integration of critical technologies is the global future of industry. Through the Critical Industrial Technologies initiative Ontario industry will converge with innovative SMEs to amplify Ontario’s rich critical technology capabilities and propel four key sectors of Ontario’s economy to the forefront of this transformation.

Four key sectors:

  • Mining
  • Advanced Manufacturing (non-auto)
  • Agri-Food
  • Construction

Critical technology areas:

  • 5G & advanced networks
  • AI
  • Blockchain
  • Robotics
  • Cybersecurity
  • Quantum

The Critical Industrial Technologies initiative will support Ontario SMEs to develop new IP faster and at a greater scale for the benefit of the province and beyond. By also investing in talent development to advance the knowledge and training of critical technologies, Ontarians are poised as leaders in the global industrial economy to tackle the dynamic future.  

The Critical Industrial Technologies initiative is a Government of Ontario initiative led by OCI.


The initiative will bring together key stakeholders at all levels to build an ecosystem that connects large companies and industry needs with SME solutions.

The initiative is committed to achieving the following four goals:

  • Building an Ontario critical technology ecosystem that propels Ontario’s mining, advanced manufacturing, construction, and agri-food sectors forward to be leaders in the global economy. 
  • Supporting critical technology education and awareness to help SMEs understand the benefits of creating, commercializing, and adopting critical technologies. 
  • Accelerating the growth of Ontario companies through the development and commercialization of Made-in-Ontario technologies and expanding critical technology talent.  
  • Fueling significant advances within and between the four sectors by supporting the adoption, demonstration and integration of critical technologies.  

New IP and innovative solutions will be developed by leveraging Ontario’s existing resources (testing sites, assets, tools, and regional capabilities) to integrate critical technologies within and between sectors

Technology Development Sites

Technology Development Sites (TDS) are where SMEs can come to develop, test, and showcase their critical technology products and services, so they can hit the market faster. The TDS list is always growing, reflecting the unlimited potential of technology leaders in Ontario.

TDSs are established by industry incumbents, vendors, and associations in their respective technology and/or sector domains and have made significant investments into their next generation infrastructure, platforms, and equipment.

As part of the CIT program, OCI has partnered with these organizations to extend these capabilities for SMEs to utilize and integrate learnings, assets, and/or new IP into their product/service suites.

There are two ways for Small-and-Medium-Sized-Enterprises (SMEs) to access a Technology Development Site:

  • Contact the Critical Industrial Technologies team to apply for access
  • Apply to the Development and Commercialization Program for Technology Development Site Access with funding support for your project

Get in touch with Critical Industrial Technologies staff to learn more and support your journey to the future.

Critical Industrial Technologies Programs

The Critical Industrial Technologies Initiative has a series of programs to drive the commercialization and adoption of critical technologies in the mining, advanced manufacturing, construction and agri- food sectors.

Development and Commercialization Program (DC)
Eligible SMEs can access a Technology Development Site to integrate, develop, test, and showcase their critical technologies solution with $50-200k of support from OCI.

Ideal for: SMEs interested in adopting, integrating, or demonstrating critical technologies and developing new IP-rich products and services.  

Technology Access Program (TAP)
Eligible SMEs can access a Technology Development Site to integrate, develop, test, and showcase their critical technologies solution.

Ideal for: SMEs interested in adopting, integrating, or demonstrating critical technologies and developing new IP-rich products and services.  

Sector Adoption Program (SAP)
See ‘Agri-Food Challenge Statement’: Applications Open Until June 15, 2024

See ‘Addressing Mining Safety Challenge Statement’: Applications Open Until June 28, 2024

Addressing significant challenges in the sector and/or critical technology, the Sector Adoption Program will support a consortium of partners working together to address a set challenge statement and catalyze impactful change for the whole sector. Up to $1 million available for a multi- partner consortium with a minimum of 1 SME. 

Ideal for: Industry leaders seeking to collaborate on province-wide innovations that move the needle on critical technology challenges across the four key sectors.

Talent Development Internships (TDI)
Eligible SMEs can invest in critical technology internships to bring on new, young talent to create the industrial workforce of tomorrow.

Ideal for: Growing SMEs invested in modernizing their workforce to thrive in the dynamic future of critical technologies.

Future Ready Program (FR)
Expert support for eligible SMEs to adopt new critical technologies through upskilling/reskilling staff.

Ideal for: SMEs looking for growth opportunities for their staff to maintain market competitiveness.

Interest Form

Express your interest and see if this program is right for your business.

Program Guidelines

View the Program Guidelines for full program details and eligibility requirements.


Contact a Program Lead

Stephanie Sim
Program Manager  

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