Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Agency overview
Formed 1987
Jurisdiction Government of Canada
Headquarters Moncton, New Brunswick
Minister responsible
  • Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
Agency executive
  • Paul J. LeBlanc, President

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is the Canadian federal government agency responsible for helping to create opportunities for economic growth in the Atlantic Provinces by working with the people of the region – in their communities, through their institutions and with their local and provincial governments and businesses. Planned spending for 2015-2016 consists of $171 million for enterprise development, $89M for community development, $25M for internal services and $11M for policy, advocacy and coordination.

The Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is the Honourable Navdeep Bains, P.C., M.P. He was appointed by the Prime Minister on 4 November 2015 after the Liberal Party of Canada was elected to form a majority government.[1]

The head office is located in Moncton, New Brunswick with regional offices located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as a liaison office in Ottawa.

In 2014, ACOA assumed responsibility for the direct delivery of economic development programs, services and advocacy in Cape Breton.[2] Prior to 2014, a federal Crown corporation named Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), had a similar function to ACOA with a specific jurisdictional mandate for all of Cape Breton Island and a portion of mainland Nova Scotia.

Atlantic Innovation Fund

The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) is a funding program run by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to help Canadian organizations in Atlantic Canada to develop innovative products and services. This program is highly competitive. Project proposals go through an extensive external review process.

To be eligible for this program, the project must be based in Atlantic Canada, have a potential commercial value and include a large R&D component. The average funding level is about $2 million per project. Average project duration is about two years.

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