R&D Partnership Fund -WinterTech Development Program

Leverage Ontario’s unique climate to validate, test and prototype your winter weather automotive technology and mobility solutions.

Program overview

OVIN’s R&D Partnership Fund - WinterTech Development stream supports Ontario small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their partners to validate, test, prototype, and demonstrate new products and technologies designed to meet the unique demands of winter weather conditions. 

The WinterTech Development stream leverages the strengths and innovative capabilities of Ontario SMEs in the automotive and mobility sector and our unique winter weather conditions to establish the province as a test bed for mobility products and services in severe winter weather conditions. 

Because of OVIN's WinterTech Development stream, Ontario is a global leader in the commercialization of new winter-ready mobility technologies and solutions. 

The R&D Partnership Fund - WinterTech Development stream supports projects related to the technology/product/service validation, testing, demonstration and prototyping of mobility products and services in severe winter weather conditions in the following Priority Areas: 

  • Mass light vehicles, such as cars, trucks and vans 
  • Heavy duty vehicles, including commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles (RVs), and others used for goods movement 
  • Transportation infrastructure 
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) 
  • Transit-supportive systems and vehicles 


For eligible project applicants and partners:

  • Commercialization of Ontario-made technologies
  • Demonstration of Ontario-made technologies to potential customers
  • Relationships with researchers to extend company R&D
  • Marketable solutions to current challenges
  • Public/private partnerships

For society:

  • Increased road safety
  • Better road condition monitoring
  • Better collection and analysis of transportation-related information
  • Innovative new products and services to reduce driver distraction
  • Reduced environmental and carbon footprint

How co-investment works

The R&D Partnership Fund - WinterTech Development stream supports approved projects with up to $500,000 over a maximum of 24 months. All funds must be matched by a minimum 2:1 cash from applicants and/or partners.


Eligible Projects 

  • Minimum one applicant and primary partner. An Applicant is an SME (generally defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees) with a minimum 2:1 contribution match by applicants and/or private sector partners. 
  • Applicants and partners are required to have operations in Ontario and must carry out their projects in the province 
  • Projects can last up to 24 months in duration 
  • This program is not intended to prove feasibility or for basic technology research. Projects should be at Technology Readiness Level 3-9(3: analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept; 4: component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment; 5: component and/or validation in a simulated environment; 6: system/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a simulated environment; 7: prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment; 8: actual system completed and qualified through test and demonstration; 9: actual system proven through successful mission operations). 
  • Typical project activities include technology/product/service validation, testing, demonstration and prototyping 
  • Applicant and Partners should demonstrate close collaboration and scalable outcomes with high potential for commercialization, strong commercial pull, competitive advantage and alignment with intended program benefits. 
  • Eligible projects MUST include demonstration of actual products that can be showcased in Ontario at events, on the road, and/or at customer sites. 

 Eligible Partners 

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 
    • SMEs may be Partners on multiple concurrent projects 
  • National and multinational enterprises (NE and MNEs) 
    • NEs and MNEs can be Partners on multiple concurrent projects
  • Publicly funded Post-Secondary institutions 
  • Municipalities 
  • Indigenous communities 
  • Not-for-profit organizations 

Projects must be carried out between one SME, the applicant and one partner from the Participants list. Additional partners can also join the project. There is no limit on the number of partners. Partnerships should represent significant potential commercial opportunities for all industry applicants and partners. 

How to apply

The WinterTech Development Program contains two stages: an expression of interest (EOI) and a full application. To begin the EOI submission process, please complete a client intake form. An OCI Business Development Manager (BD) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with developing your EOI. Your OCI BD will also maintain oversight responsibility for the OCI components of any approved project.