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New grant will help medical technologies businesses expand into foreign markets

The federal government is investing in a new support program for small- and medium-sized medical technology companies hoping to expand their reach.

MP Ted Opitz (Etobicoke Centre) made the announcement earlier this month: $990,000 is being granted to Etobicoke-based MEDEC, a medical technology association, to disburse to southern Ontario businesses in increments of up to $30,000 each. Those grants, says MEDEC-CMMA executive director Mary Palmer, will enable the recipients to grow by helping them increase their presence in foreign markets.

The program is officially called New Horizon; recipients will each receive cost-sharing grants for eligible expenses in export development. Those grants will be geared to small companies who have never exported their products before, or to those who have but wish to pursue new markets. Among the kind of costs this grant might cover Palmer lists: "hiring a foreign consultant to do a feasibility assessment... it could be use to help get their product registered, do marketing materials for the foreign markets." In short, everything from technical and operational elements to promotion may be included. The key, Palmer says, is to add "incrementality" to the companies' business plans—to add capacity and help them do more rather than to defray the costs of their current operations.

The grants are expected to lead to the creation of up to 30 new jobs, encompassing everyone from scientific and technological experts to operations support and marketing staff. Eligibility and selection criteria are online; an online application process is expected to launch by early November.

Writer: Hamutal Dotan
Source: Mary Palmer, Executive Director, MEDEC-CMMA
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