Helping Canada’s ICT SMEs to grow and prosper
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and ITAC is devoted to serving its SME community. We promote the health and growth of Canadian SMEs by facilitating events that catering to their special needs, arranging learning opportunities with our larger members, offering curated trade missions for those interested in scaling through exports, help them develop business connections through peer networks, and by providing access to funding opportunities.
Here are links to some of the ways we help
- International Business Development
- Strengthened SME Advocacy
- Building Your Business
- Addressing Barriers to SME Growth
- Access to SME Focused Peer Networks
- ITAC’s SME Resources
- Government Resources
Government programs are one of the most promising, yet seldom tapped resources for ICT companies to fuel their growth. Now ITAC members can learn how to benefit from these opportunities thanks to a strategic partnership with the Funding Portal.
The Funding Portal is a one-window service to assist companies to secure R&D and growth funding. With a single search below, companies can determine available funding opportunities from more than 4200 federal, provincial and municipal public sector funding and tax incentive programs that distribute $12 billion funding each year.
The portal aggregates information on more than 7,000 sources of funding, providing unique data and analytics products as well as access to partners and services that greatly improve funding outcomes.
The recent Jenkins Report on access to federal R&D concluded that it was nearly impossible for companies to navigate the “densely populated initiatives spanning many departments and agencies at both the federal and provincial levels.”
As your one-stop service, the portal improves:
- access to accurate up-to-date information on all funding programs, in one place
- access to data and analytics that can match funding objectives to funding sources
- access to expertise to navigate the complex funding process and improve outcomes
As an ITAC member, you are invited to join ComLinked, a business to business social network that helps you grow sales by connecting to new customers, partners and suppliers. Unlike LinkedIn, ComLinked connects businesses instead of individuals.
Simply register and set-up a profile on this social network designed specifically for business to business connections. Once you are set-up on ComLinked, you will be alerted when other members view your profile; a great source of potential leads. It’s like a matchmaking service for businesses. Register for free, set up your profile and connect with ITAC and other businesses both locally and globally.
Read this recent article on ComLinked by Joe Panettieri, an influencer in the IT industry and author of the blog Afternines.
Strengthened SME Advocacy
- Digital Economy Strategy
- Emphasis on IRAP, SR&ED and Precarn, as well as highlighting the need for solutions in the VC space (tax credits, flow through shares) and the recommendation that SR&ED should cover global sales and marketing
- ITAC’s response to Ontario’s RFI on IT Consulting VOR refresh reflected the importance to SMEs of reducing the administrative burden of doing business with the province
- Hosted an SME Roundtable with Minister Moore in New Brunswick to discuss issues of importance to Canadian ICT SMEs
- ITAC has contributed greatly to the following initiatives as part of the government of Ontario’s “Open for Business” consultation process:
- Developed a manual for vendors to use while selling ICT products and services to the provincial healthcare system;
- Helping the Ontario Ministry of Finance to develop guidelines for buyers of technology within the provincial healthcare system;
- Working jointly with Service Ontario and the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade to create enhancements to the Ontario Business Program Guide and ONe Source web portal, both of which are key to allowing SMEs to interact with the province’s programs and services.
- SME views will be represented in ITAC’s engagement with Federal Government as the Review of all R&D Incentives started in October 2010
Building Your Business
- Export Development Forum for SMEs
- Working with MEDT, ITAC has arranged for an Export Development Forum that will feature case studies of ICT companies that have successfully used Government support to develop their export markets, including legal presentation of the ‘do’s and don’ts’
- First Forum held in downtown Toronto on November 10, 2010
- How to Do Business with Government as an SME
- Working with the Feds, Province and MERX to deliver this seminars in Ontario, including a presentation on market analysis, trends and forecasts from Public Sector Research Inc
- First seminar was on October 28, 2010, in Waterloo
- Doing Business with Large ITAC Members
- Successful program, requires continued commitment from large members
- Most recent event: “Doing Business with Dell” on November 25, 2010, in Toronto
Addressing Barriers to SME Growth
ITAC secured IRAP funding to deliver on projects that will address SME barriers to growth in the areas of digital commerce and Health IT.
- Growing SMEs in Canada’s Digital Commerce Sector: Best Practice Forums
- ITAC will hold 4 Best Practice Forums in Ottawa, Vancouver and potentially Toronto
- A renowned expert on an issue of interest to the group will lead each
- Have an average of 30 company-leading SME participants
- Publish and communicate a best practices summary report, based on the 4 sessions, to enable broader dissemination of the sessions to the SME digital commerce community
- Growing Canada’s Health IT SMEs: Addressing the Fractured EMR Marketplace
- Achieve consensus on a strategy for national standards adoption and certification
- Publish an action plan to enable the establishment of a national standards adoption and certification program
- Establish a national steering committee to oversee implementation
Access to SME Focused Peer Networks
- ITAC developed a Strategic Partnership with the York Technology Alliance (YTA)
This allows ITAC members full access to the YTA’s 11 unique peer to peer monthly meetings, monthly topical issues luncheons, and workshops specifically targeted to provide the growth-oriented tech company with essential ‘shortcuts to success’.
- ITAC and the YTA are also both members of the Canadian ICT Federation, which took its first formative steps on September 21, 2004.
The following is a list of the current members of ICT Federation (east to west):
- The Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Technology Industries – (NATI)
- Innovation and Technology Association of PEI – (ITAP)
- Digital Nova Scotia
- New Brunswick Information Technology Council – (NBITC)
- Quebec Technology Association – (AQT/QTA)
- The Information & Communication Technologies Association of Manitoba – (ICTAM)
- Technology Alberta
- British Columbia Technology Industries Association – (BC-TIA)
Below are provincial/regional technology associations:
- Information Technology Association of Canada – (ITAC)
- Invest Ottawa
- Tech Connex
- Communitech – Waterloo Region’s Technology Hub
- Canadian Coalition for Tomorrow’s ICT Skills (CCICT)
- Venture Lab
ITAC’s SME Resources
- Access to ITAC’s offices (Mississauga, Ottawa)
- Free use of ITAC’s Boardrooms, internet access
- Access to WITSA’s Global Business Centres
- Fully equipped with all the basic office amenities, including meeting rooms, high speed internet access, computer and office equipment, telecommunications, trade referrals, secretarial staff support and assistance (optional).
- Argentina, Canada, Costa Rica, Taipei. Egypt, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Republic of Macedonia, South Africa, Spain, and the United States
- ITAC’s website – SME Portal
- Developed this fully functional SME portal that will continue to be populated.
- Initially it will capture six key areas: Strengthened SME Advocacy, Building Your Business, Addressing Barriers to SME Growth, Access to SME Focused Peer Networks, ITAC’s SME Resources, Government Resources and external Links.
- Access to WITSA’s Global Trade Initiatives
- The leading voice of the global ICT industry, WITSA is a consortium of industry association members from nearly 70 economies, with members representing more than 90 percent of the world ICT market.
- WITSA creates various channels and platforms for its members to network, to forge strategic partnerships, and to open new market opportunities across and within geographic locations.
- Online Business-to-Business (B2B) Matching System;
- Signature Events;
- Multilateral Trade Visits; and
- Other Business Networking Activities.
- ITAC’s Programs and Committee
- Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME)
- PWGSC “Buy and Sell”
- PWGSC Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program
- NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program
- Government of Ontario’s Business Program Guide
- Government of Ontario’s ONe Source web portal
- ITAC’s “Return on Innovation: Case Studies on Successful ICT Implementation”
- ITAC’s Strategic Microelectronics Council (SMC)
- World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) 2012, Montreal
- World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)
- York Technology Alliance (YTA)