The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) was launched in 2001 to help Atlantic Canada grow its knowledge-based economy through increased research and development. The purpose of the fund is to:
- increase research and development (R&D) being carried out in Atlantic Canada research facilities leading to the launch of new products, processes and services;
- improve the region’s capacity to commercialize R&D;
- strengthen the region’s innovation system by supporting R&D and commercialization partnerships and alliances among private sector enterprises, universities, research institutions and other organizations in Atlantic Canada; and
- enhance the region’s ability to access national R&D programs.
AIF encourages partnerships among private sector firms, universities, colleges and other research institutions to develop new or improved products and services. Hundreds of technologies, products, processes and services developed with the support of the AIF were successfully commercialized, resulting in millions of dollars in incremental sales. $195.5 million dollars has been invested in Newfoundland and Labrador through nine rounds of AIF. Of that amount, $85.6 million has been awarded to applicants from Memorial University. AIF is a Government of Canada program that is administered through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.