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Rural Innovation District

Business innovation fund for mainland rural Nova Scotia

The Rural Innovation District provides funding to help businesses and community groups develop innovative products and services.

We see innovation as new or better ways of creating significant value. We want to work with you to build an innovation ecosystem that supports the makers, builders and creators of mainland rural Nova Scotia.

Our goals

The goals of the Rural Innovation District are simple. We want to:

  1. Increase the number of business start-ups in rural mainland Nova Scotia.
  2. Increase the number of inventions and inventive ideas through research and development activities for businesses in rural mainland Nova Scotia.
  3. Increase opportunities for entrepreneurial awareness and skills development for rural mainland Nova Scotians.

Who is eligible

We welcome the following applicants:

  • Businesses
  • Industry associations with the majority of membership operating in mainland rural Nova Scotia
  • Community organizations
  • Centres fostering innovation & entrepreneurship

How to apply

Step 1 - Submit your idea
We'll review it and contact you for funding eligibility.
Deadline for current submission review is May 8, 2019.

Step 2 - Apply for funding
If approved, you'll be invited to submit a funding application.

Step 3 - Enter into service agreement
If accepted, we will work with you to create a Service Agreement.

Step 4 - Project progress reports
You'll be required to submit reports demonstrating impact towards meeting Rural Innovation District KPIs.

Submit your idea

Take the first step by completing the Rural Innovation Fund Concept Form.

Get started

Funding decision criteria

The committee assesses your submission based on how well your concept demonstrates the following criteria:

  • Impact towards meeting Rural Innovation District goals
  • Leveraging of additional funding (in-kind and/or cash)
  • Impact on Rural Innovation District KPIs
  • Adequate distribution of investments across geographic and sectors of economic importance
  • Alignment with One Nova Scotia Report (PDF 27.2MB) and Innovation Field Guide part one (PDF 1.48MB) and part two (PDF 1.06MB)


Janet Specht, Project Director
Rural Innovation District, NSCC
O. 902-690-2184

The Rural Innovation District is part of a provincial initiative involving NSCC, Dalhousie University, Halifax Partnership, Cape Breton Partnership, Cape Breton University and the province of Nova Scotia.

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