The Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund (OCIF) was created by The City of Calgary in 2018 as a catalyst to attract investment, drive innovation, and spur transformative economic development in the city.
The Fund is a powerful financial tool to position Calgary as a location of choice for business investment, develop our tech-skilled workforce, and accelerate the implementation of the community-built economic strategy Calgary in the New Economy.
Projects that receive OCIF backing are driving innovation and growing the ecosystems in key sectors that position Calgary to lead digital transformation in Canada’s industrial sectors.
Increases direct investment in Calgary, increases tax revenues.
Increases quantity and quality of full-time direct and indirect jobs.
Fosters disruptive innovation to create competitive advantages.
Facilitates growth in key sectors in Calgary in the New Economy.
Supports government or private-sector innovation initiatives.
Provides specific benefits to Calgarians or the environment.
Calgary’s economy was impacted by a structural change the energy sector and the 2014-2015 recession. Municipal and business leaders took the bold action to support growth in key sectors and diversify the economy. Stakeholders at the Downtown Economic Summit in March 2017 agreed business-as-usual would not fill vacant office space or create jobs, so a Fund was proposed by City Council.
All applications are assessed on the same criteria; the degree to which the investment creates benefits and is aligned with the assessment areas:
Many governments in Canada and the United States have similar funds. Examples include The Texas Enterprise Fund that supports business attraction in the state, and Waterloo, Ont. used $110 million to support its economic development fund.
The program is funded entirely from the City of Calgary’s existing fiscal reserves and will have no impact on property tax rates.
The City of Calgary’s goal for the Fund is to support ecosystem development, create jobs and increase the municipal property assessment base. The City is prohibited from providing loans or becoming a partner in commercial ventures.
Funding is a non-repayable contribution. Stringent reporting requirements ensure the recipients meet the provisions of the agreement to receive the funding. Recipients not in compliance with the terms of the agreement may be subject to repaying all or some of the funds.
To qualify for funding, which can account for up to 50 per cent of the proposed project’s budget, the applicant:
To qualify for funding the project must:
Ineligible costs include but are not limited to: