Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA; French: Agence de promotion économique du Canada atlantique) is the Government of Canada's agency responsible for helping to create opportunities for economic growth in the Atlantic Provinces by working with the people of the region. Planned spending for 2015-2016 consisted of 171 million dollars for enterprise development, 89 million dollars for community development, 25 million dollars for internal services and 11 million dollars for policy, advocacy and coordination.

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Agency overview
JurisdictionGovernment of Canada
HeadquartersMoncton, New Brunswick
Minister responsible
Agency executive
  • Francis P. McGuire, President

Like Canada's other regional development agencies, ACOA is overseen by the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages.[1] Historically, ACOA reported to the Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, but this role was combined with other ministerial roles for regional development agencies to report to one position.

The head office is located in Moncton, New Brunswick with regional offices located in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Halifax, Nova Scotia and St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as a liaison office in Ottawa.

In 2014 ACOA assumed responsibility for the direct delivery of economic development programs, services and advocacy in Cape Breton.[2] Prior to 2014, a federal Crown corporation named Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), had a similar function to ACOA with a specific jurisdictional mandate for the whole of Cape Breton Island and a portion of mainland Nova Scotia.

Atlantic Innovation Fund

The Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) is a funding program run by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency to help Canadian organizations in Atlantic Canada to develop innovative products and services. This program is highly competitive. Project proposals go through an extensive external review process.

To be eligible for this program, the project must be based in Atlantic Canada, have a potential commercial value and include a large R&D component. The average funding level is about $2 million per project. Average project duration is about two years.

See also


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