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CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE - INNOVATION AND RESEARCH COMPONENT

User: vanfood
Date: 8/8/2003 9:27 am
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GOVERNMENT OF CANADA LAUNCHES THE INNOVATION AND RESEARCH COMPONENT OF THE CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE

OTTAWA, Ontario, July 29, 2003 - The Honourable Andy Mitchell,
Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario), today launched the Innovation and Research component of the Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI).

The new Innovation and Research component is one of two components in the five-year $15-million strategy. It is designed to explore how the co-operative model can be used successfully in new ways. This complements the Advisory Services component launched June 20, 2003, which provides communities with the help they need to develop co-operatives.

The Government of Canada recognizes that co-operatives make an important contribution to Canada's social and economic development.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to support co-operative
development," said Mr. Mitchell. "Co-operatives have proven to be an effective approach to meeting communities' needs and through this program more co-operatives will be developed in areas where innovative solutions are needed to help Canadians."

The program is open to individuals, groups and communities who wish to demonstrate and study innovative uses of the co-operative model.
Eligible applicants include individual co-operatives, co-operative
associations and federations, community economic development groups, Aboriginal communities, social development groups, and research and learning institutes engaged in co-operative research. Please see attached backgrounder for further information.

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CO-OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE - INNOVATION AND RESEARCH BACKGROUNDER -

The Co-operative Development Initiative (CDI) is the Government of Canada's program to help people develop co-operatives, and to research and test innovative ways of using the co-operative model to respond to today's social and economic challenges.

Co-operatives are jointly owned enterprises formed by people coming together to meet their needs. They empower individuals, and encourage healthier and stronger communities by enabling them to pool their resources, share risks and achieve common goals.

CDI has two main components. The Advisory Services component provides expert assistance to groups who want to start new co-operatives, or who need help managing existing ones. This component is managed jointly by the Canadian Co-operative Association and the Conseil canadien de la coopération, and was launched on June 20, 2003. The Innovation and Research component will study and demonstrate how co-operatives can be
used successfully in new ways. It will show how co-operatives can contribute to economic and social development, community capacity building, and service delivery for disadvantaged or hard-to-reach Canadians, particularly within the following priority areas:
* adding value to agriculture
* access to health care and home care
* economic development in rural, remote or northern communities
* development of Aboriginal communities
* integration of immigrants into Canadian communities
* community solutions to environmental challenges

CDI funding could help pay for the costs to implement a project. The expected funding range for individual projects is between $5,000 and $75,000 per year. Multi-year projects of up to five years may receive funding, but must be completed by the time the program ends on March 31, 2008. Applicants or their partners in the community are expected to contribute at least 25% of the total project costs.

More information, including application guidelines and forms, is
available on the Co-operatives Secretariat Web site at
http://www.agr.gc.ca/policy/coop or by calling the following
toll-free number:1 888 781- 2222.
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