Canadian Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP Grant)

The Canadian Digital Adoption Program: What is it and how do I apply?

Canadian Digital Adoption Plan (CDAP Grant)

Canada is taking exciting new steps to increase digital adoption across the country with their new Digital Adoption Program (CDAP). From helping businesses stay competitive to creating jobs and growing the economy, accelerated digital adoption can help Canada recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CDAP Overview

Peter Diamandis

By 2030 there will be two types of businesses. Those that use AI and those that are bankrupt.

At AI Guides, we’re excited about the opportunities this plan will give Canadian-owned businesses to gain all the benefits new technologies have to offer–especially because we get the opportunity to be a Digital Advisor within the program. As a Canadian-owned business ourselves, we provide vendor-agnostic guidance to the right artificial intelligence solutions.

Why are we so excited? Of course it’s to share our experience and expertise on how artificial intelligence can grow businesses, but it’s also because the CDAP…

  • Is expected to support as many as 160,000 small businesses and help create thousands of jobs

  • Will create nearly 30,000 job placements for young Canadians in addition to other thousands of jobs

  • Consists of funding of $1.4 billion in grants and advisory services to SMEs and up to $2.6 billion in loans from the Business Development Bank of Canada

We could go on about the benefits of this program, but we know you want to know what exactly the Canadian Digital Adoption Program is, how you can apply, and how to best take advantage of the Digital Adoption Program for your business. And of course, we’ll get into a lot more details about digital advisors, and finding the best one for you.

We at AI Guides will be walking with you every step of the way and help you through the process – starting from the application for CDAP, receiving the grant/loans, providing recommendations, to the complete execution of the right digital plan for you.


No, there is no catch.  The Government of Canada recognizes that there is a real need for Canadian SMEs to enhance their digital maturity.  SMEs are in a Catch 22.  They know they need to invest in digital maturity, but do not have the time, expertise or the cash flow to justify research and analysis into what they should be doing.  Therefore, they remain stuck.  With this grant of up to $15,000, SMEs can get the analysis they need to have a custom plan prepared for them, and they can act with confidence as they grow their business.

Once they have their plan, they can apply for a further $7,300 to hire a post secondary student to work on the implementation of their plan, and up to $100,000 in an interest free loan from to cover the cost of new technologies.

The exact composition of each digital adoption plan will vary according to the SME's business operations. In general, these are mandatory and optional elements.

Mandatory elements

01 Executive summary

Provide a high-level summary of the key elements of this plan for the SME, and how adopting new technologies will help the SME meet the SME's client's requirements, business imperatives and goals.

02 SME business and technology current state analyses

Key business information (e.g., sector, corporate structure, operations, value proposition, etc.).

Overview of the SME's current business strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

SME's external issues (market, competition, business model) and future key business goals.

Key IS/IT information (infrastructure, applications, security and privacy compliance practises, technology staff and partners, integration between exiting IS and IT solutions, etc.) and how these current technologies are efficient at helping the business deliver value to the SME clients and to the SME itself.

03 Digital adoption analysis and recommendations

Identify a minimum of three potential digital/technology solutions for the SME to consider including how each of those solutions will benefit the SME's business. Also align the prioritized digital solutions to the benefits it will bring to the SME.

04 Implementation roadmap

Identify the key elements to implement the recommended options including timeline, dependencies, costs to acquire the technology, etc.

Optional elements

Since every SME has different needs, the digital adoption plan can be tailored to their specific needs. Possible additional elements could include, but is not limited to:

01 Skill requirements

Identify the skills and competencies that the SME will need to possess to implement the top three digital solutions.

02 Key digital solution characteristics

Identify the high-level requirements to implement the top three solutions. High-level financial requirements, degrees of implementation complexity and change management these technologies will require of the SME.


This is for Canadian Small and Medium Sized businesses. They must:

  • Be incorporated federally or provincially, or be a Canadian resident sole proprietor
  • Be a for-profit, privately owned business
  • Have between 1 – 499 full time equivalent employees
  • Have at least $500,000 of annual revenues in one of the previous three tax years

Up to $15,000 is available to hire a Digital Advisor to prepare a Digital Action Plan for you. The amount you get will be up to 90% of the eligible costs, including taxes.

Here are two examples to explain how your grant is calculated.

Example 1: Katarina is the owner of a small auto parts manufacturing business. She applies for a grant under the Boost Your Business Technology stream. Katarina retains a Digital Advisor, and the advisor produces a Digital Adoption Plan at a total cost (inclusive of taxes) of $10,000. CDAP will pay Katarina's business a grant of $9,000. Katarina's business must cover the remaining $1,000.

Example 2: Mohammed owns a food processing business. He applies and is determined to be eligible for a grant under the Boost Your Business Technology stream. Mohammed retains a Digital Advisor, and the advisor produces a Digital Adoption Plan at a total cost (inclusive of taxes) of $20,000. CDAP will pay a grant of $15,000. Mohammed's business must cover the remaining $5,000.

It takes approximately one hour to complete the application process. Provided all the information is correct, it typically takes a few weeks for approval.

You are pre-approved for funding. When a project is completed, you submit the necessary documentation, including an invoice to the Government.

The government will cover the final cost of the Digital Adoption Plan developed by a Digital Advisor listed on the Digital Advisor Marketplace.

The grant covers fees, commissions and charges from a Digital Advisor for producing a Digital Adoption Plan. Applicable federal and provincial taxes are also eligible.

Grant payments will be made to you when you provide the government with the necessary documents. This includes uploading a copy of the Digital Action Plan and an invoice of eligible costs.

The Government will determine the size of the grant payment on the basis of an invoice containing the final cost of the Digital Adoption Plan developed by a Digital Advisor listed on the Digital Advisor Marketplace.

You are responsible for paying the Digital Advisor you choose.
Yes, you will have access to the Digital Advisor Marketplace system. You are responsible to pick an advisor from the system. While all of the companies listed in the Marketplace, including AI Guides, were pre-selected by the Government of Canada that will produce a Digital Adoption Plan for them.
You may only submit one grant application form per company. However, if your Digital Advisory is not satisfactory, you can contact the program administrator to seek eligibility for a second grant.
Up to 70,000 businesses will be supported by Stream 2 over 4 years.
No, there is no cost to applying for the program.
Yes, we will work with you to select the right CDAP stream for your business. If you are applying for Stream 2, we will assist in preparing and submitting the application. Once approved, we will work with you to execute the project that you get approved for.
Yes, we are approved by the Canadian federal government to be a Digital Advisor for this program. (When choosing firms in the program Marketplace, you may also see us listed under the name Sysabee).

Our specialty is ensuring the successful use of Artificial Intelligence in your business. Most firms who try AI fail because they get matched to the wrong solution. We provide independent, vendor-agnostic advice on the best fit solution for your environment, so you can leverage the power and potential of AI.

Whether you have a specific use case in mind, or are looking to understand how AI can help your business, our team has the business and technical experience (PhD with over 10 years of work experience in AI) to create a custom solution for you.

You own the intellectual property.
No, the $15,000 covers the costs of having a Digital Advisor prepare a Digital Action Plan.

What is the Canadian Digital Adoption Program (CDAP)?

That’s why we’re launching the Canada Digital Adoption Program to empower small businesses with the digital tools they need, while helping them create good jobs, particularly for young Canadians

The Canadian Digital Adoption Program was created to help small- and medium-sized businesses in Canada upgrade or adopt digital technologies and grow their online presence.

The program will support up to 160,000 businesses by providing $4 billion over four years to create jobs, leverage e-commerce opportunities, digitize their operations and take advantage of new technologies.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the goals of the program clear: “Small businesses have shown incredible resilience over the last two years as they faced unprecedented challenges from the pandemic. Supporting them has been – and will continue to be – a top priority for our government. That’s why we’re launching the Canada Digital Adoption Program to empower small businesses with the digital tools they need, while helping them create good jobs, particularly for young Canadians.”

Who can use the Canadian Digital Adoption Program?

Any small- or medium-sized Canadian-owned businesses interested in digitally transforming their business–whether that be through digital marketing, e-commerce, technology, or other digital investments–can apply for the Canadian Digital Adoption Program.

Depending on businesses’ sizes, needs, and goals, they can apply for funding through the Grow Your Business Online or Boost your Business Technology streams.

How AI Guides Can Help with Digital Adoption?

After going through the checklist of requirements, AI Guides knew we were not only eligible, but we’re proud to have built our business to already provide vendor-diagnostic support to companies looking to learn and grow in the digital space. 

From our initial assessment to our detailed roadmap covering the objectives that AI can help you reach, we protect your interests as your independent guide through this new frontier. 

We make sure you know what needs to happen and who’s qualified to help you so your journey begins with a clear path to success. As a digital advisor for the Digital Adoption Program, AI Guides is here to ensure the successful use of artificial intelligence in your business through unbiased, technical expertise that mitigates risk and sees ROI. 

Get support for your Digital Adoption Plan from AI Guides

At AI Guides, we know your business needs to be an innovative leader in your industry. In order to do that, you have to ensure the successful use of artificial intelligence in your business. Here’s how it works.


First, we help you imagine where you want to go, and how AI can help

Digital Maturity

We check your data and IT infrastructure to understand what will work in your environment.


Finally, you get a detailed roadmap for reaching those objectives, and we point you to the right vendors for your project.

And you can get access to all of this today through Canada’s Digital Adoption Program’s Boost Your Technology Stream. AI Guides is incredibly proud to be a CDAP advisor that can help the Canadian economy go beyond recovery by using advanced digital technologies. With this grant opportunity, we can work together to solve your most pressing business questions and exceed your revenue goals.

We bring both business leadership experience and technical expertise in AI to the table, serving as translators between your business goals and the technical requirements needed to fulfill them.

Contact us if you have any more questions about Canada’s Digital Adoption Program or how we can support your digital adoption needs, or get started on your CDAP Boost Your Technology Stream application right now.

Avoid falling behind in the race to deploy AI.

Instead, you can mitigate the risks of your investment and tap into the power and potential of artificial intelligence to transform your business into a leading force in your industry.

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