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|Duration||Two years: Entry-Level IE Grants
Five years: Build IE Grants
Three years: Extend IE Grants
|How to Apply||Letter of Intent||Application|
|To complete the Form 103CV or to view its instructions, select the links above.
To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
|Fourteenth Competition|| Fifteenth
|Letter of Intent (Build IE Grants only)||May 26, 2016||May 25, 2017||May 25, 2018|
Submit an Application (Build IE Grants only)
|Early August 2016||Early August 2017||Early August 2018|
Entry-Level, Build and Extend IE
|October 27, 2016||October 26, 2017||October 26, 2018|
|Decision on Application||Early February 2017||Early February 2018||Early February 2019|
|Consult the Contact List|
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is pleased to participate in the Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grants component of the granting agencies’ College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program in order to foster partnerships between colleges and the private sector that will lead to business innovation at the local, regional and national levels.
This joint initiative allows colleges to apply for a comprehensive funding package supporting both research costs and research infrastructure (through the CFI’s new College-Industry Innovation Fund: Stream 2). A Call for Proposals for the CFI College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) is available on the CFI website.
All information submitted to the joint initiative by researchers, company and college employees, community members, reviewers and other individuals will be used to review applications and to administer and monitor awards. The three participating agencies—NSERC, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)—and the CFI share the submitted information among themselves as required to manage the CCI–IE Grants. By signing and submitting their CCI-IE and CIIF applications to CFI and NSERC, researchers agree to this use and disclosure of their personal information.
The CCI Program is managed by NSERC in collaboration with CIHR and SSHRC. The IE Grants can be across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health. All applications must be submitted to NSERC. Grants are funded by NSERC, with the exception of proposals exclusively in the social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences, which will be funded by SSHRC or CIHR, as appropriate.
The objective of the IE Grants is to increase innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The grants support the growth of applied research capacity, leading to increased business collaborations that facilitate commercialization, as well as technology transfer, adaptation and adoption of new technologies.
IE Grants stimulate applied research that brings together necessary expertise from diverse fields such as natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and/or health sciences to address business-driven challenges and opportunities. IE Grants provide funding to colleges on a competitive basis to support the growth of their applied research capacity leading to collaborative applied research and technology transfer activities with and to the benefit of companies—SMEs in particular. They thus increase company engagements and contributions throughout the term of the grant. These grants will focus on an area where the college has recognized expertise and that meets local or regional needs and where there is the potential to increase the economic development of the community.
The five-year IE Grants have can be renewed once for an additional three years (through the Extend IE Grants) in the same applied research area. To be eligible for the Extend IE Grant, the original five-year IE Grant must have been completed in good standing, or, for active IE Grants, have received its fifth-year grant instalment. As well, in either case, the Extend IE Grant must meet the minimum company commitment requirements. For details on minimum company commitment levels, please see Funding Level and Duration.
Colleges are limited to one five-year IE Grant per applied research area. Colleges can apply for more than one five-year IE Grant; however, it must be clearly demonstrated that the application falls within a new applied research area. Applications that overlap with a previously awarded IE Grant will be rejected. NSERC considers the applied research disciplines, as well as the targeted industry sectors, when assessing potential overlap. Overlap within an applied research discipline or a targeted industry sector will result in rejection of the IE Grant application.
Example 1: The applied research areas of oil refinery, environmental land remediation of former oil sites, and oil site worker safety, would all be considered overlapping (although in distinct applied research disciplines), since they are targeted toward a common industry sector.
Example 2: The applied research areas of polymers and coatings, biomaterials, and concrete, would all be considered overlapping (although targeting distinct industry sectors), since they fall under the Materials Science applied research discipline.
NSERC will make the final decision on the eligibility of IE Grant applications when there is potential applied research overlap with previous IE Grants.
At the conclusion of their five-year IE Grant, colleges should have increased their applied research capacities and developed the necessary strong partnerships with their regional company partners to sustain parts of their applied research activities. Colleges can further advance and maintain their applied research activities by applying for multi-year funding through an Extend IE Grant, an Applied Research and Development Grant, a College-University Idea to Innovation Grant, a Technology Access Centre Grant, or an Industrial Research Chair for Colleges Grant.
Note: Colleges can apply for a Build IE Grant in the same applied research area as a previously awarded Entry-Level IE grant.
Funding Years 1 and 2: Funding of up to $100,000 per year. No minimum company commitment.
The NSERC funding levels and minimum required contributions by eligible companies are described below for new and renewal applications.
Build IE Grants
|NSERC Funding Limit||Minimum Eligible Company Commitment||Confirmed Minimum Eligible Company Commitment at the Time of the Application|
|Year 1||$400,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $100,000, of which at least $25,000 must be in cash||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $300,000, of which at least $75,000 must be in cash over the five years of the grant|
|Year 2||$400,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $200,000, of which at least $50,000 must be in cash|
|Year 3||$400,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $300,000, of which at least $75,000 must be in cash|
|Year 4||$400,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $400,000, of which at least $100,000 must be in cash|
|Year 5||$400,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $400,000, of which at least $100,000 must be in cash|
|NSERC Funding Limit||Minimum Eligible Company Commitment||Confirmed Minimum Eligible Company Commitment at the Time of the Application|
|Year 1||$300,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $300,000, of which at least $150,000 must be in cash||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $600,000, of which at least $300,000 must be in cash over the three years of the grant|
|Year 2||$300,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $300,000, of which at least $150,000 must be in cash|
|Year 3||$300,000||Cash and/or in-kind contributions totalling a minimum of $300,000, of which at least $150,000 must be in cash|
Each grant will be administered by an eligible college and will be composed of a portfolio of fixed applied research projects and technology and knowledge transfer/outreach activities. Funds will go to individuals and/or teams of faculty members, working with their students on specified collaborative projects with business. The activities supported must be incremental to those already planned by the college and the college must demonstrate this incrementality in its application. The grants are intended to be flexible and to accommodate a variety of activities and address the needs of a range of colleges (from small to large, rural to urban, etc.). All proposals must include a plan to involve faculty and students enrolled in programs at the college and indicate how they will work with the local companies and, possibly, other relevant partners.
Canadian colleges that have been declared eligible to administer grants according to the eligibility requirements for colleges of at least one of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, CIHR and/or SSHRC) may submit a grant application.
If the proposed research and knowledge/technology transfer activities lie entirely within the mandate of one agency (NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC), the college must be declared eligible to receive funding from that granting agency.
Companies must participate in the IE Grant and must be engaged at the application stage, as well as throughout the grant period. Colleges have to demonstrate that they have leveraged the minimum required cash and in-kind support for the IE proposal from business partners who could benefit from the activities (see Funding Level and Duration). Cash contributions from companies are not required for the Entry-Level IE Grants. However, for the Build IE Grants, there is a requirement for progressively increasing company cash and in-kind contributions as the college builds its applied research capacity over the course of the grant. At the LOI and application stages, NSERC will require letters of support from companies.
The purpose of the IE Grant is to support collaboration with a range of companies. To ensure companies are involved in the grant, company participation will be monitored closely throughout the grant and before releasing annual instalments. Past and future contributions (in-kind and cash) from eligible companies involved in the IE Grant will have to be reported on an annual basis to NSERC. To be considered eligible by NSERC, private sector contributions must:
Progress reports for the Build (18- and 30-month) and Extend (18-month) IE Grants will be requested. The progress reports must include information on budget expenses, partner contributions, and associated Forms 183A. Letters of support must be provided to NSERC to reflect additional partners that have joined the project (not applicable for the Entry-Level IE Grant).
The active participation and contributions (cash and in-kind) from governments (provincial, municipal, federal) and other organizations are encouraged as they strengthen the application by broadening the impact of the applied research activities on the local or regional community. Please note that cash and in-kind contributions from such public-sector sources will strengthen the proposal but will not count towards the minimum company contribution levels (see Funding Level and Duration).
To demonstrate the importance of the economic area identified in the IE Grant application, colleges will be encouraged to submit, as part of the application, letter(s) of support confirming the need for more applied research and technology transfer activities from local or regional business associations, chambers of commerce and/or provincial and federal government offices.
There is a one-stage evaluation process for Entry-Level IE Grants. Proposals are peer-reviewed through a competitive process against the established IE Grant selection criteria.
The Entry-Level IE Grant application must include:
Note: Colleges that submit a letter of intent for a Build IE Grant and that are not invited to submit a full application may, however, submit an Entry-Level Grant application in the fall competition if they are eligible.
There is a two-stage evaluation process for the Build IE Grants. Both stages are peer-reviewed through a competitive process using the selection criteria defined below.
Stage I: Letters of Intent (for Build IE Grants only)
Colleges must submit LOIs that describe:
Build IE Grant applicants who intend to apply to the NSERC/CFI Joint Initiative should add a paragraph that includes a brief description of the applied research and technology development infrastructure (e.g., equipment, renovations, etc.) for which funding is being requested and the projected amount requested from CFI in the budget justification section of the IE LOI. The IE LOI form must be submitted directly to NSERC. LOIs must:
LOIs will be evaluated based on the selection criteria listed below by the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Review Committee, consisting of members who understand the role of colleges in economic development and their link with SMEs, and who have experience in the private sector and with innovation activities at the community level. This committee will recommend to NSERC the colleges to be invited to submit applications.
Applicants will be advised of the results of the LOI competition by the dates indicated in the table above. A confidential evaluation report, including the comments of the multidisciplinary CCI Review Committee, will be made available to each applicant. Based on the review, successful applicants will be invited by NSERC to submit an application.
Stage II: Application (for Build IE LOIs invited to Stage II and Extend IE Grants)
Applications must include:
Note:Those invited to submit an application to the NSERC-CFI Joint Initiative should complete an abbreviated CFI application form on CFI’s website to request funding for infrastructure.
The onus is on the applicant to provide sufficient information to enable the external reviewers and/or the CCI Review Committee to evaluate the relationship with other sources of support (held or applied for). The consequence of not providing adequate information is that the CCI Review Committee may recommend reduced or no funding.
All applications undergo peer review. Each Build and Extend IE Grant application will be reviewed by external reviewers. The evaluation of the external reviewers will be taken under consideration by the multidisciplinary CCI Review Committee. This committee will provide advice and comments on each application and will recommend to NSERC the colleges to receive grants.
LOIs and applications are expected to explain the context of the environment in which the college operates, including its available resources and opportunities, and the commitment of the college to undertake this initiative. Contributions to local innovation will be of primary importance.
To ensure that the IE Grant objectives are met, LOIs and applications will be assessed using the IE Grants selection criteria outlined below.
Potential to Contribute to Local or Regional Innovation
Excellence of the Proposal
Need for, and Use of, Resources
Applicants will be advised of the results of the competition by the dates indicated in the table, and funding will commence shortly after. A confidential evaluation report including the comments of the external reviewers and the CCI Review Committee will be made available to each applicant.
IE Grant funds must be used for direct costs of research; however, some limited funds may be used for operating and equipment costs (up to 20% of the total project costs), as well as for overhead and administration costs (up to 20% of the total grant). The college provides for other indirect or overhead costs. During the tenure of the IE Grant, reallocation of more than 20% of an annual budget item to other items may be permitted pending NSERC’s approval of a revised budget and justification for the changes.
A list of eligible expenditures is detailed in the CCI Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide.
The IE Grant does not support major infrastructure requests related to the initiative. For major infrastructure requests, an alternative source of funding should be pursued, such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation. For the Build IE Grants competition, NSERC and the CFI have developed a joint application and review procedure. Applicants wishing to use this procedure should consult College-Industry Innovation Fund: Stream 2.
IE Grants are closely monitored annually. The college is required to provide annual financial reports on expenditures and past and future contributions from businesses and other partners. Reporting requirements will be as follows:
Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grant
Grant funding for the second year is dependent on satisfactory progress, demonstrated by:
Build Innovation Enhancement Grant
Extend Innovation Enhancement Grant
Performance will be assessed based on the degree to which the objectives of the original proposal have been achieved and a demonstration of the short-term impacts. Release of subsequent installments of the grant depends on satisfactory progress and ongoing business partner participation. In addition, applicants will be required to report on performance targets, as set forth in the original application, during the tenure of the IE Grant.
The company cash and in-kind contributions for the Build and Extend IE Grants will be monitored annually. If the eligible partner contributions do not meet the minimum requirements, future grant instalments may be cancelled. The Build IE Grants’ 30-month progress report will be provided to the CCI Review Committee for its evaluation. The CCI Review Committee will assess the progress made towards the grant objectives as well as the company contributions. IE Grants that do not demonstrate satisfactory performance or do not meet the minimum company contributions will not be provided with subsequent instalments.
Three months after the project’s end date IE grantees must submit a final report: