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Idea to Innovation grants

Instructions for completing an application Ė form 101

General information

About the grant

Read the grant description before you complete the application.

Who completes the application?

The applicant must complete an Application for a grant (form 101) and include all required documentation using the online system. In addition, the Personal data form (form 100) must be completed by applicants and co-applicants and linked to the application form.

Presentation standards

You are responsible for submitting a complete application that conforms to the presentation standards established by NSERC. Incomplete applications and applications that do not meet the presentation standards may be rejected, or be at a disadvantage, in comparison with those that are complete and respect the presentation standards. Where page limits are stated, pages in excess of the number permitted will be removed.

For more information, read the NSERC online presentation and attachment standards.

Application deadlines

Your application must be received at your institution’s research grants office (RGO) by its internal deadline date; contact your RGO for those deadlines.

For programs or grants with deadlines, the application must be received at NSERC by 8:00 p.m. (ET) on the deadline date. If it is not received by NSERC by the deadline, it will be considered late and will be rejected. Application deadlines are indicated in each of the program and grant descriptions, as well as on the Application deadlines and notification of decision page.

Material or updates received under separate cover (before or after the deadline date) will not be accepted.

Personal information

The collection, use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC are outlined in the following policy statements:

The information you provide in your application is collected under the authority of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Act. NSERC is subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act. The information you provide is stored in a series of NSERC data banks described in This link will take you to another Web site Information about programs and information holdings.

The information you provide in the self-identification questionnaire will be used to ensure appropriate levels of diversity throughout the program. It will not be used in identifiable form and will be reported only in aggregate, to protect the identity of respondents. 

Your personal information will be shared with collaborating organizations for the purpose of program delivery.

Help with program information

Contact the staff responsible for the program to which you are applying.

Help with the NSERC online system

Information required from organizations participating in research partnerships programs (form 183A)

See the instructions for completing form 183A for more information. Letters from supporting organizations must address the points outlined in the instructions for form 183A.

Completing the application

The Lab2Market pilot program uses the NSERC online system, and the deadline to submit an application is January 6, 2023. Important: The Lab2Market form must be submitted on Lab2Marketís website by December 2, 2022.

All sections of the form 101 are required, and the applicant (the researcher) must also include a form 100. Consult the Lab2Market application guide for more information and for help completing your application.

June 27, 2022. All sections of the form 101 are required, and the applicant (the researcher) must also include a form 100. Consult the Lab2Market application guide for more information and for help completing your application.

Application profile

Title of proposal

This title will be used for publication purposes. It should describe the subject of the research to be supported. It should not contain a company or trade name. Spell out scientific symbols and acronyms. Indicate the phase of the I2I grants to which you are applying.

Time devoted to proposed research/activity

Enter the time devoted by the applicant (in hours per month) to the proposed research/activity.

Cover letter

The cover letter is optional and should be used only if you wish to provide NSERC with additional information that will not be shared with external reviewers, such as a request that an individual or group of individuals not be involved in the review of your proposal. NSERC will take such a request into consideration. The cover letter must contain your name, the NSERC grant to which you are applying and the title of your application.

Note: This letter may be accessible to these individuals under the Privacy Act.

Area(s) of research

Research subject codes

Consult the NSERC code tables for more information. All applicants are required to select a primary research code.

Area of application codes

Consult the NSERC code tables for more information. All applicants are required to select a primary area of application code from the list area of application codes.

Keywords

Provide a maximum of ten keywords that describe the proposal.

Certification/requirements

Before completing this section, consult the following requirements for certain types of research.

Research involving humans: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution's administration with the appropriate certification indicating that research involving humans has been reviewed and has received the required approval.

Research involving human pluripotent stem cells: If you select Yes, or if through peer review the application is found to fall into this category and is recommended for funding, it will be forwarded, with your consent, to CIHR's Stem Cell Oversight Committee (SCOC) to ensure compliance with This link will take you to another Web site Chapter 12, Section F of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2). The SCOC review is in addition to the normal review by local research ethics boards (REBs). Funding will not be released until approval has been obtained from the SCOC.

Research involving the use of animals: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution’s administration with certification from the animal care committee at the institution that the experimental procedures proposed have been approved and that the care and treatment of animals is in accordance with the principles outlined in the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guide. What change here?

Research involving hazardous substances: If you select Yes, you must provide your institution’s administration with certification from the biosafety committee at the institution that the laboratory procedures being used comply with the safety precautions necessary for the level of containment required by the research.

Environmental impact: The Impact assessment form (appendix A) may be required. For more information, consult NSERC’s guidelines on impact assessment.

Co-applicants

For team applications, list each co-applicant's name, personal identification number (if known), organization name, as well as the time (in hours per month) each co-applicant will devote to the proposed research/activity or the use of equipment or facility.

Co-applicants, except those from the applicant's institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that NSERC will be seeking their signature through its secure site, agreeing to their participation.

By submitting this form, the applicant certifies that the individuals listed as co-applicants have been informed of the precise uses and disclosures of their personal information by NSERC (see Use and disclosure of personal information provided to NSERC) and have authorized the release of the information by the applicant.

Co-applicants, except those from the applicant’s institution, must advise the authorized officer of their organization that the applicant, or the applicant’s institution, will be seeking their signature prior to submitting the application to NSERC, agreeing to their participation.

Collaborators

A collaborator is a member of the research team that is applying for a group grant. The collaborator does not have access to the grant funds and must be qualified to undertake research independently. Collaborators are expected to contribute to the overall intellectual direction of the research project or program of research and to bring their own resources to the collaboration. Examples of collaborators are government scientists, academic researchers, company staff members or research scientists.

Supporting organizations

Enter information about each co-applicant organization's signing officer (other than the applicant’s organization). For supporting organizations such as an industrial partner or a government department, enter information about the authorized representative(s).

The applicant must ensure that the co-applicants from other institutions obtain the appropriate signature from the authorized officer of their organization prior to submitting the application to NSERC (see the Signatures section for more information on requirements).

Summary of proposal

The summary is intended to explain the proposal in language that the public can understand.

Using simple terms, briefly describe the nature of the proposed work. Indicate why and to whom the research is important, the anticipated outcomes and how your field and Canada will benefit.

This plain language summary will be available to the public if your proposal is funded.

If you wish, you may also provide a summary in the other official language in the text box identified for that purpose.

Activity schedule

List the activities/steps required to achieve the objectives for each year of the grant.

Indicate the start and end dates for the activities leading to the milestones, as well as the major results expected.

  • The milestone definition and the work plan (provided in the Proposal page) will be used to assess whether a project is feasible and whether the available resources are adequate to complete it on schedule.

Proposed expenditures

Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-agency guide on financial administration for information about the eligibility of expenditures for the direct costs of research and the regulations governing the use of grant funds.

L2M-NSERC projects: See the Budget justification section below for a list of the allowed expenditures.

Contributions from supporting organizations

Use this page to report the contributions committed by the supporting organization(s)—including the industrial partner(s)—to the research project. Before completing this page, read the instructions and consult the Tri-agency guide on financial administration and Guidelines on eligibility and value of in-kind contributions.

Provide the information for each supporting organization.

List the resources the supporting organization will provide to support the proposed activities, including:

  • the net cash contribution to direct costs of research (without the university overheads); this amount will be transferred to the appropriate line on the Proposed expenditures page
  • the in-kind contribution to direct costs of research (donations of services, materials and equipment); this amount will be transferred to the Proposed expenditures page (if applicable)
  • the in-kind contributions to indirect costs; this amount is not transferred to the Proposed expenditures page
  • an indication of the amount paid to the institution for overhead

Use the Contributions from supporting organizations – attachment page to provide an explanation of the cash and eligible in-kind contributions.

Budget justification

Since I2I projects are focused on the rapid realization of well-defined objectives, all budget items should be for costs directly related to achieving these objectives. Therefore, any request for expenses such as publications or attendance and travel to conferences is not expected.

Provide a detailed explanation and justification for each budget item identified in the Proposed expenditures page. Provide sufficient information to allow reviewers to assess whether the resources requested are appropriate. This page should only contain information pertinent to the budget.

NSERC will support up to 75% of a market assessment to hire a professional external consultant.

NSERC will support 100% of the costs of the market assessment done through the pilot with the This link will take you to another Web site Lab2Market program. For L2M-NSERC projects, applicants can request a budget of up to $20,000 from NSERC, of which $5,000 will be included in the technology transfer activities category to pay the Lab2Market consultants (mandatory), $10,000 will be used to be pay the Entrepreneurial Lead (student) as a stipend, and $5,000 will be held by the principal investigator to pay for cost of participating in the Lab2Market pilot expenses (e.g., travel to training sessions, mentoring, consultation with stakeholders, etc.). No expenses related to research, lab or field work are eligible.

For phase I and II applications: Some of the activities undertaken by the institution’s industry liaison office (ILO) or its equivalent may be covered by the grant. NSERC will pay up to half of any eligible technology transfer activities undertaken in relation to the project, up to a maximum of 10% of requested funding. The other half, as well as other costs beyond the allowable maximum, are expected to be supported by the ILO or its equivalent.

For phase II projects: Explain and justify the proposed cost-sharing ratios between NSERC and the partner.

In-kind contributions (phase IIb projects): Refer to the Guidelines on eligibility and value of in-kind contributions for directions on appraising a company’s in-kind contributions. Costs incurred by the company during the course of the project for the filing and issuing of patents may be claimed as eligible contributions to the project to a maximum of $10,000.

Salaries and benefits

Give the names (if known), categories of employment and proposed salaries (with explicit indication of the non-discretionary benefits) of students, postdoctoral fellows, research staff and the project manager (phase IIb only). Briefly describe the responsibilities for each position and indicate the percentage of time they will be spending on this project over its lifespan. Do not include salaries of faculty in project costs.

Refer to the form 100 instructions for information regarding obtaining consent to name individuals in your proposal.

Equipment or facility

Give a breakdown of the items requested. Provide details on models, manufacturers, prices and applicable taxes. Justify the need for each item requested.

Fees to be paid for the use of equipment or a facility should be described (e.g., hours and rate).

Materials and supplies

Provide details and explain major items.

Travel

Explain briefly how each activity is essential to the project.

Technology transfer activities

Provide extensive details of the technology transfer activities, such as those indicated below, that are supported by the institution and for which cost-sharing is requested. Indicate the amount committed by the ILO or its equivalent in support of these activities.

Eligible activities:

  • Consulting fees to develop a strategy to protect the technology’s commercial value
  • Market investigations
  • Consulting fees for business plan, market survey, etc.
  • Business mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs
  • Sharing of patenting expenses
  • Expenses associated with creating a partnership (such as travel, etc.)

Quotations

Provide two recent quotations for items or systems costing more than $25,000 before taxes. Provide justification if two quotations are not available.

Note: For upload purposes, all of the quotations must be saved in a single PDF document.

Contributions from supporting organizations – attachment

Provide a detailed explanation of the in-kind contributions to the direct costs of research. This information will be used to assess the level and nature of the involvement of the supporting organizations (including the industrial partner[s]), the importance of their contribution to the success of the project and an appropriate cost-sharing ratio.

  • Salaries for scientific and technical staff: list the name of each staff member, their role at the company and their specific expertise, details as to what they will be providing to the project (link to milestones if possible), the number of hours they will devote to the project, and their hourly rate.
  • Donation of equipment, software: list each item of equipment and/or software being donated to the project, explaining how it will be used and its importance to the success of the project; provide details on how the cost of the equipment/software was calculated.
  • Donation of material: describe the materials to be provided, their importance to the project and how the cost of the materials was calculated.
  • Field work logistics: describe the importance of the proposed field work to the project and provide details on how the cost of the field work was calculated.
  • Provision of services: provide details on the services to be provided, the importance of these services to the success of the project and how the cost of providing these services was calculated.
  • Other: provide sufficient details on items listed in this category, their importance to the project and the calculation of associated costs.

Phase II projects only

Form 183A and letter(s) of support (and attachments, as required)

See the instructions for completing a form 183A for more information.

A completed form 183A, letter(s) of support and any other required documents must be attached for each organization participating in a research project. Either the applicant or the supporting organization must complete all applicable pages of the form and provide the required documents.

To allow a supporting organization to link a form 183A to your application, use the Access Manager page of form 101. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Access Manager instructions.

For applicants who are filling out form 183A on behalf of the participating organization, use the Link Manager page of form 183A to link to your application. For details on how to use this function, refer to the Link Manager instructions.

Letter(s) of support

Market assessment applications

Include letters of support that demonstrate a market need for the proposed technology. Letters from potential end-users/clients can describe an unfulfilled need or problem that needs to be addressed. Letters from potential partners (receptors) can show interest in addressing an identified market need.

Lab2Market applications

Upload the written confirmation of support from your ILO.

Phase I applications

Include letters of support appropriate to the proposed business approach. Letters from potential end-users/clients can demonstrate market potential for your proposed technology. Letters from potential partners (receptors) and industrial value-chain players can show interest in bringing the technology to market and in creating economic activity if the proposed objectives can be achieved.

Phase II applications

Include a letter of support or document from the early-stage investor or phase IIb partner stating their interest in the technology and project, the reasons motivating this investment, and their relevant experience in funding early-stage technologies. A letter of support from potential end-users/clients and industrial value-chain players is also useful.

Proposal

In an attached document, provide the requested information according to the guidelines outlined under the NSERC online presentation and attachment standards.

All I2I applications are divided into two sections: the first one is focused on the description of the proposed technology, while the second addresses the plan for technology transfer. The latter must be completed in close cooperation with the institution’s ILO or its equivalent.

Note: For phase II applications, the early-stage investor or company needs to be closely involved.

In these guidelines, the term “technology” includes all advances, inventions or applications that are expected to result in a new or improved commercial product, process or service.

Under the heading Description of the technology transfer plan, you must provide the name and coordinates of the ILO or its equivalent representative working with the applicant(s).

Refer to the I2I grants description for the criteria that will be considered by reviewers when evaluating applications.

Describe your proposal using the headings below and within the maximum number of pages specified for each phase of the grant (this page limit does not include references).

Market assessment applications

Proposals for market assessment require the institution (including the ILO or its equivalent) to share the costs of the project contracted out to a consultant. However, cost-sharing is not required for the new Lab2Market pilot opportunity (see the paragraph on Lab2Market proposals below). The aim of market assessment projects is to enable institutions to conduct a market study of a product, process or technology they plan to develop. In a maximum of four single-sided pages, provide the required information under the two following headings.

Description of the technology

Provide a clear description of the invention and how the anticipated product/process/service would be used by the ideal end user. Describe the progress made so far and the stage of development of the technology. Discuss the novel aspects of the product, process, or service proposed.

Description of the market assessment plan

This heading is used to establish the relevance of a market study (as presented through the ILO or its equivalent) and the commitment of the ILO or its equivalent to the project.

Identify, under this heading, the ILO or its equivalent/technology transfer office (TTO) representative (name and coordinates) involved in the proposal.

Using the headings below, address the following points:

Preliminary commercialization strategy: Discuss the preliminary market indicators, including direct signs of market need/interest. What problem is the technology solving? (Letters of support are very useful to demonstrate the market need). Will it compete against other technologies? Explain how a market study will help inform the future commercialization strategy. Describe the strategy to protect the commercial value of the technology, and the positioning that is planned or already in place.

Information sought: Discuss how the market assessment will address relevant aspects of the essential questions in the grant description. The market assessment report should address the following aspects: the size, value and description of the addressable market, market demand, analysis of the market environment, competitive analysis (including emerging competing technologies), barriers to entry, distribution channels and relevant value -chain activities.

Statement of work: This section should identify the person(s) or organization tasked with performing the study and describe their credentials and relevant experience. The market assessment should focus resources on conducting primary research, with focus on those making the purchase decision. To be relevant, the number of interviews needs to be as high as possible. NSERC expects no less than 20 interviews to be conducted during the primary research. Give an overview of the tools that will be used, including interviews and surveys of potential clients and/or partners, industrial literature reviews, and tools such as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), PEST (political, economical, social and technological), etc. In the budget justification, provide an explanation of the anticipated expenses as well as the proposed statement of work, listing the scope, deliverables and other relevant elements.

Attach a copy of the offer of service and CV of the consultant chosen to conduct the study to your proposal (use the Other documents page).

Proposals for the This link will take you to another Web site Lab2Market pilot

You must attach a completed This link will take you to another Web site Lab2Market-NSERC application form (provided by the L2M team) to the Proposal section of your application in the NSERC online system.

The final report produced by the consultant and through the Lab2Market program should include:

  • an executive summary, which will also explain how the information is presented
  • the product profile: what is the planned product/process/service and how it will appeal to the customer (focus on the ideal buyer, highlight the benefits, what will it take for customers to buy)
  • addressable market and size of addressable market, both from a top -down and bottom -up perspective where possible (note that the sizing should be based on the actual revenue that the technology can realize and not what it could be as part of a more complex product); who are the customers and where they are, how much can you sell, at what price, why (broad statements about general markets and unsupported assumptions about anticipated market shares are not wanted)
  • any specific technology -related issues (regulation, intellectual property [IP], sales cycles, etc.)
  • competitive analysis: who is the competition (direct and indirect) in the specific market segment(s) identified, what alternative technologies may compete, what is your specific value proposition, what are the cost and performance differences, what are the barriers to entry
  • what the right business model and value chain/ecosystem would be
  • interview questionnaire and responses, collated data from interviews conducted with potential customers and/or partners

A “go/no-go” recommendation from the consultant on continuing with the development of the technology is not particularly valuable. This decision should be taken by the team (ILO and principal investigator) supported by the interviews.

Phase I applications

Proposals at the phase I (reduction-to-practice) stage are designed to advance promising technologies in order to attract early-stage investment or to build the commercial value of the technology in anticipation of transferring the technology to an existing or start-up company. Funding is available for up to 12 months at a maximum of $125,000. Projects that require a longer time frame due to inherent experimental limitations only (e.g., incorporation of a growing season, animal production) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The applicant must contact NSERC prior to any submission of a project that requests a project period greater than 12 months.

Description of the proposed research

Using the headings below, address the following points in a maximum of five single-sided pages.

Synopsis: Provide a concise overview of the objectives of the proposed project.

Background: Provide a clear description of the invention. Describe the scientific and/or technical background of the project and progress (including results and experimental data) made so far on the development of the technology. Discuss the state-of-the-art and the prevailing market conditions, and the characteristics and performance of the product, process, or service that you propose to develop compared to those currently available. Discuss the novelty in the product, process, or service that is proposed and all aspects of evidence suggesting commercial potential.

Detailed proposal: Discuss the scientific issues or technical complexities and describe the research methodology and experimental design proposed to resolve them. Provide a work plan, including “go/no -go” decision points in the form of quantified technical objectives, and relate it to the milestone schedule from the Activity Schedule page by which the success of the project can be measured. Identify the main area of technical risk and state how the technical risk or uncertainty will be managed.

Team expertise: Highlight the research and practical experience of the project team. Explain how the knowledge and scientific and business experience of the team relates to the expertise needed to accomplish the project objectives, and how the contributions of the team members (including, if applicable, company personnel) will be integrated. Describe how the team will be organized and the project managed. Involvement of experienced business mentors is recommended when the team is planning to spin off a new company (include a CV).

Description of the technology transfer plan

Establish the strength of the institution’s plan (as presented through their ILO or its equivalent), the commitment of the ILO or its equivalent to the project and its capacity to transfer the technology to the marketplace.

Identify, under this heading, the ILO or its equivalent/TTO representative (name and coordinates) involved in the proposal.

The fundamental purpose of I2I grants is to advance commercially important IP from lab results to a stage in which a company or companies might profitably make, sell, distribute, license or in other ways benefit from it.

Using the headings below, address the following points in a maximum of five single-sided pages.

Embodiment of the technology: Illustrate what the technology developed from this project would look like in final form, what are the key components, and explain how potential customers would actually use this invention.

Market overview: Describe the opportunity, the advantage of the proposed product, competing or alternative technologies, the market environment and the proposed path to bring the technology to market. Provide an analysis of the opportunity, market and environment using frameworks such as SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), PEST (political, economic, social and technological), etc. Describe how and why the technology will introduce or fill an existing need in the target market. Discuss existing barriers to market and how these will be overcome. Describe the market scope for the technology and also the key attributes of the target market. Present an overview of potential manufacturing/production cost and potential selling price. If a market assessment was previously funded by an I2I grant, append a copy of the complete report to your proposal (use the Other documents page). The market assessment will be reviewed only by the selection committee.

Intellectual property strategy: Describe the strategy to protect the commercial value of the technology and relate it to the commercialization strategy. The strategy should take into account IP protection related to your targeted market(s), the combination and rationale for the IP types chosen for the strategy (i.e., patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright), the expected competitive advantage the IP will bring during the go-to-market execution and beyond, the IP position in comparison to the competitive space (i.e., IP strategy in comparison to main competitors position, or against a general IP landscape of the market), and a brief description of how the IP strategy will be executed (timing, resources, budget, and key players or team to execute). To fully assess the competitive space, the patent landscape and freedom to operate (FTO) related to your technology should be discussed even if you don’t plan on filing a patent. There are situations in which formal IP (patent, copyright, registered trademarks) protection is not the ideal course of action; in those cases, describe how the competitive advantage will be kept with other forms of IP (trade secrets, know-how).

Commercialization strategy: Describe the proposed commercialization pathway and the technology transfer activities that have already been undertaken. Discuss how the commitment of the institution to transfer this technology to market is translated into specific activities to be undertaken during the term of the project.

  • Describe how this project will increase the likelihood of attracting seed funding.
  • Describe how the IP strategy will support the short -term and long -term commercialization pathway.
  • If licensing to an existing company is the preferred technology transfer option, identify Canadian companies with potential interest in commercializing the technology. Include a letter of support appropriate to the proposed business approach, from companies with recognized interest or that are perceived as potential partners (receptors). A letter of support from potential users/clients and industrial value-chain players is also useful.

Benefit to Canada: Outline anticipated economic benefits to Canada from the eventual successful transfer of the proposed technology to the marketplace. Examine the potential impact of your technology with regard to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) values of a potential Canadian partner.

Phase II applications

Phase II projects require an early-stage investment entity or a company to share the costs of the project. The aim of phase II projects is to provide scientific or engineering evidence that establishes the technical feasibility and market definition of the technology, process or product. The proposals fall into either phase IIa or phase IIb projects according to the partners involved, which are either an early-stage investment entity (phase IIa) or a Canadian company (phase IIb).

Description of the proposed development

Use the same headings and address the same points as for phase I applications; however, a maximum of ten pages is available to describe the proposed development. If the project is a follow-up to an earlier project (a phase I, phase IIa or other project), use this heading to describe the progress made in the preceding work.

For phase IIb projects, highlight the practical experience and research backgrounds of each key member of the industrial partnerís project team under the Team expertise heading. Describe each memberís role in the proposed development, how the team will be organized, how the project team will interact with the institutionís research group and how the project will be managed.

Description of the technology transfer plan

You must complete this section with the assistance of the investment or industrial partner. The commercialization section should be from the entity the technology has been or will be licensed to.

Identify, under this heading, the ILO or its equivalent/TTO representative (name and coordinates) involved in the proposal.

For phase IIa projects:

In a maximum of ten pages, using the following headings, provide the following information:

Market overview: Provide information about the market potential: an analysis of the opportunity, market and environment; the targeted market’s ability and willingness to pay for the end product; anticipated market penetration; the present competition and the perceived advantages of the proposed technology, process or service. Present an overview of potential manufacturing/production cost and potential selling price. If a market assessment was previously funded by an I2I grant, append a copy of the complete report to your proposal (use the Other documents page). The market assessment will be reviewed only by the selection committee.

Intellectual property strategy:Describe the strategy to protect the commercial value of the technology and relate it to the commercialization strategy. The strategy should take into account IP protection related to your targeted market(s), the combination and rationale for the IP types chosen for the strategy (i.e., patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright), the expected competitive advantage the IP will bring during the go-to-market execution and beyond, the IP position in comparison to the competitive space (i.e., IP strategy in comparison to main competitors position, or against a general IP landscape of the market), and a brief description on how the IP strategy will be executed (timing, resources, budget, and key players or team to execute). To fully assess the competitive space, the patent landscape and freedom to operate (FTO) related to your technology should be discussed even if you donít plan on filing a patent. There are situations in which formal IP (patent, copyright, registered trademarks) protection is not the ideal course of action; in those cases, describe how the competitive advantage will be kept with other forms of IP (trade secrets, know-how).

Commercialization strategy: Describe the proposed commercialization pathway and the technology transfer activities that have already been undertaken. The partner needs to discuss its commitment to transfer this technology to market and how it translates into specific activities to be undertaken during the term of the project.

  • If licensing to an existing company is the preferred technology transfer option, identify Canadian companies with acknowledged or potential interest in commercializing the technology. Provide a letter of support appropriate to the proposed business approach, from companies with recognized interest or that are perceived as potential partners (receptors).
  • If the creation of a new spin-off company is the preferred technology transfer option, outline current and future steps taken in achieving this objective. Describe the experience of personnel who are, or will be, involved in establishing the company. Involvement of an experienced business mentor is required (include CV and letter of support). Outline any staged financing plans that are projected for the period before the company can achieve revenues.
  • Describe how the IP strategy will support the short -term and long-term commercialization pathway.

Early-stage investor information: Indicate how the early-stage investor will help the team members and institution develop a commercialization plan and attain the proposed business objectives. Include a letter of support or document from the early-stage investor stating their interest in the technology and project, the reasons motivating this investment and relevant experience in funding early-stage technologies. As the financial standing of the early-stage investor will be closely scrutinized in the evaluation process, financial statements or proof of financial resources should be provided.

Benefit to Canada: Outline anticipated economic benefits to Canada from the eventual successful transfer of the proposed technology to the marketplace.

For phase IIb projects:

Since phase IIb projects involve an established or start-up company, the information requested from the partner in this section is analogous to a business plan. Depending on the nature of the technology and the stage of development, it may not be possible to include all of the following points; however, as many as possible should be covered.

In a maximum of ten pages, using the following headings, provide the following information:

Business overview

Describe in lay terms:

  • the company’s background: when it was started, who owns it, the number of employees, location of present or planned facilities
  • the degree of ownership in the company of researchers involved in the project and their role in the company, if any
  • if the team presents a new spin off company, the involvement of an experienced business mentor (include CV and letter of support)
  • the company’s line of business
  • the business objectives in regard to this new technology
  • the core competencies of the company, including the human resources available or anticipated (list the key management and technical personnel and members of the Board of Directors or Advisory Board, with their backgrounds, expertise, business experience and their roles in the company’s operations)
  • major players and trends in the industry
  • the partnership the company has/will put in place
  • government regulations (if applicable)

The market

Under this heading, demonstrate that the product is commercially viable, that the company has a thorough and detailed understanding of the identified market, and that the company has a sound plan to reach it. Discuss in lay terms:

  • the segment, sector and addressable size of existing, emerging or new markets (report on any market survey performed to date); if a market assessment was previously funded by an I2I grant, append a copy of the complete report to your proposal (use the Other documents page); the market assessment will be reviewed only by the selection committee
  • which part of the market will your company target/capture, who are the customers, and what value proposition you are bringing to that segment
  • market projections for the proposed new product, process or service for the first three to five years
  • details on the product-market match, by supporting or linking the market projections with the phase IIb product or service offering
  • the company’s views of the risks associated with the project, other stakeholders who will share these risks and measures planned to reduce or control uncertainties

The competition

Under this heading, the partner should demonstrate:

  • the actual and potential competition from existing products or alternative technologies
  • the key features or unique elements of the technology that will make the product commercially attractive to customers
  • the plan to exploit and market the technology, including pricing and marketing strategy

Examples of significant advantage, such as a strong patent position, a dominant market position, a competitive cost advantage, or a key alliance with a strategic partner, should be cited.

Intellectual property strategy

Describe the strategy to protect the commercial value of the technology and relate it to the commercialization strategy. The strategy should take into account IP protection related to your targeted market(s), the combination and rationale for the IP types chosen for the strategy (i.e., patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright), the expected competitive advantage the IP will bring during the go-to-market execution and beyond, the IP position in comparison to the competitive space (i.e., IP strategy in comparison to main competitors position, or against a general IP landscape of the market), and a brief description on how the IP strategy will be executed (timing, resources, budget, and key players or team to execute). To fully assess the competitive space, the patent landscape and freedom to operate (FTO) related to your technology should be discussed even if you donít plan on filing a patent. There are situations in which formal IP (patent, copyright, registered trademarks) protection is not the ideal course of action; in those cases, describe how the competitive advantage will be kept with other forms of IP (trade secrets, know-how).

Sales and marketing plan

Under this heading, the partner should demonstrate:

  • its go-to-market strategy
  • the plan to exploit and market the technology, including pricing, advertising, marketing and distribution strategies
  • the risks and mitigation plan associated with advancing the technology to a product; developing the market for the product; and manufacturing, marketing and distributing the product

Action plan

The action plan should include the major decision points and the specifications or other criteria that have to be met, as well as how and by whom the decisions will be made. Under this heading, provide contingency plans in the event of problems.

Financial projections

Under this heading, demonstrate that the company’s prospects for financial viability are high and that there is a good likelihood that the technology will be profitable for the company and/or make it more competitive. To do this effectively, present:

  • financial projections, including sales forecasts and the resources to withstand price competition from established firms or competing technologies
  • the best estimates (three- to five-year projections) for financing company operations over the course of the project and the subsequent commercialization stage
  • the timing of equity investment and debt participation
  • the amount and timing of cash in-flow and out-flow
  • pro forma financial statement based on the company’s projections; provide the latest financial statements from the company (present documents using a recognized accounting standard), including balance sheet, profit -and -loss statement, and cash flow statement (these do not count in the page limit)

Economic impact

Provide a realistic assessment of the potential Canadian benefits and impacts with respect to:

  • the company’s operations, business opportunities, new or improved product lines, and increased competitiveness
  • the company’s financial situation, physical expansion and creation or maintenance of jobs
  • other commercialization partners, companies or industrial value-chain players
  • students and employees involved
  • the institution and the Canadian economy as a whole

Relationship to other research support

See This link will take you to another Web site Selecting the Appropriate Federal Granting Agency for additional information.

Any relationship and/or overlap, conceptual or financial, with work supported by NSERC or other funding sources must be explained.

Other sources of support include grants and contributions from funding agencies, organizations, the private sector, institution start-up funds, research chairs, the primary place of employment (for adjunct professors), and other institutional research support.

Use an additional page to provide the following information:

  • Clear and concise information on the conceptual and budgetary relationship or difference between this application and all other support currently held or applied for by the applicant and co-applicants. Explain perceived duplication in funding or, if applicable, indicate how the current application complements research funded by other sources.
  • For each grant currently held or applied for, clearly describe the main objective, and provide a brief outline of the methodology, budget details and details on the support of highly qualified personnel. In addition, the relationships to the NSERC application must be explained. Such information may be provided, for example, in the form of a brief summary of the necessary details for each grant.
  • If you need to provide a summary and budget page from other proposals or projects, use the Additional information page.

The applicant must provide sufficient information to enable the reviewers to evaluate the relationship between this application and other sources of support and the incremental value of additional support from the grant, in order to recommend the appropriate NSERC funding level.

Reviewers may recommend reduced or no funding if there is inadequate information to assess the relationship to other research support.

Intellectual property

For all proposed applications

Describe the strategy to protect the commercial value of the technology relevant to the industrial sector you will be entering (this can include patents awarded or patent applications). Regardless of the strategy you propose, the patent landscape and FTO need to be discussed. For phase II applications, outline the broad terms of the agreement between the partner and the institution on the rights to exploit the technology (see the Policy on Intellectual Property for more information).

Intellectual property – attachment

If available, include a copy of the research or IP agreement between the academic institution and any supporting organizations (see the Policy on Intellectual Property for more information). Such agreements are considered confidential and are not made available to peer reviewers.

Other documents

If you need to provide other documents, such as a collaborator’s CV or a market study, give a brief description of the document and submit it as an attached file.

Additional information

If you need to provide a summary and budget page from other proposals or projects, describe the document and submit it as an attached file.

Impact assessment form (appendix A)

An Impact assessment form (appendix A) must be completed and uploaded to the Environmental impact page, as required.

External reviewer suggestions (appendix C)

Suggest the names of several people competent to assess the technical aspects of the proposal. This list should include experts from the research community, preferably in Canada, and from the industrial sector only if your IP is protected. These suggestions should also take into consideration equity, diversity and inclusion; for example, the list should include some women.

Give the name, complete mailing address, telephone and facsimile numbers, email address and the area(s) of expertise of potential external reviewers.

External reviewers should be able to review the proposal in the language in which it is written.

You may also request, in a cover letter, that some individuals or companies not be involved in the review of your application. Your request will be taken into account by NSERC.

Suggested external reviewers should not be in a conflict of interest. Refer to the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations for more information. In addition, reviewers must sign the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Agreement for Review Committee Members, External Reviewers, and Observers before they access the application material.

Signatures

NSERC does not require original signatures on applications or other documents submitted electronically through its online system. The electronic submission of applications through this system represents approval and replaces the traditional "physical" or "wet" signatures. Refer to the frequently asked questions for more details.

What do the electronic or original signatures on the application mean?

For applicants

Before you, as an applicant or co-applicant, submit your application to NSERC or link your personal data form to an application, you must read and agree to the terms and conditions of applying that appear in a pop-up window during the submission process. It is your responsibility to retain a copy of the agreed terms and conditions for your records.

The signatures of the institutional authorities certify that

  • the institution will abide by the roles and responsibilities as set out in the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with the three federal granting agencies, including the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework: Responsible Conduct of Research
  • the applicant and co-applicant(s) have met, or will meet, the eligibility requirements
  • prior to submission of this application, the institution has obtained written approval from any other institutions involved in the application process
  • if the applicant discloses any potential IP arising from the research, they and the institution will endeavour to obtain the greatest possible economic benefit to Canada from the resulting commercial activity (note: this requirement for disclosure is not intended to supersede any IP ownership policy that the institution already has in place)

The signatures of authorized officers of other supporting organizations certify that the organization

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources
  • agrees to the release of the public summary of the award and to the publication of the organization’s name as a supporter of the initiative

If you are both the applicant or co-applicant and a principal of a collaborating organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

List for a complete application

Use the following list to make sure your application is complete.

  • Application for a grant (form 101)
    • Application profile (including areas of research, certification requirements, amounts requested)
    • Cover letter, if required
    • Co-applicants
    • Collaborators
    • Supporting organizations — optional for phase I projects
    • Summary of proposal
    • Activity schedule
    • Proposed expenditures
    • Contributions from supporting organizations — if applicable
    • Budget justification (attachment)
    • Quotations (minimum of two) for equipment requests over $25,000
    • Contributions from supporting organizations (justification of in-kind contribution) (attachment)
    • Letters of support — see instructions
    • Proposal (attachment — see instructions for page limits)
    • Relationship to other research support (attachment)
    • Intellectual property description and attachment of signed research agreement —  if applicable and available at time of submission
    • Other documents
    • Appendix A (impact assessment form) — if required
    • Appendix C (external reviewer suggestions)
  • Personal data form (form 100) — for the applicant and each co-applicant. For market assessment applications, only the principal applicant should submit form 100.
    • Personal information (appointment, academic background, highly qualified personnel [HQP])
    • Experience
    • Research support
    • List of HQP
    • Contributions
    • Appendix A (Personal data) — one original only (if required) — do not photocopy
    • Appendix B (Eligibility questionnaire) — one original only — do not photocopy
    • Appendix C (Description of applicant’s activities) — if required
    • Appendix D (Consent to provide limited personal information about highly qualified personnel [HQP] to NSERC): form(s) must be retained by the applicant and made available to NSERC upon request
  • Information required from organizations participating in research partnerships programs (form 183A) — for each supporting organization — in a phase II project only.
    • Annual report of the supporting organization(s) — one copy only, will be kept confidential and will be used internally by NSERC
    • Letters of support from each supporting organization

In addition to the required signatures, the director of the institution’s ILO or its equivalent must also sign the application.