Technology Access Centre grants
When NSERC receives an LOI or a full application for a TAC grant, it first undertakes an administrative assessment to ensure the application is complete and complies with all eligibility requirements. Once the administrative assessment is satisfactorily completed, applications are assigned to a multidisciplinary review committee for the College and Community Innovation program, which conducts a merit assessment of the application and makes a funding recommendation to NSERC. The review committee will use the following merit evaluation criteria for LOIs, full applications and renewal applications.
Merit evaluation criteria
The review committee will evaluate the merit of an application using the five criteria detailed below. For colleges applying to renew their TAC for an additional five-year term, the committee will assess the merit of the renewal application for the new term, while taking into strong consideration the TAC’s past accomplishments—including how well they met their objectives—as an indicator of future success.
The proposal must address all the criteria and sub-criteria to be considered for funding.
- The incremental value that the TAC grant will bring to the college’s existing activities in the targeted sector’s/region’s innovation capacity. Colleges with one or more active TAC(s) must demonstrate that the establishment of a new TAC will create significant incremental value to the region’s innovation capacity; that it will draw on different applied research disciplines, require different expertise, and support a significant client sector that is different from that of the existing TAC(s).
- The potential for the centre to play a significant role in innovation for its client organizations in their region, including potential for synergies among the proposed centre, the host college(s) and other innovation support organizations in the region.
- The centre’s plan to incorporate student* training as an integral component of its innovation support and research service activities, including opportunities for enriched student experiences in applied research and problem-solving skills, and in professional skills, such as leadership, communication, collaboration and entrepreneurship.
- The identification of proposed measures in the training plan to promote the participation of a diverse group of students and other trainees, including those from underrepresented groups, as well as to promote an equitable, inclusive and accessible training environment.
Organizational structure and delivery plan
- The organizational structure of the centre, including evidence of an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership and sound financial decision-making; the degree of engagement and support from the college; and the centre's integration with the strategic plan of the college.
- Focus, coherence and feasibility of the innovation support and research service delivery plan; this includes the scope of support capabilities and the approach planned for reaching and delivering services to client organizations in the centre’s region.
- The ability of the TAC to attract investment, the potential for client organization revenue for rendered innovation support and research services on a cost-recovery basis, and the ability to meet the performance metrics and investment targets identified.
Applied research competence
- The current strength of the expertise and research infrastructure available, and the anticipated quality of expertise and support capabilities to be offered by the centre in support of client organization innovation needs.
- The identification of proposed measures to ensure that equity, diversity and inclusion are being intentionally and proactively considered when recruiting, selecting and/or integrating personnel into the research team.
* Note: Former college students within one year of graduation will also be considered.
NSERC’s funding decision for the LOI, full application, and renewal application stages will take into consideration the merit evaluation criteria ratings assigned to applications by the review committee and the budget available for TAC grants. Applicants will receive a message from the review committee providing an overview of the findings of the review committee.
For more information about review process timelines, consult the Application deadlines and notification of decision page.