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Infrastructure Operating Fund
The Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF) helps cover a portion of the operating and maintenance costs to ensure optimal use of CFI-funded infrastructure. It is nonetheless the institution’s responsibility to provide sufficient funds for the operation and maintenance of CFI-funded infrastructure.
An institution’s IOF allocation is based on the CFI contributions for eligible projects. All projects, approved by the CFI Board of Directors after July 1, 2001, are eligible to receive IOF, with the exception of projects funded under the Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund and the international funds. All eligible projects generate an IOF allocation of 30 percent of the maximum CFI amount approved at award finalization. Institutions can review their allocation details in the “Institutions: finance” section on the CFI website (www.innovation.ca/en/cfi-online).
Each institution is responsible for deciding how their funds will be divided among projects eligible to receive IOF. Institutions can distribute their IOF allocation based on actual operating and maintenance needs, as opposed to allocating the exact amount to the project that generated it. This offers institutions maximum flexibility to support projects with different needs and scope, while ensuring accountability.
An eligible operating and maintenance cost for the IOF must meet the following conditions:
- the infrastructure item to which it relates must have been funded by the CFI (i.e. it appears on the Itemized list and/or the final financial report);
- the CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have been approved after July 1, 2001. However, projects funded under the Canada Research Chairs Infrastructure Fund and the international funds are not eligible for IOF;
- the CFI-funded infrastructure project to which it relates must have passed the stage of award finalization. An Award agreement is thus in place for the project;
- the operating and maintenance activities are needed to ensure the infrastructure can be used to carry out the proposed research;
- the infrastructure must still be used for research purposes. There is no maximum number of years for which IOF can be claimed, as long as the infrastructure is still being used for research purposes during the period claimed.
Only the proportion of operating and maintenance costs associated with research is eligible.
- Salaries (including benefits) of highly qualified personnel (technicians or professionals) directly involved in the operation and maintenance of the CFI-funded infrastructure. The full salary of the highly qualified personnel may be eligible if the infrastructure cannot be operated without their assistance.
- Training for the main operator(s) of the research infrastructure, not included in the infrastructure award. It is expected that the main operator(s) will train other users. Alternatively, a group training session may be provided by the vendor at the institution.
- Extended warranties and/or service contracts not included in the infrastructure award
- Extensions to warranty coverage and software licences
- Maintenance and repairs
- Replacement parts
- Replacement of a CFI-funded infrastructure item needing repair, only if the replacement is more cost effective than the repair (the replacement item must have similar functionality)
- Services (e.g. electricity, security, cleaning) that directly support the CFI-funded equipment or CFI-funded constructed or renovated space (only the portion attributable to the CFI-funded infrastructure is eligible)
- Supplies and consumables needed to operate the research infrastructure (not to exceed 10 percent of the cumulative total IOF claimed by the institution)
- Purchase or lease of real property
- Cost of equipment, installation and construction or renovation deemed eligible under an infrastructure award
- Upgrades related to the infrastructure
- Extended warranties and/or service contracts included in the infrastructure award
- Telephone, Internet and cable or satellite television services that are not necessary to ensure the infrastructure can be used for research
- Costs not directly related to the CFI-funded infrastructure (e.g. maintenance contract for equipment not acquired through a CFI-funded infrastructure project that is eligible to receive IOF, services related to space for which the CFI has not funded the construction or renovation, etc.)
- Trainee stipends (undergraduates, graduates and post-doctoral fellows) and researcher salaries
- Administrative, secretarial or clerical personnel not directly related to the operation and maintenance of the infrastructure (e.g. research services office, library and finance services)
- Any cost to conduct research activities
- Costs attributed to the dissemination of information such as promotion, publications or conferences
- Expenditures reimbursed from another source