College-Industry Innovation Fund

Our College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) seeks to enhance the capacity of colleges to support business innovation in Canada by providing them with state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure to foster partnerships with the private sector in a specific area of strategic priority to the institution.

The College-Industry Innovation Fund is intended to support substantial research infrastructure projects that will augment the existing applied research and technology development capacity of colleges, and allow them to respond to important sector industry needs.

There are two competition streams under the College-Industry Innovation Fund. Proposals submitted to both streams are expected to achieve the following objectives:

  • Create and enhance college-industry partnerships leading to business innovation using industry-relevant, state-of-the-art research infrastructure;
  • Build upon proven applied research capacity and a track record of partnerships with the private sector in an area of strategic priority to the institution; and,
  • Generate socioeconomic benefits in the region and nationally including the development of highly skilled personnel.

Up to $40 million (for capital costs and infrastructure operating funds) have been allocated between 2016 and 2019 for both streams of this fund. The CFI will fund up to 40 percent of a project’s eligible infrastructure costs.

Collaboration with private sector partners, regardless of their size, is essential to the infrastructure project. It is expected that private-sector partners be actively engaged throughout the life of the research infrastructure project, including the application stage. Proposals should clearly demonstrate the commitment from private-sector partners through active participation and contribution to the applied research projects and anticipated benefits. The level of involvement of industrial partners is a key consideration when making funding decisions.

The two competition streams under the College-Industry Innovation Fund are:

Stream 1 – Research infrastructure:  This stream allows colleges to enhance an already established applied research and technology development capacity through the acquisition or development of research infrastructure. Colleges may have developed their applied research capacity by means of funding obtained from sources such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program, research and development support programs from other federal or provincial economic development agencies, or contributions from private industry.

There are two competition streams under the College-Industry Innovation Fund:

Find out more about Stream 1 of the College-Industry Innovation Fund

Stream 2 – Research infrastructure associated with a College and Community Innovation Program – Build Innovation Enhancement (CCI-Build IE) Grant application to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC): This joint initiative allows colleges to apply for a comprehensive funding package supporting both research costs and research infrastructure. It provides an opportunity for colleges to acquire state-of-the-art, industry-relevant research infrastructure that will further support their teams in realizing the competitive and innovative applied research and technology development projects described in their CCI-Build IE proposal.

The College and Community Innovation Program is managed by NSERC in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Find out more about Stream 2 of the College-Industry Innovation Fund

Application process

Colleges can submit up to two proposals per competition under each stream of the CIIF and request up to $1 million per proposal from the CFI. In the event that a college decides to submit more than one proposal per competition, the two must not fall within the same strategic applied research area.

While the overall objectives of both streams are identical, the application forms and review processes are different. Please consult the respective Call for Proposals for further details.

Stream 1 – Research infrastructure

Dates*

Activities

Annually on March 15

Deadline for the submission of notices of intent

Annually on May 15

Deadline for the submission of proposals

Annually in November

CFI Board decisions

*Should a Stream 1 deadline fall on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline is pushed to the following regular business day.

Should a deadline fall on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline is pushed to the following regular business day.


Stream 2 – Research infrastructure associated with a NSERC CCI- Build IE grant application

Dates

Activities

May 25, 2017

Deadline for the submission of notices of intent

August 2017 Invitation to submit a proposal

October 26, 2017

Deadline for the submission of proposals

March 2018

CFI Board decisions

The College-Industry Innovation Fund – Stream 1 competition is an annual competition. Colleges may submit up to two proposals per competition, each requesting up to $1 million from the CFI. In the event that a college decides to submit more than one proposal per competition, the two must not fall within the same strategic applied research area.

Under this funding stream, we seek proposals that enhance existing applied research and technology development capacity in colleges across all domains of applied research and technology development. Colleges may have developed their applied research capacity through major, multi-year investments in applied research.

Colleges should submit proposals that demonstrate a well-established and strong track record of private sector partnerships for joint projects that respond to important industry needs, contribute to enhancing business innovation and focus on an area of institutional priority.

The purpose of the College-Industry Innovation Fund is to support partnerships between colleges and a range of private sector partners involved in any area of economic activity. Collaboration with private sector partners, regardless of their size, is essential for the infrastructure project described in the proposal.

The CFI is coordinating efforts and resources with the federal funding agencies (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) to maximize the impact of their respective funding, increase value for their deployed resources and streamline the application process for colleges, partners and investigators. To that end, the CFI participates in the College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program to foster partnerships between colleges and the private sector that will lead to business innovation locally, regionally and nationally.

Under this joint initiative, CCI-Build Innovation Enhancement (CCI-Build IE) grant proposals submitted to NSERC by a CFI-eligible college can include a request for research infrastructure through the College-Industry Innovation Fund – Stream 2.

This is an opportunity for colleges to acquire infrastructure for their faculty to undertake the competitive and innovative applied research and technology development projects described in their CCI-Build IE proposal.  Since this initiative strives to enhance the existing applied research capacity at a college over a five-year period, colleges securing an entry-level CCI-IE grant are not eligible to receive CFI funding under this initiative.

The CFI is participating in round 15 of the CCI program to which the Letters of Intent (LOI) were received on May 15, 2017.  Colleges invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by NSERC in August, 2017. Among the invited Colleges, only those that had indicated their intent to request CFI funding in their NSERC LOI will be permitted to submit a joint CFI proposal in October, 2017.  Colleges must use the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) to prepare and submit the CFI portion of the proposal. Colleges are also required to send a proposal submission letter, signed by an authorized signatory, to the CFI by the deadline. Please consult the Call for Proposals and Guidelines for completing a proposal for detailed instructions, and refer to the College and Community Innovation Program webpage for instructions on how to prepare the NSERC application.

Colleges will be required to submit periodic progress reports to both the CFI and NSERC as well as annual financial reports to the CFI for funded infrastructure projects. Details on the reports required by the CFI will be communicated to colleges prior to finalization of the award. Please consult the NSERC-CCI website for details on the NSERC reporting requirements.