Innovation Fund

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The Innovation Fund provides investments in infrastructure, across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied through to technology development. Projects funded through the Innovation Fund will help Canada remain at the forefront of exploration and knowledge generation while making meaningful contributions to generating social, health, environmental and economic benefits and addressing global challenges.   

“Working together toward global leadership in research for a better Canada”

Our newly established model of permanent funding allows us to provide Innovation Fund competitions at regular intervals of 24 to 30 months. These regular competition intervals will allow institutions to plan strategically and to propose mature projects, while continuing to develop promising ones for future competitions. 

With the 2020 Innovation Fund call for proposals, we are launching the first Innovation Fund competition under our new funding model.


The objectives of the 2020 Innovation Fund are to: 

  • Enable global leadership by supporting world-class research and technology development.
  • Enhance and optimize the capacity of institutions and research communities to conduct the proposed research or technology development program(s).   
  • Lead to social, health, environmental and/or economic benefits for Canadians. 

Competition budget

The CFI will invest up to $400 million in research infrastructure funding and will fund up to 40 percent of a project’s eligible infrastructure costs. The CFI will provide up to $120 million for associated operating costs through the Infrastructure Operating Fund.



September 16, 2019

Deadline for the submission of Notices of intent

January 20, 2020

Deadline for the submission of proposals

January – May 2020

Expert Committee meetings

August – October 2020

Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees & Special Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee meetings

November 2020

Decision by the CFI Board of Directors

Researchers and institutional administrators will use the CFI Awards Management System (CAMS) to prepare, share and submit notices of intent and proposals. Technical instructions for using CAMS are outlined in the Getting Started with CAMS documents on The call for proposals and section 6 of those documents contain all the necessary information to apply to the Innovation Fund, including the guidelines to prepare notices of intent and proposals. 

Your institution must submit a notice of intent by the deadline. If you do not submit a notice of intent, you will not be able to submit a proposal. After you submit the notice of intent, you will have access to the proposal in CAMS

We will use the notices of intent when we plan the review process to: 
•    Assemble expert committees
•    Identify potential eligibility issues with the infrastructure items requested

The notices of intent are not assessed as part of the merit review process.

2020 Innovation Fund
Call for proposals

Contains detailed information about the competition and how to prepare notices of intent and proposals

We have published the list of the notices of intent we received below, including a short project summary, to encourage institutions with complementary projects to consider potential collaborations or multi-institutional initiatives, where appropriate. 

2020 Innovation Fund: NOI List


Proposals are reviewed in a three-stage review process: 

1.    Expert Committees 
In the first stage, Expert Committees review and assess small groups of related proposals. This process will be tailored to the nature and complexity of the proposal. Expert Committees assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposals in relation to the six assessment criteria.

  • Research or technology development
  • Team
  • Research capacity
  • Infrastructure
  • Sustainability
  • Benefits 

What is the role of the expert committee?

2.    Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees 
In the second stage of review, Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees (MACs) review groups of proposals of similar size and/or complexity and assess them on the basis of the three competition objectives.

What is the role of the multidisciplinary assessment committee?


3.    Special Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee
In the final stage of review, a Special Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee (S–MAC) reviews MAC reports for proposals recommended for funding by the MACs. The S–MAC makes sure there is consistency among the MACs. In instances where MAC recommendations exceed the available budget, the S–MAC recommends to the CFI Board of Directors the proposals that most effectively support the CFI’s mandate, meet the objectives of the competition and represent the most effective portfolio of investments for Canada. 


The CFI Board of Directors will make funding decisions at its meeting in November 2020. 

Whether you’re applying for funding, or participating in the review process for this competition, the resources and documents you’ll need are consolidated below for easy reference. If you are a reviewer, either on an Expert Committee or a Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee, the review materials are all provided on our award management system (CAMS).


Information sessions

2020 Innovation Fund MAC Member Briefing Session – Slides

2020 Innovation Fund MAC Member Briefing Session – Webinar

2020 Innovation Fund Information Session - Slides

2020 Innovation Fund information session – Webinar

2017 Innovation Fund: Review statistics - strengths & weaknesses

Application process

2020 Innovation Fund: NOI List


2020 Innovation Fund: Guidelines for Expert Committees (PDF)

2020 Innovation Fund: Guidelines for Multidisciplinary Assessment Committees (PDF)