Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Guidelines


The prosperity of southern Ontario is lagging behind international competitors in part due to the gap between innovation and commercialization. Canada ranks high in discovery and advancement of science, but is less effective in converting research, new ideas and technologies into products and services of commercial value.

Innovation ecosystems can be defined as collaborative arrangements through which firms combine their individual offerings into a coherent, customer-facing solution. They are a mechanism to support businesses in commercializing research through collaboration and are well-positioned in various industries to exploit emerging marketable ideas and capitalize on the assets and knowledge of businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP) will support business-led partnerships with a focus on developing globally-competitive products and services, or innovation platforms (e.g., a structure or service created for use by others to test, refine or develop other applications) that can demonstrate commercial value.

This initiative will encourage businesses to unlock and capitalize on regional assets to extract greater economic and social value from public investments in education and research.


  • Increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems within southern Ontario to collaborate with the private sector;
  • Create innovative products, technologies and services through business-led collaborations; and
  • Increase collaborations with businesses, leading to the commercialization of products and services.


I. Eligible Applicants

Post-secondary institutions (only publicly-funded colleges and universities located in southern Ontario); and incorporated not-for-profit organizations, including research institutions and industry associations located in southern Ontario, are eligible to apply under this initiative for projects that are business-led and focus on new technologies or platforms with demonstrated commercial value.

To be considered for funding, Applicants must provide or demonstrate:

  • Evidence of at least 50 percent support from industry and/or other partners for the total costs of the project;
  • To what extent the project will leverage private-sector investment; commercialize research; increase employment opportunities in southern Ontario; and, strengthen business and innovation ecosystems;
  • Unencumbered rights to use the background intellectual property required for the project;
  • Competent and reliable organization, technical and project management skills and ability;
  • Evidence to substantiate the project's cost estimates;
  • Compliance with all previous agreements with Government funding agencies; and
  • Capacity to account for and execute the project successfully in a timely manner.

Note: Normally, applicants will be limited to one approval under this initiative. Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and considered for funding. No transfer of funds from a not-for-profit to a for-profit project participant will be permitted.

II. Eligible Activities

Activities related to business-led research and development (R&D) such as:

  • Development of commercially-relevant technology platforms;
  • Prototyping, demonstration projects, advanced product development, and applied research leading to a practical commercial application; and/or
  • Supporting the development of a critical mass of R&D activity in emerging clusters in southern Ontario.

III. Eligible Costs

Eligible costs may include:

  • Labour
  • Expertise
  • Non-capital
  • Capital

All costs must be reasonable and directly related to eligible activities.

IV. Ineligible and/or Unsupported Costs

Any costs determined not reasonable, not incremental, or not directly related to the eligible project activities are not eligible.

Costs incurred prior to the eligibility date, as defined in the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) Contribution Agreement, or any cost incurred after December 31, 2018, will not be supported.

Any cost that is ineligible under the Agency's terms and conditions and program policies will not be supported, including acquisition of land and buildings.


The Agency may give preference to certain priority sectors or projects that diversify a regional economy. Projects that are targeted primarily at retail consumer markets will not be considered under this initiative.


Eligible Applicants will be considered for a non-repayable contribution to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to one-half (50 percent) of eligible costs. The remaining 50 percent of eligible costs must be provided by other partners. Up to 10 percent of the contribution to the applicant can be allocated to support outreach and project administration costs.

FedDev Ontario support is not intended to replace or duplicate funding available from other funding sources, including private-sector and/or government programs.

Disbursement of Funding

If a project receives approval, a contribution agreement (contract) will be negotiated and executed. Funding will be disbursed based on the percentage approved funding by reimbursement of eligible costs incurred and paid.

To receive funding, approved recipients must submit claims forms that summarize eligible costs incurred and paid in a period. Generally, these periods will be of a duration of no more than once a month and no less than twice a year.

Application Process

Prior to submitting an application, Applicants should contact the Agency in a timely manner to discuss their project's fit with program criteria and objectives.

To be considered for funding, eligible Applicants must complete and submit an application that summarizes the benefits and rationale of the project with evidence of other funding.

In addition, Applicants will need to provide:

  • Incorporation documents and a summary of all related and affiliated parties, governance and ownership;
  • Evidence of unencumbered rights to use the background intellectual property required for the project;
  • Documentary evidence of the project's cost estimates; and
  • A comprehensive proposal satisfactory to the Agency that demonstrates at least the following:
    • How the organization and project meet the eligibility criteria and objectives of the initiative;
    • Milestones and timelines for achievement;
    • The likely economic benefits of the project;
    • Compliance with all relevant statutes, regulation and other funding agreements;
    • The track-record of the management team and investors;
    • The extent to which the project is consistent with the capacity of the organization; and
    • Compliance with all previous agreements with Government funding agencies.

Application Review

FedDev Ontario will review applications as they are received. Funding will be made available as of April 1, 2014.

All applications will be screened initially for completeness. Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and considered for funding.

All project activities must be completed by December 31, 2018.

Complete applications are those that include all prescribed documentation containing all information needed to complete the review. Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant and consistent.

FedDev Ontario reserves the right to modify these guidelines at any time without notice and may waive certain requirements on an exceptional basis.

Reporting Requirements

Recipients must submit to FedDev Ontario, reports of project expenditures and completion of deliverables, including achievement of performance indicators identified in contribution agreements.

Contact Us

For more information on FedDev Ontario's Investing in Commercialization and Partnerships initiative, please email us or call 1-866-593-5505.

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