Investing in Commercialization Partnerships - Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives?
  2. What is the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Initiative?
  3. How much funding is available?
  4. What projects will be eligible under ICP?
  5. What types of activities will be funded under ICP?
  6. How is ICP different from the Technology Development Program?
  7. Through ARC, numerous studies were conducted that concluded the pilot initiative was well-known and well-regarded among post-secondary institutions and SMEs and created an existing infrastructure that can be leveraged quickly and efficiently to support SMEs in southern Ontario. Why is the Agency not renewing ARC to build on this infrastructure?
  8. Who is eligible?
  9. How do I apply?
  10. I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?
  11. What is the deadline for applications?
  12. How will projects be assessed?
  13. When will I find out if my project has been approved?
  14. When do projects need to be completed?
  15. How many applications can an organization or company submit?
  16. What costs will be supported under ICP?
  17. Do I need an environmental assessment completed for my project?
  18. Will multi-year projects be considered for funding?
  19. How will intellectual property be managed?
  20. Can we apply to ICP if we already receive or have received government funding through a similar initiative?
  21. Are in-kind contributions eligible by the Agency?
  22. If my project is funded, what are the next steps?
  23. How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?
  24. How do I get more information about ICP?
  25. How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?
  26. Will any more economic development funding be available in southern Ontario?
  27. Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?
  28. Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

1) What are the Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives?

The Southern Ontario Prosperity Initiatives (SOPIs) are:

  • Investing in Business Innovation;
  • Investing in Business Growth and Productivity;
  • Investing in Commercialization Partnerships; and
  • Investing in Regional Diversification.

Each of these initiatives is uniquely designed to help retain, attract and grow businesses in Southern Ontario to make the region globally competitive. Over $530 million in funding is available under the SOPIs.

These initiatives, created based on feedback from stakeholders, build on the Agency's successes to date and reinforce a continued commitment to building a strong and prosperous southern Ontario.

2) What is the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships Initiative?

The Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP) initiative supports business-led partnerships with a focus on developing globally-competitive products and services. Increased collaboration among businesses, post-secondary institutions and research organizations narrows the gap between innovation and commercialization. This initiative helps to increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems and the development of competitive economic clusters in southern Ontario.

Through ICP, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) is encouraging the technology transfer between research and business to help bring new ideas to market.

ICP supports large-scale collaborations between the private sector, post-secondary institutions and not-for-profit research organizations (NFPs). The initiative encourages businesses to unlock and capitalize on regional economic strengths and extract greater value from public investments in education and research. Through ICP, FedDev Ontario is contributing to southern Ontario and Canada's position as a global leader in the knowledge economy.

3) How much funding is available?

Successful applicants will be eligible for non-repayable contributions to a maximum of $20 million per project for up to 50 percent of eligible project costs.

4) What projects will be eligible under ICP?

FedDev Ontario will provide funding to eligible projects that:

  • Increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems within southern Ontario;
  • Create innovative products, technologies and services through business-led collaborations;
  • Develop commercially-relevant technology platforms; and
  • Support the development of a critical mass of research and development activity in emerging clusters in southern Ontario.

5) What types of activities will be funded under ICP?

FedDev Ontario will provide funding to eligible projects that:

  • Increase the capacity of existing and emerging innovation ecosystems within southern Ontario;
  • Create innovative products, technologies and services through business-led collaborations;
  • Develop commercially-relevant technology platforms; and
  • Support the development of a critical mass of research and development activity in emerging clusters in southern Ontario.

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6) How is ICP different from the Technology Development Program?

ICP builds on the success of the Technology Development Program, but has an expanded scope to include a larger number of eligible recipients and the types of eligible activities.

ICP can include collaborations similar to those in the Applied Research and Commercialization (ARC) initiative between post-secondary institutions and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

7) Through ARC, numerous studies were conducted that concluded the pilot initiative was well-known and well-regarded among post-secondary institutions and SMEs and created an existing infrastructure that can be leveraged quickly and efficiently to support SMEs in southern Ontario. Why is the Agency not renewing ARC to build on this infrastructure?

The Agency is proud of its achievements through ARC, such as helping address critical commercialization issues for 575 companies; supporting the development of employment opportunities and real life experiences for hundreds of students; and helping create a dynamic applied research infrastructure across southern Ontario through 24 colleges and universities.

Under its renewed programming, the Agency recognized the need to consolidate programming to simplify funding options for clients. As a result, there is no program specific to ARC. Instead the Agency has redesigned its renewed programming so that the ARC-like model is incorporated within ICP.

In terms of the infrastructure developed and/or enhanced by ARC, the Agency is encouraged by the decision by others to support greater linkages between post-secondary institutions and SMEs through vouchers or other mechanisms. The Agency is certain that its efforts through ARC will have an ongoing impact through initiatives like the recently announced voucher program being supported by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

8) Who is eligible?

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.

For specific details regarding the types of organizations and activities eligible for funding under this initiative, please see the ICP Guidelines.

9) How do I apply?

There is a single-phase application process in which applicants must submit the following:

  1. A completed application form; and
  2. Mandatory information requirements for post-secondary institution applicants or not-for-profit applicants.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and may be deemed ineligible.

Applicants should refer to the Application Process section of the program guidelines for details.

Prior to submitting an application, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Agency at 1-866-593-5505 for help with their application and to discuss other government programs that may be applicable to their opportunity.

10) I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?

The application is accessible through the ICP home page and linked from the Quick Links menu. The application is in PDF format and will open automatically within Internet Explorer if you click on the link. However, if you are using another browser, right-click on the link and select ‘save target as’ or ‘save link as’ to download the file to your computer before opening with a PDF reader. Please note that the PDF application has been optimized for use in a Windows environment and may not work as expected in other operating systems.

Once the application form is complete, it can be submitted electronically by clicking on the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the form. Please note that you must include the additional application information requirements for post-secondary institution applicants or not-for-profit applicants with your application.

If you are unable to access, complete or submit your application using the online application tool, please call the toll free line at 1-866-593-5505 for an alternate format.

11) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for ICP is ongoing. Applications will be reviewed as they are received.

Applications will be received until funding is fully committed.

12) How will projects be assessed?

Please see the Application Review section of the ICP Guidelines.

13) When will I find out if my project has been approved?

FedDev Ontario will notify applicants when their projects are approved for funding.

14) When do projects need to be completed?

Multi-year projects may be established, however, all projects must be completed by December 31, 2018.

15) How many applications can an organization or company submit?

Normally, eligible applicants will be limited to one approval under this initiative.

16) What costs will be supported under the ICP?

Only costs that are reasonable, incremental and relate directly to the eligible activities will be accepted for projects funded. Hospitality costs will not be supported. Claims for reimbursement of eligible project costs will be submitted to FedDev Ontario. Examples of eligible costs include:

  • Labour
  • Expertise
  • Non-capital
  • Capital

Successful applicants will be eligible for non-repayable contributions of up to: 50 percent of direct eligible project costs to a maximum of $20 million.

17) Do I need an environmental assessment completed for my project?

Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, a project will require a federal environmental assessment only if it is a "designated project" under the Act. Designated projects are normally large scale, complex projects and those regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board. For more information about what constitutes a designated project, contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Applicants should also note that projects on federal land will require a determination of the potential for significant adverse environmental effects before they can be approved.

18) Will multi-year projects be considered for funding?

Multi-year projects may be considered, however, all projects must be completed by December 31, 2018.

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19) How will intellectual property be managed?

When submitting the application to ICP, the applicant will be asked to describe measures that would be taken to ensure that intellectual property developed as a result of the project will provide continuing benefits for southern Ontario. Applicants will also be asked to demonstrate they have sufficient rights to any intellectual property prior to the beginning of the project so as to allow it to be further developed or commercialized.

20) Can we apply to ICP if we already receive or have received government funding through a similar initiative?

FedDev Ontario will consider other government funding when determining eligible funding.

In no instance will the total government assistance be allowed to exceed the eligible costs. All recipients of financial assistance are required to inform FedDev Ontario before the start and at the end of a project of any other government assistance received or requested for the eligible costs of the project that are described in the contribution agreement.

Recipients must confirm with their partners whether any of their funding comes from government sources.

The contribution agreement will contain a “continuing disclosure” obligation concerning other government assistance and provides for the right of FedDev Ontario to reduce the contribution to the extent of any such assistance or require the recipient to repay.

21) Are in-kind contributions eligible by the Agency?

In-kind contributions are only eligible when they can be valued and are directly linked and necessary for completion of the project.

22) If my project is funded, what are the next steps?

Following approval of a project, an environmental assessment must be completed where required. Under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012, a project will require a federal environmental assessment only if it is a "designated project" under the Act. Designated projects are normally large scale, complex projects and those regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and the National Energy Board. For more information about what constitutes a designated project, contact the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

Following approval of the assessment, Agency staff will develop a contribution agreement with approved recipients to outline an implementation framework; project details; repayment terms and environmental mitigation measures, if applicable; and requirements for communications and signage for funded projects.

Approved recipients must meet the terms and conditions outlined in the contribution agreement before being reimbursed for incurred costs.

23) How will the Government of Canada flow funding to recipients?

Contributions are normally paid on a reimbursement basis through signed contribution agreements, against eligible costs incurred once the project is approved and initiated.

24) How do I get more information about ICP?

For further information, if you have questions, or would like to talk to a program officer, please check our website for program details, email or call 1-866-593-5505.

25) How will the Government of Canada ensure appropriate accountability for the use of public funds?

Approved projects will be monitored by FedDev Ontario and recipients will be required to report on activities and outcomes as projects are being implemented.

26) Will any more economic development funding be available in southern Ontario?

The Agency has also launched the renewed Eastern Ontario Development Program, the Investing in Business Innovation initiative , the Investing in Regional Diversification initiative , and the Investing in Business Growth and Productivity initiative. Please visit our programs page for more information.

Interested parties can also subscribe to email updates on the FedDev Ontario website.

27) Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?

FedDev Ontario works directly with the organization applying for funding, also known as the “named applicant” (e.g., the SME or NFP). Some organizations hire a consultant to support the preparation of a program funding application. It is not a requirement to use a consultant to apply for funding.

28) Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

Former Government of Canada employees who work as consultants must comply with the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. After the post-employment limitation has passed, any statements made by a past employee about their ability to secure funding belongs solely to that individual.

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