The Grants Program for Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR Program) is a key element of the federal government's Science and Technology Strategy. The CECR Program supports the operation of commercialization and/or research centres that bring together people, services and infrastructure to maximize the benefits of the government's investments in skills and research and to encourage greater private sector investment in science and technology.
The CECR Program is overseen by a tri-agency steering committee (NCE Steering Committee) made up of the Deputy Minister of Industry, the Presidents of the three granting agencies and the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer). A Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) will assess the economic and commercial benefits and opportunities of each proposal and provide advice and funding recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee. The PSAB will be informed at the full application stage by international peer review.
Day-to-day administration of the CECR Program is provided by the Networks of Centres of Excellence Secretariat (The NCE Secretariat).
The NCE Steering Committee invites Letters of Intent for the 2010 Competition for CECRs that will create a strategic, long-term economic advantage for Canada. A total of $57 million is available to support centres over a five-year period.
Prospective applicants should refer to the CECR Program Guide for detailed information about the CECR Program.
This third competition is seeking to fund centres with an emphasis on commercialization, including both goods and services. Following the LOI stage, the Program will entertain a maximum of three full applications per S&T priority area. Ultimately, a maximum of one centre will be supported in any given S&T priority area.
The goal of the CECR Program is to create internationally recognized centres of commercialization and research expertise in four priority areas in order to deliver economic, social and environmental benefits to Canadians. As established in the federal government's 2007 Science & Technology Strategy, the priority areas are:
Based on these areas, in 2008, the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) established thirteen sub-priority areas, which will be targeted for the 2010 CECR Competition. Proposed centres must address one or more of the STIC sub-priority areas (see Table 1).
Table 1: Research and Development Priority Areas and Sub-Priority Areas
The Program is expected to maximize the benefits of government investment in R&D and encourage the private sector to increase its investment in science and technology.
Funded centres shall be world-class and expected to:
Organizations eligible to receive funds are not-for-profit corporations created by universities, colleges, not-for-profit research organizations, firms, and other interested non-government parties.
As a condition of eligibility, organizations applying for CECR funds shall have an established Board of Directors responsible for the approval of its annual financial reports and audits.
A total of $57M is available for the 2010 Competition. Awards of various sizes will be considered. Multiple sources of funding for projects are expected. Total assistance being provided to a project will be carefully monitored to ensure adherence to following matching formula:
CECR funding will be awarded following a competitive process in two stages:
Centres applying for CECR funding are invited to submit Letters of Intent. Each LOI must describe how the Centre would further the goal of the program.
The deadline for submission is Wednesday, February 3, 2010, 4:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST).
The PSAB will assess the LOIs against the program selection criteria and recommend a short-list of applicants to the Steering Committee for advancement to Stage II.
Based on a review of the LOIs, selected applicants will be invited to submit Full Applications with a deadline of Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 4:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
Expert Panels established by the Secretariat and comprised of domestic and international experts will evaluate the project proposals, meet with applicants, and produce in-depth written assessments.
The PSAB will review each Expert Panel report and recommend to the NCE Steering Committee priority centres for approval.
|December 1, 2009||Competition Announced|
|February 3, 2010||LOI Deadline|
|February 2010||Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) review of LOIs and Steering Committee Decision|
|March 2010||Invitations for Full Applications|
|July 13, 2010||Full Application Deadline|
|September 2010||Expert Review Panels|
|October 2010||Recommendation by PSAB of projects to be awarded funding|
|October 2010||Decision by the NCE Steering Committee on selected Centres|
|November 2010||Treasury Board Submission for funding of selected Centres|
|December 2010||New CECRs Announced|
|January 2011||Memorandum of Understanding and CECR Grant Agreements signed|
To ensure that the program objectives are met, proposals are assessed against the three selection criteria outlined below. For the 2010 competition, emphasis will be placed on the criteria related to commercialization, including both goods and services.
Elements to consider when Commercialization is involved:
The Letter of Intent provides information on the Centre in relation to the goals and objectives of the CECR Program. It will be used in the screening process to determine which groups will be invited to submit Full Applications. It will be evaluated according to the three published CECR program criteria.
The Letter of Intent must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. The applicants must clearly indicate how the Centre's commercialization and/or research activities will address the priorities of industry. Private and public sector participants should be informed that their level of involvement as well as their cash or in-kind commitments will be critical to the success of the Centre.
The letters of support fromstakeholder organizations should indicate briefly the nature of the anticipated support and potential involvement in the Centre. Each letter of support must not exceed two pages.
Print must be in black ink, of letter quality (minimum standard), with no more than six lines per inch. The type size for fonts measured in points (pts) must be no smaller than 12 pts. If measured in characters per inch (cpi), it must be no more than 10 cpi. Condensed type is unacceptable.
Use white paper, 8½ x 11 inches (21.5 cm x 28 cm), with margins of 3/4 of an inch (1.75 cm) (minimum) all around. Enter the title of the CECR at the top of every page and number the pages consecutively.
Graphs and illustrations may be included, but will count as part of the page limits set out below. Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable. Any extra material will be removed.
The Letter of Intent must include the following:
A letter, signed by the proposed Centre Director and the President or CEO of the organization that proposes to host the Centre, must be included. This letter should outline the nature of anticipated support from the proposed Host Organization. Host Organizations play an important role in CECR funded Centres, through both direct administrative support and by participating in Centre governance through ex-officio voting membership on the Board of Directors.
The signatures on the letter should match the signatures on Section A of the Application Form.
Section A: General Information (1 page)
Complete and sign Section A of the CECR 2010 LOI Application Form. The following information must be provided:
Section B: Preliminary Budget Allocation (1 page)
Use Section B of the CECR 2010 LOI application form to indicate the anticipated expenditures of CECR funds for the Centre. Round all estimates to the nearest thousand dollars. Provide preliminary estimates for years 1 through 5. See the CECR Program Guide for information on eligible expenditures and use of NCE funds.
Section C: Preliminary Budget Details (1 page)
For each of the line items below, give a detailed breakdown, for Years 1 to 5, of how the amounts in the preliminary budget allocation table (Section B of the CECR 2010 LOI Application Form) were calculated. Use only the space provided in Section C.
Section D: Funding (1 page)
Use Section D to indicate, for Years 1 to 5, the anticipated new incremental cash support (lines B to I) and new incremental in-kind support (lines K to R) from all of the other sources.
Section E: Incremental Contributions (Cash and In-kind) from Stakeholders (1 page per contributor)
Using one page Section E per stakeholder, provide details on new incremental cash and new incremental in-kind contributions.
Section F: Summary of the Application for Public Release (1 page)
Use Section F of the CECR 2010 LOI Application Form to provide reviewers with a brief overview of the content of the submission.
Describe a vision of what the Centre proposes to achieve, including specific goals and objectives. The vision should describe the expected end-results of the commercialization and/or research activities over and following the course of the funding period, especially with respect to the expected outcomes and impacts on the industry.
Provide an overview of the context within which the Centre is positioned. Define the problem areas, the Centre's proposed commercialization and/or research activities and the incremental economic and social benefits to Canada.
Background information about the lead applicants is required to assist in the assessment of their commercialization and/or research excellence.
Provide a list (or table) of the names and affiliations of the proposed members of the Centre's Board of Directors.
Biographies are requested for the Centre Director and at least 4 other members of the Board of Directors, including the Proposed Chair (up to 200 words each).
Centre commercialization and/or research programs must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and must integrate industry priorities. Give an overview of the Centre's proposed business plan, highlighting the following elements:
An unlimited number of letters of support may be included from stakeholder organizations. Letters of support must make explicit reference to the Centre, and should:
Sort the letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other).
The deadline for submission of the Letter of Intent is 4:30 PM EST, February 3, 2010.
The following must be mailed or couriered to this address:
Networks of Centres of Excellence
16th floor, Mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
1. A CD containing:
2. One set of printed, unbound documents with original signatures.
3. Twenty-five (25) printed copies.
The NCE Secretariat will send an email to the identified Centre Director to confirm receipt of the LOI.
If you do not receive this confirmation in the week following your submission (by February 10, 2010), please contact the NCE Secretariat at:
Telephone: (613) 995-6010
Fax: (613) 992-7356
A Letter of Intent (including Sections A, B, C, D, F of LOI Application Form but not the letters of support) must not exceed 15 pages, organized by section, as follows: