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Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions

2007-08 Competition - Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR)


Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, the Government of Canada's S&T Strategy, sets out a multi-year policy framework to improve Canada's long-term competitiveness and quality of life by fostering three inter-related S&T-based advantages. The Strategy encourages an Entrepreneurial Advantage to strengthen private-sector commitment to R&D and innovation vital to productivity and competitiveness, a Knowledge Advantage to ensure Canadian universities and colleges sustain their world-class research excellence, and a People Advantage so that Canada has access to the highly-skilled researchers and innovators it needs.

Announced in Budget 2007, the new CECR Program's goal is to create internationally recognized centres of commercialization and research expertise in four priority areas in order to deliver economic, health, social and environmental benefits to Canadians and encourage an Entrepreneurial Advantage. As established in the S&T Strategy, the priority areas are:

  • Environmental science and technologies;
  • Natural resources and energy;
  • Health and related life sciences and technologies; and
  • Information and communications technologies.

The CECR Program is overseen by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee, made up of the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada, the presidents of the three granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—and the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer). Day-to-day administration of the CECR Program is provided by the NCE Secretariat.

CECR funding will be awarded following a national competitive process in two stages:

  1. Centres applying for CECR funding are invited to submit Letters of Intent by August 20, 2007.
    Based on a review of the Letters of Intent, selected applicants will be invited to Stage 2.

  2. Centres advanced to Stage 2 will develop and submit full project proposals by October 31, 2007.

A Private Sector Advisory Board will assess the economic and commercial benefits and opportunities of each Centre proposal and provide advice and funding recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee. The Board will be informed by international peer review.

A total of 165M is available for the 2008 Competition. Successful applicants will normally receive $15 million over five years. However, larger awards will be considered where the project holds the potential for significant benefits.

Organizations eligible to receive CECR funds are not-for-profit corporations created by universities, colleges, not-for-profit research organizations, firms, and other interested non-government parties.

To be eligible, organizations must have an established Board of Directors that is responsible for approving its annual financial reports and audits.

Centres interested in applying should consult:


Should you have any questions or inquiries regarding the CECR competition, please contact: info@nce-rce.gc.ca