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Full Application Instructions

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) - 2010

 Full Application Form (Excel - 360 KB)
 
 Full Application Instructions

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 Centre proposal and provide advice and funding recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee.  The PSAB will be informed 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.

Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research

Program Objectives

This third competition is seeking to fund centres with an emphasis on commercialization, including both goods and services. In addition, this competition is seeking to fund the top proposals in as many of the four S&T priority areas as possible.  Only proposals that meet the threshold of excellence shall be funded.

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:

  • Environmental Science and Technologies;
  • Natural Resources and Energy;
  • Health and related Life Sciences and Technologies;
  • Information and Communications Technologies;

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

Environment
  • Water
    • Health
    • Energy
    • Security
  • Cleaner methods of extracting, processing and utilizing hydrocarbon fuels, including reduced consumption of these fuels
 
Natural Resources and Energy
  • Energy production in the oil sands
  • Arctic
    • Resource production
    • Climate change adaptation
    • Monitoring
  • Biofuels, fuel cells and nuclear energy
 
Health and Life Sciences
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Neuroscience
  • Health in an aging population
  • Biomedical engineering and medical technologies
 
Information and Communications Technologies
  • New media, animation and games
  • Wireless networks and services
  • Broadband networks
  • Telecom equipment
 

Expected Results

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:

  • attract and retain top talent (including internationally recognized researchers, business leaders, post-graduate and post-doctoral students);
  • open up new opportunities for Canadian firms and researchers to access world-class equipment, facilities and research capacity;
  • create, grow and retain companies in Canada that are able to capture new markets with breakthrough innovations;
  • accelerate the commercialization of leading edge technologies, goods, services in priority areas where Canada can significantly advance its competitive advantage;
  • attract investment (including foreign direct investment and venture capital).

Class of recipients

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 their annual financial reports and audits.

Competition Budget and Size of Grants

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:

  • The CECR program may provide up to 50% of total eligible commercialization costs, and up to 75% of the other total eligible costs (as described below).
  • Total federal government assistance for eligible expenses of the Centre shall not exceed 75%. The balance in funding must come from non-federal sources.

Eligible expenses

The program will provide support for the following eligible expenditures:

  • Operating Costs: maintenance and operation of the facility; materials and supplies; liability insurance for members of the board of Directors and Centre administrators; legal fees and other related incorporation costs.
  • Salary Costs: salaries for technical and professional staff employed to provide support to users or to maintain and operate the facility.
  • Knowledge Dissemination / Sharing Costs: hosting professional and scientific conferences and lectures (excluding travel and accommodation); dissemination and exchange of research results with others including academia, governments, the not-for-profit sector and private sector; activities aimed at promoting science awareness such as workshops and lectures open to the public; attending professional and scientific conferences and lectures.
  • Commercialization Costs: specialized equipment and directly related operating costs (where the applicant is ineligible for support under the Canada Foundation for Innovation); pre-commercialization support services (e.g. intellectual property protection, market studies, business plan development, counselling and mentoring, technology evaluation).

Where a project involves capital equipment expenditures that are vital to the success of a commercialization project, the cost of that equipment will be considered an eligible expense, provided: 1) the eligible recipient is not eligible for other federal programming that supports capital expenditures such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and 2) the equipment cost for which coverage is requested does not exceed $1 million and at most 20% of the total eligible commercialization expenses.

Competition Process

Based on a review of the Letters of Intent, selected applicants have been invited to submit Full Applications for a deadline of Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 4:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).   

Timetable: 2010 Competition for CECRs
Dates Milestone
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

Program Criteria

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.

I - Benefits to Canada  

  • The extent to which the Centre’s commercialization and/or research program addresses issues of high priority for Canada;
  • The potential for the Centre’s commercialization and/or research activities to yield significant economic, social, health or environmental benefits to Canadians;
  • The likelihood that the Centre will create sufficient scale and focus to brand Canada as the host of an internationally recognized Centre of excellence in the area;
  • The likelihood that the Centre will strengthen domestic collaboration and ensure that benefits spill over to a wide array of firms, sectors and regions of the country;
  • The opportunity to optimize resources,  drawing on existing national and international  commercialization and/or research strength, world-class infrastructure, networks and funding sources to enhance Canadian capacity.

Additional elements to consider when Commercialization is involved:

  • The opportunity to create, grow and retain companies in Canada that are able to capture new markets with breakthrough innovations;
  • Evidence that the Centre will help accelerate the commercialization of leading edge technologies, goods, services in priority areas where Canada can significantly advance its competitive advantage.

II - Track Record and Potential of the Applicants

  • The achievements of the applicants and their ability to contribute to the Centre’s commercialization and/or research program;
  • The proven ability of the applicants to train and retain innovative and internationally competitive researchers in areas and technologies critical to Canadian productivity, economic growth, public policy and quality of life;
  • The likelihood that the Centre will attract top talent from around the world (post-graduate and post-doctoral students and internationally recognized business leaders, in the case of Centres with a commercialization mandate);
  • The ability of the applicants to attract investment (including, in the case of Centres with a commercialization mandate, foreign direct investment and venture capital).

III - Strength of the Business Plan:

  • Excellence, focus and coherence of the commercialization and/or research program;
  • The extent to which the partnerships involve various levels of government and the private sector to complement the funding available through the granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation;
  • The effectiveness of the plan to manage, protect and exploit intellectual property resulting from Centre-funded research;
  • The likelihood for this investment to result in the creation of a sustainable, productive Centre of excellence;
  • The quality of the proposed organizational structure with appropriate representation on the Board of Directors and management team;
  • Evidence that the applicants have in place an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership and sound financial decision-making.

Review and Decision Process

Stage II: Full Proposals

Centres advancing to Stage II will develop full project proposals, including complete information on the Centre and its intended operations, funding requirements, the partnerships among supporters, their duties and respective contributions, and the expected research and commercialization outcomes and benefits of the project.  All partnership arrangements, contributions and allocations of benefits (such as intellectual property) among parties must be fully described for a proposal to be considered complete.

A full CECR proposal consists of the following:

  1. A business plan addressing the CECR selection criteria (includes a proposed budget);
  2. Biographies for the leaders of the Centre;
  3. Contribution confirmation letters and summary of contributions the applicants secured from stakeholders.

Proposals will undergo review by Expert Panels established by the NCE Secretariat, comprised of domestic and international experts, who will evaluate the project proposals, meet with applicants, and produce in-depth written assessments of the proposals. The Private Sector Advisory Board will review each Expert Panel report, the comments from the parties consulted, and then recommend to the NCE Steering Committee priority Centres for approval.  Centres failing to be endorsed by Expert Panels as having the potential to achieve excellence in commercialization will not be eligible for program funding.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the projects, funding for a given Centre may come from more than one Granting Agency, and so the NCE Secretariat will be the primary point of interaction for all project applicants throughout the life of their projects. Funding disbursements will be managed by the NCE Secretariat and disbursed to the recipient(s) against a funding agreement under the legal authority(ies) of the relevant granting agency(ies) (NSERC, and/or SSHRC and/or CIHR).

Decisions reached by the NCE Steering Committee are final.  There is no appeal process.

The names and affiliations of the members of the Private Sector Advisory Board will be included in its final report. This report will be available at This link will take you to another Web site www.nce-rce.gc.ca after the new Centres are announced (see Timetable, above).

Guidelines for Completing a Full Application

General Presentation

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.

Include a Table of Contents (not to be counted in the maximum number of pages allotted).  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.

1. Host Organization covering letter (maximum 2 pages)

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.  Please clearly indicate the Centre Director’s last name on the first page of the Host Organization Letter.

2. Centre Vision (maximum 1 page)

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 research activities after five years, especially with respect to the expected outcomes and impacts on partners and the user sector.

3. Summary of Proposal for Public Release (maximum 1 page)

Provide a one-page summary describing the centre, its proposed commercialization and/or research program, and expected impact on the Canadian economy and quality of life. Write for a general audience using plain language, as the summary may be used for communication purposes, such as press releases or the NCE website.

4. Full Application Form

Complete the CECR 2010  Full Application Form (Excel - 360 KB) available on the NCE website at : www.nce-rce.gc.ca/Competitions-Competitions/Current-EnVigueur/CECR-2010/Index_eng.asp.

Section A: General Information (1 page)

Complete and sign Section A of the CECR 2010 Full Application Form. The following information must be provided:

  • Centre Director: name, mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and, e-mail address for the proposed Centre Director. The proposal must identify a single Centre Director;
  • Title: name and acronym of the Centre (in both official languages) as it will be used for publication and communication purposes;
  • Keywords: up to 10 key words related to the Centre;
  • Anticipated number of researchers: anticipated number of researchers involved in the Centre (excluding graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates);
  • List of Letters of Support from the unrestricted number of letters of support to be submitted with the application, provide the name and organizational affiliations of signatories of five key stakeholder letters of support. Sort letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other);
  • Budget Grand Total, CECR funds: the grand total from Section B;
  • Signatures: The Centre Director and the President or CEO of the proposed Host Organization.

Section B: Budget Allocation (maximum of one page for each of the line items)

Use Section B of the CECR 2010 Full Application Form to indicate the anticipated expenditures of CECR funds for the Centre. Round all estimates to the nearest thousand dollars. Provide estimates for years 1 through 5. See the CECR Program Guide for information on eligible expenditures and use of NCE funds.

For each of the line items below, give a detailed breakdown, for Years 1 to 5, of how the amounts in the budget allocation table (Section B of the CECR 2010 Full Application Form) were calculated.  Use a maximum of one page for each of the line items.

Operating Costs:

  1. Core Facilities
    If core facilities are to be funded through the proposed CECR, provide details on the operating costs of each facility on a separate page (one page per facility). Detail the salary and maintenance costs to be paid by the centre.
  2. Materials and Supplies
    Provide details for any extraordinary requirements.
  3. Equipment
    List equipment to be purchased/rented and the cost. Provide details on operating and maintenance costs for each piece of equipment costing more than $150,000 and specify how these costs will be covered.

Administrative Costs:

  1. Salaries
    Provide details for each position for which CECR funding is requested. Salary support can be requested for technical and professional staff employed to provide support to users or to maintain and operate the facility.
  2. Others
    Provide details for each category related to the costs of managing the centre. These include costs related to incorporation, hosting meetings of the Board of Directors and other Committees.

Knowledge dissemination costs:

List anticipated conferences hosted or attended by centre personnel for which CECR funds are requested, for each year. Do not include costs related to meetings of Centre Management and Board of Directors which should be entered under line 2b.

  1. Hosting conferences, lectures, and workshops
  2. Attending conferences, lectures, and workshops
  3. Others

Commercialization costs:

List details of the anticipated commercialization costs for which funds are requested for each year.

  1. Capital expenditures
    The cost of that equipment will be considered an eligible expense, provided: 1) the eligible recipient is not eligible for other federal programming that supports capital expenditures such as the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and 2) the equipment cost for which coverage is requested does not exceed $1 million and at most 20% of the total eligible commercialization expenses.
  2. Market studies, business development
  3. Intellectual property protection
  4. Others

Section C: Summary Anticipated Funding (1 page)

Use Section C of the CECR 2010 Full Application Form 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 D: Incremental Contributions (Cash and In-kind) from Stakeholders (1 page per contributor)

Using one page of Section D of the CECR
2010 Full Application Form per stakeholder, provide details on new incremental cash and new incremental in-kind contributions. A letter from each stakeholder confirming each incremental contribution must be provided (see item 8, below).

Section E: CECR Application Summary Data Sheet (1 page)

Use Section E of the CECR
2010 Full Application Form to provide reviewers with a brief overview of the content of the submission.

5. Articulation of the Centre’s Benefits to Canada (Maximum 7 pages)

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.

6. Business Plan (Maximum 13 pages)

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:

  • The excellence, focus and coherence of the Centre’s commercialization and/or research program;
  • The extent to which the partnerships

developed for the center involve various levels of government and the private sector to complement the funding available through the granting agencies and the Canada Foundation for Innovation;

  • The effectiveness of the plan to manage, protect and exploit intellectual property resulting from Centre-funded research;
  • The likelihood for this investment to result in the creation of a sustainable, productive Centre of excellence;
  • The quality of the proposed organizational structure with appropriate representation on the Board of Directors and management team;
  • Evidence that the applicants have in place an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership and sound financial decision-making.

7. List of letters from stakeholders (per sector)

Provide a list of Contribution Confirmation letters, sorted by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other). 

For each entry, provide the following: 

  • Name and title of Senior Executive signing the letter;
  • Organization and department;
  • Province;
  • Amount of cash contribution;
  • Amount of in-kind contribution;
  • Amount of total cash & in-kind contribution.

8. Contribution Confirmation Letters (Maximum 2 pages per letter)

Provide letters confirming the contributions entered in Section D. For each stakeholder organization, the letter must make explicit reference to the proposed Centre, and should:

  • come from a senior executive;
  • make commitments especially in terms of financial and/or in-kind support;
  • indicate how the proposed Centre would help their organization; and
  • indicate current and past associations with the applicant.

The letters should not follow a template/form format.

The signatures of authorized officers of supporting organizations certify that the organization:

  • agrees with the content of the application and will provide the committed resources; and
  • agrees to publication of the organization's name as a supporter of the Centre.

If the Centre Director is also a principal of a collaborating or supporting organization, another senior official must sign on behalf of the organization.

Sort the letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other).

Note: Only letters providing support in the form of in-kind or cash contributions should be included (all other letters will be removed from the full application package). 

9. Alphabetical List of Key Individuals

To assist the reviewers in their evaluation, provide:

  • An alphabetical list of key individuals involved in the centre (i.e., Centre Director, proposed members of the Management Committee and Board of Directors, interim Chair of the Board).
  • For each individual, the alphabetical list must provide the following:
    • Name;
    • Organization, Department and Position;
    • Province;
    • Percentage of salaried time to be devoted to the centre, if any;
    • Role in the centre: Centre Director (CD), Proposed member of the Management Committee (MC), Board of Directors (BOD), interim Chair of the Board (CBOD).
    • An asterisk if a Biography is provided.

10. Short biographies of Lead Applicants and members of the Board of Directors (Maximum 1 page per biography)

Biographies (up to 20) should be provided for the Lead Applicants (including the proposed Centre Director) and for members of the Board of Directors. Each biography not to exceed one page in length.

Submission Procedures:

The deadline for submission of the Full Application is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on July 13, 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
K1A 1H5

  1. A CD containing:
    1. The Full Application Form in Excel Format which gives a summary report of the proposal and details of the requested CECR Budget (Sections A to E).
    2. The complete Application as a single PDF File containing all the material, including application form, budget and scanned letters of support in order.
  2. One set of printed, unbound documents with original signatures.
  3. Forty (40) printed copies.

Tables, graphs and figures may be included within the page limits noted above. Any extra material will be removed.

The CECR  Full Application Instructions for the 2010 Competition, the CECR  Full Application Form (Excel - 360 KB), and details about the CECR Program can be obtained at www.nce-rce.gc.ca/Competitions-Competitions/PreviousCompetitions-ConcoursAnterieurs/CECR-2010/Index_eng.asp.

The NCE Secretariat will send an email to the identified Centre Director to confirm receipt of the Full Application. If you do not receive this confirmation in the week following your submission (by July 20, 2010), please contact the NCE Secretariat at:

Telephone: (613) 995-6010
Fax: (613) 992-7356
E-mail: cecr@nce-rce.gc.ca

Checklist

A Full Application should be prepared as follows.  It must be fully paginated, with tabs for each section/item. Use the 2010 CECR Competition Full Application form available on the NCE website.

Number of Pages Items
as needed Table of Contents
2 max. 1. Covering letter from Host Institution
1 2. Centre Vision
1 3. Summary of the proposal for public release
  4. CECR 2010 Full Application Form
1
  • Section A – General Information
1
  • Section B – Budget Allocation (table)
1 per line item
  • Section B – Budget Allocation (description of each line item)
1
  • Section C – Summary Anticipated Funding
1 per contributor
  • Section D – Incremental Contributions from Stakeholders
1
  • Section E – CECR Application Summary Data Sheet
7 max. 5. Articulation of the Centre’s Benefits to Canada
13 max. 6. Business Plan
as needed 7. List of letters from stakeholders
2 max. per letter 8. Contribution confirmation letters
as needed 9. Alphabetical list of key individuals
1 per biography 10. Short biographies of Lead Applicants and members of the Board of Directors