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Competition FAQ

2014 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition (additional funding for centres funded in 2009)



Who is eligible to apply to this competition?

The 2014 CECR competition is open only to the second cohort of centres that was funded in 2009.


What is the selection process for Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research applications?

Applications to the CECR program are subject a standard rigorous selection process. The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) will review all applications.  Submissions for centres requesting additional funding will undergo review by international Expert Panels established by the NCE Secretariat. The PSAB will recommend which centres will receive additional funding to the NCE Steering Committee for approval and final decision. 


Who sits on the Expert Panel?

Expert Panels are typically composed of six to eight members (including a Chair), who are internationally recognized experts with a specific expertise in business, knowledge and technology transfer, applied science, commercialization, public policy, and/or management.


Who sits on the NCE Private Sector Advisory Board?

The NCE Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) is composed of a panel of trusted and seasoned Canadian industry leaders who serve as strategic advisors. PSAB evaluates proposals based on their ability to create a strategic, long-term economic advantage for Canada.


Who sits on the NCE Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee oversees the operation of the NCE program. It is composed of the Deputy Minister of Industry, the Deputy Minister of Health, the Presidents of the three Granting Agencies [Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)] and the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer).


What are the selection criteria?

Applications competing for additional funding will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Benefits to Canada
  • Track record and potential of the applicants
  • Business plan

In this second phase of funding, Centres will also have to demonstrate how the additional funding will enable the centre to achieve longterm sustainability. Each centre will be assessed on the viability of the centre’s plan to become self-sufficient by the end of CECR funding.


Is this a renewal competition?

No, the 2014 CECR Competition is not a renewal competition.  It is an opportunity for Centres funded 2009 to apply for a 2nd cyle of funding to achieve self-sustainability. 


What are the competition time and funding parameters?

The CECR Program does not specify an expected time frame for which centres can apply given that the timeframe to achieve self-sustainability will vary by sector. In terms fo funding parameters, the Centres can request additional funds no greater than the value of the original grant.  The focus of the Expert Panel review will be on the credibility of the required budget as well as the appropriateness of the proposed timeframe to achieve sustainability.


How competitive is the review process?

The CECR Competition are very competitive. The CECR Competition is expected to generate a success rate of approximately 50%, based on past competitions.


What is meant by sustainability?

Sustainability means that the Centre will become financially sustainable and able to continue, beyond the term of the CECR funding, a reasonable proportion of the centre’s activities by its own revenue streams, by stakeholder investments, by confirmed contributions from other sources and/or membership fees.


Can the decision be appealed?

The decision of the Steering Committee is final and cannot be appealed.


Why is this competition not open to applications for new centres?

The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) recommended that centres that can provide evidence of impact be permitted to apply for an extension in time, or additional funding to achieve sustainability. The focus for the 2013 and 2014 competitions is to build on existing CECR achievements and to maximize the impact of the CECR investment.

The CECR Program is an ongoing program. It is expected that competitions for new Centres will take place in the future to continue to deliver on the CECR mandate to generate value for Canada by matching clusters of research expertise with the business community, by sharing knowledge, expertise and resources, and by bringing new innovations to market faster.


Will there be similar competitions for centres funded in the third cohort?

It is expected that the first three cohorts of centres will have the same opportunity to apply for an extension in time to maximize their impact.  In addition, centres that can demonstrate impact, and a viable plan for sustainability may be provided an opportunity to apply for additional funding to achieve self-sustainability


Can existing Centres apply for an extension in time?

Instead of applying for additional funding, centres that are eligible to apply to this competition may choose to request an extension in the time they have to use their existing funds, if their original grant has not been wound down.


Will Centres funded as part of cohort I and II be able to apply for funding in future rounds of competition?

Future competitions for additional funding will be targeted to specific cohorts.  As a permanent program, CECR competitions for new centres are expected. There is no restriction on past grantees’ eligibility to apply.  Members of the Private Sector Advisory Board which adjudicated past competitions will also be assessing applications for new competitions.