Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
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Letter of Intent (LOI) Instructions

2009 Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Competition for New Networks

 Letter of Intent - Application Form
 
 Letter of Intent Instructions

Networks of Centres of Excellence Program

Background

The Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Program invests in Canadian research and entrepreneurial talent to translate and apply knowledge to produce economic and social benefits for Canadians. The Program plays an important role in mobilizing some of Canada's best research talent found in the Canadian academic community, and in engaging Canadian and international partners of the private, public, and non-profit sectors. Together, they expand the global knowledge frontier to generate and implement multifaceted solutions to complex Canadian issues, which increases the benefit of research and research training for the benefit of society.

Goal

The goal of the NCE Program is to mobilize Canada's research talent in the academic, private, public and not-for-profit sectors and apply it to the task of developing the economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians. This goal aligns with the federal Science and Technology (S&T) Strategy: Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, which provides the guiding framework for Canada's science and technology policy.

Objectives

Networks funded under this Program will focus on broader Canadian issues, rather than be discipline-driven. It is expected that networks will address complex issues with multifaceted approaches and solutions.

The NCE Program goal is accomplished by investing in national research networks that meet the following objectives:

  • Stimulate internationally competitive leading-edge, multidisciplinary research in areas critical to Canadian economic and social development
  • Develop and retain world-class research and research translation capabilities in areas essential to Canada's productivity and economic growth
  • Create nation-wide and international partnerships that bring together the key individuals and organizations needed to generate and implement multifaceted solutions to complex Canadian challenges
  • Accelerate the exchange of research results within the Network and the use of this knowledge by organizations within Canada to produce economic and social benefits
  • Increase Canada's international visibility and reputation as leaders in the Network's area of research by attracting world-class collaborations, and developing partnerships with international organization counterparts, when applicable

Expected Results and Outcomes

 

Immediate Outcomes

  • Increased networking and collaboration among researchers from Canada and abroad
  • Leading-edge research findings that are relevant to the needs of the user sector (e.g., private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, and others) and Canada's socioeconomic development
  • Nation-wide, multidisciplinary and multisectoral research partnerships between universities and the user sector (e.g., private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, and others)
  • Training that promotes multidisciplinary and multisectoral research approaches and encourages trainees to consider the economic, social, environmental and ethical implications of their work

Intermediate/Long Term Outcomes

  • Acceleration of the exchange of research results within the Network and the use of this knowledge within Canada by organizations that can harness it for Canadian economic and social development
  • Attraction and retention of world-class researchers and highly qualified personnel (HQP) in areas essential to Canadian economic and social development
  • Creation of functional multi-regional interdisciplinary research teams
  • Development of a pool of HQP in areas essential to Canadian economic and social development
  • Increase in Canada's international visibility and reputation

2009 NCE Competition

The NCE Steering Committee invites potential applicants to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the 2009 Competition for new Networks. The LOI describes problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) that the proposed Network will address, as well as the proposed Network's vision, socioeconomic context, budget and key participants. It should also summarize how the proposed Network will address the five NCE Program Criteria, the NCE Program goals and objectives and the target research areas.

Competition Process

Applicants must first submit a LOI. Letters of Intent will be used for the initial screening of potential networks.

Based on a review of all LOIs submitted to the 2009 Competition, selected applicants will be invited to submit Full Applications in April 2009. Where appropriate, the NCE Secretariat will provide written comments regarding the LOI to applicants.

Applicants whose LOIs pass the initial screening process may request NCE funds to assist them in preparing a Full Application. Full Application Preparation (FAP) funding of up to $25,000 is tenable for four months and can be used for application-related expenses such as travel, communications and workshops, as well as for secretarial, clerical and co-ordination services.

To request FAP funding, applicants invited to submit a Full Application must submit a one-page letter outlining their required budget including a brief rationale of proposed expenses.

Target Areas and Framework

As for all new NCE Competitions, the Steering Committee has taken many factors into consideration and has established the need for target areas for new networks.

Four priority research areas were established by the S&T Strategy. Based on these, the 2008 Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) report established thirteen research sub-priority areas, which will be targeted for the 2009 NCE Competition.

In order to best align the 2009 targets with recommendations of the International Advisory Committee and the recent NCE Program Evaluation (both reports can be found on the NCE website at www.nce.gc.ca), applicants are required to meet the five NCE Program Criteria:

  • excellence of the research program
  • development of highly qualified personnel (HQP)
  • networking and partnerships
  • knowledge and technology exchange and exploitation
  • management of the network

In addition, the proposed Network must:

  • address (a) key problem(s), challenge(s) or opportunity(ies) in at least one of the STIC sub-priority areas
  • advance knowledge and/or technology in the chosen sub-priority area(s) for the benefit of Canadian society
  • be solution-driven and involve the receptor community in addressing the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) and in implementing the solutions
  • demonstrate world-class capacity to address the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies)
  • have a plan that will result in impacts within a 5 to 10-year time frame

New networks would be expected to be multidisciplinary and to involve the participation of researchers whose expertise falls under the domains of two or more of the federal granting agencies, where appropriate.

The 2009 NCE Competition is looking for a balanced portfolio of networks, and is therefore expecting to support a maximum of one new network in a given S&T priority area. New networks must address one or more of the STIC sub-priority areas.

The four S&T priority areas and the thirteen STIC sub-priority research areas, are:

Environmental science and technologies:

  • 1. water (health, energy, security)
  • 2. cleaner methods of extracting, processing and using hydrocarbon fuels, including reduced consumption of these fuels

Natural resources and energy:

  • 3. energy production in the oil sands
  • 4. Arctic (resource production, climate change adaptation, monitoring)
  • 5. biofuels, fuel cells and nuclear energy

Health and related life sciences and technologies:

  • 6. regenerative medicine
  • 7. neuroscience
  • 8. health in an aging population
  • 9. biomedical engineering and medical technologies

Information and communication technologies:

  • 10. new media, animation and games
  • 11. wireless networks and services
  • 12. broadband networks
  • 13. telecom equipment

Budget

The 2009 Competition for new Networks has a target budget of $75M over five years. It is anticipated that three to four networks may be funded and begin operations in 2009. For the purposes of planning, use the following:

2009-2010
Year 1
$15 M
2010-2011 
Year 2
$15 M
2011-2012
Year 3
$15 M
2012-2013
Year 4
$15 M
2013-2014
Year 5
$15 M
 

These networks will be eligible to receive funding for up to two five-year terms for a total of ten years.

For networks funded for two consecutive five-year terms, a third (and final) term could be available where the Network has developed and built on its partnerships to progressively transform itself into a partner-driven network. In a partner-driven network, the partners become the lead applicants. The partners define the business plan and the research agenda. The proposed business plan will be assessed on its viability and whether it has the potential to successfully translate the Network's knowledge and technologies to the user community.

Timetable
Dates Milestone
December 1, 2008 Competition Announced
January - February 2009 Information Sessions
March 2, 2009 LOI Submission Deadline
April 2009 Invitations for Full Applications
August 2009 Full Application Deadline
August - September 2009 Expert Panel Reviews
October 2009 New Networks Announced & Network Agreements Signed
November - December 2009 Funding Start

Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients must meet the general eligibility requirements of one or more of the three federal granting agencies partnering in the Program.

Recipients eligible to receive a NCE grant are:

  • Network host: Canadian universities and post-secondary institutions with a mandate for research and their affiliated institutions (including hospitals, research institutes and other not-for-profit organizations), or a private-sector consortium that hosts a network, and associated researchers
  • Networks of Centres of Excellence: a not-for-profit corporation incorporated under Part II of the Canada Corporations Act, and their Network members and associated researchers

As a condition of eligibility, networks funded through the NCE Program shall incorporate as a not-for-profit organization and have an established Board of Directors responsible for the approval of their annual financial reports and audits, before funding is released.

Where there is significant overlap or reasonable potential for perceived overlap between a proposed Network and (a) currently or previously funded initiative(s), applicants must append a short explanation (maximum three pages) to their LOI. This explanation should describe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the differences between the proposed Network and the currently or previously funded initiative(s). Describe how the proposed Network will compliment or build on the activities of the other initiative(s), as well as the incremental value of the proposed Network.

Final decisions on eligibility will be taken by the NCE Steering Committee.

Program Criteria

To ensure that the NCE Program goals and objectives are met, proposals are assessed against the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas. Networks are evaluated on an ongoing basis during tenure of a grant against these same criteria. Research excellence is a necessary condition for the initial and the continued funding of a network; however, it is not the sole condition, because the goal of the Program is also reflected in the four additional criteria.

1. Excellence of the Research Program

The Network's research program must be driven to address Canadian needs and problems, and is therefore expected to be multidisciplinary and multisectoral.

Elements being considered are:

  • The excellence, focus and coherence of the research program
  • The balance between research into new discoveries and the application of research breakthroughs to address practical problems facing Canadians
  • The achievements of the researchers in the continuum of research and their ability to contribute to the realization of the Network's objectives
  • The value added by the Network's multifaceted approach, in terms of having all the critical linkages in place to generate world-class research breakthroughs, to apply that knowledge to practical solutions, and to commercialize innovations that produce social and economic benefits
  • The extent to which the program will contribute to Canada's abilities and reputation for international leadership in areas of high economic and social importance to Canada
  • The extent to which new and emerging social and ethical challenges are an integral part of the research program
  • The relationship of the proposed research program to similar work conducted in Canada and abroad

2. Development of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP)

The training and retention of HQP is imperative to maximize the effectiveness of the Networks' contribution to the wealth, wellness and well-being of Canadians. The Training Program proposed by the Network is expected to add value to the formal training initiatives already available through the academic community and should aim at helping students find employment in the Canadian economy (i.e., private sector partners, government, etc.). The multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral nature of a network should be utilized to provide unique mentorship and training opportunities to maximize HQP retention and integration in all facets of the workforce.

Elements being considered are:

  • The ability to attract, develop and retain outstanding researchers in research areas and technologies critical to Canadian productivity, economic growth, public policy and quality of life
  • Training strategies that expose trainees to the full range of economic, social, and ethical implications of the Network's research by involving them in activities from the initial research discovery to its application through to practical social and economic benefits

3. Networking and Partnerships

The Network must demonstrate that it has brought together the key individuals and organizations needed to generate and implement multifaceted solutions to the complex Canadian challenges it is designed to address.

Elements being considered are:

  • Effective research and technology development links between national and international academic institutions, federal and provincial agencies, non-governmental organizations and private sector participants
  • Multidisciplinary, multisectoral approaches in the research program
  • Demonstration that the right partners/individuals are at the table to address the proposed issue, including international partners when applicable
  • Optimization of resources through the sharing of equipment and research facilities, databases and personnel
  • Presence, nature and extent of contributions from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, and from international partners, as well as the prospect for increasing commitments as the work progresses

4. Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation

NCEs are expected to generate social and economic benefits by ensuring the rapid flow of ideas and innovations from researchers to Canadian receptors. Applicants are expected to demonstrate that the appropriate activities will be undertaken and the appropriate resources allocated to maximize those benefits.

Elements being considered are:

  • The new products, processes or services to be commercialized by firms operating in Canada as a result of the Network's activities and the extent to which these will strengthen the Canadian economic base, enhance productivity, and contribute to long-term economic growth and social benefits
  • The social innovations to be implemented as a result of the Network and the extent to which these will contribute to more effective public policy in Canada
  • Effective collaboration with the private, public and not-for-profit sectors in technology, market development, and public policy development
  • The extent to which the Network will help the partners develop strong receptor capacity to exploit current and future research breakthroughs
  • Effective management and protection of Canadian intellectual property resulting from Network-funded research
  • The extent to which additional/ complementary knowledge, and/or technology a foreign counterpart is contributing to Canada by an international partner, when international partnerships are relevant

5. Management of the Network

Each network must have an organizational structure appropriate for the management of the research and business functions of a complex multidisciplinary, multi-institutional program. The elements that must be included are:

  • A board and committee structure to ensure that appropriate policy and financial decisions are made and implemented
  • The presence of effective leadership and expertise in the research and the business management functions
  • Effective research planning and budgeting mechanisms
  • Effective internal and external communications strategies

Review and Decision Process

To ensure that only excellent research is funded and that all applications are treated fairly, the NCE Program uses a comprehensive review process based on the peer review system, in which proposals are assessed by impartial experts in the specific fields. In addition, the NCE Secretariat ensures that representatives from the relevant sectors are also present to assess all five criteria of the NCE Program.

NCE Steering Committee

The NCE Steering Committee is comprised of the Presidents of the three federal granting agencies, the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada and as an observer, the President and CEO of Canada Foundation for Innovation. The Steering Committee will:

  • Appoint members of a Selection Committee
  • Appoint members of interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral Expert Panels
  • Decide which applicants to invite to submit Full Applications for new networks
  • Decide which applicants will receive funding for new networks
  • Establish funding levels
  • Prepare a report for publication at the end of the competition process. This report will be available on the NCE website after the new networks are announced (see Timetable, above)

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

Selection Committee

The Steering Committee will appoint a Selection Committee as part of the peer- review process. This committee will be composed of high-calibre international experts with broad expertise representing the domains of the three federal granting agencies, across all sectors. All Selection Committee recommendations are provided to the Steering Committee.

The Selection Committee will:

  • Review Letters of Intent according to the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas
  • Recommend applicants to receive invitations to submit Full Applications
  • Review Full Applications according to the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas, and consider the applicants' Expert Panel Reports
  • Make recommendations to the Steering Committee regarding which applicants should receive funding for new networks, and funding levels

Expert Panels

The NCE Secretariat will appoint interdisciplinary and multi-sectoral Expert Panels to review Full Applications. Expert Panels will:

  • Meet with applicants
  • Assess Full Applications according to the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas
  • Provide written reports of their evaluations of Full Applications
  • Comment on the appropriateness of the requested budget

The reports from the Expert Panels will be provided to the Selection Committee, the NCE Steering Committee, and ultimately to the respective applicants. During the deliberations of the Selection Committee, the Chair or a designated member of each Panel will be available to respond to questions and provide additional information.

Guidelines for Completing a Letter of Intent

The LOI provides information on the proposed Network in relation to the goals and objectives of the NCE Program. It will be used in the screening process to determine which applicants will be invited to submit Full Applications. It will be evaluated according to the five NCE Program Criteria, relevance to the NCE Program goals and objectives and relevance to the target research areas.

LOIs should be submitted on behalf of the proposed Network by an academic researcher (i.e., “the applicant”, who is also the proposed Scientific Director for the Network) who is eligible to receive funding from one of the three federal granting agencies, and by the proposed host institution.

The LOI must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Applicants must clearly indicate how the proposed Network's research program will integrate industry, receptor partners, academia and government priorities. Furthermore, it is imperative that applicants define the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) for which they will generate solutions. The potential social and economic impacts of the Network will be assessed to determine whether the human dimension has been integrated.

Applicants should define the framework and performance indicators for the implementation of the proposed Network.

Furthermore, the Selection Committee will assess whether the appropriate stakeholders are well integrated into the Network plan. Private, public and not-for-profit sector participants should be informed that their level of involvement as well as their cash and/or in-kind commitments will be critical to the success of the Network. These commitments should be clearly indicated in the Application Form. Discussions of eligible in-kind contributions can be found on granting agencies' websites (see page 15).

Should multiple LOIs be submitted in the same field of research, the Selection Committee may suggest that those applicants submit a single joint Full Application.

Deadline

The deadline for submission of the LOI for the 2009 Competition for New Networks is Monday, March 2, 2009, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The LOI must be courier stamped by this date.

Number of Copies

One unbound original plus twenty-five (25) paper copies and 25 CDs with a PDF version of the application.

Mailing Address

Networks of Centres of Excellence
16th Floor, mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H5

The NCE Secretariat will confirm receipt of the application with the applicant within 3 weeks of reception.

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 (1.905 cm) (minimum) all around. Enter the title of the Network 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.

What to Include in the LOI

1. Host Institution Covering Letter (maximum 2 pages)

A letter, signed by the proposed Scientific Director and the President or CEO (or delegate) of the institution that proposes to host the Network administrative centre (i.e., the Host Institution), must be included. This letter should outline the nature of anticipated support from the proposed Host Institution. Host Institutions play an important role in networks, through both direct support of the administrative centre and by participating in network 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 review guidelines for the meaning of signatures (see page 15).

2. NCE 2009 LOI Application Form (Excel File)

The LOI Application Form is available on the NCE web site.

Section A: Summary Information

Complete and sign Section A of the LOI Application Form for the 2009 Competition. The following information must be provided:

Scientific Director: name, personal identification number (PIN) of one of the three federal granting agencies (if available), the preferred language of correspondence and the percentage of the total salaried time committed to the Network by the Scientific Director

Network title: name and acronym of the proposed Network (in both official languages) as it will be used for publication and communication purposes

Keywords: up to ten keywords related to the proposed Network

Research areas: identify at least one STIC sub-priority research area that will be addressed by the proposed Network

Anticipated number of:

Participating researchers involved in Network activities at participating universities, research centers and post-secondary institutions with a research mandate who would be funded by the proposed Network (excluding graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research associates)

Participating Canadian universities, research centres and post-secondary institutions which have a research mandate and which are eligible to receive funding from one of the three federal granting agencies

Private sector partners: companies, industries and private institutions collaborating with the Network through signed agreements

Receptor community partners: hospitals, not-for-profit associations, provincial, federal or municipal government institutions collaborating with the Network through signed agreements

Five Primary Contributing Stakeholders: provide the names of up to five key contributing non-academic stakeholders and the signatories of their letters of support. Also indicate the stakeholders' in-kind and/or cash support committed to the proposed Network.

Signatures: of the Scientific Director and President or CEO (or delegate) of the proposed Host Institution. Also include the mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address for the proposed Scientific Director.

Please review guidelines for the meaning of signatures (see page 15).

Section B: Anticipated Expenditures

Use Section B of the LOI Application Form to indicate the anticipated expenditures of both NCE and non-NCE sources of funds (if applicable) for the proposed Network (years one to five). Round all values to the nearest $0.1M.

Please note: eligible expenses are the direct costs of research and facility access, stipends for research trainees, the direct costs of research dissemination and science promotion, and other specific expenses associated with the management of a Network of Centres of Excellence.

In general, the regulations of the granting agency into whose domain the Network's research falls will apply to that Network. In addition, networks must adhere to the regulations and administrative policies found in the Tri-agency Use of Grant Funds document and the NCE Program Guide (see page 15). Please note that the NCE Program Guide is being finalized for the 2009 Competition and will be available on the NCE website shortly.

Section C: Anticipated Funding

Use Section C of the LOI Application Form to indicate the cash and in-kind funding available from the non-NCE primary contributing stakeholders listed in Section A, if applicable (years one to five).

Note: at the LOI stage of the competition, it is not required to provide details of all anticipated sources of funding.

Section D: Explanation of Expenditures and/or Funding

Use Section D of the LOI Application Form to provide any required explanation or narrative of the anticipated expenses and/or funding. Use only the space provided.

3. Socioeconomic Context (Maximum 1 page)

Provide a summary describing the context within which the Network would be positioned to generate multifaceted solutions to complex Canadian problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies).

Define the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies), and the incremental economic and social benefits to Canada that the Network will provide through its multifaceted program, partnerships and knowledge mobilization activities.

Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed Network is focussed on addressing complex challenges facing Canadians from a multidisciplinary perspective. Furthermore, applicants should demonstrate how knowledge generated by the Network will be applied to practical solutions, leading to innovations that produce social and economic benefits for Canadians.

4. Network Vision (Maximum ½ page)

Describe a vision of what the Network proposes to achieve, including specific goals and objectives. The vision should describe the expected end-results and impacts within a five to ten year time frame, especially with respect to the expected outcomes and impacts on partners and on the user sector for the benefit of Canada and Canadians.

5. Excellence of the Research Program

Biographies (Maximum 2 pages)

Provide a list (or table) of the names and affiliations of the individuals who have agreed to participate in Network activities.

Also include brief biographies for each individual (maximum 200 words) to summarize relevant accomplishments.

Research Program Plan (Maximum 2 pages)

Network research programs must be developed in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, and must integrate industry, receptor partners, academia, and government priorities. New networks would be expected to be multidisciplinary and to involve the participation of researchers whose expertise falls under the domains of two or more of the federal granting agencies, where appropriate.

Applicants should develop research approaches that ensure the effective application of research to solve important problems for Canada by having an appropriate balance within the research continuum and promoting interdisciplinary collaboration to generate solutions.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the proposed Network possesses world-class capacity to address the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) being addressed by the research program.

Give an overview of the Network's proposed research program, including:

  • A brief review of the current state of knowledge in the field
  • A definition of the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) that the Network will address
  • The scope, focus and general objectives of the Network and how the proposed research program will attain those objectives
  • The integration of research projects and themes into a coherent research program that generates solutions that will be implemented to produce social and economic benefits for Canadians
  • The relationship of the research program to similar work conducted elsewhere in Canada and abroad
  • The extent to which the program will contribute to Canada's abilities and reputation for international leadership in the areas being addressed by the Network
  • The anticipated incremental value of the Network relative to other efforts in the area (e.g., provincial Centres of Excellence, CIHR Institutes, other research consortia or initiatives)
  • A discussion of the collaborations necessary to attain the objectives of the Network

6. Development of Highly Qualified
Personnel (Maximum 1 page)

Outline the Network's strategy to capitalize on the Networks' structure to develop highly qualified personnel (HQP). Also outline the Network's strategy to expose HQP to the full range of economic, social and ethical implications of the Network's research by involving them in activities from the initial research discovery to its practical application. Moreover, demonstrate how the Network will add value to training opportunities already available with innovative mentorship programs and initiatives already available through the academic community. Discuss how the Network will enhance HQP capacity in relation to the needs of the receptors.

7. Networking and Partnerships
(Maximum 1 page)

Networking is intended to integrate research teams and programs and to promote effective interactions and partnerships with the user-sector outside the academic community. These networking and partnership activities should demonstrably assist the Network in addressing the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) for which they are generating solutions.

  • Identify the key proposed partners in the Network and explain the critical capacity that each contributes to ensuring that the Network achieves its objectives
  • Discuss existing linkages and the Network's proposed strategy to build new linkages among industry, receptor partners, academia and governments across Canada and abroad
  • Indicate the anticipated level of support from sources other than NCE funding and describe the Network's strategy for achieving the projected levels of contribution
  • Discuss the nature and anticipated extent of involvement of the private and user sector in the research

8. Letters of Support from Primary Non-academic Contributing Stakeholders (up to five letters, maximum 2 pages per letter)

Letters of Support from the primary non-academic contributing stakeholders listed in the LOI Application Form must be included (if applicable). Up to five letters may be included. Letters should:

  • Come from a senior executive with influence over a research budget
  • Indicate the level, duration, and nature (cash and/or in-kind) of anticipated support for the proposed Network
  • Describe potential involvement and added-value of the proposed Network to the stakeholder's current and future activities
  • Indicate current and past associations with individuals participating in the proposed Network's activities
  • Not be template formatted by the applicant
  • Be dated and signed no earlier then 6 months prior to the LOI submission deadline.

9. Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation (Maximum 1 page)

NCEs are expected to generate social and economic benefits by ensuring the rapid flow of ideas and innovations from researchers to receptors. Applicants are expected to demonstrate that the appropriate activities will be undertaken and the appropriate resources allocated to maximize those benefits.

  • Discuss the new products, processes or services to be transferred or commercialized by firms operating in Canada as a result of Network activities and the extent to which these will strengthen the Canadian economic base, enhance productivity, and contribute to long-term economic growth and social benefits
  • Discuss how the Network will create an environment that encourages collaboration between the user-sectors; provide concrete examples such as the application of research to technology, market development, health systems or public policy innovations
  • Discuss the anticipated impact of addressing the problem(s), challenge(s), or opportunity(ies) identified by the Network, over a five-year period, on Canada's productivity, environment, health and social systems and/or public policy

10. Management (Maximum 1 page for text and 1 page for organizational chart)

Give an overview of the proposed Network's management, taking into consideration the following points:

  • A strong management with clearly defined responsibilities for shaping the strategic plan and direction of the Network is essential
  • Networks must also establish a Board of Directors responsible for the approval of the annual financial reports and audits that are required for all incorporated entities
  • Describe the proposed management structure of the Network
  • Discuss the nature and anticipated extent of involvement of the industrial and user-sector in research planning, direction and management of the Network
  • Outline the administrative and operational structures of the proposed Network, with regards to co-ordination of activities, setting schedules, monitoring the Network's progress towards its strategic goals, and allocation of resources

Reminders

The deadline for the submission of the LOI is Monday, March 2, 2009, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and must be courier stamped on that date, at the latest. Send the unbound original plus twenty-five (25) paper copies and 25 CDs with a PDF version of the application to the NCE Secretariat:

Networks of Centres of Excellence
16th floor, mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa , ON K1A 1H5

The NCE Secretariat will confirm receipt of the application with applicants within three weeks of receipt.

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

The LOI Guide - 2009 Competition for New Networks, the NCE LOI Application Form for the 2009 Competition, and details about the NCE Secretariat can be obtained at www.nce-rce.gc.ca.

For more information, please contact the NCE Program at:

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

On-line Resources

Information Regarding the Meaning of Signatures

Information Regarding In-kind Eligibility

Tri-Agency Use of Grant Funds

Checklist

Each LOI must not exceed 26.5 pages including the Application Form, and each section must be submitted in the following order. An additional three-page optional Appendix may be included, if there is significant overlap with a current or previously funded initiative (see discussion on Eligible Recipients, page 5). The maximum number of pages permitted for each section is indicated below.

  • Host Institution Covering Letter (2 pages)
  • NCE 2009 LOI Application Form – Summary Information (Section A) (1 page)
  • NCE 2009 LOI Application Form – Anticipated Expenditures (Section B) (1 page)
  • NCE 2009 LOI Application Form – Anticipated Funding (Section C) (1 page)
  • NCE 2009 LOI Application Form – Explanation of Expenditures and/or Funding (Section D) (1 page)
  • Socioeconomic Context (1 page)
  • Network Vision (1/2 page)
  • Excellence of the Research Program (Biographies-2 pages,Research Program Plan- 2 pages)
  • Development of Highly Qualified Personnel (1 page)
  • Networking and Partnerships (1 page)
  • Letters of Support from Non-academic Stakeholders (2 pages per letter, max. 5 letters)
  • Knowledge and Technology Exchange and Exploitation (1 page)
  • Management (2 pages: 1 page text, 1 page organizational chart)
  • Explanation of Eligibility (if applicable - see Eligible Recipients on page 5) (3 pages)