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Competition FAQ

2013 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition

 Competition FAQ

Who is eligible to apply to this competition?

The 2013 CECR competition is open only to the first cohort of centres that was funded in 2008.


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 proposals, whether they are requests for extension of the funding period, or for additional funding.  Submissions for centres requesting additional funding will undergo review by Expert Panels established by the NCE Secretariat. The PSAB will recommend which centres are to receive an extension of their funding period and those that 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, 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 16 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, the CECR Program does not specify an expected time frame for which centres can apply.  The expert panel will assess the viability and the appropriateness of the time and funding requested to achieve sustainability. Each centre requesting additional funding will be assessed on the viability of the centre’s plan to become self-sufficient by the end of CECR funding. Extensions in time to the funding period will be granted to centres that can demonstrate their ability to generate significant impacts with more time to draw down their existing grants.


How competitive is the review process?

The process is very competitive. The budget will allow for a success rate of no greater than 50% in acquiring new funding. 


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?

In depth review of the progress made by existing CECRs  has resulted in the NCE Steering Committee accepting the recommendation from the Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) 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 competition 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 second and 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


What other options are open to currently funded centres?

Instead of applying for additional funding, centres that are eligible to apply to this competition may choose to apply for an extension in the time they have to use their existing funds.


Will Centres funded in 2007 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. However, the targets and the emphasis of those competitions are not known.