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Letter of Intent Guide

2014 Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence (BL-NCE) program competition

 Letter of Intent (LOI) Form

Please Use this Guide in conjunction with the BL-NCE Competition Guide

This Letter of Intent Guide describes how to complete the Letter of Intent stage of the 2014 BL-NCE Competition.


Applications to the 2014 BL-NCE New Competition require the first submission of a Notification of Intent, followed by a Letter of Intent and a Full Application. Each submission will solicit a greater level of detail of the proposed network and will be evaluated against the selection criteria of the program. Application requirements specific to the LOI stage are described in this guide. Only applicants successful at the LOI stage will be invited to submit a FA.

The NCE Steering Committee selects successful LOI applicants on the recommendation of the Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB).

Review Criteria

To ensure that the goal and objectives of the BL-NCE Program are met, all applications (NOI, LOI, FA) are assessed against the three BL-NCE Program criteria: A) Benefit to Canada, B) Track Record and Potential of the Applicants, and C) Business Plan (Note: the NOI is exclusively reviewed by the NCE Secretariat for eligibility and fit to the program). All three criteria are weighted equally. Successful applicants will demonstrate excellence in all three criteria and will be measured against these same criteria on a yearly basis during the tenure of the grant.

Guidelines for Completing a Letter of Intent

The LOI is composed of two sections of an application: 1) the Form Fillable Application Form, and 2) the Free Form.

The LOI should represent the ideas of the collaborating organizations. As a whole, the LOI must clearly demonstrate the business-driven nature of the proposed network, as well as strong, active leadership from the private sector.

Should multiple LOI submissions address the same strategic area(s), the PSAB and/or the NCE Steering Committee may suggest that applicants collaborate on a single joint FA submission. 

Application Form (form-fillable PDF)

The LOI Application Form is available on the NCE Web site at  Letter of Intent (LOI) Form.

All sections must be completed:

Section 1: Summary Information

  • Title: Name and acronym of the proposed network, in English and/or French.
  • Network Leader (Lead Application) Contact Information: Salutation, name, preferred language of correspondence, mailing address, telephone and fax number, and email address.
  • Identification of the Not-for-Profit Corporation: Title of the not-for-profit corporation incorporated under the Canada Not for Profit Corporations Act representing the  private sector consortia. If the corporation is not yet incorporated at the time of the LOI, then provide the anticipated title.
  • Keywords: List of 10 keywords that best describe the proposed network.
  • Estimated Budget Request & Leveraging: Indicate the estimated BL-NCE funds requested and the estimated total cash and in-kind contributions from private sector participants.
  • Anticipated number and type of stakeholders: Indicate the anticipated number and type (large companies, SMEs, not for profit, academic and /or government) of stakeholders that will be participating in network activities.
  • Request for Full Applciation Preparation (FAP) Funding: This funding is available to applicants invited to submit a full application and enables the applicant to further collaborate with participants.  Identify the amount request in the FAP requested box and provide a breakdown of the uses for the amount requested in the FAP justification box.
  • Signatures: TheNetwork Leader and the Chair of the Board of Directors’ of the consortium must sign the application. If the consortium is not yet incorporated, then the President or CEO of one of the major contributing private sector companies must sign the application along with the Network Leader.

Section 2: Summary for Public Release (1,500 characters max)

Provide an overview of the proposed network.

Section 3: Letters from the private sector participants involved in the application

List the companies presently involved in the BL-Network application.  In the table provided include the name of the company and the name and title of the signatory. 

Attach a letter (2 pages max) from each listed company that gives a brief overview of the company participating in the development of the BL-Network application.  The letters should be written on the letterhead of the company, provide a brief overview of the organization, and include an explanation of the benefits that a BL-Network in the proposed area will bring to their organization. 

Attach the letters in the same order as listed in the table.

Section 4: Vision (1,500 characters max)

Outline the vision of the BL-Network.

Section 5: Description of Challenges (3,000 characters max)

Provide a description of the current state of the sector and outline the major challenges that the sector will be facing in the next 5-10 years. 

Free Form (15 pages max)

Answer the questions below in 15 pages or less. All additional pages, text or material will be removed from the submission.

  1. What was the driver for creation of this application to the BL-NCE program? How do the identified challenges affect the performance of the sector?
  2. Define the scope and scale of the challenges the Network will address. How does the creation of the Network enable these challenges to be addressed?
  3. Name and describe the private and public sector participants who are involved in application.  How and why was this initial group selected?  What is the value-add that each of the participants brings to the table?
  4. How will the Network ensure participants are fully engaged in developing, capturing, and sharing the research results generated? How will the Network research results be shared amongst the participants?
  5. How will the Network reduce barriers to commercialization and increase business value and/or produce a competitive advantage for the private sector participants?
  6. What is the strategic value of this Network for the participating companies?
  7. What is the Network’s strategy to grow or limit the membership as the Network matures and solutions evolve? How will new companies be integrated into the Network activities?
  8. Is the involvement of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises an element of Network’s partnership strategy? If so, explain how. If not, explain why not.

General Presentation

Submit the Application Form and Free Form as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) document. The PDF document may not exceed 10 MB.
The LOI free-form section must be prepared according to the following specifications:

  • Page size: 8½ x 11 inches
  • Margins: no less than ¾ of an inch on all sides.
  • Font: Times New Roman (no smaller than 12 pts) or Arial (no smaller than 11 pts). Condensed type is not acceptable.
  • Header: include the title of the Centre at the top of every page
  • All pages must be consecutively numbered

Graphs and illustrations may be included, but will count as part of the set page limits. Either single or double column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable. All additional pages and extra material will be removed from the submission.

Submission Deadline

The 2013 BL-NCE New Competition LOI submission deadline is Monday, April 15, 2013. LOIs must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. 

An electronic and a printed copy of the application must be submitted to the NCE Secretariat by the deadline date and time.

Electronic Submission

The electronic copy must be submitted via the NCE Secure Submission Web Site.

Complete the required fields and select the BL-NCE Program > New Competition (NC) > Letter of Intent (LOI) from the respective drop down menus.

The PDF document may not exceed 10 MB.

The following message will appear on-screen if the document is successfully uploaded:

Thank you for using the NCE Secure Submission Site. You have successfully submitted the document below. We will contact you or the contact person indicated in the document should we require any additional information. 

Document submitted: <AcronymOfProgEnglish>_<AcronymOfCompEnglish>_<AcronymOfDocTypeEnglish>_
<AcronymOfNetworkName><NameLast> <YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS ET>

Paper Submission

Mail a copy of the application to

Networks of Centres of Excellence
2013 BL-NCE New Competition
16th Floor, mailroom
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 1H5

The NCE Secretariat will confirm receipt within one week.


For more information, please contact Renée Leduc, NCE Program Officer at:

Program Officer
Renée Leduc
Telephone: 613-996-9825