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Competition Guide

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


The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program is a key element of the federal government’s Science and Technology Strategy. The program was established to create internationally recognized centres of excellence in areas of priority for the Government of Canada that deliver economic, social, health and environmental benefits to Canada.

Since the program’s inception in 2007, the centres have generated value for Canada by matching clusters of research expertise with the business community; sharing knowledge, expertise and resources; and bringing new innovations to market faster. To maximize the impact of the government’s CECR investment, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Steering Committee is providing centres funded in the 2009 competition with the opportunity to apply for additional funding. 

The NCE Steering Committee, a tri-agency committee that oversees the program, is composed of the Deputy Minister of Industry Canada, the Deputy Minister of Health Canada, the Presidents of the three granting agencies (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)), with the President of the Canada Foundation for Innovation as an observer. The Private Sector Advisory Board (PSAB) will assess the economic impact and benefits of each centre’s application, as well as providing advice and funding recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee. Applications will also undergo international peer review before the PSAB review.

Day-to-day administration of the CECR program is provided by the NCE Secretariat. Prospective applicants should refer to the CECR program guide on the NCE website at for detailed information about the CECR program.


Competition 2014 Summary

The 2014 competition provides an opportunity for centres funded in the 2009 CECR competition to apply for additional funds to fully implement their business model so that the centre can achieve financial sustainability that will endure beyond the additional CECR grant.
Centres requesting additional funding must demonstrate economic impact, benefits to Canada (including social, health and environmental benefits), and the ability to become self-sustaining in a reasonable period of time. Centres must also demonstrate sustainability through a gradual reduction in their reliance on CECR funds. 

Sustainability of the centre means that the centre will continue its core activities beyond the CECR funding period. The centres can achieve sustainability by using a range of models, such as partnerships, memberships, other governments’ support and other revenues generated by a diversified portfolio of products and services. Centres are expected to become self-sufficient by establishing a strong business model and partnerships.

Centres that compete for additional funding will undergo a rigorous review to assess their progress and achievements as well as the viability of their business and sustainability plans. Centres must demonstrate that they have had a strong impact in their first cycle and outline a robust sustainability plan to be considered for additional funding. 

The business plan must clearly demonstrate a gradual reduction in the centre’s reliance on CECR funds as part of its sustainability plan.


1) Program Overview

Program Goals

The goal of the CECR program is to create internationally recognized centres of commercialization and research expertise in priority areas that will deliver economic, social, health and environmental benefits to Canada. 

Sustainability of the centres remains a key element of the CECR program. The CECR program expects centres supported through this program will become financially sustainable beyond the CECR funding. The centres can achieve sustainability using a range of models, such as partnerships, memberships, other government support, and other revenues generated by a diversified portfolio of products and services.

Expected Results

The program is expected to maximize the benefits of government investment in research and development (R&D) and encourage the private sector to increase its investment in science and technology.

Centres should be world-class and should demonstrate their progress towards

  • Branding Canada as the host of internationally recognized centres of excellence that will yield economic, social, health or environmental benefits to Canada;
  • Drawing on existing research and commercialization strengths, infrastructure, networks and funding capacity to enhance their impact;
  • Attracting, retaining and providing training to highly qualified personnel (including internationally recognized business leaders);
  • Opening up new opportunities for Canadian researchers and firms to access world-class equipment, facilities and networks;
  • Creating, growing and retaining companies in Canada that are able to capture new markets with breakthrough innovations;
  • Accelerating the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods or services in priority areas where Canada can significantly enhance its competitive advantage;
  • Attracting investment (including foreign direct and venture capital investment); and
  • Strengthening domestic collaboration and ensuring that benefits reach a wide array of firms, organizations, sectors and regions of the country.

Eligible Recipient Organizations

Organizations eligible to receive funds are not-for-profit corporations that have been created by universities, colleges, not-for-profit research organizations, firms and other interested non-government parties. Organizations applying to the 2014 CECR competition must be part of the CECRs that were funded in the 2009 competition.

Centres failing to demonstrate adherence to the matching, governance and financial management requirements of the funding agreement and the CECR program guide over the first five years of funding will not be eligible for an extension in time or for additional funding.

Parameters for Additional Funding

The 2014 competition will support centres that can demonstrate the need for additional funds and articulate how this will maximize the centre’s impact and enable it to achieve self-sustainability. Centres can request additional funds no greater than the value of the original grant. The focus of the review will be on the credibility of the required budget as well as the appropriateness of the proposed timeframe to achieve sustainability.

Centres must demonstrate impact, the need for funds and a realistic plan to achieve sustainability, along with a credible budget over the proposed timeframe. Sustainability is understood to mean becoming financially sustainable and able to continue a reasonable proportion of a centre’s activities through its own revenue streams, by stakeholder investments, confirmed contributions from other sources of funds and/or membership fees.

Parameters for the Use of CECR funds

Centres are expected to leverage funding from multiple sources to meet the CECR matching requirements. Total assistance provided to the centre will be carefully assessed to ensure adherence to the program requirements. Fulfilment of the CECR matching requirements is essential for continued CECR funding.

Cash and in-kind matching contributions must come from non-federal sources. CECR grant funds used for eligible commercialization costs must be matched one-to-one over the duration of the grant agreement. That is, every CECR grant dollar spent on eligible commercialization costs must be matched by one dollar of non-federal cash and in-kind contributions. However, for other eligible costs, every three CECR grant dollars spent over the duration of the grant agreement must be matched by one dollar of non-federal matching contributions.  A balance of cash and in-kind contributions should be sought in order to support the centre’s long-term sustainability plan.

Eligible Expenses

  • Operating costs: maintenance and operation of the centre, materials and supplies, liability insurance for members of the Board of Directors and centre administrators, and legal fees and other related incorporation costs;
  • Salary costs: salaries for management, technical and professional staff employed to provide support to users or to maintain and operate the centre;
  • Knowledge mobilization costs: expenses relating to communications activities, networking, promotion of the centre, knowledge dissemination and engagement of stakeholders to put available knowledge into active service; and
  • Commercialization costs: expenses related to commercialization activities such as intellectual property protection, market studies, business plan development, counselling and mentoring, technology evaluation, development and investments.

CECR funding cannot be used for capital expenditures in this second funding period; however, contributions for equipment and capital expenses from centre partners will be considered eligible matching contributions.

Evaluation Criteria

I. Benefits to Canada

  • The extent to which the centre’s research and commercialization activities address issues of high priority for Canada;
  • 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 its area of priority; and
  • Evidence that the centre will help to accelerate the commercialization of leading-edge technologies, goods or 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 research and commercialization objectives;
  • The ability of the applicants to attract investment sufficient to meet the program matching requirements and to encourage investment in partner firms; and
  • The ability of the applicants to support partners, firms and researchers with advice, analysis, training and business services to advance their commercialization objectives.

III. Business Plan

  • Excellence, focus and coherence of the R&D and commercialization program;
  • The effectiveness of the plan to manage, protect and exploit intellectual property resulting from centre-funded innovation;
  • A credible demonstration of how this investment will result in the creation of a self-sustaining, productive centre of excellence;
  • The quality of the proposed organizational structure with appropriate representation on the Board of Directors and management team to achieve its objectives; and
  • Evidence that the applicants have in place an accountability framework likely to result in effective leadership, sound financial planning and decision-making.


2) Competition Timeline

Deadlines Milestones
March 2013 Competition announced
May 15, 2013 Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline (4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
September 3, 2013 Full application deadline (4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)
September 2013 Expert panel review
October 2013 Review by the PSAB
October 2013 Decision by the NCE Steering Committee
Winter 2013–2014 Announcement of CECR 2014 competition results
January / February 2014 Funding agreements and amendments circulated for signatures
March 2014 Funding starts

Centres applying for additional funding must submit a letter of intent (LOI) and a full application.

The LOI will be reviewed by the NCE Secretariat to identify the centres that will compete for additional funding and the specific expertise required for expert panels reviewing the applications. Only applicants that have submitted an LOI are eligible to submit the full application for additional funding.
The full application will be used to assess the centre’s achievements, future plans to build on these successes and the robustness of the centre’s sustainability plan. As part of their full application, all centres that apply for additional funding must provide an updated corporate plan, a detailed business plan and a viable sustainability plan supported by a substantiated financial plan. If a centre has remaining funds from its first CECR grant, and its application for additional funding is not approved, the centre will automatically be considered for an extension of the period for its previously approved funding.


3) Review and Decision Process

Full applications will be evaluated using the three program evaluation criteria described above.

The review of full applications will focus on the centre’s business plan, in which it outlines its path to sustainability. Applicants will be assessed on the strength of their business plan, the likelihood of economic impact and their benefits to Canada (including social, health and environmental benefits). In addition, centres funded under the CECR program must demonstrate the ability to become self-sustaining in a reasonable period of time through a gradual reduction in their reliance on CECR funds.

Applications from centres requesting additional funding will undergo review by expert panels established by the NCE Secretariat. These panels will be comprised of domestic and international experts who will evaluate the centres’ applications, meet with applicants and produce in-depth written assessments of the application. The expert panel reports will then be presented to the PSAB.

The PSAB will review all applications, including expert panel reports, to develop recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee. 

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the CECRs, 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) through a funding agreement under the legal authority of the relevant granting agency or agencies (CIHR, NSERC and/or SSHRC).

The NCE Steering Committee will make the final decision regarding the amount and duration of funding for centres, based on the recommendations of the PSAB. The decisions reached by the NCE Steering Committee are final. There is no appeal process.


4) Comments to Applicants and Announcements

The confidential evaluation reports from the expert panel and the PSAB for each full application will be made available to the applicant after the final approval of the results of the competition.

The names and affiliations of the members of the PSAB are listed on the NCE website. As well, results of the competition will be posted on the NCE website at after the 2014 Competition announcements (see Competition Timeline, above).


5) Application Requirements and Submission

To be eligible for funding in the 2014 CECR competition, centres must submit both their LOI and full application on time. Late submissions of either document will not be accepted.

Application Contents:

Letter of Intent (Deadline: May 15, 2013, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)

  1. LOI form;
  2. Letter from the Chair of the centre’s Board of Directors supporting the centre’s application for additional funding.

As part of their LOI, centres must provide a list of potential expert panel members who are not in conflict of interest for the review of their application. Please see Appendix A for the CECR Conflict of Interest Guidelines. Each expert panel will be comprised of five to seven experts in business, management, knowledge and technology transfer, commercialization, applied science and/or public policy.

Full Application (Deadline: September 3, 2013, 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time)

  1. Centre description;
  2. Statement from the Chair of the centre’s Board of Directors with a commitment to an expanded plan with additional funding;
  3. Response to the 2008–2009 PSAB review of the centre;
  4. Full application form;
  5. An updated corporate plan;
  6. A business plan that presents a viable path to financial sustainability beyond the CECR funding; 
  7. A financial plan;
  8. Performance table(s) with detailed performance indicators, targets and milestones that demonstrate the incremental value generated by the CECR investment; and
  9. A table of letters from partners and stakeholders, letters of support, an alphabetical list of key individuals and short biographies of centre management and members of the Board of Directors, as appendices.

Submission Procedures

Application documents must be submitted via the NCE Secure Submission Site. One original hard copy of the full application is also required, postmarked by the submission deadline.

The LOI should be submitted as a single Portable Document Format (PDF) document that combines the LOI form, and the letter from the Chair of the Board of Directors. The PDF document cannot exceed 10 MB. The deadline for submission of the LOI via the NCE Secure Submission Site is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), May 15, 2013.

The full application should be submitted as a single PDF document or as a ZIP file of the constituent PDF documents. The total file size cannot exceed 49 MB. The deadline for submission of the full application via the NCE Secure Submission Site is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), September 3, 2013.

The NCE Secretariat will send an email to the centre’s director to confirm receipt of the LOI and the full application within a week after the submission. If confirmation is not received within a week of the submission deadline, please contact the NCE Secretariat:
Tel.: 613-995-6010

Presentation Standards

Page size: 8½ × 11 inches

Margins: no less than ¾ of an inch on all sides

Font: Times New Roman (no smaller than 12 points) or Arial (no smaller than 11 points). If measured in characters per inch (cpi), it must be no more than 10 cpi. Condensed type is not acceptable.

Header: Include the name of the centre at the top of every page.

All pages must be numbered consecutively.

Graphs and illustrations may be included, but will count as part of the page limits for each section (see Instructions for Completing a Full Application, below). Either single- or double-column presentation of text, graphs or illustrations is acceptable. Any pages exceeding the limits given below will be removed from the submission.


6) Instructions for Completing a Full Application


Describe the centre’s vision and objectives. The description should include a clear vision of the expected results of the commercialization and research activities after the CECR funding ends, especially with respect to the expected outcomes and impacts on partners and the user sectors. This will provide an overview of the centre to prospective reviewers.


Provide evidence of commitment to an expanded plan with additional funding.


Describe whether the centre has addressed concerns raised in the PSAB report prepared for the 2008–2009 funding decision. Explain why a response was undertaken or not and detail the measures taken.

IV. FULL APPLICATION FORM (complete form, all fields are mandatory)

Section A: General Information (1 page)

Provide all information as requested for the General Information section.

Section B: Anticipated Funding (complete table)
Indicate the anticipated new incremental cash support and in-kind support from all other sources.

Section C: Incremental Contributions (complete table)

Provide details of cash and in-kind contributions for each stakeholder in the centre, adding lines to the table as required.

Section D: Additional Information (1 page)

Provide a brief overview of the content of the submission.

Section E: Summary of the Application for Public Release (1 page)

Provide a brief summary that can be used for public communications and expert panel recruitment.

V. Updated Corporate Plan – Progress Report (maximum 5 pages)

The updated corporate plan should demonstrate the centre’s achievements in its first cycle of funding and the progress towards a strong economic impact and benefits to Canada (including social, health and environmental benefits). It should explain how the first-cycle activities are building a foundation to maximize the CECR investment and are contributing to the centre’s path to attaining sustainability.  

The updated corporate plan should be developed in collaboration with the centre’s relevant stakeholders and must integrate industry priorities.

VI. BUSINESS PLAN(maximum 25 pages to address the following topics)

a) Strategic Plan

The centre’s strategic plan should describe how the centre will achieve its objectives to integrate the technology and intellectual property developed within the centre and its partner institutions. The objectives and milestones required to fully exploit the technology pipeline or service capacity of the centre should be clearly set out.

Specifically, the strategy should include

  • A demonstration of how its portfolio of activities fits into its current vision and how this aligns with the original objectives of the centre;
  • A robust commercialization strategy that describes centre’s business model, describing the requisite expertise and management capacity to achieve its objectives, the approach to partnerships development and value creation, and how these will result in commercial benefits; and
  • Key commercial risks and mitigation strategies.

b) Market Assessment

The market assessment should clearly articulate the key findings about the relevant industry sector, including the centre’s most significant alliances, customers and competitors.

The assessment should include a market analysis that:

  • Defines and describes the market for its products and services;
  • Describes opportunities particularly relevant to the centre in the regional, national and international contexts;
  • Assesses the importance of its technologies within that market (needs that the technology responds to, demand for the technology);
  • Identifies key competitors and partner institutions;
  • Identifies competitive and market access issues (e.g., regulatory approvals, market positioning, competing products, corporate mandates);
  • Demonstrates that revenue projections align with current market and overall landscape in its priority area; and
  • Provides a breakdown of the costs involved in core technologies development or business support activities, such as R&D, sales and marketing, administration and human resources.

c) Centre’s Capability

Applications must provide details demonstrating the centre’s capacity to achieve its goals and objectives with the resources on hand, or explain how it will otherwise engage the appropriate resources.

d) Managerial Capability

This section must show that the centre possesses, or can reasonably be expected to secure, the requisite managerial capability to achieve the stated goals and objectives of the centre. The following information, at a minimum, is required:

  • The pertinent experience and expertise (corporate and individual, technical and managerial) of the centre’s management team and the Board of Directors;
  • The roles and responsibilities of all the engaged partners, the allocation and contribution of resources among the partners, as well as the type and management of the relationship;
  • A description of the collaborations, joint ventures and partnerships with the public and private sector, including other centres, and the value of these collaborations to partners;
  • The centre management’s capability and commitment to achieve the planned outcomes (brief outline of background of management team and its time commitment to the CECR);
  • Human resource plan outlining any required changes to or development of staff competencies to achieve objectives; and
  • The managerial risks and the centre’s related mitigation strategies.

e) Technological Capability

This section of the application must demonstrate that the centre possesses, or can be reasonably expected to secure, the technological capability to achieve the centre’s goals and objectives. Specifically, the application should identify the sources of technology disclosures available to the centre and describe technologies in the centre’s product-development pipeline. It should also demonstrate that qualified personnel with relevant experience and background are engaged and that systematic reviews will be conducted of opportunities, progress against technology development objectives and risks.

The following information is required:

  • Details of activities in the centre’s first five years and how the centre’s activities are building on its previous work and successes;
  • A description of the available technical resources (e.g., personnel, facilities, equipment, partners);
  • A description of the established collaborations, joint ventures or partnerships that will enable the centre to successfully bolster its technical activities;
  • A description of the centre’s approach to managing its technical activities, including an articulation of the tools that will be used (e.g., project team, planning, budgeting, scheduling, allocating responsibility, controlling);
  • A clear articulation that the centre’s activities are technologically feasible and competitive;
  • A demonstration of the technology’s readiness, as well as the stage of development of activities within the centre’s portfolio;
  • The key technological capability, and the technology feasibility risks and the centre’s associated mitigation strategies.

f) Commercialization Capabilities

This section must show that the centre has the requisite commercialization expertise needed to achieve the commercialization and revenue outlined. The centre should outline how it will optimize the commercialization of products or services in its portfolio. The application must demonstrate the necessary capabilities to help clients prepare the product for the market and the market for the product through the alignment and integration of all necessary commercialization strategies.

Centres should describe their IP strategy, including, where appropriate, a description of the pipeline of promising technology disclosures and high value IP accessible to the centre, as well as the centre’s IP expertise and management capacity, its plans for managing the IP and how it will result in commercial benefits for the centre;

The application should demonstrate that the centre has the capabilities, when applicable, to provide commercialization services that will help clients maximize market access opportunities.

g) Sales/Communication and Marketing Capabilities and Resources

The section must include the centre’s communication and marketing strategies. This plan should describe how the centre will brand itself, market its activities and communicate with internal and external partners.

The following information is required:

  • A description of the client base of the centre’s key technologies and activities;
  • An overview of the proposed value of the centre’s activities to partners; and
  • Key messages on the impact of the centre’s activities on the firms supported or firms that have partnered with the centre.

h) Operational Plan

The centre should describe the current and future capacity of its operations and any changes in personnel or operating expenses required to achieve its new objectives.

The centre’s business model should be clearly explained, highlighting how the centre’s activities will generate revenues and contributions from partners. The centre should demonstrate how CECR funding will be replaced by centre-generated revenues and contributions from other sources over time. The centre must clearly demonstrate a reduction in its reliance on CECR funding as part of its sustainability plan. The plan should detail the key milestones and deliverables required with an overview of how the centre’s business model will lead to sustainability.

VII. FINANCIAL PLAN (Narrative description with financial tables)

This section must include a detailed financial overview of the centre including revenues, sources of funding, operational expenses and R&D expenses. The proposal application must set out a multi-year budget with details of each key technology development or business activity showing that the centre possesses, or can reasonably be expected to secure, the financial resources required to achieve sustainability. The proposed budget must list all anticipated sources of funding and revenue-generating activities, the timing of that funding and revenue, and key assumptions. The text must include sufficient detail of any of the key assumptions (e.g., revenues forecasted and rate of displacement of CECR funding).

The section must clearly distinguish between remaining, negotiated and planned funding. Government funding and non-governmental funding should be well identified. The forecast budget with projected revenue and expenditures for ongoing activities must clearly demonstrate that CECR funding declines over the funding period and should extend to the first year that the centre expects to fully displace CECR funding with other revenue to achieve sustainability.   Long-term sustainability of the centres funding remains a key element of the CECR program.  Sustainability models can include a range of models, such as partnerships, memberships, other governments support, as well as centre generated revenue.

The narrative section should provide a clear description of

  • Sources of funding/support;
  • Operating expenses (administration);
  • Annual R&D spending in the first cycle and anticipated ongoing expenses;
  • Financial analysis of the basis of costs — applicants must list and explain all material/ large hypotheses used in generating the numbers such as the costs for use or purchase of equipment;
  • A forecast of projected revenues from commercialization investments — this section should clearly describe the methodology used to develop the centre’s revenue forecasts and clearly indicate which activities/investments are providing returns;
  • Special conditions attached to any of the revenues and investments, such as need to repay interest-free loans by certain year, or options to IP in exchange for investment;
  • Special conditions attached to any of the financial contributions from public- and private-sector partners and any assumptions or dependencies related to acquiring funds from other sources; and
  • Key financial risks and the centre’s proposed mitigation strategies.

Financial tables to be included are the following.

  • Table 1 – Income Statement: details the centre’s revenues in the first cycle;
  • Table 2 – Balance Sheet: a snapshot of the centre’s assets, liabilities and stakeholders’ equity in the centre;
  • Table 3 – Financial Forecasts: an overview of the centre’s projected sources of funding and operational expenses; and
  • Table 4 – Revenue Projections: a projection of the centre’s future income, adjusted for risk.


The centre must provide a table with performance metrics the centre will use to evaluate its achievements and to demonstrate the incremental value generated by the CECR investment, as well as yearly milestones and targets.


A.1 Table of letters from partners and stakeholders

Provide a table of letters of support. Sort letters by category (academic, industrial, federal government, provincial government, municipal government, host institution, foreign and other).

The number of letters is not restricted; however, the table of letters of support from partners and stakeholders should include only those that will be providing cash and in-kind support to the centre.

For each entry, provide the following information:

  • Name and title of senior executive signing the letter;
  • Organization and department name;
  • Address of organization;
  • Whether the private firms are small or medium-sized enterprises (<500 employees, or <$50 million in annual revenue)
  • Amount of cash contribution;
  • Amount of in-kind contribution;
  • Amount of total cash and in-kind contribution; and
  • Page number for each letter included in the application.

A.2 Letters of support (maximum 2 pages per letter)

Provide letters of support confirming the contributions for each partner listed in Appendix A.1. For each stakeholder organization, the letter must make explicit reference to the centre, and should

  • come from a senior executive;
  • make commitments, especially in terms of cash and in-kind support;
  • indicate how the centre helps the 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 to

  • the content of the application,
  • provision of the committed resources, and
  • 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. Any other letters will be removed from the full application.

A.3 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 centre management team and Board of Directors, 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 (use acronyms provided): Centre Director (CD), proposed member of the Management Committee (MC), Board of Directors (BOD), Chair of the Board (CBOD); and
    • an asterisk if a biography is provided.

A.4 Short biographies of centre management and members of the Board of Directors (maximum 1 page per biography)

Provide short biographies (up to 20) for the lead applicants (including the proposed centre director), centre management and members of the Board of Directors.


Appendix A: Conflict of Interest Guidelines

Members who are directly or indirectly associated with the application must disclose their interest and follow guidelines adopted by the NCE Secretariat regarding conflict of interest. Members who stand to gain or lose financially, either in their personal capacity or by virtue of being an officer of any legal entity affected by a financial decision of the NCE, must disclose their interest.

These guidelines cannot foresee all possible situations, and the NCE Secretariat must rely on the judgment of the members. It is the responsibility of members to declare any conflict of interest. These guidelines are adapted from those of NSERC and CIHR.

Expert panel members should not

  • be from the same university as the applicant(s);
  • have been a research supervisor or graduate student of the applicant(s) within the past six (6) years;
  • be providing letters of support for the application;
  • have collaborated with the applicant(s) within the past six (6) years or have plans to collaborate in the immediate future;
  • be an employee of a non-academic organization with which the applicant has collaborated within the past six (6) years;
  • be in any other potential conflict of interest (e.g., personal, financial).

Committee members are in conflict if they

  • are from the same immediate institution or company as the applicant, and who interact with the applicant in the course of their duties at the institution or company;
  • are a close personal friend or relative of the applicant;
  • have had longstanding scientific or personal differences with the applicant;
  • are in a position to gain or lose financially from the outcome of the application (e.g., hold stock in the company of an industry partner or a competitor), or for some other reason feel that they cannot provide an objective review of the application.

Members are asked to inform the NCE staff of potential conflicts of interest as early as possible. At the beginning of a session, the Chair reads the list of identified conflicts and asks each member in turn to declare any other relationship to an application (positive or negative). If the Chair believes a member should not participate in the review, that member withdraws from discussion. Difficult cases should be brought to the NCE staff, who have the responsibility to rule.


Appendix B: Application Checklist

A full application must be fully paginated, with tabs for each section/item. Use the 2014 CECR Competition full application form available on the NCE website.

Number of Pages Items
Maximum 0.5 page Centre description
Maximum 2 pages Statement from the Chair of the Board
Maximum 0.5 page Response to the PSAB review of the centre
Section A: 1 page
Section B: table
Section C: table
Section D: 1 page
Section E: 1 page

Full application form

  • Section A – General Information
  • Section B –Anticipated Funding
  • Section C – Incremental Contributions from Stakeholders
  • Section D – CECR Application Summary Data Sheet
  • Section E – Summary of the Application for Public Release
Maximum 5 pages Updated corporate plan – progress report
Maximum 25 pages Business plan
As needed (no maximum number of pages)

Financial plan

  • Financial narrative
  • Table 1 – Income Statement
  • Table 2 – Balance Sheet
  • Table 3 – Financial Forecasts
  • Table 4 – Revenue Projections
As needed Performance indicators, targets and milestones
As needed Appendix A.1 – Table of letters from partners and stakeholders
Maximum 2 pages per letter Appendix A.2 – Letters of support
As needed Appendix A.3 – Alphabetical list of key individuals
Maximum 1 page per biography Appendix A.4 – Short biographies of centre management and members of the Board of Directors