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Program Guide

Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) and International Knowledge Translation Platforms (NCE-IKTP) Initiatives Guide - 2018

 Program Guide

1. Knowledge Mobilization and International Knowledge Transfer Platforms Initiatives

The NCE-Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) and the NCE International Knowledge Transfer Platforms (NCE-IKTP) Initiatives support networking and collaboration among well-established researchers or research teams and receptor communities to further the application and mobilization of knowledge.

These initiatives do not fund typical research activities, but rather mobilize, transfer or translate existing research, in combination with other sources and types of knowledge to efficiently deliver highly important benefits. With a focus on key problems, challenges and opportunities of high strategic importance to Canada, as well as to other countries, in the case of IKTP, these initiatives address the "knowledge translation gap" from existing excellent research and other sources and types of knowledge, to changes in behaviour, policy, or legislation for the social, economic, technological, and/or wellness benefit of Canada and the Canadian population.

The NCE-KM Initiative stems from a will to foster networking and partnering activities among well-established research communities. After a pilot period (NCE-New Initiative program competition from 2005-2009), the NCE-KM Initiative was officially launched in 2010 following recommendations from a tri-agency working group. In 2014, a second working group comprised of senior officials from Canadian universities, organizations involved in Knowledge Mobilization, representatives from the NCE Secretariat and the Granting Councils provided advice on improving the Initiative literature and better guide the applicants.

Both NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives are overseen by the tri-agency NCE Steering Committee comprising the Presidents of the This link will take you to another Web site Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the This link will take you to another Web site Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as well as the Deputy Ministers of This link will take you to another Web site Innovation, Science, Economic Development Canada (ISED) and This link will take you to another Web site Health Canada, and the President and CEO of the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer).

Day-to-day administration of the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives is provided by the NCE Secretariat.

The NCE Secretariat runs periodic national competitions through which the NCE Steering Committee selects successful networks on the advice of a Standing Selection Committee.


  • For a glossary of terms used throughout this guide refer to the online NCE glossary.
  • For the NCE (classic NCE) program refer to the NCE program guide.

1.1 Initiatives goal

The NCE Knowledge Mobilization (NCE-KM) Initiative funds networks dedicated to transferring knowledge to those who can put it into practice. As part of the Networks of Centers of Excellence program, it supports collaborations between academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations across many sectors and disciplines. Networks composed of well-established research teams and receptor communities develop tools that facilitate the uptake and application of world-class research results. They focus on addressing key problems, challenges and opportunities of high strategic importance to Canada. The initiative's goals include:

  • supporting national and international networks between knowledge users and producers for the benefit of Canada's social, health and/or economic development; and
  • enabling knowledge mobilization activities that will bring together researchers from different disciplines to share and nurture ideas and methods that challenge research.

The goal of the NCE International Knowledge Translation Platforms (IKTP) Initiative is to support international collaborations between networks, centres, consortia and their partners to accelerate knowledge translation in areas of mutual strategic interest.

1.2 Initiatives objectives

The objective of the NCE-KM Initiative is to support and grow networks between knowledge producers and knowledge users from various disciplines, sectors, and institutions that maximize the impact of knowledge mobilization activities that result in social, economic, environmental, cultural and/or wellness benefits to Canadians.

The objectives of the NCE-IKTP Initiative include expanding strategic international partnerships through multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral networks; accelerating the international exchange of research results; reducing barriers to international research activities; fostering knowledge mobilization internationally; identifying knowledge gaps; and providing training opportunities.

For the purposes of the NCE-IKTP initiative, a "Platform" can be thought of as an administrative support structure dedicated to delivering tools and expertise to meet the objectives listed above.

1.3 Expected outcomes

The goal and objectives of the NCE-KM Initiative are accomplished by investing in national Networks that yield some of the following benefits:

  • increased networking and collaboration among researchers from Canada and abroad;
  • nation-wide, multidisciplinary and multisectoral partnerships between universities and the user sector (e.g. private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations, and others);
  • acceleration of the use of knowledge from research results within Canada by organizations that can harness it for Canadian economic and social development;
  • increase Canada's international visibility and reputation.

Expected outcomes from NCE-IKTP networks are:

  • To raise Canada's profile on the world stage and ensure that Canada is part of international knowledge translation initiatives;
  • To stimulate or reinforce partnerships with international stakeholders to develop concerted efforts in high impact areas of socio-economic importance;
  • To enhance knowledge translation and adoption of technologies in Canada and abroad; and
  • To create lasting formal collaborations evidenced by agreements with organizations that represent strategic international partnerships.

1.4 Network description

NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Networks are virtual collaboration models and are the central drivers of the knowledge mobilization agenda to address the needs of stakeholders that ultimately result in a benefit to Canada. Networks receive funding over four years with the possibility for renewal for a final three years. Networks are renewed based on their progress to date and strategy going forward. The scope of a network must balance the realities of overcoming knowledge mobilization challenges to deliver impact and value for Canadians. It must also incorporate federally as a not-for-profit organization under the This link will take you to another Web site Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. Refer to NCE Best Practices for Governance and Operations Manual for guidance on a Network.

1.5 Initiative criteria

Proposed Knowledge Mobilization (KM) networks are assessed against five (5) review criteria: Expected Impacts and Added Value; Plan for Knowledge Mobilization; Stakeholder Engagement; Proposed Network Team; Management and Governance.

Proposed International Knowledge Translation Platforms (IKTP) networks are also assessed against five (5) review criteria, which are: Expected Impacts and Added Value; Model for Collaboration; Strategic Plan; Proposed Team, and Management and Governance.

For more details on these criteria, see the Competition Guide available on the NCE website.

1.6 Competitions

Competitions for funding are launched periodically and where funding is available. Details about the ongoing and past competitions are available on the NCE website.

2. Requirements of the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP

2.1 Eligibility

2.1.1 Application Profile

Applications must be submitted by one or more researchers who are eligible to apply for funding under the policies and guidelines of at least one of the three federal granting agencies (CIHR, SSHRC, or NSERC) in partnership with an eligible Network Host and on behalf of other academic, private and public partners (network members and collaborators).

For NCE-KM networks, all applications must be co-led by a non-academic knowledge user as a co-applicant with the academic researcher. The inclusion of a non-academic knowledge user as a co-applicant is mandatory and ensures the meaningful involvement of the partner in all aspects of the network, beginning with its conception.

2.1.2 Network Host Eligibility

The responsibilities and requirements of administering the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP grant funds on behalf of the network falls to the Network Host. Network Host are institutions who have signed the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions, or a private sector consortium (composed in majority of for profit corporations) that house the Administrative Centre of the Network and sign the Funding Agreement.

2.1.3 Network Member & Investigator Eligibility

Network Members include Canadian universities or postsecondary institutions with a mandate for research, as well as their affiliated institutions, including hospitals, research institutes and/or other not-for-profit organizations, or other organizations eligible to receive research funds from any of the three federal granting agencies. Network Investigators must be eligible to receive funding from one of the three federal granting agencies to be eligible to receive funding from an NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP network. Network Members sign a Network Agreement and, if applicable, receive transfers from the Network Host on behalf of researchers at their institutions. The responsibilities of a Network Member are outlined in the Network Agreement signed with the network.

Knowledge user organizations (not affiliated with post-secondary institutions) partnering with Networks to meet their objectives are permitted to receive funds through the use of contractual agreements (see section 3.3.5).

2.2 Agreements

2.2.1 Funding Agreement

Prior to receiving payments of grant funds under the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative, all networks must sign a standardized Funding Agreement that sets out the terms and conditions of the grant. The Funding Agreement is signed between the network (a federally incorporated not-for-profit entity), the Network Host (as represented by a representative at the VP or President level) and the Presidents of the granting agencies participating in the multi-disciplinary NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative (CIHR, SSHRC, and NSERC).

2.2.2 Network Agreement

Networks must sign a Network Agreement with any eligible organization (Network Member) receiving grant funds. Knowledge mobilization activities and the transfer of funds between the Network Host and Network Member may only occur once the Network Agreement has been signed. The Network Agreement sets out the expectations of all parties in the network and provides for such matters as reporting requirements, use of grant funds, and ownership and exploitation of intellectual property. It must be signed by each Network Investigator and Network Member following the approval of new signatories by the Board of Directors and in accordance with the program requirements maintained by the NCE Secretariat. A copy of the executed Network Agreement must be provided to the NCE Secretariat and updated when new signatories are added. To facilitate negotiation of the Network Agreement, the NCE Secretariat provides a template is included in the Best Practices for Governance and Operations Manual.

2.2.3 Host Agreement

In addition to the funding and network agreements, a separate host agreement is required to outline obligations between the parties. The needs and expectations of the network are extensive. Guidance on the details required can be found in the Best Practices for Governance and Operations Manual. The granting agencies do not sign the Host Agreement, but a copy must be provided to the NCE Secretariat.

2.2.4 Consent to Disclosure

All recipients of NCE funds must sign a Consent to Disclosure form prior to receiving funds (available as an Appendix of the Funding Agreement). This form permits the identification of any individuals who are in serious breach of This link will take you to another Web site granting agency policies and is required of any academic researcher receiving tri-council funds. The forms must be stored and maintained by the Network and presented to the NCE Secretariat or the granting agencies upon request.

2.3 Governance and Management

Each NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Network must have an organizational structure that is appropriate to deliver on its knowledge mobilization activities. A Governing Board must be established and represent the interests and concerns of the public, private and academic stakeholders involved in the network. Working closely with the Governing Board, the administrative centre is the enabler of network activities. The NCE Secretariat has developed a Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual to assist Networks in establishing governance and management structures.

2.3.1 Governing Board

In accordance with the creation of a federal not-for-profit entity, each NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP network must appoint a Governing Board that has the overall responsibility for the governance and management of the network. The Governing Board must respect the respective NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP initiative guidelines and the Funding Agreement to maintain a grant of good standing. The Governing Board determines the required number and types of committees required. The Governing Board also evaluates the performance of the network administration through evaluation of the administrative leadership.

The Governing Board must consist of sufficient members to ensure it has the right diversity of expertise and skillsets necessary to govern the Network effectively. Typically, NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Governing Boards consist of approximately 10-12 members. A minimum of one-third of the members must be independent. Independence of Board members is at the discretion of the Board and are typically any individuals who will not benefit directly from the activities of the network and have no material relationship with the network that could, either directly or indirectly, in practice or appearance, impair their ability to think and act in an independent manner that is in the best interest of the network. The membership of the Board must reflect the interests and concerns of the various stakeholders involved in the network. The network must advise the NCE Secretariat of any changes in membership of the Board during the course of funding.

2.3.2 Network Management and Operations

Networks require management expertise in order to deliver on objectives. The typical key positions within the management and operations of a KM or IKTP Network include Network Director (or co-Directors), Knowledge mobilization officer and Communications Manager. Guidance on the role and responsibilities available of key positions can be found in the Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual.

3. Use of NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Funds

3.1. Eligible expenses

The NCE program uses the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide as the general guidelines for eligibility of expenses. In situations where the granting agencies have different rules and policies that are not explicit in the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide, the rules and policies of the granting agency identified in the Funding Agreement in whose domain the majority of the network's mandate falls are applicable. Note that the Granting Agencies may release other financial administration guides specific for a program. Unless otherwise indicated, these are not applicable to the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives and should not be applied without approval by the NCE Secretariat.

Given the unique nature of the grants provided through the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives, a specific NCE eligible expenses table is applicable to all networks funded through the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives. This eligible expenses table outlines the additions and exceptions to the Tri-Agency Financial Administration Guide and specific granting agency rules. Note that NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives fund activities related to knowledge mobilization only (knowledge synthesis included) and do not fund research related activities. See Appendix A. (For specific cases please contact the NCE Secretariat).

3.2. Administrative expenses

3.2.1 Maximum remuneration

Contributions from the NCE funds towards the total annual remuneration (fixed or variable) of each network staff member must not exceed $120,000/year full-time equivalent (excluding benefits). This maximum applies to all positions (including employment contracts) and shall be pro-rated on the basis of the proportion of time worked relative to the full-time equivalent. Any remaining salary must come from non-NCE funds.

3.2.2 Remuneration for the network director or co-directors

Network directors or co-directors must often maintain their previous position while taking on significant responsibilities associated with the network. As a result of these additional responsibilities and the necessary time dedication, they may need to alleviate some of their non-network related responsibilities with their university or organization. To facilitate this, the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives allow total remuneration for the director or both co-director salaries up to $150,000/year paid by the network. This contribution offsets the salaries paid to the director or co-directors (by the University or the knowledge-user organization) to allow the university or organization to dedicate other human resources to cover the institutional or organizational responsibilities of the director or co-directors. The $150,000/year maximum includes up to $25,000/year for partial teaching or clinical release (See Appendix A for details).

3.2.3 Contracts

Networks may use contracts in order to access specialized facilities and services provided by government laboratories. MOUs that set up the terms for This link will take you to another Web site Specified Purpose Accounts may be used to support joint projects. Money deposited into these Specified Purpose Accounts by networks can come only from non-federal funds raised by the networks and not from the federal funds provided by the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative.

In areas where the expertise does not exist across the Network Members, networks may utilize contracts to enable the network's program to deliver in areas that are essential but not addressed under the network's mandate or to access highly specialized or unique facilities. These contracts should only be used when necessary and must follow specific guidelines including but not limited to:

  • the contract must be between the network and the organization conducting the work;
  • the contract is for the provision of services to the network;
  • the network owns all results from the work conducted and may use those results without any limitations by the contract provider;
  • the provider will not publish or disclose any information related to the contract.

Prior to engaging in contracts, the network must seek approval by the NCE Secretariat.

Employment contracts as opposed to professional services contracts are salaried contributions and are for technical or professional services only where this expertise is not available within the network. These contracts are subject to the maximum remuneration and are categorized as administrative expenditures.

3.3. Payments from NCE to the Network

3.3.1 Grant Payments

NCE grants are made through the network host. As agreed to in the Funding Agreement, grant holders are to use their grants for the purpose for which the funds were awarded, and in accordance with the policies and guidelines of the program and their institution. The NCE Secretariat reserves the right to terminate, suspend or reclaim a grant if the recipient contravenes the funding agreement.

3.3.2 Basis and Timing of Payments

Payment of grants is authorized by the NCE Steering Committee through one or more of the granting agencies and paid using the payment schedules of the relevant granting agencies providing NCE funds to the network. Subsequent instalments are approved annually, subject to the availability of funds, satisfactory progress, and the network's continuing compliance with the program's policies, terms and conditions. Networks hosted at universities have their funds released to the designated financial administrative unit of the Host institution. Through the direction of the Governing Board, the network advises the Network Host of the amounts to be disbursed to participating institutions and to the Network Administrative Centre.

3.3.3 Carry Forward Amounts

The Governing Board of a network must be vigilant of the amount of NCE grant funds that are carried forward year over year. The NCE Secretariat issues payments to networks based on their identified need in the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP application or through written requests by the Governing Board. If a network consistently is unable to expend the grant provided by the Granting Agencies, the amounts carried forward may have a negative effect on future payments of the current grant and the demonstration of need for future grants within the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiatives.

3.3.4 Transfers between Network Members

Upon signing the Network Agreement, and through direction by the network, the Network Host may transfer funds to a Network Member. Transfers may only occur between the Network Host and Network Members. Transfers of funds between Network Members (e.g. from Network Member "A" to Network Member "B") are considered second order transfers and are not permitted. In all situations where the Network deems it necessary that funds be re-distributed between Network Members, the funds must first be returned to the Network Host who will then transfer the funds.

3.3.5 Payment to Knowledge User organizations

Knowledge User organizations that are not eligible to receive funds from the federal granting agencies must sign contractual agreements with the Network Host in exchange for payments. These contractual agreements must set out the expectations of all parties in the agreement and provides for such matters as reporting requirements, use of money payments, and ownership and exploitation of intellectual property.

3.3.6 Cash and In-Kind support from partners

The NCE-KM and NCE IKTP Initiatives recognize both cash and in-kind support to the network. Cash contributions provide the network with the flexibility to increase their knowledge mobilization activities, cover expenses outside of the eligible expenses of the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative and generally expand the scope of the network. These contributions should be directed to the network and managed by the Administrative Centre under the direction of the Governing Board in accordance with any agreements signed by the network.

In-kind contributions also provide invaluable support to networks. Specialized access to data or resources, hospitality costs, access to IP, salaries, software and travel costs are all examples of in-kind support recognized by the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives. See more on calculation of NCE in-kind support in Appendix B.

Both cash and in-kind contributions to the network are expected to evolve over the lifetime of the grant and increase with the progress of networking and knowledge mobilization activities.

3.3.7 Stacking provisions

The maximum level (stacking limit) of total government assistance (federal, provincial and municipal assistance for the same eligible expenditures) for the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives will not exceed 100 per cent of eligible expenditures. For clarity, once the expenditure has been covered by NCE funds up to 100% of the value, other government sources cannot be used to cover the same expense. In the event total government assistance to a recipient exceeds the stacking limit, the granting agencies will adjust the level of assistance provided through the NCE grant so that the stacking limit is not exceeded.

When the network or the network investigators are successful in attracting other funding, from either governmental or non-governmental sources, the additional funds do not displace the grant provided by the NCE-KM or the NCE IKTP Initiatives but rather should be used to extend or accelerate the achievement of their overall objectives.

When reporting annually to the NCE Secretariat it is important to disclose and provide adequate information related to the other sources of support (held or applied for) from all other government sources.

4. Policies and guidelines

The Governing Board is responsible for ensuring that the network is managed according the rules and regulations governing a not-for-profit organization. Additional activities specific to an incorporated entity, such as the performance of audits and annual reports to the Canada Revenue Agency, are not under the purview of the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiatives and are the responsibility of the network.

4.1 Additional policies and guidelines

As an NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP network, the following policies and guidelines must also be adhered to: (further details are provided below)

  • Conflict of Interest;
  • Current or former public office holders or public servants;
  • Environmental Assessment;
  • Intellectual Property and Benefits to Canada;
  • Official languages; and
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

4.1.1 Conflict of interest

The network shall adopt a code of conduct in its by-laws for directors, officers, employees and committee members designed to prevent real or perceived conflicts of interest. The code shall be no less stringent than the NCE Conflict of Interest Policy Framework (Appendix C).

4.1.2 Current or former public office holders or public servants

Networks that employ or retain the services of individuals who are current or former (in the last 12 months) public office holders or public servants are asked to certify compliance with the This link will take you to another Web site Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and disclosure of the involvement of former public servants who are subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Value and Ethics Code for the Public Service.

4.1.3 Environmental assessment

The Governing Board of each network receiving NCE funds must establish a process for environmental assessment which is comparable to This link will take you to another Web site the process established by NSERC in fulfillment of its obligations pursuant to the This link will take you to another Web site Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. All activities approved for funding by the Governing Board and that will receive NCE funds shall be reviewed for potential adverse environmental effects.

4.1.4 Intellectual Property and Benefits to Canada

Although NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP funds may not be used for research-related expenses, such expenses may be covered by other sources of funding. Ownership of network-supported Intellectual Property shall be determined by applicable Canadian law and the policies of the relevant participating institution(s). The ownership and disposition of intellectual property arising from network-funded activities must be governed by the arrangements described in the Network Agreement. Agreements made regarding the ownership of the intellectual property resulting from network-funded activities must take into account the NCE objective of creating partnerships. The network must establish a policy that encourages and facilitates commercialization for the greatest benefit to Canada (See Appendix E for further guidance on benefits to Canada in this context and the Best Practices Manual for Governance and Operations for additional guidance on Intellectual Property arrangements).

4.1.5 Official Languages

In compliance with Part VII of the This link will take you to another Web site Official Languages Act, the Granting Agencies have established that positives measures to promote the use of both English and French in Canadian society should be taken. Networks funded in 2018 and beyond are required to: (i) acknowledge the Granting Agencies' financial support in both English and French whenever possible; (ii) publish its website in both official languages, and include links to both the English and French NCE "program" and the "name of the network" webpages; and (iii) advertise its competitions, events, and activities in both official languages. The cost of translating the website is an eligible expense and therefore can be included as an expense in the financial section of the application. Additional guidance on measures networks can take to promote use of both official languages is found in the Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual.

4.1.6 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The participation of all qualified individuals, inclusive of members of under-represented groups, is essential to mobilize Canada's best research, development and entrepreneurial expertise to create excellent, innovative and impactful results. Networks must support the inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups as one means to foster excellence. Networks must consider equity, diversity and inclusion in the selection of the management team and members of the governing board and committees. Consult the Best Practices for Governance and Operations Resource Manual for tools to help meet equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

5. Monitoring and Guidances

5.1 NCE Secretariat Liaison

The NCE Secretariat will identify a NCE liaison to work closely with each network over the grant period. This partnership will enable the network to achieve better alignment with the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative. The NCE liaison may be asked to participate in the resolution of technical, financial or administrative difficulties; assist the network in the preparation of submissions to the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative; advise on the interpretation of the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative objectives, rules and guidelines; and support co-ordination of the network's activities with those of other networks or of other government-sponsored initiatives.

The NCE liaison is the primary NCE Secretariat contact for the network and will have observer status in the Governing Board and its committees, and will be invited to attend all meetings. If the NCE liaison is not able to attend a meeting the NCE Secretariat may temporarily appoint an alternate representative.

Upon endorsement by the Governing Board of a network, any major change that would affect the general mission, objectives and/or other operations of the network must be submitted to the NCE Secretariat for approval by the Steering Committee prior to implementation.

5.2 NCE Monitoring Committee

The NCE Monitoring Committee is a sub-committee of the NCE Standing Selection Committee with the mandate of evaluating the annual progress of NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP networks and making recommendations to the NCE Steering Committee regarding the continuation of funding for the networks under review. The NCE Monitoring Committee can make one of the following recommendations: that the network continues its activities; be phased-out of its activities; or undergoes an in-depth review by an Expert Panel.

5.3 NCE Standing Selection Committee

The NCE Standing Selection Committee is the highest level committee in the adjudication of applications to the NCE-KM and NCE IKTP Initiatives. The Committee provides recommendations for funding to the NCE Steering Committee and policy guidance on the direction of the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives. The NCE Standing Selection Committee membership is reflective of the broad focus areas of the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives and meets regularly to adjudicate competitions and discuss policies. The NCE Standing Selection Committee is familiar with all of the applications submitted to the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives and thus selects representatives from its membership to also participate on the NCE Monitoring Committee.

Any major change to the network that would affect the general mission, research program or other operations of the network must be submitted to the NCE Steering Committee for approval prior to implementation.

5.4 Annual Reporting

The NCE Secretariat collects annual reports to monitor the progress of funded networks while collecting statistics for the purposes of reporting within the federal government. Progress is assessed against: the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiative criteria; the network's strategic plan as reported by the network in the annual report; and NCE Standing Selection Committee reports as well as previous Network Annual Progress Reports and NCE Monitoring Committee evaluations. After the review, feedback and guidance are provided by the NCE Monitoring Committee to each network through a report card. The method of collection is continually refined through consultation with networks, external committees including the NCE Monitoring Committee, and internal evaluators.

Every year the NCE Secretariat sends a communication to all networks with the updated reporting information for the concluding year. Any major changes from reporting requirements from previous years are documented separately and shared with networks. Completed annual reports must be approved by the Governing Board and submitted to the NCE Secretariat by the last business day in May.

Upon receipt of the annual reports, data from the reports are transferred into the NCE Database and shared with the NCE Monitoring Committee. The NCE Monitoring Committee then meets to discuss each report separately and may interact directly with networks should additional clarification been needed. Over the course of the funding cycle, a network may be invited by the NCE Secretariat to present at the NCE Monitoring Committee meeting. The NCE Monitoring Committee develops a Report Card for the network which provides high-level feedback on the annual report and the progress of the network to date (contact your NCE liaison for a sample report card).

5.5 Approaching the end of an NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Grant

Networks approaching the end of a funding cycle through the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiatives must implement a plan to ensure the smooth transition or winding down of activities. The NCE Secretariat provides Final Reporting Guidelines and documentation to help networks complete the final obligations under the grant. Networks must not make any new commitments beyond the final fiscal year. This includes funding activities into future years not covered by the NCE Funding Agreement. Any such activities must be approved by the NCE Secretariat prior to approval by the Governing Board.

Networks approaching the end of their grant may request a one-year extension in time to complete activities if required. The NCE Secretariat must receive the request with sufficient notice in order to evaluate the request, and to execute an amendment to the term of the funding agreement if approved.

The NCE-KM and NCE IKTP Initiatives do not require that networks achieve sustainability of their mandate at the conclusion of the grant, yet networks are encouraged to define and achieve the legacy that will continue beyond the existence of the network. The Governing Board is responsible for the development and execution of all legacy planning. Legacy is important to all stages during the lifetime of the network and should not be left to the final months of a network but monitored and adapted throughout the life of the network.

5.6 Renewal

Networks selected for funding typically have an opportunity to renew their mandate and apply for additional funding prior to the end of a funding cycle. Currently, NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP have the opportunity to renew for one additional three year term. Renewals of grants are awarded through a competitive process and are not automatically guaranteed to existing networks. Networks applying for renewal should also prepare for the possibility of not being renewed under the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Initiatives.

5.7 The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act

The KM and IKTP Initiatives are subject to the federal This link will take you to another Web site Access to Information Act and the This link will take you to another Web site Privacy Act. (See Appendix D for more details.)

Contact Us

If you have any question or require additional information, you can reach us at:

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

Phone: 613-995-6010
Fax: 613-992-7356

Appendix A: NCE Eligible Expenditures

The table below contains a non-comprehensive list of eligible and ineligible expenses for the NCE-KM and NCE-IKTP Initiatives.

General Eligible Expenditures (Applicable to all Networks)
Administrative costs
Eligible Expenses Ineligible Expenses
1. Administrative Operating Costs

Salaries and Benefits for Network staff members (e.g. network directors, network manager, business development/industrial liaison officer, communications officer, secretarial support staff)

Non-discretionary benefits include workplace safety insurance coverage costs for Network staff, pension benefits, medical, vision and dental care benefits and parental leave; the costs of the benefits package should be in the average market range.

Other administrative expenses:

Office supplies and equipment (e.g. stationery for the administrative center, fax, computers, printers).

Communication devices for network activities.

Long distance charges.

Internet access fees while traveling for network activities.

Costs to obtain liability insurance for members of the Governing Board, and Network administrators.

Travel and accommodation for Network personnel, and members of Network boards and committees.

Legal fees, audit costs, and other related incorporation costs for the Network.

Honoraria for external reviewers.

Remuneration for Governing Board members

Discretionary severance and separation packages.

Routine courses (Excel, time management, language training, etc.).

Support services provided by the host institution, such as:

  1. construction and maintenance of buildings;
  2. administrative support;
  3. personnel support;
  4. financial services;
  5. telephone lines and equipment;
  6. library and building services;
  7. insurance other than liability insurance;
  8. furniture;
  9. office space; and
  10. web connection at administrative centre.
2. Costs Related to Networking

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for networking purposes (e.g. Board meetings and strategic planning meetings with stakeholders).

Hospitality costs (non-alcoholic refreshments and/or meals) for knowledge mobilization related activities.

Hospitality costs for meetings attended only by Network staff are not eligible.

3. Costs Related to Communication Activities

Newsletters/brochures, annual reports, printing and mailing costs, public relations associated expenses (e.g. display booths, press conferences).

Promotional material for conferences.

Financial contributions to special events in Canada, subject to consultation with the NCE Secretariat.

Financial contributions to international events limited to communications activities and/or costs related to networking (e.g. travel, registration fees, exhibit space rental).

Other communications activities as long as the activity is approved by the network's Governing Board and is part of the Network communication strategy.


4. Costs Related to Knowledge Mobilization

Prototype development, subject to approval by the Governing Board provided that due diligence has been used to find a partner to share the costs for development, normally on a matching basis.

Market studies to determine the market potential for an NCE-generated development or to determine the appropriate market(s) for a development, subject to the approval by the Governing Board.

Intellectual property: on an annual basis, up to 50 per cent of the total costs of protection for intellectual property resulting from Network activities.

Specific Eligible Expenditures
Eligible Expenses Ineligible Expenses
1. Operating Costs for the Network's Administrative Centre

Travel and accommodation for researchers.

Network director or co-directors salary ("A") and partial teaching/clinical release ("B"); subject to approval by the Governing Board and the employer of the NCE scientific director:

  1. Contributions from all federal sources towards "A" must not exceed $150K (including benefits);
  2. Contribution to "B" may be up to $25K per year from NCE funds; and
  3. Total support ("A" + "B") must not exceed $150K per year.

The salary support provided to the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Network director or co-directors must enable them to dedicate corresponding time to network-related activities. NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Network director or co-directors who receive NCE salary support may hold grants from the federal granting agencies provided they meet the eligibility requirements of the respective agencies.

Part-time salary support for university-based researchers.

Release time for teaching (except for partial release for the scientific director (NCE-Networks)

Honoraria for International Scientific Review Board members.

2. Other Costs Related to Student and Postdoctoral Fellows

Parental Leave Supplements (up to 6 months at the current level of support) for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who meet the following eligibility requirements:

  1. Students or postdoctoral fellows who are eligible for parental benefits from other sources (e.g. employment insurance or other plans) must first apply to those alternate sources for parental leave support.
  2. Where parental leave support can be obtained from another source, additional NCE parental leave supplement funds may be provided to bring the total parental leave support to the maximum allowable under NCE policy.
  3. The parental leave must be taken in Canada.

The NCE parental leave supplement policy applies to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are expectant mothers and/or the primary caregiver for a child within six months of the child's birth or adoption, and have taken leave from their home institution.


Appendix B: Calculation of In-Kind Contributions

For all Networks of Centres of Excellence Programs, in-kind (cash equivalent) contributions are defined as cash-equivalent goods or services that represent an incremental expense that the partner would not otherwise incur and which would have to be paid for with network/centre funds if not provided by a partner. In-kind contributions should be relevant and central to the activities or mandate of the network/centre, must be eligible expenses as per the program guidelines and cannot have been used to fulfill the leveraging requirements of other federal programs.

Reporting Guidelines

  • The nature of an in-kind contribution and its valuation must be detailed. It is the responsibility of the board of directors to ensure that a proper accounting framework is created to ensure that the reported value for all items is reasonable. The NCE Secretariat may request justification in the case of questionable valuations.
  • If there is doubt about the eligibility of an in-kind contribution, the network or centre must seek clarification from the NCE Secretariat. Each case is considered on its merits, and the Secretariat exercises discretion in making the final decision.

Calculation Table

The table below is a non-exhaustive list of in-kind contributions, with an indication of how to calculate their value. If in doubt about a particular item, contact the NCE Secretariat.

Category Calculation of recognized contribution Ineligible contributions

Access to unique databases

  • Incremental cost of access
  • Cost of developing or maintaining database

Analytical and other services

  • Internal cost of services
  • Commercial cost of access


Donated (used)

  • Fair market value
  • Company book value

Donated (new)

  • Selling price to most favored customer (if stock item)
  • Cost of manufacture (if one of a kind)


  • Rental equivalent based on depreciation
  • Rental equivalent to highest-volume rate
  • List price or discounted list price
  • Rental equivalents exceeding accepted values had the equipment been donated or sold
  • Development costs


  • Cost
  • Alcoholic refreshments


  • Unit cost of production for commercial products
  • Selling price to most favoured customer
  • Price for internal transfers
  • Cost of production of prototypes and samples
  • Development costs

Intellectual property

  • Fair market value of licencing and royalties
  • Cost of maintenance and litigation
  • Licensing fees paid to partners

Professional and technical service contracts

  • Cost


  • Actual salary cost (including benefits), including non-discretionary benefits, up to a maximum of $100 / hour.
  • Remuneration for work on governing committees
  • Salary overheads, external charge-out or consultant rates


  • Most-favoured-customer cost for one licence per software package
  • Cost of equivalent commercial product (where donated software is not commercially available)
  • Cost of training and support (at the university/college site) for software by industrial partner personnel
  • Development costs

Travel costs

  • Travel costs to meet with networks and centres
  • Reasonable accommodation costs

Use of facilities

  • Cost of access to the facility
  • Internal rates for use of specialized equipment
  • Internal rates for value of lost production, resulting from downtime
  • Rental costs for office space

Appendix C: Conflict of Interest Policy Framework

Interactions between university researchers and the private sector are an essential feature of the NCE program. For the objectives of the NCE program to be achieved, many kinds of interactions among individuals participating in the Network must occur. These interactions may lead to gains and benefits to the individuals participating in the Network and are desirable and natural outcomes of being involved in the Network. Such interactions, however, may place individuals participating in the Network in a position of potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest.

The responsibility for implementing and managing the Conflict of Interest Policy Framework, to ensure that Network operations and decisions are not biased by conflict of interest, is delegated to each Network Governing Board, which represents the highest authority in the management structure of the Network. The Network Governing Board is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee for the effective implementation and management of the Conflict of Interest Policy Framework.

Individuals participating in the Network, such as members of the Governing Board and advisory committees who do not receive NCE funds, are recognized as playing a unique role in the Networks. They bring an important perspective as a result of their particular knowledge, often as representatives of organizations in the field of interest of the Network. Nevertheless, they are still required to disclose any financial interest or position of influence, as described in Section 2.0 of this Appendix, in any business in the same area of interest as the Network, other than that of their main employer.

The Conflict of Interest Policy is intended to enable Network Governing Board and individuals to recognize and disclose situations that may be open to question and to ensure that such situations are appropriately resolved. The policy builds upon and is complementary to those of the organizations that make up the Network Governing Board, Network Investigators and the administrators.

1.0 Definitions

"Administrative Centre" means the central administrative offices of the organization managing the Network.

"Avoidance" means refraining from, or withdrawing from, participation in activities or situations that place an individual participating in the Network in a potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest relative to his or her Network duties and responsibilities.

"Board" means the Governing Board of a NCE-Network that is responsible for the overall management of the administrative centre and is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee.

"Conflict of interest" means a situation where, to the detriment or potential detriment of the Network, an individual is, or may be, in a position to use research knowledge, authority, or influence for personal or family gain (financial or other) or to benefit others.

"Disclosure" means the act of notifying in writing to the Governing Board, through the network manager, of any direct or indirect financial interests and positions of influence held by an individual participating in the Network, which could lead to a potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest.

"Divestment" means the sale at arm's length, or the placement in trust, of assets, where continued ownership by an individual participating in the Network would constitute a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest with the participant's Network duties and responsibilities.

"Financial interest" means an interest in a business in the same area as the Network as described in Section 2.1 of this Appendix.

"NCE Secretariat" means the secretariat through which the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program and three other programs are delivered.

"NCE Steering Committee" means the committee comprised of the three granting agencies' Presidents and the Deputy Ministers, Industry Canada and Health Canada, and the President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (as an observer), which has overall responsibility for the NCE program.

"Network Governing Board" means the Board that is responsible for the overall management of the Network and is accountable to the NCE Steering Committee.

"Network Manager" means the senior managerial employee of the Network who reports to the Governing Board.

"Position of influence" includes any position that entails responsibility for a material segment of the operation and/or management of a business.

2.0 Disclosure

Upon joining the Network, each individual is obliged to disclose in writing to the Governing Board, through the Network Manager, any direct or indirect financial interests and/or positions of influence that could lead to a potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest (examples provided in Section 5.0 of this Appendix). In addition, these submissions must be updated whenever the individual's circumstances change in a way that would necessitate a further disclosure. The individual also has the obligation to disclose any potential, apparent or actual conflict of interest when it arises during Network committee or Board meetings so that the committee or Board is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

2.1 Financial Interest

Financial Interest consists of:

  • any material stock option (e.g. 1%) or similar ownership interest in such a business, but excluding any interest arising solely by reason of investment in such business by a mutual, pension, or other institutional investment fund over which the person does not exercise control; or
  • receipt of, or the right and potential to receive, any income from such a business, whether in the form of a fee (e.g. consulting), salary, allowance, interest in real or personal property, dividend, royalty derived from licensing of technology, rent, capital gain, real or personal property, or any other form of compensation or contractual relationship, or any combination thereof.

3.0 Management of Conflict of Interest

The Network Governing Board or an appointed conflict of interest sub-committee is charged with the responsibility of managing conflict of interest, and determining and implementing the appropriate course of action. This management system is based on disclosure, as described in Section 2.0 of this Appendix. All disclosures constitute confidential information that will be available to the Network Board, or a sub-committee thereof, for the evaluation and resolution of any conflict of interest or allegations of conflict of interest brought before the Board or its conflict of interest sub-committee.

While it is recognized that it may be difficult to completely avoid situations of potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest, complete avoidance or divestment may be required in certain cases. Such divestment should not consist of a sale or transfer of assets to family members or other persons for the purpose of circumventing the conflict of interest compliance measures as directed by the Board.

3.1 Principles

An individual participating in the Network who is involved with, or has an interest in, or deals in any manner with a third party which might cause a conflict of interest, will not be present or participate in any decisions pertaining to the Network, including committee decisions, if the declared potential conflict of interest could influence the decision or actions of the Network. It is the obligation of the individual to declare such potential, apparent, or actual conflict of interest before discussions take place so that the committee or Network Governing Board is aware of the situation in order to ensure that the individual is out of the room when the discussion and decision process on the item in question are taking place. This course of action should be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

Any question raised by an individual or company regarding the potential conflict of interest of an individual will be raised at the Network Governing Board level and must be documented in writing. The Governing Board will determine the extent to which the question should be pursued and in such cases will consult the individual in question. If necessary, the individual will be asked to respond in writing.

3.2 Non-compliance

If an individual is discovered to be in conflict of interest where disclosure and prior approval have not been sought or granted, the Governing Board will require the individual to:

  • account to the Network for any gain or benefit made directly or indirectly, arising from an involvement with, or an interest in, or from dealing in any manner with a third party that gives rise to a conflict of interest; and
  • withdraw from the involvement; or
  • withdraw from the Network; or
  • take appropriate action as determined by the Governing Board.

4.0 Review Process

An individual may request in writing, within 30 days, a review of a decision on conflict of interest. In certain circumstances, the Network Governing Board may arrange for an independent third party appointed by mutual agreement of the Network and the Governing Board, and failing such mutual agreement appointed by the NCE Steering Committee, to act as an intermediary to scrutinize scientific reports and budgetary information of research project(s) in which the individual participating in the Network is involved. The intermediary would provide an opinion on the overall merit of the review, without divulging specifics of a proprietary nature to other members of the Network. The ultimate decision on the resolution of the review rests with the Network Governing Board.

In cases where there is a concern with respect to decisions or actions of the Governing Board itself, this concern should be submitted in writing to the NCE Steering Committee. The NCE Steering Committee may request the Chair of the Governing Board to respond in writing to the Steering Committee. Following submission of the Chair's response, the NCE Steering Committee will decide on follow-up action.

5.0 Examples of Conflict of Interest

The following examples, although not comprehensive, illustrate situations that may lead to an indirect or direct conflict of interest:

  • being employed in any capacity by another employer outside the participant's, administrator's, or director's university, institution or company signing the Network Agreement, including self-employment
  • holding an office that puts the individual in a position to affect decisions, such as manager with executive powers, within a company, or member of a Governing Board
  • participating in a research contract or consultancy relationship with a company or serving on the board of a company
  • entering into a research contract with a company in which the participant, or a member of his or her immediate family, has a financial or other interest
  • carrying out supplementary professional scientific activities in accordance with the disclosure requirements of the participant's or director's employing organization
  • owning equity or other financial participation in a corporation (including stock options and shares) - participants, administrators and directors should abstain from activity in which they would have inside advantage (e.g. purchase of shares) based on the information they are privy to through membership in the Network
  • accepting gifts (other than some minor hospitality) or special favours for him or herself or a member of his or her family from private organizations with which the Network does business
  • influencing the purchase of equipment or materials for the Network from a company in which the participant, the administrator or the director has a financial or other interest.

Appendix D: The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act (ATIP)

The Access to Information Act (ATI) gives Canadian citizens and people present in Canada a limited right of access to information in federal government records. The Privacy Act gives these same individuals a limited right of access to personal information about themselves held in government records and sets out rules and fair practices for the management of personal information by federal institutions. All information collected and generated in the context of the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) programs that comes under the control of the NCE Secretariat and the granting agencies is subject to these laws.

It is important to remember that the ATIP is intended to complement, not replace, established channels of communication. The NCE Secretariat promotes open, informal communication with the research community and with the public. Contact the NCE Secretariat before using the Acts.

The Access to Information Act

A requester seeking access to NCE Secretariat records under the Access to Information Act (ATIA) must write to the ATIP Co-ordinator at Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) providing a precise description of the records sought and enclosing an application fee ($5.00 at the time of this writing). Submitting a request does not guarantee that a requester will gain complete access to the requested records. The Act sets out specific exceptions and exemptions that apply in responding to such requests. For example, personal information about identifiable individuals or proprietary technical information submitted in confidence by researchers or companies would not be disclosed. Moreover, if a request requires a lengthy search or involves a large number of records, a requester could be asked to pay additional fees to help cover the processing costs.

More information about the Act can be obtained from the NSERC Access to Information and Privacy Co-ordinator (see below), the ATIP web page (This link will take you to another Web site or from Info Source, a published register of federal information holdings available in most large libraries or at

The Privacy Act

The Privacy Act gives people in Canada certain rights with respect to personal information about them held by federal institutions. For example, institutions must inform people from (or about) whom they collect personal information, how it will be used, and to whom it will be disclosed. Personal information may be used only for the purposes for which it was originally collected or for uses consistent with that purpose. The Act also contains a procedure for requesting correction of inaccuracies in personal information.

Making a request under the Privacy Act is similar to making one under ATI except that there are no fees associated with requests to access personal information. The Privacy Act sets out limits to the right of access similar to those contained in the ATIA. For example, unless otherwise set out in advance, a person requesting access to personal information about themselves would not be given access to personal information about another.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat

The decision-making processes related to applications received by the NCE Secretariat are subject to more publicity than traditional grant or scholarship applications made to individuals. Applicants, co-applicants and other participants, including members of Boards of Directors, managers and other key players, should be aware that their names and affiliations will be accessible to the public. The NCE Secretariat routinely publishes and disseminates certain details about successful applications. These include: names and affiliations of applicants and co-applicants, the amount of the total award and any conditions attached to that amount, and summaries prepared by the applicant or by the Secretariat for public reference. The final reports of the NCE Secretariat selection committees or the Private Sector Advisory Board, providing an overview of a competition along with a summary of each application recommended for funding, are also publicly disseminated.

More detailed personal information about applicants and prospective administrators collected by the NCE Secretariat programs is used to review applications, to administer and monitor awards, and to promote and support research. Consistent with these purposes, applicants should also expect that personal information collected by the program might be used and disclosed in the following ways:

  1. As part of the review process, applications are disclosed to selection committees composed of experts recruited from the academic, private and public sectors. Applications may also be transmitted to external referees, to members of ad hoc review committees or to site visit committees for review. Individuals recruited by the NCE Secretariat programs to participate in these review activities are instructed to protect and to treat as confidential all information entrusted to them.
  2. The substance of expert reviews and the comments of selection committees about a proposal are accessible to all co-applicants even though reviews may occasionally include comments about a particular co-applicant. Normally, NCE Secretariat staff provides these assessments as feedback to the principal applicant only; it is expected, however, that he/she will share it with co-applicants.
  3. The NCE maintains a separate database, for the information collected through the annual reporting mechanisms of the different NCE Secretariat programs. Information collected is available to members of the NCE Management and Steering Committees or their delegates who are affiliated with a granting agency or other partners of the NCE Secretariat including Industry Canada, Health Canada, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and NSERC.
  4. Because of the relationship between the NCE Secretariat and its partners, staff of the NCE Secretariat is usually aware of other applications submitted by the same applicants or groups to other programs within the partners. For the purposes of adjudication and award administration, selection committees may be provided with information of co-applicants' proposals and awards in all programs. In cases when, for example, there is a question of possible overlap in the support of the same research activity by two or more programs, an application submitted to one program may be used during the review of an application submitted to another program. NCE Secretariat staff may also disclose the contents of applications to program staff in the agencies for the purposes of determining the most appropriate source of funding, jurisdiction, or to monitor overlap in federal support.
  5. The NCE Secretariat and its partners may use personal information about applicants in their files and databases to identify prospective committee members and reviewers for specific grant applications, planning and evaluation purposes, audits, and to generate statistics for these activities. The agencies may also use the information in their files and databases to generate distribution lists in order to disseminate publications and other information to the research community.
  6. Data on the gender of applicants is collected by the NCE Secretariat on a voluntary basis only. While gender data on specific individuals is not used in the adjudication process, it may be used by the NCE Secretariat or its partners to promote the increased participation of a specific group in programs and on committees.

Applicants and participants in the NCE Secretariat programs are subject to the This link will take you to another Web site Tri-Agency Framework for the Responsible Conduct of Research and their personal information may be used and disclosed consistent with this policy.

Information Provided to the NCE Secretariat

Information provided to the NCE Secretariat is subject to the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act. Grant applicants and recipients are encouraged to separate information not related to the grant from meetings and documentation available to the NCE Secretariat and its representatives. Furthermore, applicants and recipients should adopt the practice of labelling information as confidential when the information contains:

  1. trade secrets;
  2. financial, commercial, scientific or technical information considered confidential;
  3. information that could result in a material financial loss or gain or impact a competitive position; and
  4. information that could affect contractual or other negotiations.

Annual Reporting Information

Throughout the grant period, recipients of grants are required to provide information to the NCE Secretariat. The information collected is consolidated across the relevant NCE program(s) to generate statistical information, update operational requirements and identify best practices that may be used by staff and committees. Information used in public reports and publications is discussed with grant recipients in advance.

Non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements

Representatives of the NCE Secretariat will not enter into separate non-disclosure and/or confidentiality agreements.

For further information on the above Acts, please contact:

ATIP Coordinator
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1H5

Phone: 613-995-6214
Fax: 613-992-5337

Appendix E: Benefit to Canada

Working Guidelines

A key NCE program objective is to advance Canadian economic and social development. Accordingly, every effort must be made to have the results of Network-funded activities exploited in Canada, for the benefit of Canadians. Benefit to Canada is defined as incremental Canadian economic activity and improved quality of life in Canada. Maximum benefits would be derived from the creation of high-quality jobs in Canada and this should be an important goal of any commercialization activity.

The owners of intellectual property resulting from activities funded by NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP networks, or the agent acting on the owners' behalf, will consult with relevant stakeholders (Network administrators, universities, and researchers) on issues of commercialization. When selecting a receptor company for the exclusive licence of the commercial rights of intellectual property resulting from Network-funded activities, the agent/owners of intellectual property resulting from Network-funded activities will use reasonable and thorough efforts to maximize benefits to Canada in a national and international context. Due diligence in efforts to maximize benefits to Canada depends in part on the nature of the research results that are being exploited, and on the window of opportunity. The agent/owners of intellectual property resulting from NCE-funded activities should take into consideration the following non-comprehensive list of possible benefits to Canada factors in exercising that due diligence:

  • existing company in Canada with receptor capacity
  • expansion of an existing company in Canada
  • formation of a new company in Canada
  • joint ventures or strategic alliances with a company in Canada
  • co-manufacturing involving a company in Canada
  • cross-licensing or co-development with a company in Canada
  • establishment of a new subsidiary in Canada (R&D, manufacturing, sales, marketing, distribution)
  • development and/or production in Canada by a foreign company (world product mandate)

Mechanism for Reporting Due Diligence

Within 30 days of a decision to pursue exploitation by a foreign company, and in advance of finalizing this decision, the agent/owner is required to report the decision to the NCE-KM or NCE-IKTP Network Governing Board and through the Network Governing Board, to provide the NCE Steering Committee the rationale and circumstances that led to the decision. The NCE Steering Committee reserves the right to impose sanctions as it deems appropriate, if there is failure to comply with these reporting requirements or negligence in performing the due diligence by the Network.