CFI Innovation Fund

The Biotron

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has now released its final Call for Proposals for the 2023 round of the Innovation Fund.

The Ontario Research Fund (ORF) has now released its materials for the 2023 round of the Large Infrastructure Fund.

In an effort to maximize development time and support to potential Innovation Fund applicants, and to meet the necessary internal assessment and review processes for infrastructure proposals of this scale, Western Research developed an internal timeline designed to engage and prepare application teams in advance of the CFI Call for Proposals. Western's internal process was released in July 2021. 

Anticipated Timeline

(new version) Western's timelines for full proposal development can be found here (Western ID & password required).

A timeline for the various stages of internal review is provided below. Further information on each stage can be found in the Western Call for Proposals. 

Events, Deadlines and Dates
Event and/or Deadline Date
Western Information Session July 20, 2021, 1:30-2:30 p.m., via Zoom.
Internal Notices of Intent Due 5 p.m. August 5, 2021
"Pitch Your Proposal" Events

August 10, 2021 (afternoon) &    August 25, 2021 (morning).

Internal Proposals Due October 5, 2021
Internal Selection of Proposals November 2021
CFI Information Sessions via Zoom

December 13, 1-2 p.m.

December 15, 1-2 p.m.

CFI NOI Deadline February 23, 2022*
CFI Proposal Deadline July 15, 2022* (revised)
ORF Proposal Deadline August 15, 2022* (revised)
CFI Funding Decisions June 2023 (revised)

*Please check here for Western's internal timelines 

Application Process: Western-Led Proposals

The CFI caps the maximum amount for which each institution can apply in each round of the Innovation Fund. For the 2023 Innovation Fund, Western's CFI envelope is $38.9M, or approximately $97M in total eligible costs. Internal proposals were competitively adjudicated to determine which applications will be submitted to the CFI within Western's envelope - this process is now complete for the 2023 round.

Notice of Intent

A mandatory Notice of Intent (NOI) was due August 5, 2021.

This short NOI collected basic information on the applicant and their research team, the proposed infrastructure, and the facility/space requirements of the proposed infrastructure. The NOI required a signature from the Dean (or Dean's designate) of the supporting Faculty(ies).

The NOIs were mandatory, but were not adjudicated, were not binding, and were used only for planning purposes. 

"Pitch Your Proposal" Events

To provide potential applicants with an opportunity to obtain constructive feedback on their internal proposals, two "Pitch Your Proposal" events were held in August 2021 over Zoom. Applicants provided a brief, five-minute "pitch" of their Innovation Fund proposal to a multidisciplinary panel, who asked questions and provided suggestions and feedback to improve the proposal. This events were optional, and did not impact the competitive internal review process. The events were open to all applicants and members of the Western community to encourage potential collaborations and share the panel's advice and insights more broadly. 

Internal Proposals

Internal proposals were mandatory and due October 5, 2021 and included a) Internal Application Form, b) Budget Template, and c) Research Equipment & Space Needs Assessment Form. 

Application Process: Externally-Led Proposals

Western researchers who are participating in an Innovation Fund proposal being led by another institution where a contribution from Western's CFI envelope is being requested by the lead institution must complete and submit the form below. Envelope contribution requests will be assessed on a rolling, case-by-case basis. Requests will be reviewed and approved by the relevant Faculty(ies) and Western Research.

**For any large requests (over $1M of Western's CFI envelope) or where a Western Principal Investigator is a Co-Project Leader, please contact Tara Maccrone as soon as possible. We recommended those groups submit their forms on or before October 5, 2021**

Envelope contribution requests will be accepted up to February 9, 2022 (two weeks before the CFI Notice of Intent deadline) or until no remaining envelope is available to be committed.

Review Process

Western's internal two-stage review process that was used to identify the projects that will be developed for submission to the CFI is now complete for the 2023 round. Project leaders have been informed. The internal process, detailed in the Call for Proposals (Western ID & Password required), included the submission of an internal Notice of Intent (not adjudicated) and an internal Proposal that formed the basis of institutional decision-making. This process was required for all Innovation Fund projects led by Western; inter-institutional projects not led by Western will follow a different review and decision process (see above).

Proposals should be aligned with Western’s strengths and strategic priorities, build on past investments in people, research, and infrastructure, and demonstrate world-leading research that will increase Western’s competitive advantage in the global research landscape.

About the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund provides investments in infrastructure, across the full spectrum of research, from the most fundamental to applied through to technology development. Projects funded through the Innovation Fund will help Canada remain at the forefront of exploration and knowledge generation while making meaningful contributions to generating social, health, environmental and economic benefits and addressing global challenges. 

Through the Innovation Fund, the CFI seeks to support promising and innovative research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage. The CFI supports initiatives that allow institutions and their researchers to build on established capabilities to accelerate current research and technology development or to enhance emerging strategic priority areas.

The objectives of the Innovation Fund are to enable institutions and their best researchers to:

  • Strive for global leadership by conducting world-class research or technology development activities in areas of strategic institutional priority;
  • Enhance research capacity by forging productive partnerships within and among institutions, sectors and disciplines for the effective and sustainable use of the research infrastructure and facilities; and
  • Generate social, health, environmental and/or economic benefits for Canadians, including better training and improved skills for highly qualified personnel, through appropriate pathways.

Documents and Resources

The following require your Western ID and Password to access:

Other Resources For reference only since our internal selection process is now complete:

 

Contact

For more information, or questions relating to the CFI Innovation Fund program, please contact Tara MacCrone, Research Development Officer (519-661-2111 ext. 80420)