Research Western

CFI Innovation Fund

The Biotron

Research Western anticipates the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will release a Call for Proposals for the next round of the Innovation Fund some time in 2018.

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, Research Western has developed an internal timeline designed to engage and prepare application teams in advance of the CFI's anticipated Call for Proposals. Researchers intending to submit an internal proposal are strongly encouraged to discuss their anticipated infrastructure requests with their faculties.

This pre-call framework is based on previous Innovation Fund competitions, and is therefore subject to change as new information is provided by the CFI.

Anticipated Timeline

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

Information Session January 29, 2018, 1-2 p.m., SSC 2024
“Pitch Your Proposal” Event April 19, 2018, 12:30-3 p.m., FNB 1200
Internal Notices of Intent Due May 29, 2018
Internal Proposals Due September 10, 2018
Internal Selection of Proposals Fall 2018

Western's Internal Process

The CFI limits the total amount an institution can request from the Innovation Fund. While the institutional envelope for the coming round is unknown, for reference, the envelope for Western and its affiliated hospitals and research institutes for the 2017 Innovation Fund was $41.3 million (approximately $100 million in total project costs).

A mandatory Notice of Intent must be completed, signed by the Dean(s) (or Dean’s designate) of all faculties that will house requested infrastructure, and submitted no later than Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Internal proposals, which will also require Deans’ signatures, must be submitted no later than Monday, September 10, 2018. Forms and instructions for the internal proposal will be forthcoming.

An internal, two-stage review process will be used to identify the projects which will developed for submission to the CFI. The internal process, detailed in the Call for Proposals, will include the submission of an internal Notice of Intent (not adjudicated) and an internal proposal which will form the basis of institutional decision-making. This process is required for all Innovation Fund projects led by Western; inter-institutional projects not led by Western will follow a different review and decision process (details to be released at a later date).
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 which will increase Western’s competitive advantage in the global research landscape.

Faculty who are considering applying to the next round of the Innovation Fund are strongly encouraged to contact their Faculty leadership as soon as possible. Research Development is also able to assist with any questions.

“Pitch Your Proposal” Event

To provide applicants to Western’s internal process for the CFI Innovation Fund with an opportunity to obtain constructive feedback on their internal proposals, a “Pitch Your Proposal” event (based on a similar, successful initiative at the University of Calgary) will be piloted for this round. This event is optional and will not impact the competitive review process.

The event will be held on Thursday, April 19 from 12:30–3 p.m. in  FIMS/Nursing Building room 1200. Those interested in participating should register prior to April 12 by emailing Due to time constraints, participation will be limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. If there is sufficient demand, a second event may be scheduled in May. The event will be open to all attendees, in order to encourage potential collaborations and share the panel’s advice and insights broadly.

The panel providing feedback will consist of:

About the Innovation Fund

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:

Documents and Resources


For more information please contact Carolyn Paterson, Senior Research Development Officer (ext. 82262)