CFI Innovation Fund 2017


On February 26, 2016, the Canada Foundation for Innovation released a Call for Proposals for the 2017 Innovation Fund. The CFI will invest up to $425 million in infrastructure costs for transformative infrastructure projects that will underpin cutting-edge, globally competitive research. Institutions should continue to be guided by their strategic research plans and establish priorities that build on their distinct advantages.

Through the 2017 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 will support 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 2017 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.

Western's Internal Process

The CFI limits the total amount which an institution can request from the Innovation Fund. The envelope for Western and its affiliated the 2017 Innovation Fund is anticipated to be $41,300,000.  This amount represents the CFI contribution to projects, which can be no more than 40% of total project costs; this could therefore translate into approximately $100 million in total project costs requested in this round.

An internal excellence-based, peer review process will be used to identify the projects which will be submitted to the CFI by Western, and to determine the maximum budget permitted for each proposal within the envelope. The internal process, detailed in the documents below, will include the submission of an internal Notice of Intent which will form the basis of institutional decision-making. This process is required for all Innovation Fund projects led by Western, as well as projects led by other institutions where contributions from Western’s CFI envelope are requested.

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 2017 Innovation Fund are strongly encouraged to contact their Associate Dean Research or Research Director as soon as possible. Research Development is also able to assist with any questions, or in the development of internal proposals.

Draft Notices of Intent must be signed by your Associate Dean Research or Research Director and submitted no later than Thursday, March 10, 2016. Final and complete Notices of Intent with signatures must be submitted no later than Thursday, March 24, 2016. Note that at this stage, vendor quotations are not required and budget estimates will be sufficient.

Expert Review Panel

  • Mark Daley, (Interim) Associate Vice-President, Research (Chair, Non-voting)
  • Mike Bauer (Computer Science)
  • Hugo De Lasa (Chemical & Biochemical Engineering)
  • Ingrid Johnsrude (Psychology/Communication Sciences & Disorders)
  • Ting Lee (St. Joseph’s Hospital/Medical Imaging)
  • David Litchfield (Biochemistry/Oncology)
  • Ravi Menon (Robarts Research Institute/Medical Imaging)
  • T.K. Sham (Chemistry)
  • Juan-Luis Suarez (Modern Languages & Literature)

To address potential conflicts of interest, Expert Review Panel members will be asked to recuse themselves from the discussion of applications where there is a conflict of interest.

Documents and Resources


For more information, or questions about the above documents, please contact Carolyn Paterson (519-661-2111 ext. 82262).