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 in early 2019.

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 January 24, 2019
Internal Selection of Proposals Spring 2019

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 Thursday, January 24, 2019. Forms and instructions for the internal proposal have been emailed to all applicants who submitted an NOI.

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:

  • Mark Daley, Associate Vice-President (Research)
  • Juan-Luis Suarez, Associate Vice-President (Research)
  • David Tweddell, Director, Research Development
  • Carolyn Paterson, Senior Research Development Officer
  • Greg Kopp, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Associate Dean (Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies), Faculty of Engineering
  • Jane Rylett, Professor, Physiology & Pharmacology and Robarts Research Institute

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:

  • 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


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