CFI Innovation Fund

The Biotron

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is expected to release a draft Call for Proposals for the 2023 round of the Innovation Fund in October 2021.

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 has developed an internal timeline designed to engage and prepare application teams in advance of the CFI 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 timeline for the various stages of review is provided below. Further information on each stage can be found in the Call for Proposals.

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

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

Email tara.maccrone@uwo.ca to sign up.

Internal Proposals Due October 5, 2021
Internal Selection of Proposals November 2021
CFI NOI Deadline February 2022
CFI Proposal Deadline June 2022

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 anticipated to be $38.9M, or approximately $97M in total eligible costs. Internal proposals must therefore be competitively adjudicated to determine which applications will be submitted to the CFI within Western's envelope.

Notice of Intent

A mandatory Notice of Intent (NOI) must be submitted by August 5, 2021.

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

The NOIs are mandatory, but will not be adjudicated, are not binding, and will be used only for planning purposes. The NOI form can be found below, under Documents and Resources.

"Pitch Your Proposal" Events

To provide potential applicants with an opportunity to obtain constructive feedback on their internal proposals, two "Pitch Your Proposal" events will be held in August 2021 over Zoom. The first event will be the afternoon of Tuesday, August 10 and the second event will be the morning of Wednesday, August 25. Applicants will provide a brief, five-minute "pitch" of their Innovation Fund proposal to a multidisciplinary panel, who will ask questions and provide suggestions and feedback to improve the proposal. This event is optional, and will not impact the competitive internal review process. The events will be open to all applicants and members of the Western community to encourage potential collaborations and share the panel's advice and insights more broadly. Further details on the events will be forthcoming. To register to pitch your proposal for either date, please email tara.maccrone@uwo.ca

Internal Proposals

An internal proposal must be submitted by October 5, 2021. Internal application forms and instructions can be found below under Documents and Resources (Internal Application Form, Budget Template, and 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@uwo.ca before the internal NOI deadline of August 5, 2021.**

Please note that while we will currently accept requests, no envelope contributions will be approved until after a Call for Proposals is released from the CFI. Envelope contribution requests will be accepted up to two weeks before the CFI Notice of Intent deadline (February 2022) or until no remaining envelope is available to be committed.

Review Process

An internal, two-stage review process will be used to identify the projects that will be developed for submission to the CFI. The internal process, detailed in the Call for Proposals (Western ID & Password required), includes the submission of an internal Notice of Intent (not adjudicated) and an internal Proposal that 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 (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

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

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)