CFI Innovation Fund

The Biotron

Western Research 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, Western Research 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

Application Process: Western-Led Proposals

The application process for Western-Led Innovation Fund proposals is now closed. Review and adjudication of submitted proposals (see below) will take place during the spring of 2019.

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.

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 (TBD).

Review 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).

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, includes 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 (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 which 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


For more information, or questions relating to the CFI Innovation Fund program, please contact Carolyn Paterson, Senior Research Development Officer (519-661-2111 ext. 82262)