AV Research and Development (R&D) Partnership Fund - Stream 1

A. Program Overview

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 1) contributes 50 per cent of eligible project costs, for approved projects, up to a maximum of $100,000, with the remainder supported by a minimum 1:1 cash match from Applicants and/or Partners. Project funding can be used towards the development and demonstration of technologies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) sector, in the following Priority Areas:

  • Mass light vehicles (e.g., cars, trucks and vans)
  • Heavy duty vehicles (including commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, RVs and others used for goods movement)
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  • Transit-supportive systems and vehicles

Eligible Partners are:

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
  • Publicly-funded Post-Secondary Academic Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

Projects must be carried out between one SME and a Primary Partner, or an academic institution and a Primary Partner (this is an exception for Stream 1). An academic Applicant’s Primary Partner cannot be another academic institution. Additional, Secondary Partners can also join the project. There is no limit on the number of Partners.  Partnerships should represent significant potential commercial opportunities for all industry Applicants and Partners. Projects can also benefit from additional funding to support qualified interns and /or fellows. For more information on support for internships and/or fellowships, please refer to the AVIN TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships guidelines.

Funding will be for collaborative development, prototyping, and validation projects at technology readiness level 3-7 (3: proof of concept; 7: operational environment functional demonstration).

Projects are encouraged to include demonstration of actual products, which can be showcased at events; at the Demonstration Zone in Stratford, Ontario; in Ottawa, Ontario; on the road, and/or at customer sites.

NOTE: AVIN does not preclude the testing and/or demonstration of C/AV technologies elsewhere in Ontario, subject to Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO's) Pilot Project (0. Reg. 306/15, under Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8) and all other applicable laws and regulations.

Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by project Applicants and Partners as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.

All Applicants and Partners must have an arm’s-length business relationship.

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B. How Funding Works

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 1) contributes 50% of eligible project costs, for approved projects, up to a maximum of $100,000, with the remainder supported by a minimum 1:1 cash match from Applicants and/or Partners.  Projects may be up to 12 months in duration and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This is a reimbursement program. Reimbursements are triggered by the submission and approval of reports.

A funding stacking rule applies. In all circumstances, government funding will not exceed 75 per cent of total project costs. Government funding includes OCE and other Canadian government sources (federal and provincial) and Canadian Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) credits generated from project activities.

NOTE: OCE and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) may partner to support selected collaborative Stream 1 and Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) or Applied Research and Development (ARD) (college only) projects. Partnership may be possible where the two applications are prepared in parallel, the projects are aligned and include unique and complementary milestones, and the industry cash contributions are not already allocated. Potential opportunities must be assessed by an OCE Business Development Manager on a case-by-case basis prior to commencing an application.

An application to Stream 1 can also embed a funding request for interns and fellows from the AVIN Talent Development program. Eligibility and funding details are available.

Flow of Funds

OCE funds flow only to the Applicant. The Applicant is responsible to reimburse Partners, if applicable.

Reimbursement claims (for SME Applicant) or disbursement claim (for academic Applicant) can be made when submitting the required interim and final reports. More information on reporting can be found in section E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements.

Payment Terms

Applicant is an SME
  • Up to 25 per cent upon contracting
  • Quarterly interim payments (based on submitted and approved reimbursement claims and reports)
  • 10 per cent final payment (based on submitted and approved reimbursement claim and final report)

NOTE: If an SME-academic application is put forward, funds will flow through the post-secondary institution (unless requested by the post-secondary institution). This is a standard practice for industry-academic collaborations.

Payments are based on the total project value (including the Talent Development (TalentEdge) Program, if applicable)

Applicant is a Post-Secondary Academic Institution
  • 45 per cent payment upon contracting
  • 45 per cent interim payment (based on submitted and approved disbursement claims and reports)
  • 10 per cent final payment (based on submitted and approved disbursement claim and final report)

NOTE: This program is not eligible for overhead payment by OCE. Academic overhead is also not an eligible expense.

Payments are based on the total project value (including the Talent Development (TalentEdge) Program, if applicable)

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C. Eligibility

Eligible Projects

  • Minimum one Applicant and a Primary Partner
  • Minimum 1:1 cash match by Applicants and/or Partners
  • Applicants and Partners are required to have operations in Ontario and carry out their projects in Ontario
  • Projects can be up to 12 months in duration
  • This program is not intended for research to prove feasibility or basic technology research. Projects should be at Technology Readiness Level 3-7 (proof of concept; 7: operational environment functional demonstration)
  • Typical project activities include: technology development, demonstration, product/service validation, testing, and proof of concept
  • Applicants and Partners should demonstrate close collaboration and scalable outcomes with high potential for commercialization, competitive advantage and alignment with the program intended Fund benefits.

Applicants and Partners

For Stream 1, an Applicant is either an SME (generally defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees) or a post-secondary academic institution. An academic Applicant’s Primary Partner cannot be an academic institution.

Eligible Partners are:

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
  • Publicly-funded Post-Secondary Academic Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

An SME may be an Applicant on only one AV R&D Partnership Fund Stream 1 or Stream 2 project at a time. An SME may be a Primary or Secondary Partner on multiple concurrent projects.

An Ontario publicly funded post-secondary academic institution (college or university) can be an Applicant. For universities, the project lead is a principal investigator. For colleges, the project lead is a representative of the applied research office; project researchers are included as team members. Principal investigators, project leads, and researchers must have an arm’s-length relationship with all of the Partners.

Other than for publicly funded post-secondary academic institutions, Applicants and Partners must:

  • Be for-profit and have operations (manufacturing, R&D, etc.) in Ontario
  • Aim to commercialize, demonstrate and/or implement the results of the project in Ontario and for the benefit of Ontario
  • Be innovation-driven businesses developing products or services addressing industry challenges
  • Have sound business plans and secure financial backing
  • Be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • Demonstrate capacity to conduct contracted project activities. OCE reserves the right to limit the number of applications from companies already benefitting from, or applying to, other OCE program funding

Eligible Expenses

  • All project activities must be performed within Ontario, unless prior written approval has been obtained from OCE
  • OCE may reimburse expenses incurred after the application approval date. The Funding Agreement must be executed by relevant parties before a project gets activated. Until activation is performed, project expenses are incurred at the risk of the participants
  • Applicants must refer to the Eligible Expenses Guide for full details

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D. Evaluation and Project Activation

The AV R&D Partnership Fund is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. OCE will fund qualified projects with potential for the greatest economic benefits and contribution to transportation advancements to Ontario. Not all eligible applications can be funded.

All eligible projects are assessed on their merit and undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and evaluation criteria.

Applications are internally reviewed for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance, prior to evaluation by independent external reviewers with domain and sector expertise.  All reviewers are bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The final funding decision is made by OCE.

Evaluation Criteria

All Full Applications are assessed on merit. Applications will be evaluated based on program objectives as well as assessment criteria which include, but are not limited to:

  • Clarity of the challenges, significance of the market opportunity, expected economic benefit to the companies and Ontario (e.g. new revenues, job creation/retention, productivity improvements) and potential benefit/contribution to Ontario’s transportation ecosystem (e.g. infrastructure, systems and vehicles)
  • Ability of the innovation to address challenges and market opportunity, technical merit and novelty
  • Expertise and experience of the team members, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and evidence of collaboration
  • Clarity, feasibility and appropriateness of the project plan and budget
  • A clear strategy and capacity to bring the results to market and/or implement at the company
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application

Projects that are outside of the scope of the program may be referred to partner OCE administered programs as appropriate. 

Upon approval, the Applicant and Primary Partner (at least) and Secondary Partners (if contributing) must execute an OCE funding agreement, including a completed Schedule "D": Intellectual Property Term Sheet, and Data Sharing and Reporting Requirements, within 30 days of approval of the award. A non-executable copy of the Funding Agreement, without Schedules, can be downloaded (subject to change) for your reference. Please do not fill out this form; a copy of the executable agreement with Schedules will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.

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E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements

A major component of the AVIN Project is the generation and analysis of data and information to support Ontario’s CAV ecosystem (e.g., governments, broader public-sector organizations, industry, academia, transportation authorities, etc.). 

OCE will not be collecting, analysing or otherwise handling and disseminating data and information considered by Participants to be proprietary or commercially sensitive. OCE will work with Participants to ensure that the collection of information reflects specific project design or business needs and supports their interests. Please refer to the Data and Information Sharing Protocol for details.

Interim Progress and Claims Report(s)

SME Applicants:

Quarterly reports, including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement must be submitted by the Applicant.

Academic Applicants:

One Interim Report including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for disbursement must be submitted by the Applicant.

Final Results and Claim Report

A final report, including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement/disbursement, is required at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant and all contributing Partners will receive an email notification of the project end date from the AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Progress and Claim Report should the parties wish to begin entering data.

Copies of detailed reporting instructions and templates will be sent to successful parties at the time of contracting. The report must be received and approved by OCE prior to release of funds for eligible claims.

Note: Applicants MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts, and other relevant documentation relating to eligible expenses. These should be included in all reporting.

  • Applicant MUST request a project extension using the Project Administration tab in its AccessOCE project file. Extension requests must be made before the project end date.
  • Applicant can request early reporting by emailing OCE Project Administration at project-administration@oce.zendesk.com
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant and all contributing Partners will receive another notification and a link to complete the Final Project Progress and Claim Report from OCE’s AccessOCE system
  • Applicants and contributing Partners must submit their Final Report within 30 days of project completion to be reimbursed for eligible expenses and maintain good financial standing with OCE

Metrics Survey

If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Applicant and contributing Partners will be required to complete an annual metrics survey each April, for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contract with its funders. Required metrics reports from Applicants must be submitted to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Project Reports

At one, two and three years after project completion, the Applicant will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. This information is required by OCE for assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.

Project Change Requests

For any variances to the OCE budget of $5000 or greater, or extensions to the project end date, the Applicant must complete a Project Change Request form prior to the project end date, using the Project Administration tab in their Access OCE project file.

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F. How to Apply

Stream 1 applications may be submitted at any time and are evaluated periodically.

  • To begin the application process, please complete a client intake form. An OCE Business Development Manager (BD) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with developing your application. Your OCE BD will also maintain oversight responsibility for any approved project.
  • Prior to submission, Applicants MUST first request their BD to provide an endorsement of the application for eligibility and suitability.
  • Once the endorsement is provided, the Applicant or BD will then be able to submit the application. A sample application form can be viewed for informational purposes only. Applications are only accepted through OCE’s online AccessOCE system where full application and program Partner requirements are listed.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a signed Letter of Support (LOS) from contributing Partner organizations, confirming financial commitment to the project, activities, duration, resources as a “Project Contributor/Partner”, and acknowledgement of the requirement to sign the standard OCE funding agreement.  A template for the Letter of Support is available. Use of the template is optional, however all items listed must be included in the letter.

Successful Applicants and their Partner(s) must execute OCE’s standard Funding Agreement, including a completed Schedule D, Intellectual Property Term Sheet, within 30 days of notification of award. A copy of the Funding Agreement can be downloaded for your reference. Please do not fill out this form; the formal agreement will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.

IMPORTANT: Applicants should start negotiations with their project Partner(s) regarding intellectual property (IP) right after submission of the application, or sooner.

Please contact your Business Development Manager to discuss potential applications to this program.

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G. Timelines

Milestone Date
Program Launch November 8, 2017
Application Intake Ongoing until December 31, 2021, or until all funds are allocated
Project Start Date Deadline March 31, 2022
Deadline for the completion of all projects Within 12 month period of project start date

 

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H. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ.

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I. Downloads

For inquiries related to application initiation, please contact:

Martin Lord
Senior Sector Manager, Automotive and Mobility
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x3236
Email: martin.lord@oce-ontario.org


For eligibility, contracting and funding disbursement inquiries, please contact:

Jesika Briones
Manager, Automotive and Mobility Portfolio
(416) 861 1092 x1079
jesika.briones@oce-ontario.org

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact:

Application Support Team
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x2400
Email: application-support@oce.zendesk.com

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