College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA)

 

A. Program Overview
B. Program Objectives
C. Benefits of the Program
D. How Funding Works
E. Eligibility
F. How to Apply
G. Evaluation and Assessment
H. Timelines
I. Reporting Requirements
J. FAQ
K. Downloads

L. Contacts

A. Program Overview

The College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA) stream of the Colleges Applied Research and Development Fund (CARDF) will support Ontario colleges to assess industry needs nimbly and rapidly by enabling college faculty and students to engage with companies to identify their business and innovation challenges. Through the CVTA program, student teams guided by college faculty will act as consultants to companies and will apply their skills and training to solve business challenges. CVTA projects will typically run in association with existing college courses. CVTA projects may include, but are not limited to, technology development and testing/validation activities to support innovation and technology adoption.

Intake for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) to the College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA) program opened on January 24, 2017.

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B. Program Objectives

The objectives of the College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA) program are to:

  • Assist Ontario companies in solving their business and innovation challenges related to technology adoption
  • Drive increased industry-college collaborations while creating an efficient marketplace for industry to access innovation, productivity and commercialization services from Ontario colleges
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities for college students
  • Better align colleges with the needs of industry and strategic sectors
  • Enable the development of new products, services and processes, facilitate productivity improvements and help generate new revenues and high-value jobs in Ontario

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C. Benefits of the Program

Students:

  • Gain hands-on industry-related experience, often through in-course engagement
  • Solve real-world business problems 
  • Gain experience developing a project plan and industry-related solution 
  • Receive input and guidance from college faculty and industry experts

Industry:

  • Gain fresh perspective, new skills and new ideas to solve innovation challenges
  • Access motivated and skilled young talent
  • Gain affordable short-term skilled labour

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D. How Funding Works

  • Colleges apply to OCE to be providers of CVTA vouchers. OCE may provide up to $250,000 to an Applicant college, for a bundle of vouchers valued at $10,000 each.
  • Each $10,000 voucher supports eligible research and development costs at the college, for a project with an eligible industry partner.
  • A minimum of 1:1 matching on the OCE contribution is required from industry partners on individual projects. Contributions may be in cash and/or in-kind, provided that the total contribution is at least 1:1.

Flow of Funds

  • OCE contributions are provided to the approved applicant college. Upon award and execution of the OCE Funding Agreement, OCE will release a portion of the funding. Interim payments will be released to the Applicant based on allocation of vouchers, and receipt and OCE approval of interim progress and financial reports.
  • A holdback of 10 per cent of the total OCE contribution will be released upon project completion, and receipt and OCE approval of the following for all individual voucher projects: final progress, metrics and financial reports, outcomes and attestation from the Applicant regarding the use of funds.
  • Institutional overhead is not an eligible CVTA project expense and should not be included on either the OCE or industry funded portions of the budget. The overhead that is to be attributed as part of the OCE contribution will be calculated directly by OCE and paid annually to colleges at a rate of 20 per cent x direct costs of OCE-funded applied research. The overhead on the industry-funded portion of the project must be discussed with your institution’s research administration office at the time of application to ensure it is correctly accounted for.
  • The cash (and in-kind) contributions from the industry partner on voucher projects are provided by the industry partner to the college directly. Project participants are encouraged to negotiate additional agreement(s) to enable the transfer of these funds as required. The college is required to provide periodic attestations to OCE to confirm receipt of the cash and in-kind contributions from all industry partners.

E. Eligibility

E1. College Applicant Eligibility

  • Applications for a bundle of vouchers must be submitted by an Ontario-accredited, publicly-funded college. Colleges that are approved by OCE to be CVTA providers will be allocated a set number of CVTA vouchers to deliver to partner companies.
  • The Applicant must be a representative of the college applied research office, with the primary faculty members and other researchers included as team members.
  • A college may only submit one application per round to the CVTA program.
  • Applicants must be willing to co-operate with OCE in providing project and outcomes metrics.
  • Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.
  • The Applicant must consent to represent the college and industry partners on all voucher projects, including, but not limited to, providing OCE with financial, metrics and progress reports on all voucher projects at pre-determined intervals and as necessary. Participating industry partners must consent to have the Applicant submit reporting to OCE on their behalf.

E2. Industry Partner Eligibility                               

  • Companies must apply directly to participating CTVA provider colleges, to access vouchers for projects.
  • Each voucher project must include at least one for-profit industry partner.
  • Industry partners must have a presence in Ontario and the operations in Ontario are expected to implement/ commercialize the results of the project.
  • The college must have an arms-length relationship with the industry partner as defined on NSERC's website (refer to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations). 
  • Industry partners must provide oversight, support, and guidance to the participating college student(s).
  • Industry partners must be willing to co-operate with the college in providing project and outcomes metrics.
  • Industry partners must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.

E3. Voucher Project Eligibility

  • Colleges that are approved by OCE to be CVTA providers will be allocated a set number of CVTA vouchers to deliver to partner companies. Companies must apply directly to participating colleges to access vouchers.
  • Proposed project activities must align with the applicant college’s existing Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) and/or direction of new SMA.
  • Colleges are responsible for the selection of eligible industry partners, assignment of faculty and students, delivery of the vouchers to their partners, and confirming receipt of industry cash and in-kind contributions. Each participating college will determine its own process and selection criteria for voucher recipient companies and projects.
  • The maximum duration for the overall bundle of vouchers is 12 months. Individual voucher projects cannot exceed this maximum duration.
  • The Applicant must provide OCE with interim lists of approved voucher projects during the 12-month duration.
  • Projects must leverage the unique capabilities of the research and development environment and team of the college and be non-competitive with Ontario private-sector capabilities.
  • Industry partners must use the results for the economic, environmental or social benefit of Ontario. This includes direct economic benefit to the industry partner (e.g., new jobs, increased revenue, increased productivity, cost savings), and/or indirect economic benefit to other members of the value chain, partners, or industry in Ontario (e.g. job creation, capacity building, strategic benefit).
  • Contribution to the training and industry exposure of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) at the college is required.
  • Intellectual Property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.

E4. Eligible Activities and Costs

Projects can be at any point in the applied research and development (R&D) spectrum that is consistent with the college’s mandate. Projects may include, but are not limited to, technology development and testing/validation activities to support innovation and adoption. Activities could include:

  • Experimental design
  • Lab testing
  • Experiments and data collection
  • Workshops and meetings
  • Cross-disciplinary exploratory meetings
  • Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) skills development

A full list of eligible expenses is available.

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F. How to Apply

Application to the College Voucher for Technology Adoption program is a two-stage process, consisting of:

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI)
  2. Full Application (invitation-only)

STEP 1

  • Eligible applicants must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) Form describing the proposed voucher projects, team and partners, student engagement, and alignment with the college Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA).
  • Applicants should engage with an OCE Business Development Manager to prepare the EOI.  
  • EOIs must be submitted before 12pm noon on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. 
  • EOIs will be reviewed by OCE, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) and Colleges Ontario as required. Selected EOIs which are eligible, and aligned with the Program Objectives and college Strategic Mandate, will be invited to proceed to the Full Application stage.

STEP 2

  • Full Applications will be accepted by invitation only and through OCE’s online system, AccessOCE.
  • Applicants must engage with an OCE Business Development Manager to assist in preparation of the Full Application.
  • A CVTA application file will be created in OCE’s online system, AccessOCE.
  • Submission of a Full Application requires the following:
  • The Full Proposal questions must be uploaded as an attachment (only PDF format accepted)
  • All submission requirements in AccessOCE including project contacts, summary for public release, classification, final budget and milestones, and identified team members must be completed
  • Applicants will be required to outline, in their Full Application, their proposed plan to review and select projects to commit their allocation of vouchers. This review process must be to OCE’s satisfaction and may draw on the relevant domain and sector expertise internally and/or externally, including participation by OCE, as required
  • Full Applications must be submitted by June 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Successful Applicants must execute OCE’s standard funding agreement within 30 days of the notification of award.

Intellectual property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights. We encourage all Applicants to start discussions with their industry partners in the early stages of project development regarding Intellectual Property (IP) rights.

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G. Evaluation and Assessment

The College Voucher for Technology Adoption program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. Following internal OCE review for application completeness and financial compliance, all eligible EOIs and Full Applications undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria.

The CVTA program has a two-stage review process:

  • EOIs will be reviewed by members of OCE’s Internal Review Panel (IRP), including representatives of MAESD and Colleges Ontario as required and subject to conflict of interest policies. The application will be assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria. Selected EOIs will be invited to submit full applications.
  • Full Applications will be reviewed by OCE’s External Review Panel (ERP).  The ERP is comprised of external, impartial members from both post-secondary institutions and/or industry with appropriate experience and knowledge to contribute to the decision-making process. MAESD and Colleges Ontario representatives may be present as required.
  • ERP will review the submitted applications, and make funding recommendations to OCE.
  • Final funding decision rests with OCE.  Decision notifications are typically provided within 6 to 8 weeks of Full Application submission

Assessment criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Evidence of strong commitment of the college’s expertise, resources, facilities and mentorship capacity to support and sustain projects
  • Demonstration of a well-defined process at the college for identifying, reviewing and selecting projects and industry partners
  • Demonstration of alignment with the SMA of the applicant college
  • Demonstration of capacity for projects to address industry challenges
  • Demonstration of commitment of the college to help the companies sustain the solutions, including utilization of college capabilities/expertise in the areas of technical assessment, technology adoption and business case analysis (e.g. market research)
  • Provision of significant training and/or experiential learning opportunities for student teams

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H. Timelines 

 Date Application Steps

January 24, 2017 

Call for EOIs

12:00 p.m. on March 21, 2017

Deadline for EOI submission

Late April, 2017

A panel reviews the EOIs and informs applicants about their submission status

Tuesday June 6, 2017 at 2:00 p.m.

Deadline for Full Application submission to OCE (using OCE’s online system, Access OCE) 

Late June, 2017

Decision notification

July, 2017

Funding agreements executed and approved projects start


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I. Reporting Requirements

The Applicant will be responsible for collecting progress, financial and metrics data from all voucher project industry partners, and providing reports to OCE.  The Applicant must also provide attestations to OCE to confirm receipt of cash and in-kind matching funds from each industry partner.  Funds released to the Applicant will be dependent on allocation of vouchers, expenditures and matching contributions received at the time of reporting.

The following project reports will be required:

Interim Progress Reports:

Periodic Interim Progress reports including: i) allocation of vouchers, ii) total expenditures of OCE project funding; ii) total industry cash and in-kind contributions; iii) data on individual voucher projects and partners, will be required through the project duration. The Applicant will receive notification and a link from OCE’s AccessOCE system to submit progress, metrics and financial reports. The reports must be approved by OCE for release of subsequent funding tranches.

Final Reports:

  1. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled final overall project completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from OCE’s AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant wish to begin entering data. The Applicant will be submitting reports on all voucher projects on behalf of all industry partners. If an extension is required, the Applicant MUST request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.
  2. On the scheduled overall project completion date, the Applicant will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. These reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of overall project completion (i.e. completion of all individual voucher projects).
  3. When the Applicant and industry partner final reports have been approved, the Applicant will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project. OCE may also request proof of expenditures.
  4. All required final reports must be submitted within 30 days of the overall project completion in order to release the holdback, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Project Metrics

If the project continues past a fiscal year-end (March 31), the Applicant 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 funding Ministries. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

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J. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ

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K. Downloads

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L. Contacts

For OCE Business Development assistance with preparation of EOIs and Full Applications, please contact your OCE Business Development Manager

For more information on the College Voucher for Technology Adoption program, eligibility and general inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Associate
Tel: 416 861-1092 x1061
Email: Natalia.lobo@oce-ontario.org