Smart Computing Customer Demonstration Program

A. I3 Customer Demonstration Program Overview

The I3 Customer Demonstration Program is designed to demonstrate the value of a smart computing product/service with a strategic customer by matching market leaders and market disruptors. The program will make connections between Ontario-based companies and small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME), matching industry needs with innovative solutions to pilot early market engagement and demonstrate innovative products and services in a setting relevant to the sector.

The program aims to advance smart computing innovation to increase economic impact;export market development, innovation and adoption of technologies; and

  • Enhance productivity, competitiveness and skills development

The program objectives are to:

  • Accelerate the adoption of emerging Smart Computing technologies and process improvements by receptor companies
  • Engage companies with Smart Computing innovations to demonstrate products and services that have potential to produce clear economic impact
  • Identify and bridge barriers to realize adoption of innovations in relevant sectors

All applications must be a partnership between at least one Ontario-based, small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME) with fewer than 500 employees and a validated innovative product/service ready to demonstrate to a larger company, with operations in Ontario that would be the receptor or strategic customer for the innovative product/service.

For the I3 Customer Demonstration stream, a receptor company is one that represents a growth opportunity for the applicant company (the SME innovator) and a smart computing technology adoption opportunity for the receptor company.

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B. How Funding Works

OCE will support qualified demonstration projects that have the potential to demonstrate the greatest economic benefit to Ontario.

  • Projects of any size can be proposed for funding.
  • OCE will pay up to 50% of eligible project expenditures, to a maximum of $50,000
  • Projects can be up to 12 months in length.
  • Eligible expenditures will be reimbursed through the submission and approval of a mid-term progress report and final report (see Section E: Project Reporting and Claims Requirements).
  • Funds will support eligible demonstration project costs on both the supply side and demand side companies.
  • Flow of Funds: Funding for the demonstration project will be released to the applicant company, i.e. the small-to medium-sized enterprise (SME) with a validated smart computing innovative product/service ready for demonstration. The SME will be responsible for reimbursing its collaborating receptor company partner(s), if necessary.

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C. Eligibility

I. Eligible Applicant:

  • All applications MUST be a partnership between at least one Ontario-based, small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME) with a validated innovative product/service ready to demonstrate to a larger company, and at least one large company with operations in Ontario that would be the receptor or strategic customer for the innovative product/service.
  • The applicant company, or market disruptor, is the SME a validated innovative product/service ready for demonstration with a strategic customer.
  • The receptor company, or market leader, is a large company that represents a strategic customer for the innovative product/service.  
  • All project participants MUST provide project metrics, progress and final reports to OCE.
  • Participants agree to cooperate with OCE in the development of case studies based on the funded demonstration projects.

II. Qualified Projects

  • The project MUST demonstrate a close potential collaboration between the companies and offer a competitive advantage or other significant benefits to the collaborating companies.
  • The smart computing innovation, either product/service, MUST be best in class and lead to a globally competitive business and market opportunity.
  • The smart computing innovation MUST be a good return on investment and benefit to Ontario, leading to adoption of novel, newly adapted or adopted processes, products or services.
  • The smart computing innovation MUST be validated and have the necessary approvals, if required, and has sufficient data to warrant a pilot scale demonstration project.
  • Projects can be up to 12 months in length.
  • If the product/service is at a pre-commercial stage, following a successful pilot, it is anticipated that the product/service will be moved into the market.
  • Preference will be given to projects in the following priority sectors: healthcare, finance, cybersecurity, smart cities, water conservation and management, energy monitoring and management, mining, advanced manufacturing, digital media.

III. Eligible use of funds:

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D. Evaluation and Project Activation

Applications are internally reviewed for completeness, eligibility and use of funds prior to evaluation by an external review panel with domain expertise. Projects that are outside of the scope of the program will not qualify and may be referred to partner programs as appropriate.

I3 Customer Demonstration Program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding.  All eligible projects are assessed and reviewed by expert reviewers from academia and industry including I3 Customer Demonstration program partners, against selection criteria. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) will be completed by all reviewers in advance of receiving proposal content. The final funding decision is made by OCE.

Successful applicants must execute OCE’s standard Funding Agreement within 30 days of notification of award. A project specific Funding Agreement will be generated through OCE’s online system and sent to successful applicants upon project approval only.

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E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements

Interim Progress and Claims Reports:

  1. Interim progress reports, proof of expenditures and a financial attestation will be required. The Applicant will receive a notification and link to OCE’s AccessOCE online system to develop and submit the report. The reports must be approved by OCE for release of funding.

    Note: Applicant MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts, and other relevant documentation relating to eligible expenses.

Final Reports:

  1. A final report that includes progress, proof of expenditures, and a financial attestation will be required at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from AccessOCE, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant or Receptor wish to begin entering data. If an extension is required, it must be requested via OCE’s online AccessOCE system.
  2. On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from AccessOCE. The reports must be received by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
  3. All required final reports by all partners must be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order for reimbursement, and to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Project Reports

  1. Applicants will be required to complete a brief retrospective survey on an annual basis three years from the end date of the project. The retrospective survey is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contract with the Ministry. Required reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

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F. Timelines

Applications can be submitted at any time before the submission deadline and will be reviewed as indicated below. Subsequent intake dates may be announced.

Activity

Timeline

Round 1 Submission Deadline

 November 16, 2016

*Applicants must initiate an application in AccessOCE at least seven business days prior to the submission deadline.

Round 1 Notification of Award

January 2017

Round 2 Submission Deadline

 January 24, 2017

*Applicants must initiate an application in AccessOCE at least seven business days prior to the submission deadline.

Round 2 Notification of Award

March 2017

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G. How to Apply

Ready to take the next step? Get started by contacting a member of our Business Development Team.

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H. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ.

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J. Contacts

For project related inquiries, including assistance with potential applications, partnerships and details about the partnering forums, please contact:  

Martin Lord, Senior Business Development Manager, High Performance Computing at (905) 823 2020 x3236 martin.lord@oce-ontario.org

Derrik Leach, Business Development Manager at 416-861-1092x1028 Derrik.Leach@oce-ontario.org

For inquiries specifically related to eligibility, contracting and funding disbursements, please contact:
Sam Saad, Program Manager at 416-861-1092 x 1097 sam.saad@oce-ontario.org

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact the Application Support Team at (416) 861-1092 x2400 or application-support@oce.zendesk.com