Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships

A. Program Overview
B. How Funding Works
C. Eligibility
D. Evaluation and Assessment
E. Project Changes and Reporting Requirements
F. How to Apply
G. FAQ
H. Downloads


A. Program Overview

The Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network Talent Development (TalentEdge) stream provides students and recent graduates from Ontario colleges and universities with real-world industry experience, by applying their expertise, leading-edge knowledge and tools to solve industry problems related to Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) technologies. Interns and fellows will work at Ontario-based companies or academic institutions and receive on-the-job training in areas such as software and hardware development, artificial intelligence, and data analytics.

Internships and fellowships are intended to provide interns or fellows with an experiential learning opportunity and hands-on industry experience. All internships and fellowships must be project-based with clearly defined activities, milestones and outcomes.

  • Along with applying directly for Internships / Fellowships, companies may also apply for Internships / Fellowships as part of the AVIN R&D Partnership Fund. The Fund provides funding for company or institution-based interns and fellows working directly for a company or as part of a collaboration between an academic institution and a company that is providing a C/AV-related solution
    • The applicant is the company. The intern/fellow funding is requested as part of the R&D Partnership Fund application. For more details refer to the R&D Partnership Fund program guidelines.

Objectives

  • Help students and recent graduates bridge the gap between Ontario’s publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and industry by providing hands-on experience with companies 
  • Improve companies’ competitiveness by attracting top talent and tapping into world-class R&D to strengthen capacity to develop new products, services, and processes
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and emerging technologies from publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to the C/AV sector.
  • Identify, attract and retain Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) with skills in Ontario

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B. How Funding Works

Internships and fellowships can be based at a company or a post-secondary institution. The amount of time spent with the company, as well as the most appropriate location for the interaction, should be mutually determined and depend on the nature and needs of the project. If internships or fellowships are based at a post-secondary institution, interns/fellows are required to spend a significant portion of their time on-site or in the field with the company.

Internships

  • Each four-month internship unit is valued at $20,000
    • $10,000 from OCE and $10,000 from the company (at least $5,000 of the contribution from the company must be in cash)
  • Intern compensation (per four-month internship unit):
    • Company-based interns must receive a minimum compensation of $15,000 per four-month internship unit. Of the $20,000 value of the four-month internship unit, up to $5,000 (company in-kind contribution only) may be applied towards direct costs of the project.
    • Institution-based interns must receive a minimum compensation of $10,000 per four-month internship unit. Of the $20,000 value of the four-month internship unit, up to $10,000 may be used for direct costs of the project (this includes a part of the cash and all in-kind contribution to the internship).

Fellowships

  • Each twelve-month fellowship is valued at $85,000
    • $35,000 from OCE and $50,000 from the company (at least $25,000 of the contribution from the company must be in cash)
  • Fellowship compensation per 12-month fellowship unit:
    • Company-based fellows must receive a minimum compensation of $60,000 per year.  Of the $85,000 value of the 12-month fellowship, up to $25,000 may be used for direct costs of research (company in-kind contribution only);
    • Institution-based fellows must receive a minimum compensation of $52,500 per year. Of the $85,000 value of the 12-month fellowship unit, up to $32,500 may be used for direct costs of the project (this includes a part of the cash and all company in-kind contribution to the fellowship);

Overhead is not an eligible expense for this OCE program.

Flow of Funds

OCE funds flow directly to the Applicant Organization, either the post-secondary institution or the company depending on the location of the internship/fellowship:

  • Institution-based interns/fellows: OCE funds will flow directly to the post-secondary institution. 
    • Intern must have student status at the publicly funded post-secondary institution for the duration of the internship.
    • Fellow must have a post-doctoral fellow status at the post-secondary institution for the duration of the fellowship.
    • At the time of an award, an invoice for the company cash contribution plus HST* will be sent to the company.  
  • Company-based fellows: OCE funds will flow directly to the company.
    • Intern/Fellow must have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship/fellowship.
  • Upon approval of the application, OCE will release a payment equal to the value of the award minus holdback amount as per below:
    • Internship: $1,500 per internship unit
    • Fellowship: 10% of OCE contribution.
  • The holdback will be released upon project completion and receipt of the following: progress and final reports, proof of payroll for the intern/fellow (must include the intern/fellow’s name, company/institution name, payment periods and amounts e.g., fellow pay stub, payroll print out, T4/T4A) and attestation from the financial officer/signing officer of the applicant organization regarding the use of funds.

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C. Eligibility

Project Eligibility

  • Projects must be in the area of connected vehicle and autonomous vehicle related technology sector.
  • Projects must have an R&D component and have clearly defined activities, milestones and outcomes.
  • Proposed projects must commensurate with intern/fellow’s experience and expertise.
  • Internships/Fellowships are not intended to be “first job”-type placements; all fellowships must be based on a defined project that is executed within the time frame of the fellowship.
  • Intellectual property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. For institution-based internships/ fellowships, the parties are bound by the intellectual property terms of the institution where the intern/fellow is employed; except where intellectual property is covered by separate agreements to which the institution and the company are parties and the agreement is valid for the duration of the fellowship. For company-based internships/fellowships, the parties are bound by the intellectual property terms of company where the intern/fellow is an employee for the duration of the fellowship. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.
  • For institution-based internship/fellowships, Academic partner (applicant) must be a principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited, publicly funded post-secondary institution (university and college). The applicant must have an arms-length relationship with the industry partner as defined on NSERC’s website (refer to the section Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations).
  • For Company-based internships/fellowships, the company is the applicant
  • Participants (applicant and partner, if applicable) must enter into an agreement with OCE and co-operate in providing project reports (please refer to OCE Project Reporting Requirements).
  • Applicants (and their partners if applicable) must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.
  • The number of interns/fellows that can be employed by an applicant at any one time may be limited based on overall project funding requirements. 

Company Eligibility

  • Projects must include at least one for-profit company with operations in Ontario that meets the required cash and in-kind contribution.
  • The company must be innovation-driven businesses developing products or services addressing industry challenges.
  • The company must provide a Business Number (BN) issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). More information on BN.
  • Company must use the results for the economic, environmental, or social benefit of Ontario.

Intern/Fellowship Eligibility

  • lnterns can be at the undergraduate level (current final year students) or graduate level (current Masters and PhD students), or they may be recent undergraduate and Masters graduates within three years of graduation from an Ontario-based post-secondary institution. For institution-based internships, the intern must have student status at the publicly funded post-secondary institution for the duration of the internship.
  • Fellows must hold a doctoral degree (PhD) within the last five years from an accredited Ontario University. For institution-based fellowships, the fellow must have post-doctoral fellow status at the academic institution for the duration of the fellowship.
  • For company-based internships/fellowships, the intern/fellow must be eligible to work in Ontario and have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship/fellowship.
  • The intern/fellows may not apply with a company where there is any conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, a company where the fellow or relatives have any control as a major creditor or shareholder or governing board.
  • Interns may not apply if they are currently enrolled in a co-op program or other equivalent job placement/employment program.
  • Interns/fellows may not apply if at the time of application submission they are a current or past employee of the company (including consultants, contract position, part-time, etc.).

Eligible Expenses

Refer to the Eligible Expenses document for details.

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D. Evaluation and Assessment

This is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible projects are assessed on their merit and undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria.

Following confirmation by OCE of application completeness and financial compliance, and receipt of a funding agreement signed by the Applicant (and Partner if applicable) (refer to the How to Apply section below), applications will undergo an external peer review by three subject-matter experts.

Recommendations from the peer review process will be reviewed by OCE’s Internal Review Panel, which will have responsibility for the final OCE decision. Decision notifications are typically provided within 4-6 weeks of receipt of a signed funding agreement.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of assessment criteria which include but are not limited to:

  • Clarity, feasibility and appropriateness of the specific R&D  project
  • Credentials of intern/fellow (experience and expertise)
  • Company’s willingness to provide high quality experiential learning opportunity to the intern/fellow
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application

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E. Project Changes and Reporting Requirements

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 AccessOCE project file.

Project Reports

The following project reports will be required:

Final Reports

  • Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant (and Partner if applicable) 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 or Partner wish to begin entering data. If an extension to complete the project is required, the Applicant must request it prior to the scheduled project completion date, using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. A maximum extension of three months will be allowable.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant (and Partner if applicable) will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. Both the Applicant and Partner reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
  • When the Applicant (and Partner if applicable) final reports have been approved, the post-secondary institution will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project.
  • All required final reports by all partners must be submitted within 30 days of 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 (and Partner if applicable) 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.

Retrospective Survey

At one, two, and three years after project completion, the Company 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.

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F. How to Apply

Applications may be submitted at any time. For information on “how to apply”, please click the following options:

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G. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ

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H. Downloads

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For application initiation or general inquiries, including budget, please contact:  

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

For technical inquiries, please contact:

Management Information Systems
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1005
Email: accessoce@oce.zendesk.com

For inquiries specifically related to eligibility, contracting and funding disbursements, please contact:

Binny Arora
Program Manager 
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x5001
Email: binny.arora@oce-ontario.org