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

A. Program Overview

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 1) will support industry-led projects with up to $100,000 in funding to be used towards the development and demonstration of technologies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) sector.

Collaborative projects must be between two or more companies or between a company and another strategic partner such as a post-secondary institution or municipality, if applicable. Additional collaborators on the projects are permitted.

Along with R&D activities, OCE may also cover partial expenses for qualified Interns or Fellows to contribute to the project.

Projects should enable the demonstration of actual products that can include a pilot, a technology that has the ability to be showcased at events, in the field, on the road, and/or customer sites. For clarity, funding will be for collaborative development, prototyping and validation projects at technology readiness level 3-7. Projects should focus on product, prototype, and technology development and demonstration. Significant accomplishments related to the project should be shared with the wider community through showcase events and media communications.

Partnering Forum

OCE hosted a partnering forum to bring together potential collaborators for the AV R&D Partnership Fund. The forum took place on November 28, 2017

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B. How Funding Works

OCE may support up to 50 per cent of eligible R&D project expenditures to a maximum of $100,000, and the industry participant(s) must support at least 50 per cent of the eligible R&D project costs. OCE may also cover partial expenses for qualified Interns or Fellows to contribute to the project.

  • Projects may be up to 12 months in duration
  • The number of projects supported by OCE will be dependent upon demand
  • Project submission period  will be on-going
  • All projects must be completed within a 12 month period

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

If an Internship and/or Fellowship is also being requested as part of the project, additional matching funds – supplementary to R&D funding, must be provided by the applicant/partner(s):

  • Internships
    • Interns must be an undergraduate (current final year), recent undergraduate (graduated within the previous 3 years) or graduate (current Masters or PhD, or recent Masters graduate within the previous 3 years) students from an Ontario college or university
    • Internships can be four, eight, or 12 months in duration
    • Each four-month Internship is valued at $20,000 ($10,000 from OCE, and $10,000 matching applicant/partner contributions, of which $5,000 must be cash towards the Intern salary)
    • Interns must receive a minimum compensation of $15,000 per four-month internship period
  • Fellowships
    • Fellows must be a post-doctoral Fellow at an Ontario university
    • Fellowships can be up to 12 months in duration
    • Each 12-month Fellowship is valued at $85,000 ($35,000 from OCE, and $50,000 matching applicant/partner contributions, of which $25,000 must be cash towards the Fellow salary)
    • Fellows must receive a minimum compensation of $60,000.

For more information on Internships and/or Fellowships, please refer to the AVIN TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships guidelines.

Note: If requesting an Intern and/or Fellow in the R&D application, please ensure the budget table reflects both the R&D and Internship/Fellowship financial requirements. 

Flow of Funds

Successful applicants and their partner(s) must execute OCE’s Funding Agreement within 30 days of notification of award. An executable copy of the agreement, including Schedules, will be generated through OCE’s online system and sent to successful applicants and their partners upon project approval only.

OCE funds will be provided to the lead industry applicant or Ontario publicly-funded post-secondary institution as follows:

Payment Terms
Industry/Academic-Based Company-Based
Between $50 000 and $100 000
45 per cent initial payment; 45 per cent subsequent payment; 10 per cent final payment
Between $50 000 and $100 000 
Up to 25 per cent upfront; subsequent payments are based on submission of claims
Less than $50 000
Internship/Fellowship: 90 per cent initial payment; 10 per cent final payment.
Other Programs – 75 per cent initial payment; 25 per cent final payment
Less than $50 000
Internship: 85 per cent initial payment; 15 per cent final payment.
Fellowship: 90 per cent initial payment; 10 per cent final payment.
Other Programs – up to 25 per cent upfront; subsequent payments are based on submission of claims

If the collaborative project is an industry and post-secondary institution partnership, OCE will flow the funds to the post-secondary institution (Lead Applicant). If the collaborative project is an industry and industry partnership, OCE will flow the funds to the lead industry applicant (Lead Applicant).

  • Claims can be made when submitting interim report(s), and the final report, required at the end of the project. More information on reporting can be found in section E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements.
  • As funding will be released directly to the Lead Applicant, the Lead Applicant will be responsible for reimbursing the other partner(s), if necessary.
  • Academic Overhead is not an eligible expense for this OCE program.

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C. Eligibility

Eligible Projects

  • Collaborative projects must be between two or more companies or between a company and another strategic partner such as a post-secondary institution or municipality, if applicable
  • Funded projects will require the lead applicant to have operations in Ontario and conduct the project R&D work in Ontario
  • Projects can be up to 12 months in duration
  • Typical project activities include: technology development, demonstration, product validation, testing, etc.
  • This program is not intended for research to prove feasibility or basic technology research
  • Eligible project areas include the development and demonstration of one or more enhancement(s) to either vehicles or the surrounding transportation systems and infrastructure, related to: commercially ready technologies for application in 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"), and transit-supportive systems and vehicles
  • Participants should demonstrate close collaboration and the proposed project should be scalable with a high potential for commercialization
  • Proposed collaborations must aim to provide a competitive advantage or other significant benefit
  • Applicants and partners must provide project metrics, progress reports and data and information requirements to OCE
  • A company may only be a lead industry applicant on one AV R&D Partnership Fund Stream 1 or Stream 2 project at a time – they may be a project partner on multiple projects

Eligible Applicants​

  • Applicants must be small- and medium-sized enterprises (generally defined as less than 500 full-time employees)
  • Applicant companies must be for-profit and have operations (manufacturing, R&D, etc.) in Ontario
  • Applicant companies must aim to commercialize, demonstrate and/or implement the results of the project in Ontario and for the benefit of Ontario
  • Applicant companies must be innovation-driven businesses developing products or services addressing industry challenges
  • Applicant companies must have sound business plans and secure financial backing
  • Applicant companies must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE. OCE reserves the right to limit further applications from companies with additional submitted or active OCE projects.

Eligible Partners​

Eligible partnerships may be between two or more companies or between a company and another strategic partner such as a post-secondary institution or municipality, if applicable.

  • Industry partner(s) must have a presence in Ontario and the operations in Ontario must be expected to commercialize, demonstrate and/or implement the results of the project.
    • Industry partner(s) must be a company with sound business plans and secure financial backing
    • Industry partner(s) must be an innovation-driven business developing products or services addressing industry challenges
    • Industry partner(s) must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • Academic Applicant or Partner must be a principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited post-secondary institution (college or university). For college projects, the applicant must be a representative of the college applied research office, with the primary researchers included as team members. The applicant must have an arms-length relationship with the industry.
  • Municipalities in Ontario.

General​

  • The AV R&D Partnership Fund encourages public-private partnerships as well as partnerships between small, medium, and large firms
  • Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by the project participants as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights
  • Partners should represent a significant potential commercial partner / strategic client for the led industry applicant
  • The applicant and partner must have an arm’s-length business relationship
  • Awardees must agree to cooperate with OCE in the development of case studies

Eligible Expenses

  • OCE-funded activities must be performed within Ontario, unless prior written approval has been obtained from OCE
  • OCE will reimburse expenses incurred after the approval date. In cases where an application is approved and not activated, expenses are incurred at the risk of the applicant
  • 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

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of program objectives as well as assessment criteria which include, but are not limited to:

  • Clarity of the company challenge, significance of the opportunity, expected economic benefit to the company 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 the company challenge, 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
  • Evidence of next steps, and 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 programs as appropriate. 

Upon approval, the applicant and co-applicants 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 will be the generation and analysis of data and information to support Ontario’s CV/AV ecosystem (e.g. governments, broader public sector organizations, industry, academia, transportation authorities, etc.). 

The AVIN Project will not be collecting, analysing or otherwise handling and disseminating data and information considered by industry partners and participants to be proprietary. OCE will work with industry partners and program participants to ensure that the collection of information reflects specific project design or business needs, and supports the interests of industry partners and program participants. 

Interim Progress and Claims Report(s)

Interim report(s), including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement must be submitted quarterly per fiscal year.

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, will be required at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Client 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 Client wish to begin entering data.

Copies of detailed reporting instructions and templates will be sent to successful Clients 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.

  • If a project extension is required, the Client MUST request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. Extension requests must be made before the project end date.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Client will receive another notification and a link to complete the Final Project Progress and Claim Report from OCE’s AccessOCE system.
  • All required final reports by all Clients must be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to be reimbursed for eligible expenses and maintain good financial standing with OCE.
  • If early reporting is required, the Client MAY request it by emailing OCE Project Administration at project-administration@oce.zendesk.com.

Metrics Survey

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 funders. Required metrics reports from all applicants must be submitted in order 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 AccessOCE 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 the partner organization, confirming the high-level project scope, budget, timelines, commitment to the project as a “Project Contributor/Partner” (including cash, personnel and/or other contributions), 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 partners 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; a copy of the agreement will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.

All applicants should start negotiation with the partner(s) regarding intellectual property (IP) rights soon after submission of the application, as if funded, an executed Schedule D, Intellectual Property Term Sheet, must be provided together with a signed copy of the OCE Funding Agreement, within 30 days after notification of award.

Please contact your Business Development Manager or Program 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:

Ron Van Holst
Director, Business Development, Transformative Technologies
Tel: 416.861.1092 x 1021
Email: ron.vanholst@oce-ontario.org

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

Sam Saad
Manager, Automotive and Mobility Portfolio
Tel: 416.861.1092 x1097
Email: sam.saad@oce-ontario.org

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
Please review OCE's Program FAQ.

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