Cybersecurity Fintech 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

Hosted by OCE in partnership with TFSA


Partnering Forum

In order to facilitate potential partnerships between start-ups/scale-ups and FIs, OCE hosted a partnering forum to bring together potential collaborators for Technology Development and Demonstration projects. 

A. Program Overview

The Cybersecurity Fintech Talent Development stream has been designed to curate the next generation of highly-skilled talent for the financial sector, by supporting internships and fellowships that provide students and recent graduates of Ontario universities and colleges with cybersecurity or financial technology ("fintech") experience, or building those skills while working with cybersecurity solution adopters and providers. Projects will tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen the capacity of start-up/scale-up companies to develop new products, services, and processes.

Start-up/scale-up companies may apply for internships and fellowships through the following options:

  • lnternships / Fellowships at start-up/scale-up companies: funding for Company-based interns and fellows working directly for a start-up/scale-up that is working on a cybersecurity solution related to the financial services sector
    • The applicant is the start-up/scale-up
  • lnternships / Fellowships at Financial Institutions (Fls) in partnership with start-ups/scale-ups: provides funding for Company-based interns and fellows working directly for a Fl and/or a start-up/scale-up, as part of a collaboration between the Fl and the start-up/scale-up that is providing a cybersecurity solution
    • The applicant is the start-up/scale-up in partnership with the FI
  • lnternships / Fellowships at Financial Institutions (Fls) and/or start-ups/scale-ups as part of a Cybersecurity Fintech Technology Development and Demonstration Project: provides funding for Company-based interns and fellows working directly for a Fl or a start-up/scale-up, as part of a collaboration between the Fl and the start-up/scale-up that is providing a cybersecurity solution

Definitions

"start-up" and/or "scale-up": a for-profit company that is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business with fewer than 500 total employees, that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service in the area of cybersecurity fintech.

 "Financial Institution (FI)": a for-profit organization engaged in the business of dealing with monetary transactions (including banking, insurance, asset management, financing, etc.).

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 cybersecurity products, services, and processes
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and emerging technologies from publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to the  cybersecurity and finance sectors
  • Identify, attract and retain HQP with skills in  cybersecurity for the finance sector

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B. How Funding Works

Internships

  • Internship can be 4, 8, or 12 months in duration (maximum number of four-month units per application is three)
  • Each four-month internship unit is valued at $20,000
    • $10,000 from OCE and $10,000 from the applicant and/or partner(s) (at least $5,000 of the contribution from the applicant/partner(s) must be in cash)
    • lnterns must receive a minimum compensation of $15,000 per four-month internship period. Of the $20,000 value of the four-month internship, up to $5,000 (applicant/partner in-kind contribution) may be applied towards the direct cost of the Project.

Fellowships

  • Fellowships are 12 months in duration (maximum number of 12-month units per application is one).
  • Each 12-month fellowship is valued at $85,000
    • $35,000 from OCE and $50,000 from the applicant and/or partner(s) (at least $25,000 of the contribution from the applicant/partner(s) must be in cash)
    • Fellows must receive a minimum compensation of $60,000. Of the $85,000 value of the 12-month fellowship, up to $25,000 (applicant/partner in-kind contribution) may be applied towards the direct costs of the project.

Flow of Funds

  • OCE funds will flow directly to the applicant 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 fellow (must include the intern/fellow’s name, company/institution name, payment periods and amounts e.g., intern/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 cybersecurity and applicable to the finance 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
  • The start-up/scale-up applicant must be an Ontario-based, for-profit company, working on a cybersecurity solution related to the financial services sector, and have in house R&D capacity in Ontario.
  • 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.
  • Total applicant/partner contributions must meet the minimum matching requirements.
  • Projects can be up to 12 months in duration AND must start before March 31, 2018 and end before March 31, 2019.
  • Intellectual property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. The parties are bound by the intellectual property terms of company where the intern/fellow is an employee for the duration of the internship/fellowship. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Intern/Fellowship Eligibility

  • The intern/fellow must be eligible to work in Ontario and have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship/fellowship.
  • lnterns can be at the undergraduate level (current final-year students and recent graduates within three years of graduation) from a college or university or graduate level (current Masters and PhD students, and recent Masters graduates within three years of graduation). Fellows must hold a doctoral degree (PhD) within the last five years. The degree must be completed from an Ontario-based academic institution. These qualifications are required for the duration of the internship/fellowship.
  • The intern/fellow 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.
  • The intern/fellow 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 $5,000 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 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.

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F. How to Apply

Applications may be submitted at any time before December 15, 2017. For information on “how to apply”, please click the following options:

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H. FAQ

Please review OCE's Program FAQ

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I. 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 eligibility inquiries, please contact:

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