AV Research and Development (R&D) Partnership Fund - Stream 2

A. Program Overview

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 2) contributes 50 per cent of eligible project costs for approved projects up to a maximum of $1,000,000, with the remainder contributed by a minimum 1:1 cash match from Applicants and/or Partners. Project funding can be used towards the development and demonstration of technologies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) sector, in the following Priority Areas:

  • 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)
  • Transit-supportive systems and vehicles

Eligible Partners are:

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
  • Publicly-funded Post-Secondary Academic Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

Projects must be carried out between one SME, the Applicant, and one Partner from the Participants list. Additional Partners can also join the project. For Stream 2, publicly-funded post-secondary academic institutions cannot act as Applicants. There is no limit on the number of Partners.  Partnerships should represent significant potential commercial opportunities for all industry Applicants and Partners. Projects can also benefit from additional funding to support qualified interns and /or fellows. For more information on support for internships and/or fellowships, please refer to the AVIN TalentEdge Internships and Fellowships guidelines.

Funding will be for collaborative development, prototyping, and validation projects at technology readiness level 3-7 (3: proof of concept; 7: operational environment functional demonstration).

Projects should enable the demonstration of actual products/services. Significant accomplishments related to the project MUST be shared with the wider community through showcase events and media communications. Potential demonstration sites are: the Demonstration Zone in Stratford, Ontario; in Ottawa, Ontario; on the road, and/or at customer sites.

NOTE: AVIN does not preclude the testing and/or demonstration of C/AV technologies elsewhere in Ontario, subject to Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO's) Pilot Project (0. Reg. 306/15, under Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8) and all other applicable laws and regulations.

Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by project Participants as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.

All participants must have an arm’s-length business relationship.

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B. How Funding Works

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 2) contributes 50% of eligible project costs for approved projects up to a maximum of $1,000,000, with the remainder contributed by a minimum 1:1 cash match from Applicants and/or Partners. Projects may be up to 24 months in duration. Applications are accepted using rounds – see section G. Timelines for details. The number of funded projects will be dependent upon demand.

This is a reimbursement program. Reimbursements are triggered by the submission and approval of reports.

NOTE: A funding stacking rule applies. In all circumstances, government funding will not exceed 75 per cent of total project costs. 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.

An application to Stream 2 can also embed a funding request for interns and fellows from the AVIN Talent Development program. Eligibility and funding details are available.

Flow of Funds

OCE funds flow only to the Applicant. The Applicant is responsible to reimburse Partners, if applicable.

  • Following a 25 per cent disbursement upon successful contracting, all other payments are reimbursement based
  • Reimbursements are triggered by the submission and approval of claims and reports
  • Reimbursement claims from Applicant to OCE can be made when submitting interim and final reports
  • Reimbursement claims and reports are submitted quarterly
  • More information on reporting can be found in section E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements
Payment Terms
  • Up to 25 per cent upon contracting
  • Quarterly interim payments (based on submitted and approved reimbursement claims and reports)
  • 10 per cent final payment (based on submitted and approved reimbursement claim and final report)

NOTE: For Stream 2, publicly-funded post-secondary academic institutions cannot act as lead Applicants or Primary Partner.

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C. Eligibility

Eligible Projects

  • Minimum one Applicant and a Partner
  • Applicants and Partners required to have operations in Ontario and carry out their projects in Ontario.
  • Minimum 1:1 cash match by Applicants and/or Partners.
  • Projects can be up to 24 months in duration.
  • This program is not intended for research to prove feasibility or basic technology research. Projects should be at Technology Readiness Level 3-7 (proof of concept; 7: operational environment functional demonstration).
  • Typical project activities include: technology development, demonstration, product/service validation, testing, and proof of concept.
  • Applicants and Partners should demonstrate close collaboration and scalable outcomes with high potential for commercialization, competitive advantage and alignment with the program intended Fund benefits
  • Eligible projects MUST include demonstration of actual products that can be showcased at events, at the Demonstration Zone in Stratford, Ontario, in Ottawa, Ontario, on the road, and/or at customer sites.

Applicants and Partners

An Applicant is an SME (generally defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees).

Eligible Partners are:

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
  • Publicly-funded Post-Secondary Academic Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

Projects must be carried out between one SME (the Applicant) and one Primary Partner that is not an academic institution. Additional Secondary Partners can join the project. There is no limit on the number of Partners.  

An SME may be an Applicant on only one AV R&D Partnership Fund Stream 1 or Stream 2 project at a time. An SME may be a Primary or Secondary Partner on multiple concurrent projects.

SME Applicants must:

  • Be for-profit and have operations (manufacturing, R&D, etc.) in Ontario
  • Aim to commercialize, demonstrate and/or implement the results of the project in Ontario and for the benefit of Ontario
  • Be innovation-driven businesses developing products or services addressing industry challenges
  • Have sound business plans and secure financial backing
  • Be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • Demonstrate capacity to conduct contracted project activities. OCE reserves the right to limit the number of applications from companies already benefitting from, or applying to, other OCE program funding

Eligible Expenses

  • All project activities must be performed within Ontario, unless written approval has been obtained from OCE before submission of an application.
  • OCE may reimburse expenses incurred after the application approval date. The Funding Agreement must be executed by relevant parties before a project is activated. Until activation is complete, project expenses are incurred at the risk of the participants.
  • 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.

The application process has the following steps:

  • An Expression of Interest (EOI) is submitted.
  • EOI are reviewed by the EOI Review Committee.
  • Upon approval of the EOI, an Applicant is invited to submit a Full Application.
  • Full Applications are internally reviewed for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance.
  • Full Applications are assessed based on the criteria below by OCE’s External Review Panel (ERP), comprised of independent external reviewers with domain and sector expertise. ERP members execute Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) prior to the review.
  • Only those applications achieving the required scoring threshold will proceed to the next step.
  • Those Applicants and their Partners will be invited to present their proposals in-person or by video conference to the ERP.
  • ERP makes funding recommendations to OCE’s Internal Review Panel (IRP).
  • IRP, comprised of senior OCE staff, makes the final decision.
  • Successful Applicants will be notified by OCE and provided an outline of conditions and additional information necessary to activate the project.
  • Applicants who are not selected will be notified by OCE. Feedback on the decision can be provided by their OCE Business Development Manager.
  • All reviewers are bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The final funding decision is made by OCE.

Evaluation Criteria

Full Applications are assessed on merit. They are evaluated based on program objectives as well as assessment criteria, which include but are not limited to:

  • Clarity of the challenges, significance of the market opportunity, expected economic benefit to the companies 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 challenges and market opportunity, 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.
  • A clear strategy and capacity to bring the results to market and/or implement by the companies.
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application.

Projects that are outside of the scope of the program may be referred to other OCE administered programs as appropriate.

Upon approval, the Applicant and Primary Partner (at least) and Secondary Partners (if contributing) 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 is 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.).

OCE will not be collecting, analysing or otherwise handling and disseminating data and information considered by Participants to be proprietary or commercially sensitive. OCE will work with Participants to ensure that the collection of information reflects specific project design or business needs and supports their interests. Please refer to the Data and Information Sharing Protocol for details.

Interim Progress and Claims Report(s)

Quarterly reports, including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement must be submitted by the Applicant.

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, is required at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant and all contributing Partners 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 parties wish to begin entering data.

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

  •  Applicant MUST request project extensions using the Project Administration tab in its AccessOCE project file. Extension requests must be made before the project end date.
  • Applicant can request early reporting by emailing OCE Project Administration at project-administration@oce.zendesk.com.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant and all contributing Partners will receive another notification and a link to complete the Final Project Progress and Claim Report from OCE’s AccessOCE system.
  • Applicants and contributing Partners must submit their Final Report within 30 days of project completion to be reimbursed for eligible expenses and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Metrics Survey

If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Applicant and contributing Partners 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 to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Retrospective Project Reports

At one, two and three years after project completion, the Applicant and contributing Partners 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 2 of the AV R&D Partnership program contains two stages: an Expression of Interest (EOI) and a Full Application.

  • To begin the EOI submission 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 EOI. Your OCE BD will also maintain oversight responsibility for the OCE components of any approved project.
  • Prior to submission, Applicants must first request from their BD 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. 
  • Applicants whose EOI are selected by the EOI Review Committee will be invited to submit a Full Application to OCE. Full applications must be submitted to OCE through AccessOCE, OCE’s online application system by the Full Application Intake date.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a signed Letter of Support (LOS) from contributing Partner organizations, confirming financial commitment to the project, activities, duration, resources as a “Project Contributor/Partner”, 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.
  • A sample Full 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.
  • Expected timelines for these steps are outlined in  section G. Timelines.

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; the formal agreement will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.

IMPORTANT: Applicants should start negotiations with their project Partner(s) regarding intellectual property (IP) right after submission of the EOI, or sooner.

Please contact your Business Development Manager to discuss potential applications to this program.

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G. Timelines

Round 1

Activity Date
EOI Submission Deadline May 15, 2018
EOI Results and Invitation for Full Application June 18, 2018
Full Application Submission for BD Endorsement July 16, 2018
Full Application Review Meeting September 6, 2018

Round 2

Activity Date
EOI Submission Deadline September 26, 2018
EOI Results and Invitation for Full Application November 2, 2018
Full Application Submission for BD Endorsement December 5, 2018
Full Application Review Meeting January 31, 2019

Note: Program intakes are on-going until December 31, 2021, or when all funds are committed. The timelines above will be updated following each round.

 

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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:

Martin Lord
Senior Sector Manager, Automotive and Mobility
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x3236
Email: martin.lord@oce-ontario.org

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

Sam Saad
Manager, Automotive and Mobility Portfolio
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x9-1097
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

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