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

As a pillar of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN), the AV R&D Partnership Fund supports projects related to the development and demonstration of technologies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) sector in the following Priority Areas:

  • Mass light vehicles (e.g., cars, trucks and vans)
  • Heavy duty vehicles (including commercial vehicles, trucks, buses, recreational vehicles (RVs), and others used for goods movement)
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS)
  • Transit-supportive systems and vehicles

Program Summary

Program Name

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

Program Status and Submission Deadline

✓ Open for Applications (accepted on a rolling basis)

What it Supports

Projects related to the development and demonstration of technologies

Project Sector

Connected / Autonomous Vehicles

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Applicant:

  • Either an SME or a publicly funded post-secondary academic institution
  • Required to have operations in Ontario

Partners:

  • For-profit Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • For-profit National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations
  • Required to have operations in Ontario

Project:

  • Eligible projects require a minimum of two organizations: Generally, an SME – the Applicant– works with a Primary Partner. Additional partners – Secondary Partners – can be any eligible organization and part of the team for strategic and commercial reasons.
  • Minimum 2:1 cash match by Applicants and/or Partners
  • Project activities are carried out in Ontario
  • Projects should be at Technology Readiness Level 3-7
  • Typical project activities include: technology development, demonstration, product/service validation, testing, and proof of concept

OCE Funding

Up to one-third of eligible project costs up to a maximum of $100,000

Project Duration

Up to 12 months

Matching Requirement

Minimum 2:1 cash match from Applicant and/or Partners. The match MUST come from private sector contributions.

How to Apply

See details on the How to Apply tab.

Contact

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions. For further assistance, see details on the Contacts tab.

More program information

Program Overview and Benefits

The AV R&D Partnership Fund (Stream 1) contributes up to one-third of eligible project costs, for approved projects, up to a maximum of $100,000, with the remainder contributed by Applicants and/or Partners. Project funding can be used towards the development and demonstration of technologies in the Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (C/AV) 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

Projects can 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.

Projects are encouraged to include demonstration of actual products, which can be showcased at events; at the Demonstration Zone in Stratford, Ontario; at one of the AVIN Regional Technology Development Sites with appropriate facilities; 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 a project will be managed by project Applicant and Partners as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.

The Applicant and the Primary Partner must have an arm’s-length business relationship.

Applications that are outside of the scope of the program may be referred to funding partners or other OCE administered programs as appropriate. 

Benefits to Applicants and Partners

Benefits to Society

Benefits to Applicants and Partners

  • Commercialization of Ontario-made technologies
  • Demonstration of Ontario-made technologies to potential customers
  • Relationships with researchers to extend company R&D
  • Marketable solutions to current challenges
  • Public/private partnerships

Benefits to Society

  • Increased road safety
  • Better road condition monitoring
  • Better collection and analysis of transportation-related information
  • Innovative new products and services to reduce driver distraction
  • Reduced environmental and carbon footprint

How Funding Works

OCE Contribution

One-third (maximum) of total eligible project costs, up to $100,000

Matching Requirement

Two-thirds (minimum) of total eligible project costs (i.e. minimum 2:1 match to OCE contribution)

  • Cash match may come from Applicant and/or Partners
  • Cash match MUST come from private sector contributions

Example

Total eligible project costs: $100,000

  • Maximum OCE contribution: $33,000
  • Minimum industry contribution: $67,000

Funding Recipient

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

Academic Applicant Option

Application follows VIP II rules. OCE funding goes to the academic institution. OCE funding is matched by 100% cash (minimum) and 100% other contributions from industry partner.

Institutional Overhead

This program is not eligible for overhead payment by OCE. Academic overhead is also not an eligible expense.

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

NOTE: The maximum level—or stacking limit—of total government assistance (government assistance for the same eligible expenditures) will not exceed 75 per cent of the value of eligible expenditures. Applicants will be required to disclose all sources of funding being applied for and/or received for the project and the full proposal will incorporate a breakdown of all government assistance as required. Government assistance includes OCE administered programs and support from other levels of government in Canada. 

NOTE: OCE and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) may partner to support selected collaborative Stream 1 and Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) or Applied Research and Development (ARD) (college only) projects. Partnership may be possible where the two applications are prepared in parallel, the projects are aligned and include unique and complementary milestones, and the industry cash contributions are not already allocated. Potential opportunities must be assessed by an OCE Business Development Manager on a case-by-case basis prior to commencing an application.

An application to Stream 1 can also embed a funding request for interns and fellows from the AVIN Talent Development program

Eligible Expenses

  • All project activities must be performed within Ontario, unless prior 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 gets activated. Until activation is performed, project expenses are incurred at the risk of the participants
  • Applicants must refer to the Eligible Expenses Guide for full details

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants

  • An Applicant is either an SME (generally defined as having fewer than 500 full-time employees) or a post-secondary academic institution.
    • An SME may be an Applicant on only one AV R&D Partnership Fund Stream 1 or Stream 2 project at a time.
  • Must have operations (R&D, manufacturing, product management, etc.) in Ontario
  • An Ontario publicly-funded post-secondary academic institution (college or university) can be an Applicant. For universities, the project lead is a principal investigator. For colleges, the project lead is a representative of the applied research office; project researchers are included as team members. Principal investigators, project leads, and researchers must have an arm’s-length relationship with all Partners.

Partners

  • Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)
    • SMEs may be Primary or Secondary Partners on multiple concurrent projects.
  • National and Multi-National Enterprises (NEs and MNEs)
    • NEs and MNEs can be Primary or Secondary Partners on multiple concurrent projects.
  • Publicly-funded Post-Secondary Academic Institutions
  • Municipalities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Not-For-Profit Organizations

Partners for academic institution applicants can only be SMEs, NEs, or MNEs.

Applicants and Partners

Wherever applicable, Applicants and Partners 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

Project

  • Minimum one Applicant and one Primary Partner
  • Minimum 2:1 cash match by Applicants and/or Partners
  • Project activities are carried out in Ontario
  • Projects can be up to 12 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 (3: proof of concept; 7: operational environment functional demonstration)
  • Typical project activities include: technology development, demonstration, product/service validation, testing, and proof of concept
  • Applicant and Partners should demonstrate close collaboration and scalable outcomes with high potential for commercialization, strong commercial pull, competitive advantage and alignment with intended program benefits.
More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: Stream 1 applications may be submitted at any time and are evaluated periodically.

  1. To begin the application process, please complete a client intake form.

    Please note: completion of this form does not constitute an application for funding. An OCE Business Development Manager (BDM) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with developing your application. Your OCE BDM will also maintain oversight responsibility for any approved project.

  2. Prior to submission, an Applicant MUST first request their BDM to provide an endorsement of the application for eligibility and suitability.
  3. Once the endorsement is provided, the Applicant or BDM 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Successful Applicants and their Partner(s) must execute OCE’s standard Funding Agreement, including a completed Schedule D, Intellectual Property Term Sheet, and Schedule “E”: DISP requirements, 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.
  6. IMPORTANT: Applicants should start negotiations with their project Partner(s) regarding intellectual property (IP) preferably before submission of the application.

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

Timelines

Activity

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

Reference Documents

Assessment Process and Criteria

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 applications are assessed on their merit and reviewed 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

Evaluation criteria include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • 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)
  • Technical merit, novelty, and ability of the innovation to address challenges and market opportunities
  • 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 proposed solutions
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application
More program information

Project Activation

  • 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 a Schedule “E”: 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 see above). 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.

Flow of Funds

  • OCE funds flow only to the Applicant. The Applicant is responsible to reimburse Partners, if applicable.
  • Reimbursements are triggered by the submission and approval of claims and reports
  • Reimbursement claims (for SME Applicant) or disbursement claims (for academic Applicant) are made when submitting the required interim and final reports

Applicant is an SME

  • An advance payment of up to 10 per cent is released upon activation of the project
  • 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)
Payments are based on the total OCE award project value (including the Talent Development (TalentEdge) Program, if applicable)

Applicant is a Post-Secondary Academic Institution

  • An advance payment of up to 45 percent is released upon activation of the project
  • A 45 per cent interim payment (based on submitted and approved disbursement claim and report)
  • 10 per cent final payment (based on submitted and approved disbursement claim and final report)

NOTE: This program is not eligible for overhead payment by OCE. Academic overhead is also not an eligible expense. 

Payments are based on the total OCE award project value (including the Talent Development (TalentEdge) Program, if applicable)

Project Reporting Requirements

A major component of the AVIN Project is the generation and analysis of data and information to support Ontario’s C/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 applicants to be proprietary or commercially sensitive. OCE will work with applicants 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.

Copies of detailed reporting instructions and templates will be sent to successful parties at the time of contracting. Reports must be received and approved by OCE prior to release of funds for eligible claims.

The following project reports will be required. Please note that completion of all required reports is a contractual obligation to receive funding from OCE.

Interim Progress and Claims Report(s)

SME Applicants

Quarterly reports (based on OCE’s fiscal year starting April 1), 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. Report is accessed directly on the AccessOCE system from the Report Tab.

Academic Applicants

One Interim Report including progress, project metrics, data and information requirements, proof of expenditures and partnership contributions, financial attestation, and a request for disbursement must be submitted by the Applicant.

Final Report 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/disbursement, 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.

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 required, applicants MUST request a project extension using the Project Administration tab in its AccessOCE project file. Extension requests must be made at the earliest possible opportunity.
  • Applicants 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

Project Metrics

If a project continues past an OCE 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 must be submitted 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.

Project Changes

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 Access OCE project file.

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For inquiries related to application initiation, please contact:

Martin Lord
Senior Sector Manager, Automotive and Mobility
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x9-3236
Email: 

Viraj Mane
Sector Manager, Automotive and Mobility
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x9-1073
Email: 

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

Daniel Graham
Manager, Automotive and Mobility Portfolio
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x9-1107
Email:

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact:

Application Support Team
Tel: (416) 861 1092 x9-2400
Email: 


How to Apply

Program Status: ✓ Open for Applications (accepted on a rolling basis) 

Please note: completion of this form does not constitute an application for funding. An OCE Business Development Manager (BDM) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with developing your application. Your OCE BDM will also maintain oversight responsibility for any approved project.


Last updated: March 18, 2019