AdvancingEducation Program

The AdvancingEducation Program helps connect Ontario’s public education system with companies to test early-market interest and demonstrate innovative products and technologies in an education setting. This includes English and French K-12 schools as well as post-secondary institutions.

Program Summary

Program Name

AdvancingEducation

Program Status and Submission Deadline

Closed for Applications

What it Supports

  • Innovation/technology implementation and demonstration in a public education setting
  • Student training and development opportunities on demonstration projects

Project Sector

Education Technology

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Applicant:

  • Ontario public education organization [elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels, including French and English language]
  • MUST be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE

Industry Partner:

  • Ontario-based company
  • MUST have an R&D presence and/or manufacturing facility in Ontario, and the operations in Ontario are expected to commercialize the R&D results of the project

Project:

  • The proposed demonstration MUST be at the pilot stage and will provide a competitive advantage or other significant benefits
  • Projects MUST demonstrate a good return on investment for the Ontario public education sector
  • The proposed innovation/technology MUST be validated and provide sufficient data to warrant a pilot-scale project and have the necessary approvals if required
  • The proposed demonstration project MUST address a problem statement and/or challenge identified by the public education partner

AdvancingEducation Funding

Up to $250,000 per demonstration project to the public education organization(s)

Project Duration

Up to 24 months

Matching Requirement

1:1 matching required on direct project costs (combination of cash and in-kind; minimum 25 per cent cash; preference given to projects with strong cash 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 AdvancingEducation Program helps connect Ontario’s public education system with companies to test early-market interest and demonstrate innovative products and technologies in an education setting. This includes English and French K-12 schools as well as post-secondary institutions.

Designed to bolster innovation in Ontario’s public education system through partnerships between schools and companies, the program invests in collaborative innovation procurement projects to demonstrate new technologies in a public sector setting as a means of building a strong case for adoption and system-wide scaling. 

The themes for the individual funding rounds are identified by OCE. 

Round 1 ThemeStudent engagement technologies that improve learning outcomes and/or accessibility.

Round 2: ThemeFuture-Proof Learning – seeking demonstration of innovative technologies that engage all students in the development of global competencies, including:

  • STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and ICE (innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship) related skills
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Collaboration and Communication
  • Self-Direction and Well-Being

Technologies may target one or more of the following users: students, teachers, administrators and parents/caregivers.

Projects of a considerable scale, with multiple education and/or industry partners, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Objectives

Program Objectives

  • Improve student learning and wellness outcomes, introduce innovative teaching methods, increase student engagement, enhance educator and administrator experience and provide mentorship opportunities for students interested in innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Build capacity for early-market engagement in the procurement process by providing a platform for the public education sector to share their “Problem Statements” directly with the Ontario innovation community so that new solutions may be identified, implemented and demonstrated in a collaborative way
  • Enable the public education sector to identify and bridge barriers to realize sustainable and long-term adoption and procurement of innovation
  • Further establish Ontario as a model for innovative public education and a global leader in edtech

How Funding Works

AdvancingEducation Contribution

50 per cent (maximum) of total eligible project costs per demonstration project, up to $250,000

Industry Partner Contribution

50 per cent (minimum) of total eligible project costs (i.e. minimum 1:1 match to OCE contribution)

  • Minimum 25 per cent cash
  • Preference given to projects with strong cash contributions

Example

Total eligible project costs: $100,000

  • Maximum AdvancingEducation contribution: $50,000
  • Minimum industry partner contribution: $50,000 ($12,500 cash, plus $37,500 in-kind)

Funding Recipient

Ontario public education organization

Institutional Overhead

Not eligible

  • A funding allocation of up to $250,000 per demonstration project
  • Approximately five demonstration projects will be funded per Call for Applications
  • 1:1 matching required on direct project costs (combination of cash and in-kind; minimum 25 per cent cash; preference given to projects with strong cash contributions)
  • Funds will support eligible demonstration project costs at the company, at the public education organization(s), including student stipends; and collaborating academic institution(s) as applicable and based on a reimbursement model
  • Funding will support projects up to 24 months in duration and spanning two academic years

Eligible Use of Funds and Activities

  • Innovation/technology implementation and demonstration in a public education setting
  • Student training and development opportunities on demonstration projects

Activities that are outside the scope of this program include pre-market evidence development and evaluation of new technologies.

Refer to the Eligible Expenses document for full details.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant

  • The Lead Applicant MUST be an Ontario public education organization [elementary, secondary and post secondary levels, including both French and English language]
  • Applicants MUST be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE

Industry Partner

  • Industry partner(s) MUST have an R&D presence and/or manufacturing facility in Ontario and the operations in Ontario are expected to commercialize the R&D results of the project
  • Partners MUST meet the minimum cash and in-kind matching requirements

Project

  • All applications MUST reflect a partnership between at least one public education organization and at least one Ontario-based company
  • The public education organization and/or a partner for the proposed demonstration project is expected to act as the demonstration site
  • The proposed demonstration MUST be at the pilot stage and will provide a competitive advantage or other significant benefits
  • Projects MUST demonstrate a good return on investment for the Ontario public education sector
  • The proposed innovation/technology MUST be validated and provide sufficient data to warrant a pilot-scale project and have the necessary approvals if required
  • Following a successful pilot, the innovation/technology can be scaled further across the market
  • The innovation/technology is best in class and will lead to a globally competitive business and market opportunity
  • The proposed demonstration project MUST address a problem statement and/or challenge identified by the public education partner
  • Participants will agree to provide project metrics and progress reports to OCE
  • Participants will agree to cooperate with OCE and the academic case study partner(s) in the development of a case study based on the funded demonstration project
More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: Closed for applications

The application is a two-step process:

  1. Expressions of Interest (EOI) stage
  2. Full proposal (invitation only)

Expression of Interest (EOI) stage

Please complete all the information in the EOI template to ensure:

  • The proposal’s font and format are maintained
  • The proposal is submitted through the OCE online application system and uploaded as an attachment (PDF format accepted)

Download the EOI template

Upon review of your EOI, OCE may request additional information or clarification to determine project eligibility. You will be notified via email and asked to follow up accordingly. This documentation will be appended to the submission.

A limited number of EOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal. 

Full proposal (invitation only)

The full proposal MUST include a comprehensive Milestones Table, budget and follow-up to any of the EOI questions.

Full applications must be submitted in OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE. Prior to submission, applicants MUST first request their OCE Business Development Manager (BDM) to provide an endorsement of the application for eligibility and suitability. Once the endorsement is provided, the applicant or BDM will then be able to submit the application.

Please allow at least one week prior to the application submission deadline for the BDM endorsement step to be completed. Applications initiated less than one week prior to the deadline MAY NOT have sufficient time for a BDM to support the application and provide an endorsement.

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.

Assessment Process and Criteria

AdvancingEducation is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible applications undergo a review process where the applications are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria. Not all eligible applications will be approved for funding.

  • Applications will be assessed and reviewed by an external panel of experts against well-defined selection criteria. Projects that are outside of the scope will not qualify and may be referred to partner programs as appropriate. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) will be completed by the review panels prior to review of the proposals.

The application review process will comprise of: 

  • Expression of Interest (EOI) review and ranking by a committee of external reviewers with appropriate domain expertise. Highly ranked EOIs will be invited to submit a full proposal.
  • Full proposal review by the External Review Panel (ERP), which is comprised of domain experts. Applicants will submit an online proposal and present to the ERP during a panel review meeting. The ERP makes funding recommendations to OCE based on its assessment of the application and presentation.  
  • The final funding decision rests with OCE, through the Internal Review Panel (IRP), which is comprised of senior OCE staff.
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Flow of Funds

Funding for the demonstration project will be released to the public education organization that will be responsible for reimbursing their project partner(s). Upon project activation, an initial advance may be released. Further payments will be reimbursed upon receipt and approval of quarterly expenditure reports. 

Project Reporting Requirements

The following project reports will be required. 

Please note that to receive funding from OCE, the applicant MUST complete all required reports as a contractual obligation.

Progress and Financial Report(s)

  • Progress report(s), including project progress, proof of expenditures, and a financial attestation, will be required bi-annually.Two reports [(1) April – September (2) October – March] per OCE fiscal year (April 1st – March 31st), in addition to a final report. The applicant organization will receive notification and a link from the AccessOCE system to submit the report. The report MUST be received and approved by OCE prior to release of funds for eligible financial claims.
  • Note: Applicants MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts, and other relevant documentation relating to eligible expenses. This documentation may be requested by OCE in review of the claims.

Final Results and Financial Report(s)

  • A final report, including progress, proof of expenditures and a financial attestation, will be required at the end of the project. Forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive an email notification of the project end date from the AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Progress and Financial Report should the Applicant wish to begin entering data.
  • If a project extension is required, the Applicant MUST request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant will receive another notification and a link to complete the Final Project Progress and Financial Claim Report from the AccessOCE system.
  • All required final reports by all Applicants 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 Applicant MAY request it by emailing OCE Project Administration, project-administration@oce.zendesk.com.

Project Metrics

  • If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the applicant and industry partner(s) 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 the Government of Ontario. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Demonstration Project Case Studies

Successful applicants will be invited to work with OCE and our academic case study partner (the World Health Innovation Network (WIN)) to share their experiences and perceptions of the demonstration project they have been funded to implement.  The objective of this case study research includes the following:

  • Create a portfolio of empirical case studies to document evidence of outcomes, impact and key lessons learned from innovation procurement processes in the education sector;
  • Describe the impact of policy frameworks on the innovation procurement processes and outcomes;
  • Provide evidence to inform policy development to better support innovation procurement across the province;
  •  Document opportunities to build capacity and expertise in innovation procurement models and processes across the education system;
  • Create evidence of the barriers and enablers and key conditions for success (ex. policy, tools, consumer engagement, provider engagement and leadership) to accelerate the adoption of innovative products and services in the public education sector; and,
  • Disseminate lessons learned and procurement project outcomes and impact across key education system stakeholder groups to build capacity in Ontario for education system innovation and scalability

Successful applicants will be introduced to the WIN research team (Chair of WIN, Dr. Anne Snowdon), who will then contact project leaders to describe the study protocol and obtain consent to participate.  The study protocols will involve interviews, document analysis, and observations of project events.

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For inquiries specifically related to eligibility, contracting and funding disbursements, please contact: Jennifer Moles, Innovation Procurement Manager, at


How to Apply

Program Status: Closed for Applications



Examples of successful AdvancingEducation projects

Stories tagged: Southwestern Ontario

​Last update: January 4, 2019