ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge Internships

A. Program Overview
B. How Funding Works
C. Eligibility
D. Evaluation and Assessment
E. Project Changes and Reporting Requirements
F. How to Apply
H. Downloads

ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge Internships are currently open to applicants through all streams.

A. Program Overview


ENCQOR 5G (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) is a transformational Canada-Quebec-Ontario partnership focused on research and innovation in the field of fifth generation wireless communication (5G) disruptive technologies, on adoption initiatives and system uses.  The partnership establishes the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G digital infrastructure — the key to making the digital economy a reality. The ENCQOR 5G project is spearheaded by five world-class digital technology companies — Ericsson, Ciena, Thales, IBM Canada and CGI — and brings together industry, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the public sector, centres for innovation, and post-secondary institutions. ENCQOR 5G is a tool for accelerating the transition to the digital economy and will strengthen the competitiveness of Canada, Quebec and Ontario in the global economy.

ENCQOR 5G Young Talent Development Program

The ENCQOR 5G Young Talent Development Program has been designed to curate the next generation of highly skilled talent to focus on 5G, wireless and digital technologies at Ontario-based SMEs. The internships support students and recent graduates of Ontario universities and colleges. Projects will tap into world-class talent coming out of Ontario's publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and strengthen the capacity of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new 5G products, services, and processes. Internships are intended to provide participants with a unique learning opportunity as well as hands-on industry experience.

Ontario-based SMEs may apply for internships through the following options:

  • lnternships at SMEs: provides funding for company-based interns working directly for an SME that is developing 5G wireless, digital or related technologies, preferably utilizing the iPaaS testbed
  • lnternships at SMEs as part of Technology Development projects, Demonstration projects or projects approved for iPaaS network access: provides funding for company-based interns working on projects related to 5G wireless, digital or related technologies
  • While completing a Technology Development or Demonstration Project application, applicant SMEs may also request funding to hire an intern to work at the SME, who will support the delivery of key milestones directly linked to the proposed Technology Development project, Demonstration project or projects that leverage the ENCQOR 5G iPaaS testbed.  For more information please refer to the Technology Development program guidelines or the Demonstration program guidelines or the ENCQOR 5G iPaaS page.


Small- or Medium-Sized Enterprise (“SME”): a for-profit company, with fewer than 500 total employees, that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative 5G-related product, process or service.

Program Objectives

  • Help students and recent graduates bridge the gap between Ontario’s publicly-funded post-secondary institutions and industry by providing hands-on industry experience 
  • Improve companies’ competitiveness by attracting top talent and tapping into world-class R&D to strengthen capacity to develop new products, services, and processes
  • Facilitate the transfer of knowledge and emerging technologies from publicly-funded post-secondary institutions to SMEs
  • Identify, attract and retain HQP with skills related to 5G wireless, digital or related technologies


B. How Funding Works


  • Internships can be four, eight, or 12 months in duration. Each four-month internship is equal to one unit (4-month internship = 1 internship unit). The maximum number of four-month units per intern 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)
    • lntern 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.
  • Applicants can apply for multiple interns in the same application up to a maximum of six ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge internship units per company over the lifetime of the ENCQOR program (i.e. maximum of $60,000 in OCE contribution per company). This applies to ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge internships only including units associated with the ENCQOR 5G Demonstration Program, the ENCQOR 5G SME Technology Development Program and ENCQOR 5G iPaaS access projects. Previously awarded Talent​Edge​ units from other OCE program streams do not count toward the six unit maximum.

Flow of Funds

  • OCE funds will flow directly to the applicant company.
  • Intern must have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship.
  • Upon approval of the application, OCE will release a payment equal to the OCE cash contribution amount minus a 25 per cent holdback of OCE contribution per internship unit. The holdback will be released upon project completion and receipt of the following: progress and final reports, proof of payroll for the intern (must include the intern’s name, company/institution name, payment periods and amounts e.g., intern pay stub, payroll print out, T4/T4A) and attestation from the financial officer/signing officer of the applicant organization regarding the use of funds.
    • The Canada Revenue Agency requires OCE to collect HST on company contributions. Please note that HST is 100% recoverable by the company as an HST rebate. More information about HST rebate and recovery.


C. Eligibility

Project Eligibility

  • Projects must be in the area of 5G wireless, digital or related technologies and preferably be utilizing the iPaaS platform
  • To be eligible for ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge internship units, the applicant company must have or be in the process of applying for a project in the ENCQOR 5G SME Technology Development Program, ENCQOR 5G Demonstration Program or be approved for iPaaS network access.
  • Projects must have an R&D component and have clearly defined activities, milestones and outcomes.
  • Proposed projects must be commensurate with intern’s experience and expertise
  • The SME applicant must be an Ontario-based, for-profit company, developing 5G or related products or services, and have in-house R&D capacity in Ontario.
  • Internships are not intended to be “first job” placements; all internships must be based on a defined project that is executed within the time frame of the internship
  • Total applicant/partner contributions must meet the minimum matching requirements.
  • Intellectual property (IP) 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 is an employee for the duration of the internship. 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 of the project 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 Eligibility

  • Undergraduate level: Undergraduate students in their final year of study or recent graduates from an undergraduate program (within three years of graduation) at a college or university in Ontario. 
  • Graduate level: Current Masters and PhD students, and recent Masters graduates within three years of graduation.
    • Master's students and recent Master's graduates (within three years of graduation)
    • Current PhD and Master's students must be registered at an accredited Ontario university
    • Interns may hold a maximum of three internship units (per student/graduate)
  • Consecutive internships may be held
  • The intern must be eligible to work in Ontario and have employee status at the company for the duration of the internship
  • The intern may not apply with a company where there is any conflict of interest, including, but not limited to, a company where the intern or relatives have any control as a major creditor or shareholder or governing board member
  • Interns may not apply if they are currently enrolled in a co-op program or other equivalent job placement/employment program
  • The intern 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.


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 other 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 F. How to Apply), 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:

  • Project Description: Clarity of R&D project and objectives and relevance to the company
  • Project Plan: Clarity of objectives for the intern, suitability of methodology, feasibility of timeline, proposed innovation, milestones and implementation plan
  • Intern Qualifications and Experience: suitability of intern’s background and expertise for the project, benefit of the placement to the intern and strength of interaction with the partner organization to provide the intern with first-hand industry experience and/or exposure
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application


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 (45) days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant 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 will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials, metrics and intern report) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. The final report must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
  • All required final reports 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 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.


F. How to Apply

ENCQOR 5G TalentEdge Internships are currently open to applicants through all streams. For information on how to apply, please visit the TalentEdge ​Internship guidelines.



Please review OCE's Program FAQ


H. Downloads


For general or eligibility inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Manager 
Tel: (416) 861-1092 x1061