Voucher for E-Business (VEB)

The Voucher for E-Business (VEB) program connects eligible industry partners with the expertise and resources available at Ontario’s publicly-funded colleges to help scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools to drive innovation, market expansion and export opportunities. VEB projects typically run in association with existing college courses, and may include, but are not limited to, e-business solutions such as website development, online sales process, digital and social media, and customer relationship management.

Program Summary

Program Name

Voucher for E-Business (VEB)

Program Status and Submission Deadline

✓ Open for Applications

Submission deadline: May 8, 2019, 2 pm ET

What it Supports

Helps companies scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools, through course-based collaborative projects with publicly-funded Ontario colleges

Project Sector

Information and Communications Technology (E-Business)

Basic Eligibility Criteria

(A full list of eligibility requirements is available.)

Applicant:

  • Applied research officer at publicly-funded Ontario college, who will administer the vouchers for projects

Industry Partner:

  • For-profit company
  • Operations and/or R&D in Ontario with capacity to commercialize results of the project
  • Must apply directly to a VEB provider college in order to access a project voucher

Project:

  • One voucher per eligible industry partner
  • Utilizes skills/resources of publicly-funded college students to address industry e-business challenges

OCE Funding

Up to $25,000 to the publicly-funded college, for a bundle of 10 vouchers valued at $2,500 each

Project Duration

Up to 12 months

Matching Requirement

1:1 cash and/or in-kind from Industry Partner on each project

How to Apply

See details on the How to Apply tab.

Contact

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

More program information

Program Overview and Benefits

The Voucher for E-Business (VEB) program connects eligible industry partners with the expertise and resources available at Ontario’s publicly-funded colleges to help scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools to drive innovation, market expansion and export opportunities.

VEB projects typically run in association with existing college courses, and may include, but are not limited to, e-business solutions such as website development, online sales process, digital and social media, and customer relationship management. College faculty and students engage with industry partners to identify their online business challenges. Student teams then act as consultants to the industry partners, working with them to solve the challenges with input and guidance from college faculty.

The VEB program is delivered by OCE on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT).

OCE will publish a list of approved VEB provider colleges here once selected (anticipated end of June 2019).

Benefits to Companies

Benefits to College (Researchers and Students)

Benefits to Companies

  • Gain fresh perspective, new skills and ideas to solve e-business related innovation challenges
  • Access motivated and skilled up-and-coming talent in an affordable manner
  • Gain exposure for company and brand
  • Utilize e-business solutions to develop new products, processes and services, leading to new revenues and high-value jobs
  • Establish relationships within the research community and OCE’s networks

Benefits to College (Researchers and Students)

  • Gain hands-on, industry-related experience and mentorship opportunities
  • Use knowledge and innovative ideas to solve real-world e-business challenges
  • Gain experience developing a project plan and industry-related solutions
  • Receive guidance from college faculty and industry experts
  • Establish relationships with industry and within OCE’s networks

How Funding Works

OCE Contribution

Up to $25,000, for a bundle of 10 vouchers valued at $2,500 each

  • Each $2,500 voucher supports eligible research and development costs at the college, for a project with an eligible industry partner

Industry Partner Contribution

Minimum 1:1 match to OCE contribution for each voucher

  • Matching contributions may be in cash and/or in-kind support

Example

Total eligible project costs: $50,000 (for 10 voucher projects)

  • Maximum OCE contribution: $25,000 ($2,500 per voucher)
  • Minimum industry partner contribution: $25,000 ($2,500 per voucher; cash and/or in-kind)

Funding Recipient

Publicly-funded college

Institutional Overhead

Not eligible

  • Colleges (applicants) apply to OCE to be providers of VEB vouchers to eligible industry partners. Colleges approved for VEB funding will be allocated a set number of VEB vouchers to provide to eligible industry partners
  • Colleges are responsible for selecting eligible industry partners and projects, developing project scopes with their partners, assigning faculty and students, and confirming receipt of partner cash and in-kind contributions, using their own processes
  • Industry partners must apply directly to participating VEB provider colleges, to access vouchers for projects
    • OCE will publish a list of approved VEB provider colleges here once selected (anticipated end of June 2019)

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant (College)

  • Applied research officer at an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario college (additional faculty members, project managers and primary researchers MUST be listed as team members in the application)
    • May only submit one application to the VEB program per round
  • Has an
    arms-length relationship As defined on NSERC website ; see the section Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations.
    with the industry partners
  • In good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • MUST consent to represent the college and industry partners on all voucher projects, including, but not limited to, providing OCE with financial, metrics and progress reports on all voucher projects at pre-determined intervals and as necessary

Industry Partner

  • For-profit, incorporated in Ontario, and has a valid CRA
    business number The 9-digit business number (BN) is a common client identifier for businesses to simplify their dealings with federal, provincial, and municipal governments (click here for more information). The BN is the first nine digits of your company’s HST account number. The BN for your company may be verified at one of the following links: Industry Canada or CRA .
    *Note that your CRA designated 9 digit BN will differ from your Government of Ontario designated Corporation number.
    • Not-for-profit organizations may be eligible on a case-by-case basis and MUST be pre-approved by OCE to apply. The organization MUST have 1) over 50 per cent of its revenue from non-governmental sources, and 2) the intent and potential to apply, exploit and/or commercialize the results of the project for the economic benefit of Ontario
  • Is using or developing technology innovation or innovative processes for competitive advantage in provincial, national and/or global markets
  • Has operations (production and/or R&D) in Ontario related to the project
    • Has the intent and potential to apply, exploit and/or commercialize the results of the project for the economic benefit of Ontario (e.g. new jobs, revenue, increased productivity, cost savings)
    • Has the necessary expertise and resources to put the project into effect within an appropriate time frame
  • Company subsidiaries (organizations with headquarters outside of Ontario) are eligible, provided that the Ontario operations meet all of the above criteria
  • In good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • MUST provide oversight, support and guidance to the participating college student(s)
  • MUST co-operate with the college in providing project outcomes and metrics and consent to the college submitting reports to OCE on its behalf

Project

  • Each voucher project MUST include at least one eligible industry partner
  • Maximum of one voucher may be allocated per eligible industry partner
  • Leverages the unique capabilities of the college environment and research team to address an eligible partner’s e-business challenge
  • Contributes to the training and industry exposure of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) at the college
  • Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by the project participants as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights
  • View a list of eligible project expenses
More program information

How to Apply

Program Status: ✓ Open for Applications

Submission deadline: May 8, 2019, 2 pm ET

  1. If you are ready to start applying for VEB, the applicant (from the college) should start the application process.

    Please note: completion of this form does not constitute an application for funding. A Business Development Manager (BDM) will contact you within two business days to discuss the opportunity. If you are already working with a BDM, please indicate this in the form.

  2. Once the BDM confirms that the opportunity is suitable for the program, you will be sent a link to OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE.
  3. Complete the online application form and upload the required supporting documents. Applicants will be required to outline their proposed plan to review and select projects to commit their allocation of vouchers. This review process MUST be to OCE’s satisfaction and may draw on the relevant domain and sector expertise internally and/or externally, including participation by OCE as required.
    • Required supporting documents:
      • Résumé, CV or Form 103CV of the applicant and key team members including additional research team members, industry partner, students, etc.
      • Industry letters of support (optional)

    For assistance, please see the following resources:

  4. 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.
  5. On submission of the application, OCE will internally review the application within approximately one week for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance. A list of any errors and/or omissions will be sent to the applicant for revision. Revisions MUST be completed within two business days.
  6. When the application is deemed complete, it will be sent for review by external, subject matter experts. A funding decision will be provided within six weeks.
  7. Successful applicants MUST execute OCE’s standard funding agreement within 30 days of notification of award. A copy of the funding agreement can be downloaded for your reference. See additional details on the Flow of Funds and Project Reporting (Project Activation) tab.

Industry partners interested in applying for a VEB project must apply directly to a VEB provider college.

  • Companies that wish to collaborate with a VEB provider college should contact the VEB provider college directly at any time.
    • OCE will publish a list of approved VEB provider colleges here once selected (anticipated end of June 2019).
  • Companies that do not have a collaborating college, or wish to find out more about VEB or other OCE programs, should submit a generic Client Intake Form.

Timelines

Application Step

Date

Call for applications

Friday, March 29, 2019

Deadline for application submission using OCE’s online system, AccessOCE

*Please ensure you have started the application process at least one week prior to the deadline.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019, 2 p.m. ET

Decision notification

Early June, 2019

Funding agreements executed and start of approved projects

Late June, 2019

Reference Documents

Assessment Process and Criteria

The Voucher for E-Business (VEB) program 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 other criteria. Not all eligible applications will be approved for funding.

  1. Complete applications will undergo a written external peer review by three subject-matter experts from academia, industry and/or government. Reviewers are contractually bound by confidentiality and conflict of interest requirements.
  2. Recommendations from the peer review process will be assessed by OCE’s Internal Review Panel, which will have responsibility for the final OCE decision.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against assessment criteria, including:

  • Evidence of commitment by the college to the program, including capability, resources, facilities and mentorship
  • Clarity and suitability of the process for identifying, reviewing and selecting projects and industry partners
  • Clarity and feasibility of the program timelines, roles and responsibilities and budget (confirmed cash/in-kind commitment by industry is not required at the time of application, but may factor favourably into the score)
  • Demonstration of ability for projects to address industry partner challenges, including commercial outcomes from previously-funded projects (if applicable)
  • Demonstration of commitment by the college to help industry partners sustain the solutions, including utilization of the college capabilities/expertise in technology assessment, technical support and business case analysis (e.g. market research)
  • Provision of significant training and/or mentorship opportunities for student teams, and student engagement in projects
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application
More program information

Project Activation

  • The OCE contributions are provided to the applicant college. Upon approval of a project for funding, successful applicants MUST execute OCE’s standard funding agreement within thirty (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 information management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.
  • The project will be activated upon completion of the above requirements. The start date will be by default the date of activation and may not be changed.

Flow of Funds

  • Upon activation, OCE will release a payment equal to 75 per cent of the OCE award amount. The remaining 25 per cent of the OCE award will be held back until project completion. For example:

    OCE award amount

    $25,000

    Industry partner contributions

    $25,000 cash and/or in-kind

    Funds released upon project activation

    $18,750

    Holdback

    $6,250

    • OCE will not release any funds until the project is activated and will not be held responsible for any expenses incurred for the project prior to activation. If for any reason the requirements for activation are not met within thirty (30) days from the date of release of the approval notification, the funding offer may be retracted.
  • The cash and/or in-kind contributions from industry partners on voucher projects are provided by the industry partners directly to the college. Project participants are encouraged to negotiate additional agreement(s) to enable the transfer of these funds. The college must provide periodic attestations to OCE to confirm receipt of contributions from all industry partners.
  • The holdback will be released upon project completion and receipt and OCE approval of the following for all individual voucher projects: final progress, metrics and financial reports, outcomes and attestation from the Applicant college regarding the use of funds.

Project Reporting Requirements

The following project reports will be required. 

Please note that completion of all required reports is a contractual obligation to receive funding from OCE.

For each report required by OCE, the Applicant college MUST:

  • Collect progress, financial and metrics data from the industry partners on all voucher projects, and provide these reports to OCE on behalf of the partners
  • Provide an attestation confirming:
    • Eligibility of all industry partners receiving vouchers according to the program guidelines;
    • Receipt of cash and/or in-kind matching contributions from each industry partner;
    • Receipt of all required industry partner reporting, for submission to OCE

Interim Reports

  • Thirty (30) days prior to the report due date, the Applicant will receive a notification and link from OCE’s AccessOCE system to submit the interim report. Interim reports MUST include:
    • Number of vouchers allocated
    • Total expenditures of OCE and industry partner project funding
    • Total industry cash and in-kind contributions, and
    • Data and metrics on individual voucher projects and partners to date

Final Project Report

  • Forty-five (45) days prior to the scheduled final overall 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 wish to begin entering data.
  • On the scheduled overall project completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification and link to complete a Final Project Report (including a comprehensive list of all industry partners who have received vouchers, and reports on progress, financials, metrics and success stories) from OCE’s AccessOCE system.
  • When the Applicant final report has been approved, the Applicant will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project. OCE may also request proof of expenditures.
  • 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 Changes

  • 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.
  • For any other material change to the project, including but not limited to changes related to the applicant, industry partner(s), scope of work or eligible expenses, the applicant MUST contact the Program Manager for approval as soon as the changes are known.

For More Information

Search OCE’s Knowledge Base of Frequently Asked Questions.

For further questions regarding program guidelines, eligibility and submitting the online application, please contact your OCE Business Development Manager or:

OCE Application Support Team
Tel: 416-861-1092 x2400
Email: application-support@oce.zendesk.com

For further questions regarding the application review process, please contact:

OCE Review and Results Team
Email: application-review@oce.zendesk.com

For further questions regarding administration of active projects, please contact:

OCE Project Administration Team
Email: project-administration@oce.zendesk.com

For other inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Manager
Tel: 416-861-1092 x1061
Email: 


How to Apply

Program Status: ✓ Open for Applications

Deadline: May 8, 2019, 2 pm ET

Start the application process*
  • Companies that wish to collaborate with a VEB provider college should contact that college directly at any time. List of approved VEB provider colleges will be provided by end of June 2019.
  • Companies who do not have a collaborating college, or wish to find out more about VEB or other OCE programs, should submit a generic client intake form.

*The applicant from the college should click this button when ready to apply for funding

  • Companies who wish to collaborate with a VEB provider college should contact that college directly at any time
  • Companies who do not have a collaborating college, or wish to find out more about VEB or other OCE programs, should submit a generic client intake form

​Last update: March 29, 2019