December 18th, 2015
Canada’s provincial governments realize that one of the best methods to stimulate private-sector research is through encouraging collaboration between industry and academic institutions. Administered by Ontario Centres of Excellence, the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity inspires companies to apply for grants that allow them to utilize knowledgeable experts from the province’s universities, colleges, and research hospitals. The goal of these year-long collaborations is to expand export market possibilities through product and service innovation.
The project in question must represent the first collaborative effort between the respective industry and academic partners. In order to serve as wide a base of potential users as possible, the government has split the voucher program into two specifically targeted streams.
Voucher for Innovation and Productivity I
Projects funded through this voucher provide qualifying companies with financial incentives to improve productivity and the development of new products/processes, while also helping to create revenue streams and job positions. Government investment varies from $20,000 – $25,000 and the industry must provide a matching minimum of 20 – 50% of that outlay or meet it entirely in-kind, depending on certain conditions.
The overall goal is the achievement of knowledge mobilization, commercialization, and increased productivity that results in a notable financial benefit for the province. It is permissible to combine funding from this program with federal financial incentives, though only a single application is required. These federal partners include the Business Development Bank of Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, and the National Research Council. There is no deadline date for submissions to the Voucher I initiative.
Voucher for Innovation and Productivity II
This program has similar goals, but somewhat different criteria. Projects can run from 12 – 24 months and the government contribution towards eligible research costs varies from $50,000 – $75,000 annually to a maximum of $150,000.
Industry partnerships here can include the participation of Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Engineering Research Council of Canada. These entities may support collaboration between participants in this program and the simultaneous Collaborative Research and Development Grants project. The respective projects must have concurrent applications and certain features in common.
Added Program Advantages
In addition to its ultimate benefits for the province, the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity program also affords college and university students the opportunity to work on real-world scenarios existing outside of the classroom. This provides them with a valuable preview of future work environments and challenges. Participating institutions include Loyalist College, Northern College, and Durham College. This is also one of the most time effective programs of its type, with an average turnaround of only 6-8 weeks from application submission.
Even with its streamlined regulations and submission process, the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity has a number of specific requirements in the application process. Failure to fully address these will result in wasted time and effort. The grant-writing professionals at INAC Services have over 25 years of experience securing government funding for business and their in-house expertise has benefitted more than 350 organizations to date. Contact INAC today and let us handle all aspects of your grant application, while you attend to the business at hand.