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Funding Opportunities

The University of Windsor partners with federal and provincial funding agencies to offer various research partnership funding programs that support collaboration between our researchers and industry partners. Companies gain many benefits by engaging in these partnership programs and can leverage their contributed funds by applying for research grants from funding agencies. In addition to taking advantage of the Canada Revenue Agency’s Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, the projects may help improve the companies’ products/processes/services, which in turn may increase their competitiveness in the marketplace. The Research Partnerships team offers guidance on applying for the following funding opportunities.


Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Programs

NSERC is the national instrument for making strategic investments in Canada's capability in natural science and technology. NSERC supports both basic university research through discovery grants and project research through partnerships among universities, governments, and the private sector, as well as the advanced training of highly qualified personnel. NSERC’s role is to make investments in people, discovery and innovation to increase Canada’s scientific and technological capabilities for the benefit of all Canadians.

NSERC Alliance grants encourage university researchers to collaborate with partner organizations, which can be from the private, public or not-for-profit sectors to generate new knowledge and accelerate the application of research results for the benefit of all Canadians. Two options are available, both require in-kind and/or cash contributions from industry.


Option 1

Meant for building a new R&D relationship between a university researcher and industrial partner to address the company’s short-term R&D challenges. Collaboration between university researchers and their private sector partners expected to result in industrial and economic benefits to Canada

  • $20,000 to $1 million per year for 1 to 5 years;
  • Rolling submissions and no limit to the number of applications
  • Large partner organizations, 500+ people: NSERC matches contributions1:1
  • Small and Medium-sized organization <500 people globally: NSERC matches contributions 2:1

Option 2

Natural science or engineering research that addresses an unmet societal need, and where sources of funds are unavailable. Partner organizations should be willing and able to overcome existing barriers to address these challenges and achieve results that can lead to a societal impact beyond economic benefits, and where an increased level of support from public funds is justified.

  • $20,000 to $200,000 per year for 1 to 5 years
  • Limit of applications:
    • 2 for non-academic partners
    • 2 for applicants (one as PI, one as co-PI);
  • NSERC matches contributions up to 100% for public and not-for-profit of project partners, and 90% for private sector partners

Visit NSERC's website to learn more about Alliance grants

NSERC's Idea to Innovation (I2I) funding program is meant to accelerate the pre-competitive development of promising technology originating from the university and college sector and promote its transfer to a new or established Canadian company.


Funding for four stages are available:

1. Market assessment:

  • Market study on a product, process or technology to be developed
  • 12-month funding for a maximum of $15,000
  • The institution must provide ¼ of the total cost

2. Phase I - Reduction-to-practice stage

  • Advancing promising scientific concepts or technologies to attract early-stage investment or build intellectual property in anticipation of transferring the technology to the company
  • Funding is available for up to 12 months for a total of $125,000 (100% NSERC contribution)
  • A support letter from industry makes for a more compelling application and is strongly encouraged

3. Phase IIa - Early-stage investment partner

  • The proposal must have a decision point (“go/no-go”) after 6 to 18 months, representing the achievement of scientific or engineering milestone
  • NSERC supports 2/3 of the funding for a total project of $125,000 per year
  • Early-stage investor or industry partner must provide the other 1/3 of the needed funds

4.  Phase IIb - Partnership with Canadian company

  • Project to be completed within 2 years with a total project cost of $350,000 over the duration of the project
  • NSERC will support up to half of the cost, with a partner (investor or industry) providing cash and in-kind support for the other half
  • The company must have the technical ability to undertake any further development necessary to take the product to the market

More information on Idea to Innovation Grants

For further information, please contact:
Sara Kenno
, Research Coordinator - Science & Engineering      
sara.kenno@uwindsor.ca
519-253-3000, ext. 3918


Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Programs

SSHRC is the federal funding agency that promotes and supports university-based research, and student research training, in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Some SSHRC grant programs encourage university researchers to work together with government, business, non-profit and other organizations. These partnerships build and share knowledge about important social, cultural, or economic challenges. The partnerships also develop expertise or resources required to address these challenges.

  • SSHRC Connection Grants support events and outreach activities, both virtual and in-person. Projects help participants to share their knowledge about particular issues or to plan research projects. Participants may include university researchers and students, and representatives from business, government offices, school boards, or community organizations.
  • Some partner organizations “sponsor” the project proposed to SSHRC by contributing cash or in-kind (e.g., space, their work time).
  • Between $25,000-$50,000 is available to the university researcher who leads the project, depending on what is being proposed. Funds are usually spent on the salaries of student assistants, travel of presenters, necessary supplies, and refreshments and space rental.
  • Example of funded projects:
  • SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants allow a university researcher to carry out a one-year research project with a school board, business, government agency, or community organization.
  • Projects are intended to help the partner organization to solve a problem or respond to a pressing concern. The partner organization can be Canadian or international.
  • Up to $25,000 is available, with the expectation that the partner organization will contribute cash or in-kind (e.g., space, time). Funds are usually spent on salaries and laptops for student assistants, incentives for research participants, research supplies, and costs related to sharing the research results.
  • For examples of Partnership Engage Grant projects, visit SSHRC Award Recipients.  

For further information, please contact:
Natasha Wiebe
, Research Coordinator - Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences
nwiebe@uwindsor.ca
519-253-3000, ext. 3953


Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Programs

OCE, in partnership with the provincial and federal governments, accelerates the commercialization and adoption of emerging technologies in Ontario. OCE helps companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting partnerships between Ontario's industry and publicly funded post-secondary institutions. 

VIP projects are intended to generate economic benefits for companies in Ontario within three years of project completion.

  • Project duration: 6-24 months.
  • Funding available: Between $20,000 and $150,000 to the post-secondary institution (minimum $20,000 per year from OCE).
  • Matching requirement: 1:1 cash support from Industry Partner.
  • Minimum 50 % of the 1:1 match must be spent at the post-secondary institution; remainder may be spent at the company.
  • Cannot be leveraged with other federal or provincial grant programs unless otherwise stated in the online program guidelines.
  • For the COVID-19 Call for Submissions, OCE will consider alternate matching requirements, for OCE funding between $20,000 and $100,000 up to Thursday, May 28, 2020.
  • Program Status and Submission Deadline: Open for Applications. Open for expedited COVID-19 Applications - due by Thursday, May 28, 2020

Visit the OCE - VIP program website for more details

AVIN Stream 1

Projects related to the development and demonstration of Connected / Autonomous Vehicles.

  • Project duration: Up to 12 months
  • Funding available: Up to $100,000
  • Matching requirement: Minimum 2:1 cash match from Applicant and/or Partners. The match MUST come from private sector contributions.
  • Applicant requirements: Either an SME or a publicly funded post-secondary academic institution. Required to have operations in Ontario.
  • Program Status and Submission Deadline: Open for Applications.

Visit the OCE - AVIN website for more details.

AVIN TalentEdge Internship

Support for Ontario college and university students, and recent graduates, to work on industry-driven R&D projects in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies

  • Project duration: Four months per unit, up to 24 months total per project. Please visit the Eligibility tab on the program website for details on maximum units per internship type.
  • Funding available: $10,000 per four-month unit, to the applicant (institution or company). Maximum of $60,000 (six units) per application.
  • Matching requirement: $5,000 cash plus $5,000 in-kind from the company per four-month unit.
  • Eligibility criteria for Intern: Final-year undergraduate student; Masters or PhD student; or within three years of graduation from an undergraduate or Masters program from an Ontario college or university.
  • Eligibility criteria for Applicant/Industry Partner in Institution-based Internships:
    • Applicant: principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited, publicly funded college, university or research hospital.
    • Industry partner: for-profit company with operations in Ontario.
  •  Eligibility criteria for Applicant/Industry Partner in Company-based Internship:
    • Applicant: for-profit company with operations in Ontario.
    • Eligibility criteria for Project: Project-based, with clearly defined R&D activities, milestones and outcomes to be completed within the fellowship duration.
  • Program Status and Submission Deadline: Open for Applications.

Visit the OCE - TalentEdge Internship website for more details.

AVIN TalentEdge Fellowship

Support for Ontario PhD graduates and post-doctoral fellows, to work on industry-driven R&D projects in Connected and Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) technologies

  • Project duration: 12 months per unit, up to 24 months total per project. Please visit the Eligibility tab on the programs website for details on maximum units per fellowship type.
  • Funding available: $35,000 per 12-month unit, to the applicant (institution or company). Maximum of $70,000 (two units) per application.
  • Matching requirement: $25,000 cash plus $25,000 in-kind from the company per 12-month unit.
  • Eligibility criteria for Fellow: Received PhD within the last five years from an accredited, publicly funded Ontario university.
  • Eligibility criteria for Applicant/Industry Partner in Institution-based Internships:
    • Applicant: principal investigator at an Ontario-accredited, publicly funded college, university or research hospital.
    • Industry partner: for-profit company with operations in Ontario.
  •  Eligibility criteria for Applicant/Industry Partner in Company-based Internship:
    • Applicant: for-profit company with operations in Ontario.
  • Eligibility criteria for Project: Project-based, with clearly defined R&D activities, milestones and outcomes to be completed within the fellowship duration.
  • Program Status and Submission Deadline: Open for Applications.

Visit the OCE - TalentEdge Fellowship website for more details.

For further information, please contact:
Andreas Waller
, Business Development and Commercialization Manger for the Windsor-Essex Region      
andreas.waller@oce-ontario.org 
519-996-5100


MITACS Programs

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that funds collaborative research projects between academia, industry, and community partners. Students and postdoctoral fellows apply their specific expertise to help solve research challenges in your organization.

The Mitacs Accelerate program allows for-profit businesses (Canadian and International) and eligible not-for-profits to leverage the specific expertise of students and postdoctoral fellows to solve challenging research problems in your organization.

  • Project size starts at $15,000 and can scale up to the millions — Mitacs will contribute at least 50% of the costs;
  • All sectors and academic disciplines are eligible;
  • No limit to the number of applications;
  • No deadline — apply anytime.

Visit the Mitacs Accelerate webpage for more information

The Mitacs Elevate program is a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship that provides you access to a highly trained researcher to address your business and research needs. Available to for-profit businesses and eligible not-for-profit organizations.

  • $60,000 per year for 2 years — company partner contributes $30,000 per year;
  • Customized research management training for the fellow, valued at $15,000;
  • All sectors and academic disciplines are eligible;
  • Two competitive calls (Winter and Fall) per year.

Visit the Mitacs Elevate webpage for more information.

For further information, please contact:
Katie Facecchia
, Mitacs Director Business Development
kfacecchia@mitacs.ca
519-560-1582

Wilson Luo, Mitacs Business Development Specialist 
wluo@uwindsor.ca
226-787-4096