BUSINESS INVESTMENT PROGRAM - GUIDELINES
The PROGRAM jointly funded by htx.ca – The Health Technology Exchange (HTX),
the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. (OCE Inc.) and the Industrial Research Assistance
Program (IRAP) of the National Research Council directly invests in the growth of
Ontario businesses that are in the convergence sector of medical and assistive technology
(MAT), and information & communication technologies (ICT). The PROGRAM offers a
significant advantage to companies that see research and development (R&D) as a key
part of their growth strategy and allows these companies to undertake projects beyond the
scope of their current R&D capability.
The PROGRAM will fund business driven R&D that is undertaken by a team from a
recognized publicly funded research institution in Ontario in collaboration with the
partnering company. The PROGRAM can help to bring research teams to the table
appropriate to each proposed project. The PROGRAM will help to support the cost of
the research at the Publicly Funded Research Institution and facilitate the transfer of
intellectual property (IP) or other research outcomes to the partnering company.
Proposed R&D projects must demonstrate that they meet the basic criteria of involving a
combination of medical and assistive technology and information and communication
Expressions of Interest (EOI) are invited from business for collaborative R&D projects to
be undertaken. The PROGRAM will invest up to $100k in projects of [up] to 18 months
in duration. Funds for the PROGRAM are limited and businesses that are in a position to
take advantage of the PROGRAM are encouraged to apply now.
Businesses submitting an EOI that meet the PROGRAM’s criteria will be contacted and
asked to submit a full application. The PROGRAM staff will help guide this process.
The PROGRAM matches your business needs with academic research teams who work
in collaboration with you to achieve your R&D objectives. Proposed R&D projects must
involve relevant combinations of technologies pertinent to advancing medical or assistive
devices with information & communication technologies.
These funds will not duplicate other major funding available; rather they will provide
opportunities to increase capacity where other opportunities do not exist. Normally, funds
will not be used to offset budget shortfalls.
Create economic growth in the health and relevant convergent technology sector
by providing tangible R&D support for Ontario Small to Medium enterprises
(SMEs) in the sector to collaborate with pertinent publicly funded research
Commercialize R&D outcomes via the partnering SME
Projects should have the expectation of generating a license of technology or
other formal transfer of know-how from the research team to the partnering
Duration of research projects will typically be 6 to 18 months with program funding up to
$100,000 per project. Subject to budget availability, projects outside of this scope may
also be considered.
The target SME for this partnership is typically a small company in the MAT sector
that has a product, service or process that is in, or close to being in, production. The
company should be financially viable to the extent that it is currently generating
revenue or has received substantial investment.
The academic research team must be associated with an Ontario-based, publicly
funded research institution and have a demonstrable track record of delivering
commercially viable research results.
The SME will invest cash and in-kind support in the academic research team for the
project. The cash contribution cannot be less than 1/3 of the investment of PROGRAM
funds in the project. The combined cash and in-kind contributions from the SME
partner should equal or exceed the total investment by the PROGRAM. Other
government assistance may provide an offset to the investment by the company – for
example, cash and in-kind contributions may be eligible for the Scientific Research and
Experimental Development tax credit (SR&ED).
SELECTION AND REVIEW PROCESS
The business applicant will submit an initial two page, Expression of Interest (EOI)
and project abstract that describes the following:
Scope and details of the research and development challenge to be undertaken by
the academic research team
Background and capabilities of the academic research team
Expected research outcomes and commercialization plans
Estimated budget (see EOI Template)
EOIs will be reviewed by the PROGRAM Review Committee. Promising projects that
best fit the objectives of the PROGRAM and with a strong probability of success will be
selected to provide a detailed proposal. (See below and Full Proposal Template)
Proposals will be evaluated by a Peer Review Committee established by the PROGRAM
Partners and comprised of experts in health research, intellectual property management,
technology transfer, commercialization, institute-industry relationships, entrepreneurship,
and/or venture capital investors.
For each application, the research and technical plan will be assessed together with
essential elements of a commercial plan. Each application is evaluated on its own merit in
relation to the objectives of the PROGRAM.
On completion of the peer review, applications passing PROGRAM criteria will be
recommended by the Review Committee for support. Applications will be funded as far
as the quality of the applications and the annual budget will allow.
Successful proposals will have the following elements:
Projects must include both private sector and public funded research
An important component of the initiative will be a relevant measure of
talent, development and training opportunities for students, post-doctoral
fellows and other highly qualified personnel (HQP) within the project.
Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed in
accordance with the University/College/Hospital and Research
Collaboration Agreements entered into with the PROGRAM Partners
(HTX, IRAP and OCE Inc.)
Industry partner(s) make a cash and in-kind contribution to the project that
matches or exceeds that of the PROGRAM contributions. The cash
contribution cannot be less than 1/3 of the investment of PROGRAM
funds in the project. The combined cash and in-kind contributions from the
SME partner should equal or exceed the total investment by the
Demonstrated potential benefit to the Ontario economy; and,
It is not permitted to submit more than one Expression of Intent (EOI) for
consideration at any one time.
COMMON PEER REVIEW COMMITTEE CONCERNS
Commercialization plan not well thought out or articulated;
Incomplete description of intellectual property (IP) management;
Lack of detail or omission of relevant information in research proposal;
Failure to address barriers such as potential technical shortcomings, market,
competition, and freedom to operate;
Demonstrated ability of the business partner to fully exploit the technological
Proposal may be premature for the PROGRAM.
Collaborative partnerships must be established between the institution and industry
partner in order for proposals to be reviewed and considered for funding. Through such
partnerships, the PROGRAM aims to build R&D capacity in the community and to
foster knowledge transfer and exchange across the province of Ontario. Both co-principal
applicants must be involved in the formulation of the R&D questions and the project
design. Please note the following definitions for clarification:
ACADEMIC LEADER AND INDUSTRY LEADER
The Academic Leader and the Industrial Leader on an R&D proposal are responsible for
the conceptualization and implementation of the R&D project. The PROGRAM requires
that leadership on its projects be shared between both the Academic Team and the
Industrial Team. Each team has equal status on the project.
The entire project budget will be administered by the publicly funded research institution.
The Academic Leader (except in the case of Colleges) and the Industry Leader are not
remunerated in any fashion by the PROGRAM funding. In the case of Colleges, funding
may be used to compensate teaching time of the Academic Leader for their participation
in the project.
It is important to emphasize that the PROGRAM funding cannot be used to compensate
any business partner personnel on the project, to acquire equipment or materials for the
business partner or acquire services from the business partner. The business partner can
include personnel time, equipment and services as part of their in-kind contribution to the
ELIGIBLE BUDGET COSTS
Eligible budget costs for applications include:
Direct labour costs (salaries and benefits; not including Academic and Industrial
Reasonable travel expenses for the Academic Team associated with the Project;
Required materials consumed in the project;
General and administrative costs attributable to the project and;
Minor equipment costs up to $1,000 (i.e., software) for tools required to
accomplish project activities (the purchase of computers will not normally be
considered as an eligible budget cost).
1. The PROGRAM does not provide Overhead costs for the publicly funded research
2. Major capital equipment costs should ordinarily be a minimal expense of the
funding request. The internal review committee will pay special attention to this
aspect. The intent of the investment is to support the salaries and/or benefits of
project personnel at the academic institution. This team will be working toward
accomplishing the objective of the business.
ELIGIBLE IN-KIND CONTRIBUTIONS
Eligible in-kind contributions for applications include:
Equipment (cannot be full cost of equipment, it must be pro-rated depending on
the life span of the project)
Salaries and Benefits of Academic Leader, Industry Leader and Industry staff
Outsourcing (PROGRAM contributions cannot flow back to the Industrial
Partner to cover any project expenses).
Industrial Partner travel expenses associated with the project
VALUE OF THE AWARD
Maximum of $100,000 for the project period – between 6 and 18 months.
APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS (PHASE 1 & PHASE 2)
Applying for the R&D PROGRAM involves two phases:
Phase 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)
Phase 2: Full Application (upon invitation)
PHASE 1: EXPRESSION OF INTEREST
Expressions of Interest (EOI) will be used to screen for:
eligibility criteria and conditions
direct relevance of the specific R&D question
direct relevance to priority areas
commercialization potential of the proposed work.
The EOI Internal Review Committee reviews all proposals. Applicants whose R&D
projects are determined to be eligible and have direct relevance to the PROGRAM’s
objectives will be invited to submit a full proposal in Phase 2.
PHASE 1: EOI INSTRUCTIONS
The application process includes electronic submission of the documents outlined below
followed by an original signed document in the mail. Incomplete applications will not
Phase 1: Documentation includes a completed EOI Application Form using the provided
template, ½ page resumes for the principal contributors to the work should be included.
Letters of Support are optional. (Note: all documentation must be submitted
electronically and an original sent via mail).
The PROGRAM will accept previously reviewed proposals in suitable format for Phase
1 only (Expression of Interest). Please note that comments and suggestions from any
previous reviews should be taken into consideration when re-submitting EOIs. Re-
submissions are reviewed in the same way as other applications.
PHASE 2: FULL PROPOSAL
This second phase applies only to applicants who have been invited to submit full
applications through the adjudication process in Phase 1. (see Full Proposal Template for
EVALUATION AND SELECTION PROCESS
Incomplete and/or late applications will not be reviewed.
The Internal Review Committee will review proposals.
Proposals will be sent to external reviewers.
Proposals will be evaluated on their direct relevance to their commercialization
potential along with the quality of the scientific endeavour.
TIMELINES AND REQUIRED DELIVERABLES
Deadline for Expressions of Interest : Open -Will be accepted at anytime
Deadline for Full Applications : 6 weeks after the invitation to submit a
PROGRESS REPORTING AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Progress reports should provide a description of the progress throughout the project
timeline, including outcomes and or rationale for delays in deliverables.
Funding recipients are required to submit:
1. Quarterly Financial statements provided by the publicly funded research institution,
2. Progress Reports and Performance indicators every 6 months;
3. Final Progress Report and Performance Indicators 6 months after the completion of
the project; and,
4. A one-page abstract for public distribution on request
(templates will be supplied by the PROGRAM in advance)
Progress Reports are part of the contract obligations. The PROGRAM reserves to
rescind or stop all payments to the publicly funded research institution if:
the report is not received at the deadline identified,
the project’s goals and objectives are not being met, or
the project work plan has been significantly changed from that proposed within
Both the Academic Leader and the Industrial Leader must formally approve the various
submissions listed above. The reports are to be submitted electronically and original
signed copies must be mailed to the PROGRAM (see contact details below)
The following statement is required to acknowledge the support of the funding partners in
any public disclosure or release of information on the project and its results by the
research organization or the business partner.
“This work has been supported through funding provided by the Business Investment
Program through htx.ca – The Health Technology Exchange (HTX), Ontario Centres of
Excellence Inc. (OCE Inc.) and Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National
Research Council (IRAP:NRC) and with the support of (insert Industry Partner name).
This PROGRAM has been made available through the Ontario Research and
Commercialization Program of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI)”.
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
htx.ca – The Health Technology Exchange (HTX), is a not-for-profit organization whose
mission is to support and accelerate the growth of a dynamic, prosperous MAT sector in
the province of Ontario. HTX has a mandate to support research and development and
commercialization of medical and assistive technologies emerging out of Ontario’s public
research institutions. Financial support derives from the Ontario Ministry of Research and
Innovation. For more information, please visit the web site at www.htx.ca
The National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) is
Canada's premier innovation assistance program for small and medium-sized Canadian
enterprises (SMEs). It is a vital component of the NRC, a cornerstone in Canada's
innovation system, regarded world-wide as one of the best programs of its kind. As a key
enabler within Canada's innovation system, NRC-IRAP provides Canadian SMEs with
value-added technological and business advice, financial assistance and a range of other
innovation assistance. NRC-IRAP helps SMEs realize their full potential, turning
knowledge and innovation into strategic opportunities, jobs and prosperity for all
Canadians. For more information, please visit the web site at http://irap-pari.nrc-
OCE Inc. supports commercialization of research and the development of the next
generation of talent in a range of key market sectors, including communications and
information technology, earth and environmental technologies, energy, materials and
manufacturing and photonics. Established in 1987, OCE is a not-for-profit corporation
that delivers its Research, Commercialization and Talent programs through the financial
support of the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. For more information, please
visit the web site at www.oce-ontario.org
APPLICATION PROCESS AND CONTACT DETAILS
Applicants should contact the PROGRAM to discuss their proposed project and obtain
the relevant forms.
Ms. Jennifer Woods, Director of Operations
htx.ca – The Health Technology Exchange (HTX)
1380 Rodick Road, Suite 100, Markham, ON L3R 4G5
Tel: 905-248-2732 Fax: 905-479-2055