The New NSERC Vision by gjjur4356


									Strategic Projects Program
          January 23, 2006

                                   Robert Lebel
               Research Partnerships Programs
                                 (613) 996-1889
       What We Do at NSERC
• We invest more
  than $865 million
  every year in
  people, discovery
  and innovation

NSERC supports
about 17,000
science and
students earning
master’s and Ph.D.

NSERC supports the
research of more
than 10,000
university & college

One fifth of NSERC’s budget goes to
funding university-industry research
                                  Prosperity and high quality of life for Canadians
Vision and
                                       Science and Engineering
                                           Research Canada
        We invest in:
                                discovery                innovation

                        Competitive                  EXCELLENCE                     Productive use
                        research in science                                         of new
                        and engineering,                                            knowledge in all
                        providing access to              people                     sectors of the
                        new knowledge                                               economy and
                        from around the              Highly skilled, well           society
                        world                      educated and capable of
                                                      lifelong learning
Our goal is Canadian
      excellence in:                          WORKING IN ALL AREAS OF              USING NEW
                                              SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY               KNOWLEDGE
We do this through                            Scholarships and fellowships for     Partnerships of
                          Research grants
      peer-reviewed                           undergraduate and postgraduate       universities with industry
                          for basic research
       competitions                           students, postdoctoral fellows and   and other sectors for
                          in the universities
 in three programs                            some university faculty              project research
NSERC Budget 2005-06
 (millions of dollars)

       Total: $865
Innovation Programs Budget 2005-06
         (millions of dollars)

             Total: $165
Research Partnerships Programs (RPP)

    •   Strategic Project Grants (SPG)
    •   Collaborative R&D Grants (CRD)
    •   Idea to Innovation (I2I)
    •   Industrial Research Chairs (IRC)
    •   Research Partnership Agreements (RPA)
    •   Research Network Grants (RNG)
    •   Joint Intellectual Property Management
        Program (IPM)
      Why Work with Universities?
 Canadian universities
• Perform 1/3 of all R&D in Canada and are the source of
  1/3 of all R&D jobs in Canada
• Provincially-funded for education, federally (28.5%) and
  provincially (12.8%) funded for research
• Recognize their important role in innovation
• Virtually all universities have a responsibility centre for
  tech transfer
• Universities are important partners in developing
  research parks and incubators
  Advantages of Accessing the Canadian
           University System
   Access to expertise – 10,000 top researchers
   Potential workforce of over 50,000 students in advanced
   Upgrade your own staff through collaboration

     Tap into world-class research
     Experts in every natural science and engineering specialty
     Working on leading-edge ideas
     Built-in quality control
  Advantages of Accessing the Canadian
           University System

   Specialized facilities, equipment … and know-how
   Located at 67 universities throughout Canada
   Linked to you by high-speed communications
   Available financial support to lower your cost … and risk
   Company cash and in-kind contributions eligible
   Expenditures are SR&ED-eligible
              Our Track Record

•   1,300+ partner firms since 1983
•   Over 60% of Canada’s Top 50 R&D firms
•   Average of 100 new firms every year
•   Broad range of eligible partners:
      Large companies with R&D departments
      Start-up firms with nascent in-house capacity
          Why Participate in
    Research Partnership Programs?

•   See the results of your research reach an
    application outside of the university
•   Gain access to industry facilities, personnel,
    valuable advice
•   Create student training opportunity, access to
    equipment and market knowledge
•   Beneficial collaborations that result in industrial
    or economic benefits to Canada
Strategic Project Grant - Objectives
  • Accelerate early-stage research and
    training in target areas of national
  • Assist the Canadian private and public
    sectors to seize future opportunities for
    wealth creation and better informed public
         Anticipated Results
• New knowledge/technology that has potential for
  impact on Canada’s economy, society and/or
  environment within 5 to10 years.
• Highly qualified personnel trained in the
  identified target areas;
• Attracting Canadian-based organizations into
  early-stage collaborations in academic research;
• Knowledge/technology and expertise transferred
  to Canadian-based organizations having a
  capacity to exploit the results for economic gain
  or informing / enforcing public policy.
• The research must fall within one of the
  target areas identified for support.
• The project must be well defined in
  duration, objectives and scope;
• Requires the participation of one or more
  supporting organizations that can exploit
  the results, but a cash contribution is not
• Strategic Projects Grants are awarded for
  one to three years;
       Seven New Target Areas

•   Target areas and research topics were
    re-evaluated and new ones will be
    implemented for the 2006-2010 program
•   Large-scale consultation over the past year
    to identify new target areas and research
      Seven New Target Areas
• Advanced Communications and
  Management of Information
• Biomedical Technologies
• Competitive Manufacturing and
  Value-Added Products and Processes
• Healthy Environment and Ecosystems
• Quality Foods and Novel Bioproducts
• Safety and Security
• Sustainable Energy Systems
Revised Guidelines for Applicants
Applicants are required to:
• Select a target area and a research topic from a list
• Explain in proposal (PROPOSAL module) :
  (1) why the proposed research is strategic; and
  (2) how it addresses the research topic selected.
• If the research falls outside the research topics listed,
  select “Exceptional Opportunity Outside the Research
  Topics” and provide an explanation in the PROPOSAL
         Revised Procedures
• Equal budget allocated to each targeted area;
• At least 80% of the budget must be allocated
  to projects that address the priority research
  topics identified in each target area;
• No more than 20 % of each target area’s
  budget to fund exceptional projects outside
  the research topics”.
  Typical Strategic Project Grant
• Average grant: $130,000/year for three years
• Often involves several team members, from
  the same or different institutions
      Some grants with single applicant
      Researchers from the partner’s
       organization sometimes are members
       of the team (as “collaborators”)
Characteristics of Strategic Projects
  • Specific objectives within a specific timeline
  • Criteria are similar to Discovery Grants but
    projects must also be considered to be
    STRATEGIC (benefits to Canada and non-
    academic partners) in nature, e.g. HQP,
    scientific excellence, originality, quality of
    applicant(s), well-written and logical work plan
  • Applicants must have a planned strategy for
    interaction with non-academic partners
     Competition Timetable

• Applications due April 18

• External peer review – Summer

• Panel evaluation – September

• Results announced – October
        Competition Statistics

Competition Yr.   # of Applications   # of Awards   Success

2005                   420              100         23.8%
2004                   364              100         27.5%
2003                   432               110        25.5%
2002                   306              105         34.3%
      Application Process
• Application for a Grant (Form 101)
  Parts I and II
• Personal Data Forms (Form 100) +
  CVs of collaborators
• Company profile
• Form 183A (partner’s information and
• Letter of support describing partner’s
  involvement in the project
    Eligibility of Applicants
Applicant and Co-applicants
• Must be a university faculty.
• College Faculty can be co-applicants.
• Must hold, or have a firm offer of, an
  academic appointment at an eligible
  Canadian university, for:
    A tenured, tenure-track or life-time professor
     emeritus position; or
    A term position of no less than three years.
    Eligibility of Applicants
  Government scientist, company staff member,
  research scientist from another country
• Not eligible to hold NSERC grants
• Qualified to undertake research independently
• Expected to contribute to the overall
  intellectual direction of the research project
• Expected to bring their own resources
        Evaluation Process
External referees
• Normally three per application
• Technical expertise to aid the committee
• Appendix C: your suggestions

Internal selection committee
 • Proposal is assigned to three internal
 • Discussion amongst the whole group
           Evaluation Process
Selection criteria
 Originality of the research
 Quality of the research
 Project work plan
 Quality of the applicants as researchers
 Training potential
 Interactions with the supporting organizations
 Benefits to Canada and the supporting organizations
        Evaluation Process

• Projects are evaluated against the seven
• Each criterion is graded from 1 (lowest
  score) to 4 (highest score).

• Novelty
• How the research relates to current state of
• Potential for developing new knowledge,
  products or processes
• Extent to which research will impact the field
• Potential for major scientific breakthrough
          Quality of Research

• Focus and clarity of short- and long-term
• Appropriate methodology
• Justification for approach based on existing
• Feasibility of research planned
• Does the research fit the Strategic Projects
  target areas?
                 Work Plan
• Clarity of project description
• Coherence of deliverables in work plan
• Probability of success within proposed time frame
• Availability of necessary equipment
• Roles and time commitment of research co-
  applicants (collaborative roles)
• Collaboration and communication plans
• Justification and need for funds
• Demonstrated management plan
        Quality of Applicants
• Does the team (including company
  researchers, if applicable) have all the
  required expertise?
• Form 100 very important
• Recognition of researchers achievements and
• Appropriateness of skill sets of individual
  researchers in the proposed areas
• Roles and time commitment of research co-
  applicants (collaborative roles)
            Training Potential
• Who will do the work? Graduate, undergrads
  and co-op students; technicians, post-docs and
  research associates
• Is the training relevant to the needs of Canadian
• Will the HQP have the opportunity to work in the
  non-academic partner’s facility?
• Workshops and training of industrial personnel at
  the applicant’s lab
• Track record of applicants in training HQP
• Suitability of the training environment
Interactions with Non-academic Organization
   • Is the supporting organization a good partner?
   • Do the project objectives fit with the priorities of the non-
     academic partner? Remember that the partner
     organization will have to prepare a progress report midway
     through the project!
   • How will the technology be transferred?
   • Is the non-academic partner able to assimilate new
   • What is the degree of involvement of the non-academic
     partner in developing the proposal and throughout the
   • What kind of a track record do the applicants have in
     transferring technologies?
Benefits to Canada and Partner(s)
• Delineate probable socio/economic/health
  benefits in a quantitative way…far more
• Is there a potential benefit in creating
  significant public policy as a result of the
• Is there potential to increase the numbers
  and/or quality of personnel working in an
  area of strategic importance?
    Supporting Organizations
•   Public or private sector
•   Canadian based with Canadian operations
•   Do not qualify as supporting organizations:
     Non-governmental organizations, government
      research labs, foreign research institutions,
      potential customers, company staff members.
•   Must be able to use the research results
     • Generates wealth or employment
     • Strengthens public policy
       Supporting Organizations
A supporting organization must also:
• Have a demonstrated interest in the project
  (letters of support, in-kind and/or financial
  support, etc.)
• Help to develop the proposal
• Interact with researchers and students
• Provide input to the project
• Provide guidance concerning the exploitation
  of the results
                   Letter of Support
Structure of a letter (example):
•   Corporate Background (e.g. activities)
•   Rational for Support
•   Company Role in the Project
•   Anticipated Benefits from Project Outcomes
•   Effort Required to Exploit Results
•   Benefits to Canadian Economy
•   Anticipated Interaction of Personnel with the University
•   Company’s Contribution to the Project
                      Letter of Support
• Corporate background (e.g. activities)
Xxxxx Inc. is an early stage technology company that has recently closed its first
round of private financing totalling $2 Million to develop and commercialize a novel
_____ platform technology developed by Dr. Ffffff at the University of Airdrie. As
part of Xxxxx’s business objectives to continue developing our platform technology
for new and innovative products within the ______ market, we expect that the
results of this proposal will be of strategic importance to the company for future
growth. As described in this understanding and substantial early research before it
can be incorporated into a commercial product. However, we believe that, if
successful, this approach may lead to new product lines for Xxxxx, and enable the
company to grow and maintain a long-term competitive advantage in the global
                      Letter of Support
• Common interests (e.g. previous collaboration)
 A key area of interest to our company is the application of _______ engineering
methods in medical and ______ fields. Engineered _______ between biological and
_____ have created exciting opportunities for new methods of _____ and
improvement of biological ____________.

Currently, our company is supporting Prof. Zzzzzz and his collaborators in the
University of Bragg Creek with an NSERC sponsored CRD project, which addresses
some important issues related to ________. In addition to financial and in-kind
contributions, our company actively participates in the project by providing the group
with samples prepared in our laboratory, which are _______. The proposed project
by Prof. Zzzzz is highly complimentary to the University of Airdrie CRD project. It
addresses fundamental questions regarding the nature of ______.
                       Letter of Support
• Provide input to the project
The University of Cochrane brings to this project considerable knowledge and
access to highly specialized equipment to carry out the work plan described.
However, access to our company personnel and the company’s proprietary
materials is critical to the success of the research program. In particular, our
company is allocating time and expertise of key employees to this project as well as
provision of custom ______, for a total in-kind contribution valued at $35,000/year
($25,000/yr in salaries, $10,000/yr in materials). Drs. Ccccc and Ddddd will be the
key contacts for this project and will be allocating approximately 1 day/month and 3
days/month, respectively, of their time in direct support of the research initiative
outlined in the proposal. Dr. Ccccc is an internationally recognized leading expert in
the development of novel ______, and as the Director of Research at our company,
her input into the project at this stage will greatly facilitate the eventual transfer of
the technology developed as a consequence of this research to our company.
                      Letter of Support
• Interact with researchers and students
It is anticipated that our company personnel will have daily and weekly contact with
University researchers, including weekly status meetings, ongoing presentations
and updates, mentorship training through guided interpretation sessions, and more.
All student researchers and post-docs will have the support required to complete the
project in the given timeframe (including HR, equipment and space).
        What’s in it for the Partners?
• Access to:
   Team of researchers with expertise in a desired area
    to solve a problem
   Technology/idea of commercial interest
   Research facilities and infrastructure that the industry
   Potential access to a source of highly qualified
   Give companies a competitive edge in global markets
               What do Teams Look Like ?

        Applicant                            Co-applicants
Dr. Daniel Heath (Windsor)         Dr. Nicholas Bernier (Guelph)
                                   Dr. Brian Dixon (Waterloo)
                                   Dr. Bryan Neff (Western)

 3 years project - $138,450 in                   Partners
  year 1 from NSERC (2004)       Yellow Island Aquaculture Ltd.
                                 Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.
   Sexual selection as a         Target Marine Hatcheries
 factor in salmon fitness:       Stolt Sea Farm Inc.
 a strategy for improving        Ewos Canada Ltd.
  hatchery performance           Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
        What do Teams Look Like ?
Dr. David Harrington (Victoria)                  Co-applicants
                                       Dr. Alexandre Brolo (Victoria)
                                       Dr. Nedjib Djilali (Victoria)
                                       Dr. David Levin (Victoria)
                                       Dr. David Sinton (Victoria)
 3 years project - $135,000 in
  year 1 from NSERC (2004)
                                  Departments involved:
  A microscale biological             Chemistry
  fuel cell for micropower
        applications                  Biology
                                      Mechanical Engineering

                                  Angstrom Power Inc.
           The Winning Proposal

• Get partners involved early on to help develop
  the project strategy
• Clear demonstration of the benefits to Canada
  and partner organization
• Multi-disciplinary research is a plus but not
  essential; all participants must have a
  demonstrated role in the project!
     The Winning Proposal, Continued

• Make the proposal and Form 100 easy to read
  and digest; use colleagues in non-related
  disciplines to proofread and evaluate
• Objective and work plan must be crystal clear
• If applying for a second or third time, pay careful
  attention to comments of reviewers. Address the
  issues and clearly state how the application has
  been changed!
How to…
Get program descriptions:
   Go to
   Select “For Professors” in the left margin
   Select “Program guide for professors” in the
    left margin
   Select “Partnership Programs” in the centre
How to…

Get Forms and Instructions:
   Go to
   Select “For Professors” in the left margin
   Then select “Read Me First” in the left margin
   Under “For Applicants” select “Forms”
   Scroll down to “PDF Forms & Instructions”
   Select the instructions or form you need from
     the pull down menus
         Example: “101 - Strategic Project (SPG)”
       What’s in the Instructions?

Form 101 instruction sheet includes:

   Form filling instructions and checklist
   Seven evaluation criteria
   Information on the evaluation process
             On-line Applications

 Available for most Research Partnerships
  • Telephone: (613) 995-4273
  • E-mail:


• Strategic grants fund projects, not programs
• They provide an opportunity for university
  researchers to carry out innovative science and
  engineering work with potential for
• They provide a unique opportunity to introduce
  students to potential employers and an
  opportunity for non-academic partners to access
  scientific expertise and specialized research
Comments /Questions??
Contact: NSERC RPP

Robert Lebel, Program Officer
(613) 996-1889

Web site:

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