Engage Plus Grants - Research Office

NSERC’s Industry-Driven
Collaborative R&D Program
Acadia University
November 13, 2013
• Overview of NSERC’s Research Partnerships
Programs/ Industry-Driven Collaborative R&D Program
• Engage and Engage Plus Grants
• Collaborative Research and Development (CRD)
• Interaction Grants
NSERC Research Partnerships Programs
Strategic Partnerships
Training in Industry
Strategic Project Grants
Strategic Network Grants
Collaborative Health Research
Automotive Partnership Canada
Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships
Industrial R&D Fellowships
Industrial R&D Internships
Industrial Undergraduate StudentResearch Awards
Industry-Driven Collaborative R&D
College and Community Innovation
Collaborative R&D Grants
Industrial Research Chairs
Chairs in Design Engineering
Interaction Grants
Engage Grants
Partnership Workshop Grants
Applied R&D Grants
Applied Research Tools & Instrument
College-University Idea to Innovation
Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges
Innovation Enhancement Grants
Technology Access Centres Grants
• Idea to Innovation Grants
Engage Grants
Snapshot of the Engage Grant
Funds: new research partnership between university
researcher and a company
Addresses: a company-specific problem
Value: up to $25,000 from NSERC (no cash required from
Project Timeframe: up to 6 months
Deadline: none, apply anytime
Success rate: 89%
Decision: 4-6 weeks turn-around time
IP: company owned
Engage Grant Project
Anthony Tong, Chemistry, Acadia University
Project: Development of an analytical method to
characterize antioxidants in fruit wine
Company Partner: Rodrigues Winery and Distillery,
Whitebourne, NL
Award: $25,000
Guide to a Successful
Engage Application
Key Evaluation Criteria:
– Eligibility – Principal Investigator / Company
– Budget – NSERC funds / In-kind contribution
– Project
– Company Letter
Eligibility: Principal Investigator
Professor in eligible university (assistant, associate, full)
Adjunct only if permanently at the university
Permanent or term sufficient for the duration of project
Prior Natural Sciences & Engineering (NSE) peer-reviewed
support awarded within past 6 years
Prior NSERC grants (DG/RPP(CRD, IRC, SPG, SNG, I2I)
Other NSE peer reviewed support (e.g. ACOA AIF)
Collaborators must meet all eligibility requirements
Health oriented faculty: must have recently held Discovery
Eligibility: Principal Investigator
No Prior Collaboration: between University
Researcher and Company
– Examples of prior collaboration: consulting; joint project; publication;
founder/partner; employee/executive; board member, IPS supervision,
MITACs, departmental colleagues (researcher-owned company),
participants in large networks (e.g. Strategic, CREATE) etc.
• Exceptions: small IRAP project administer by the
university; ownership through mutual type funds
Eligibility: Company
• Must be at arm’s length (no P.I. involvement)
• Suitable receptor for developed
• Receptor capability – ability to act on research results
• Startup: min. one year in existence (some exceptions)
• Some not for profit organizations are eligible: cannot
be mandated or funded by government (e.g.
industrial/producer associations).
Eligibility: Company
• Established in Canada – relevant
R&D/manufacturing facilities and staff?
• Not just a sales or distribution operation.
NSERC funds: eligible expenditures similar to
other NSERC grants (HQP, Materials and
Supplies, Equipment, Travel). No support for
conferences or publication costs.
Company In-Kind: staff time, access to or
donation of equipment, material, travel of
company representatives, etc.
Project – Actual Collaboration
• Clear identification of company specific problem
– proposal; company letter; benefits expected
• Rationale for the proposed research &
• Work plan (milestones)
• Resources needed: HQP; material; equipment;
Project – Technology Transfer
Applicant should describe extent of company
participation in the project
• Regular meetings
• Participation of technical/scientific staff
• Actual work being done by company: tests;
analysis; machining; productions runs, etc.
• IP generated during project – company
– If IP is an issue =>use other program (e.g. CRD)
Company Letter
– Does the company’s description of project and
their involvement correspond to what P.I. said?
Company support: key aspects to consider:
– Benefits expected
– Company cash
– In-kind: a measure of the collaboration
• Who is involved and does what?
• What is supplied?
• How do they interact; how frequently?
Engage Plus Grants
NSERC Engage Plus Awards
• Meant to encourage continuation of a new research
relationship established through an Engage grant.
– Engage Plus projects are limited to six months in duration.
– Engage Plus projects need to involve the same academic researcher
and the same industrial partner as in the original Engage application.
– The Engage Plus project should be a continuation of the original
project or related to the original project
• Engage Plus application document & provisions essentially
the same as a regular Engage application, simple, fast
evaluation turn-around by internal NSERC review; IP
ownership by the company.
NSERC Engage Plus Awards
• There is a cash requirement from the company for Engage
Plus grants.
– NSERC will match industry cash with a simple direct 1:1
funding ratio, up to a total project value of $25K. (i.e.,
the maximum NSERC contribution would be $12.5K.)
– NSERC can only match “net” company cash (company
cash directed to university overhead cannot be matched
by NSERC).
NSERC Engage Plus Awards
• Initial window of opportunity for any past Engage grant
applicants to apply for Engage Plus (up to February 3rd
• After February 3rd, 2014 - applications for an Engage Plus
Grant will be accepted only within the final month of the
Engage Grant or within the six-month period following the
end of the grant.
• NSERC grant made when university confirms receipt of
company cash by email
NSERC Engage Plus Awards
• Engage Plus applications essentially follow the same
categories, format as an Engage grant
• Applicants should also include a short summary of
the progress achieved within the original Engage
project as well as a clear explanation of the goals of
the Engage Plus Grant and their relationship with the
results obtained to date.
Collaborative Research &
Development Grants (CRD)
CRD Overview
• 1 to 5 years duration, typically 2 to 3 years
• Average grant $65,000 per year, but can vary from $10K/year to >
• Projects can be at any point in the R&D spectrum
• Industry responsible for at least 1/2 cash costs and must exploit results
• Flexible leverage: cash and in-kind (as high as 2:1 on cash contribution)
• >80% success rate - not cash restricted at this time
• Funding decisions based on merit (not competition-based)
• No fixed application deadlines
• ~3-6 months for funding decision
Some recent Atlantic CRDs
Matthew Litvak, Department of Biology, Mount Allison University + Amanda
Cockshutt, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mount Allison
University with Breviro Caviar Ltd. ($50,000 cash per year for 3 years + inkind support) – NSERC Award $299,903 over 3 years
Kristin Poduska, Department of Physics, Memorial University of
Newfoundland with Lumentra Inc. ($37,500 cash + $37,500 in-kind/year over
2 years) – NSERC award $75,000 over 2 years
Phil Taylor, Dept. of Biology, Acadia U. with Encana Corp. ($232,000
cash + $289,000 in-kind over 3 years) – NSERC Award $355,000 over 3
Pandurang Ashrit, Dept of Physics, U. de Moncton + Phillipe Chibante, UNB
+ Nait Anjou, U. de Moncton with Lamba Guard Canada ($159,208 cash +
$159,208 in-kind over 2 years) – NSERC Award $316,832
CRD Industrial Partner Eligibility
• All projects must involve at least one eligible industrial partner that is in
a position to apply and exploit the results of the project.
• Generally, an industrial partner is a Canadian-based business providing
products or services which derives the majority of its revenues from the
sale of these products and services and not from government aid. Such
partners must be willing and able to exploit the research results for the
economic benefit of Canada.
• Government departments, labs, agencies are not eligible.
• Participating companies must contribute to the direct project costs in an
amount equal to, or greater than, the amount requested from NSERC.
The net-cash contribution must be at least 50% of the NSERC request
with the balance provided as direct in-kind.
Industrial Partners Eligibility
• Industrial associations, producer groups, or consortiums
 financial support to the project derived from industrial sources
can be leveraged, but there must be active involvement in the
research project from at least one of the member companies or
the consortium itself, if it can demonstrate the capacity to guide
the project and disseminate the results for its member
• Public utilities.
• Start-up companies with sound business plans and secure financial
Examples of Eligible In-Kind Contributions
• Salaries for scientific/technical staff: identify and define their role, their
expertise, what they bring to the project, and their commitment (hours,
• Donation of equipment/software: how will it be used and why is it
important for success? How was the cost calculated?
• Donation of material: what is being provided and why is it important?
• Field work logistics: what is being provided and why is it important?
• Provision of services: what is cost of providing these services and why
are they needed?
In-Kind Contributions
• Must be clearly articulated and justified in the application
and also in the letter of support. Must be essential to the
success of the project.
• Further details are provided in the Instructions and
Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research
Partnerships Programs.
Letter of Support from Company Partner(s):
Must include:
Support for and agreement with the proposal;
Reasons for being involved in the collaboration;
Anticipated benefits from the project outcomes;
Effort required to exploit the results in Canada;
Benefits to the Canadian economy and the relevant time frame;
Anticipated interaction of personnel with the university researchers;
The contribution to the direct costs of the research (cash and inkind);
• In the case of a small company, it is recommended that a company
profile be included.
The CRD Application
• Application for a Grant (Form 101) Parts I and II
• Personal Data Forms (Form 100) + CVs of collaborators
(6 pages max)
• Form 183A (partner’s information and contributions)
• Letter of support describing partner’s involvement
Form 101 Part I
Hours/month to be devoted to the project (be realistic).
Activity schedule: list and detail the tasks required to achieve the
objectives for each year. Identify roles of HQP. Should not include
literature review or admin tasks.
Budget and Justification: provide as much detailed information for
each item as possible (no page limit!). Show your calculations and
make sure numbers match the totals presented on page 5. Figure out
HQP plan (note that PDFs are limited to two years’ support). Include
quotations where required.
Contributions from Supporting Organizations: ensure contributions
are eligible and well-justified. Cash contribution to the direct cost of
the research should exclude overhead.
Relationship to other Support: the onus is on the applicant(s) to
provide as much information as to how/why the project differs from
research currently funded.
Form 101 Part II- Proposal (10 pages)
The Synopsis serves as a introduction to the proposal and is
sometimes sent by staff to potential reviewers. Half a page is
Background: must relate the proposed project to current scientific,
technical and commercial developments in the field. Include critical
references and not just your own work. Presentation of preliminary
data always strengthens an application (2-3 pages).
Detailed Proposal: the most important part of the application. If
information reviewers need to assess the scientific merit and
feasibility of the project is not provided, they cannot recommend
Form 101 Part II- Proposal (cont’d)
Detailed Proposal (5-7 pages):
Each objective should be clearly identified and the work plan welldescribed.
The research methodology and experimental design must be
described, including plans for statistical analysis.
Objectives, work plan and Activity Schedule should be linked
• Roles of students and post-doctoral fellows should also be
described within the context of the proposed work and linked to the
above three items.
• Identify the technical risk or uncertainty and discuss how it will be
Form 101 Part II- Proposal (cont’d)
Team Expertise:
Make sure the team includes all the expertise needed to carry out
the project.
• Include expertise of collaborators, plus company personnel,
technical staff and post-doctoral fellows, when relevant.
• If a particular expertise is missing, or if the area is somewhat new
to the team, make sure to address how this will be overcome.
• Include the collaborator’s CV if his/her expertise is essential for the
project to succeed.
Research Management:
• This section is particularly important for large, complex and/or
multidisciplinary projects.
Form 101 Part II- Proposal (cont’d)
HQP Training:
NSERC’s mandate includes training of HQP and this is required on
every CRD grant.
• This includes PDFs, graduate and undergraduate students
(particularly in the case of small universities or universities lacking a
graduate program.)
• Number of students to be trained should be commensurate with
size of grant.
• How will trainees benefit? How will the project benefit?
• Will they interact with industry personnel?
• What are their roles and responsibilities?
Form 101 Part II- Proposal (cont’d)
Value of Results and Industrial Relevance:
• Put an emphasis on the industrial relevance of the results – How will
the partner(s) benefit?
• Be specific regarding how the outcome will address a current or future
industrial or market need.
• Include statistics if at all possible.
Benefits to Canada:
• Expectation for a CRD project is that there will be an economic benefit
for Canada (not just in HQP or royalties).
• Describe how the research will result in the industrial partner being
more competitive, an increase in profits and/or in job creation (must
occur in Canada).
Form 101 References and Appendix C
• Not included in the 10 page limit.
• Do not refer readers to Web sites for additional information on your
proposal and do not introduce hyperlinks.
Suggested Referees (Appendix C):
• Please do not include individuals with whom you collaborate or
have collaborated with in the past six years.
• Do not include individuals who collaborate with one of the industry
• Please include industry-based or non-academic experts who are
not in conflict.
CRD Peer Review Process
Staff will review draft proposals but will not provide feedback on
the proposed research/science.
No deadline for submission.
Staff will do initial review to ensure documentation is complete
and all necessary information has been provided (Ottawa staff).
• All CRD applications are peer-reviewed
 Request up to $150,000/year - paper review only
 Request from $150,000/yr to $200,000/yr - paper review and
Advisory Committee on University-Industry Grants (ACUIG)
 Request over $200,000/yr- site visit by expert committee and
CRD Peer Review Process
• Iterative process with the applicant – request to
respond to reviewers’ concerns.
• Funding recommendation by peer reviewers and
ACUIG. Final funding decision made by NSERC.
Selection Criteria
Scientific Merit: project must be scientifically sound, technically
feasible, and promise to generate new knowledge or apply current
knowledge in an innovative way.
Research Competence: the team must have all of the expertise
need to address the objectives and complete the project.
Industrial Relevance: demonstrate that the work will benefit the
partner and be exploited to benefit the Canadian economy.
Private-sector Support: the partner must contribute to the project
and be in a position to exploit the results.
Contribution to the Training of HQP: there must be a student
training component that is relevant to the field.
Benefit to Canada: identify any additional economic, social, and
environmental benefits to Canada.
Peer Review Feedback- Negative Decision
Questionable scientific merit: poor originality, technical problems, not
Poorly situated within state of the art.
Lack of detail in proposed methodology.
Schedule, scope too ambitious.
Budget items poorly justified, too high.
Missing expertise.
Poor training opportunities.
In-kind not essential to project, over estimated, poorly described.
Lack of benefit to Canada.
Intellectual Property Agreement
• Even if Agreement has not been negotiated, provide as many details
as possible.
• If Agreement has been finalized, send a copy with the application so
any issues can be identified early on in the process.
• Note that peer reviewers do not get a copy of the Agreement.
• The majority of CRDs will require a Research Agreement. An award
will be conditional upon the receipt of an agreement compliant with
NSERC’s IP Policy within 6 months.
Intellectual Property Agreement
Five Mandatory Elements:
• Maximum benefit to Canada;
• Protection of IP assets (including partner proprietary information);
• Publishable results (maximum 6 month delay);
• No delay for student’s thesis defence;
• Researchers’ right to use the results for non-commercial purposes.
Reporting for Successful CRDs
Varies depending on duration and amount of the grant.
No Progress Reports for grants less than $50K/yr.
Progress report and company comments required each year for
grants >$150K/yr.
Progress Report and company comments requirements for grants
between $50K and $150K/yr vary depending on duration.
All grantees must submit a Final Report on the project’s
achievements with respect to its objectives.
Developing CRDs - Establish contact
• Call your NSERC Regional Office
• Participate in NSERC “Connector” events (hosted by Regional
• Make use of Interaction, Engage, Engage Plus etc to initiate
• Through students (work terms, scholarships, after graduation)
• Conferences and Workshops
• Colleagues
• University Liaison Office
Final Words of Advice
• Read the guidelines and instructions
• Establish strong collaboration with industrial partner(s)
• Meet the criteria
• Contact staff early and often
NSERC Interaction Grants
• Provides an opportunity for a Canadian-based
company and academic researcher to meet
• Identify a company-specific problem that could
be solved through a subsequent partnership
• Value – up to $5000 for travel and
• Duration – 3 months to use the award
• Apply through NSERC-Atlantic
Industrial Scholarships & Fellowships
Industrial Undergraduate Student Research Awards (IUSRA)
NSERC provides up to $4,500 for 4 months/year; NRC-IRAP and Springboard provide
$2,000; partner company provides a minimum of $1,125. 90% success rate
Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships (IPS)
NSERC provides up to $15,000/year for up to 3 years; partner company provides a minimum
of $6000/year. Up to 2 years support for MSc and 3 years support for PhD
90% success rate
Industrial Research and Development Fellowships (IRDF)
Allows companies to hire a recent PhD graduate
NSERC provides $30,000/year for 2 years; partner company provides a minimum of
$15,000/year, but average is $25,000/year from the company. 80% success rate
For More Information Contact
Richard Isnor, Manager
Tel: 506-854-8756
[email protected]
Dominique Maillet, Research and
Innovation Development Officer
Tel.: 506-854-9423
Location: Université de
Moncton, Moncton NB
[email protected]
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