College and Community Innovation Program – Engage Grants – NSERC (2022)

  • This program is currently closed.


Engage Grants are designed to give innovative companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the knowledge, expertise and capabilities available at Canadian colleges. These grants are intended to foster the development of new research partnerships by supporting short-term research and development projects aimed at addressing a company-specific problem.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to $25,000 for up to 6 months.


Applicants must:

  • Be Canadian colleges that have been declared eligible to administer grants by NSERC, CIHR and/or SSHRC,
  • Offer programs in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences and in line with the applied research areas proposed.

Engage Grants support well-defined research projects undertaken by eligible colleges and their industrial partners. Industrial partners must:

  • be eligible companies such as:
  • Canadian public or private for-profit companies, including start-up companies,
  • Multinationals with significant business operations in Canada.
  • have not previously partnered with the college on applied research; that is, the college should have no existing relationship with the company. A previous research collaboration with a company or any of its divisions, a consulting contract in excess of a few days, or involvement of a member(s) of the college research team with the company is considered an existing relationship.
  • provide, at minimum, an in-kind contribution from the company reflecting its active involvement in the project.

An Engage project must:

  • generate new knowledge or apply existing knowledge in an innovative manner in order to solve a company-specific problem;
  • solve a problem that relates directly to the goods and services provided by the company, and the company must be capable of further developing the results after the project is completed;
  • be focused on a research challenge with specific short-term objectives.

Documentation Needed:

All proposals must provide detailed planning and sound budget justification. The proposal must also clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches and methodologies, as well as the key milestones and deliverables.

Other Things to Note:

As the CCI program is currently being redesigned to simplify, streamline and address the changing dynamics of applied research in colleges and communities across Canada, the last day to submit an application for Engage will be December 15, 2021, or until the remaining funds (up to $1 million) have been spent. A limit of up to two awards per college is being imposed to manage demand. The current suite of CCI program opportunities will be transitioned to the new grant types over the coming months. These new grant types will be launched in phases, starting with the Mobilize grants to be launched in December 2021.


NSERC – Case Studies

Program Contact:

NSERC-College and Community Innovation Program – Engage Grants website

NSERC-College and Community Innovation Program


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    NSERC – Guidelines for organizations participating in research partnerships

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