College and Community Innovation Program – Entry-Level Innovation Enhancement Grants – NSERC (2022)

  • This program is currently closed.


The College and Community Innovation Program – Innovation Enhancement Grants stimulate applied research that brings together necessary expertise from diverse fields such as natural sciences and engineering, social sciences and humanities, and/or health sciences to address business-driven challenges and opportunities.
The objective of the IE grants is to increase innovation at the community and/or regional level by enabling Canadian colleges to increase their capacity to work with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
There are 3 levels of the Innovation Enhancement Grants: Entry-Level, Build and Extend.

Comments on Funding:

Funding is up to $100,000 per year for 2 years. Cash contributions from companies are not required.


The applicant must:

  • Work at a Canadian college that has been declared eligible to administer grants by NSERC, CIHR and/or SSHRC,
  • Propose a project across the spectrum of natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities or health.

Eligible companies must:

  • be local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Proposals may be anchored by a single (large) company, but they must include other company partners to demonstrate that the grant is effectively building the capacity needed to significantly benefit a broader group of companies within the industry sector. 
  • be engaged at the application stage, as well as throughout the grant period. Cash contributions from companies are not required for the Entry-Level IE grants. 
  • $300,000, of which at least $75,000 must be in cash over the five years of the grant for Build IE grants; 
  • $600,000, of which at least $300,000 must be in cash over the three years of the grant for Extend IE grants. 

Other organizations

The active participation and contributions (cash and in-kind) from governments (provincial, municipal, federal) and other organizations are encouraged, as they strengthen the application by broadening the impact of the applied research activities on the local or regional community. Please note that cash and in-kind contributions from such public-sector sources will strengthen the proposal but will not count toward the minimum company contribution levels.

Eligible partners are (fewer than before; 4 instead of 6):

  • Canadian public or private for-profit companies, including start-up companies,
  • Multinationals with significant business operations in Canada,
  • Industrial associations, producer groups or formal consortiums in Canada,
  • Public utilities in Canada. 

Applications Steps:

Documentation Needed:

Applicants must submit:

  • A proposal
  • A description of the proposed initiative
  • A one-page budget justification
  • Letter of support from at least one potential partner and from the college president
  • F103CV (form-fillable) – CCI Personal Data Form and instructions
  • Form 103 – Application for the CCI Program
  • Form 183A – Information Required from Organizations participating in Research Partnerships Programs

Other Things to Note:

The CCI program will no longer be accepting Innovation Enhancement (IE) grant applications.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 current suite of CCI program opportunities will be transitioned to the new grant types over the current year. These new grant types are expected to be made available in the fall of 2021. NSERC will honor commitments to previously awarded IE grants. 

Program Contact:

College and Community Innovation Program – Innovation Enhancement Grants website


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    NSERC – College and Community Innovation Program

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