Type of Program:



In partnership, NSERC Engage grants and OCI’s Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) will support post-secondary R&D collaborations with the highest potential for regional economic development and commercialization in Ontario.

Engage grants projects are aimed at addressing a company-specific problem.
The Voucher for Innovation and Productivity program (VIP) supports the collaboration between Academia and Industry to solve an industry‐based problem and drive the commercialization of Intellectual Property (IP).

Comments on Funding:

Individual proposals can request at least $20,000 up to $30,000 from NSERC (Alliance or Engage grant) and at least $20,000 up to $30,000 from OCE VIP, with a corresponding $30,000 from the industry partner

NSERC budget limitations:

  • up to 20% of the budget for equipment/material/operating costs;
  • up to 20% of the budget for overhead/administration;
  • up to 10% of the budget for project management;
  • up to $9,000/course/semester) faculty release costs.

When It Ends:



Not specified


Applicants must:

  • be Ontario-based colleges eligible to hold Tri-Council funds (see the List of eligible institutions in column Sources 3);
  • have a new relationship with the industry partner with no existing or past association between the college and the industry partner being permitted;
  • have as industry partner a for-profit SME organization that has:
  • Canadian R&D and/or manufacturing operations related directly to the project, and the capability to exploit the research results;
  • 5-499 full-time employees;
  • been in operations for a minimum of two years.

Applications Steps:


The industry partner must connect with their business development and commercialization manager to start the application process. The opportunity will undergo an initial vetting and due diligence assessment by OCE to ensure that opportunities fulfill all eligibility criteria and are suitable. If the opportunity is selected as eligible and suitable, applicants will be sent the Potential for commercialization template for VIP Engage.


Applicants must:

  •  fill out the VIP Engage proposal template provided by OCE using a maximum of 3 pages. Full instructions for the applicant and the participating company on completing the forms and on the online submission process are found on NSERC's online services page. Form 103 (for colleges) should be created before creating Form 183A. 
  • provide a letter of support from the company involved in the project.

Documentation Needed:

  1. 1
    the VIP Engage proposal template provided by OCE;
  2. 2
    a letter of support from the company involved in the project that outlines the company's support for, contribution to, and agreement with the research project plan;
  3. 3
    Form 103CV (form-fillable) – CCI Personal Data Form and instructions,
  4. 4
    Form 103 – Application for the CCI Program,
  5. 5
    Form 183A – Information Required from Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships.

Other Things to Note: 

  1. 1
    Differences of the matching amounts from the industry partner between NSERC website ($20,000 to $30,000) and OCI guidelines ($30,000). Being more restrictive and updated in the same period, I inserted the information in the OCE guidelines. Check with NSERC which one is the correct version.
  2. 2
    Ontario Centers of Excellence (OCE) changed name to Ontario Centers of Innovation (OCI).

About the author 


Maurice (Moe) Muise learned the ins-and-outs of government while an employee of the Government of Canada in Ottawa for 10 years. His current focus is helping small businesses in Ontario to identify and maximize government grants to grow their business.
Click here to learn more about Moe's background and how he can help your business.


You may also like

Research and Development Grants for Ontario Businesses (2021): 23 Government Incentives to Boost Your R&D

Research and Development Grants for Ontario Businesses (2021): 23 Government Incentives to Boost Your R&D
Success message!
Warning message!
Error message!