Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) recently announced a new partnership stream with the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) relating to the Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) Program.  This opportunity allows researchers to access NSERC (Alliance or Engage), Mitacs (Accelerate) and OCE (VIP) through a single application process. A summary is provided below. 


  • To help companies develop, implement and commercialize technical innovations by supporting partnerships between Ontario’s industry and publicly funded post-secondary institutions   
  • To generate economic benefit for companies in Ontario (including job creation/retention, new revenue generation, investment attraction, cost savings, value chain development, in the short-to-medium term (e.g., within three years of project completion) 

OCE-NSERC Co-Funding 

  • Supports R&D collaborations between companies and publicly funded universities 
  • Supports projects with budgets under $100K 

Benefits to the project partners include: 


  • Gain access to cutting-edge knowledge, new talent, unique facilities and equipment to extend company R&D capabilities 
  • Create solutions to urgent industry challenges, leading to revenue and job creation, follow-on investment, increased productivity and/or cost savings 
  • Access several provincial and federal funding sources through one application 
  • Establish relationships within the research community and OCE’s networks 

Post-Secondary Institutions (Researchers and Students) 

  • Use knowledge and innovative ideas, to help solve real-world R&D challenges 
  • Establish relationships with industry and within OCE’s networks 
  • Provide students with valuable experiential learning opportunities 


 Academic Researchers 

  • Eligible to hold Tri-Council funds 
  • Faculty from eligible Ontario universities 
  • Researchers with active OCE or NSERC peer-reviewed grants  

Industry Partner 

  • For profit SME organization, with Ontario R&D and/or manufacturing operations related directly to the project, and the capability to exploit the results 
  • 5-499 global full-time employees and in operation for a minimum of two years 

Matching Requirement 

1:1 cash from the Industry Partner 

  • Minimum 50 per cent of the 1:1 match must be spent at the post-secondary institution; remainder may be spent at the company 
  • Cannot be leveraged with other federal or provincial grant programs unless otherwise stated in this program guideline 

Value and Duration 

  • NSERC and OCE can provide $20K – $30K each 
  • Industry Partner provides $20K – $30K each (at least half must be spent at the academic institution) 


See below 

Application Process 

  • Engagement with OCE Business Development Manager to scope out research project opportunity as first step prior to completing one-page project summary for evaluation 
  • Applications made through NSERC online system 


Application due at ORS for full review  Ten (10) working days prior to submission to agency 
Final application and fully completed and signed ORS checklist due at ORS for required review  Two (2) working days prior to submission to agency, by 9:00am 
Application due at agency  Anytime 


Please contact your Faculty Research Officer for information on their internal deadlines. 

ORS is accepting electronic applications – the process is outlined here:  


For further information on this program, eligibility and other criteria, please consult the following link: 








Please note that the required industry cash match for the OCE VIP call outlined above will be administered similarly to the previous NSERC Collaborative Research Development (CRD) grants and overhead will apply to the industry cash that will come through York. OCE does not match the overhead so this will require additional funding from the industry partner. 


OCE requires a 1:1 cash match from the company and at least 50% of the company cash must come through York. All company cash that needs to be spent at York must come to York as per OCE guidelines, so the actual percentage may be higher than 50% – it will depend on the project and where the funds will be spent. 


Here’s an example of how it works for an application with a total budget of $75,000: 


  • OCE and NSERC will provide $25,000 each and the company must provide $25,000 in cash 
  • A minimum of 50% of the company cash ($12,500) must come to York as per OCE guidelines – PI will need to indicate the actual percentage based on how much of the funding will be spent at York 
  • The company will need to provide 40% overhead on the amount that will be coming to York as per York’s overhead guidelines (https://yulink-new.yorku.ca/documents/20182/1250813/York+Overhead+Guidelines/9f01daab-9b2b-4fe5-876f-a8017c31b965).  
  • For this example, assuming 50% ($12,500) coming to York, overhead at 40% is $5,000. Therefore the total that the company will have to provide to York will be $17,500 ($12,500 + $5,000). The total overall cash needed from the company is $30,000 ($17,500 to York of cash and overhead and $12,500 cash to be spent at the company). 
  • If 75% of the funds will need to be spent at York, then 75% ($18,750) of the industry cash will need to come to York and 40% overhead is $7,500. Therefore the total cash needed from the company to York is $26,250 ($18,750 + $7,500). The total overall cash needed from the company is $32,500 ($26,250 to York and $6,250 to be spent at the company). 


Therefore, when you are submitting an application to ORS for the OCE VIP call, please include a note indicating the following: 


  • the percentage of the industry cash match that will be spent at York (minimum is 50% as per OCE guidelines) if the application is successful 
  • that the industry partner will contribute additional funds of 40% of the cash coming to York as overhead   



York University researchers are reminded that all applications for external research funding, including Letters of Intent, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Research Services before they are submitted to the granting agency.  For internal approval, the application must be accompanied by a completed ORS Checklist, which requires the Chair’s and Dean’s signatures.