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2017 Innovation Fund

*No calls have been announced for this program. Information regarding potential future calls will be distributed by the Office of the Vice-President (Research) once available. Information regarding the most recent competition is provided below for reference.*


2017 Innovation Fund Timeline

CFI Timelines


  • Application for Provincial Match

    As you know, we are able to apply to the Government of Alberta for matching funds for CFI Innovation Fund proposals through the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (EDT), Research Capacity Program – Research Infrastructure (RI) stream. The submission deadline for this EDT-RI application is October 21, 2016. The application is called the "Alberta Alignment Module".

    The EDT-RI application itself is a 1-pager (multi-institutional projects get to use 2 pages), and is submitted to EDT with your complete CFI proposal attached. The purpose is to provide EDT with specific information pertaining to the alignment of the project with provincial priorities in research and innovation. EDT will assemble its own panel of expert reviewers, and will have access to CFI's review materials as well. Although this is a short application, there are a number of specific elements that must be included. Please review the documentation below carefully for details on how to structure your application:

    Research Capacity Program Guidelines (PDF)

    Alberta Alignment Module

    Alberta Alignment Module Helpful Hints (Word): This is an compilation of FAQs that will be of great benefit to you as you work through your EDT application.

    Your EDT-RI application is expected to illustrate how your project aligns with both institutional and provincial priorities. Information of this nature should already be contained in your full CFI proposal. Since your full CFI proposal will be submitted to EDT, it is important that you do not copy and paste from your CFI proposal. This application should provide additional information.

    The following links provide further information regarding the institutional and provincial priorities for your reference as you develop your proposal:

    UofA’s Strategic Research Plan for CFI projects (SRP)

    UofA’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan (CIP)

    For the Public Good, UofA’s new Institutional Strategic Plan

    EDT Research Capacity Program Website

    Government of Alberta Climate Leadership Plan

  • General Update

    As of July 17, 2016, we only have 12 more weeks to go before the CFI submission deadline! At this stage, all Project Leaders should:

    - be working with Facilities and Operations to develop the final estimate for any construction/renovations that you may need,

    - have all (or at least a substantial percentage) of your preliminary - equipment quotations from your vendors, in CFI format, with in-kind contributions specified (if available),

    - have provided your contracts specialist with a budget spreadsheet and, be working with your ADR, chair, collaborators, colleagues and contracts specialist to develop your proposal

    External-led Projects:

    Although you may not have control over the deadlines for the full proposal, you are expected to be working with the RSO to develop your budgets, and to develop the portions of the proposal pertaining to the project that is to be carried out at the U of A.

    In order to be successful, multi-institutional collaborations must be fully developed and justified in the proposal. Thus, it is expected that project leads are working with collaborator(s) at the other institutions to develop the proposal so that they can incorporate U of A-specific details into the complete proposal. As there may be institutional commitments involved in the information that you are sharing, please keep your contracts specialist in the loop so that they can review for any conflicts with U of A policy.

    As this is a highly competitive process, it is important that you are able to show that you have considered the project carefully, and that you are providing appropriate and useful information to your collaborator(s) in order to actively participate in the proposal development. If it is not clear that this work is being done, the panel may question whether U of A's envelope should be committed to your project.

    Guidelines for Expert Committees:

    CFI publishes a document to provide members of the review committees with information about what to expect during the review process. The CFI "Guidelines for Expert Committees" for the 2017 IF competition is now available. This document includes information that you may find helpful as you develop your proposal, including a summary quick reference guide to the Assessment Criteria, details of the scoring system that the reviewers must use, along with information about the review process, various committees and timelines.

    NOI Update:

    The CFI received 392 eligible NOIs from 67 eligible institutions - approximate total request: $1.2 Billion ($1.09 Billion from large universities). The List of Notices of Intent Submitted to the 2017 Innovation Fund (Excel) is published to encourage institutions that have similar proposals to consider potential collaborations or joint initiatives, where appropriate, to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the infrastructure. PLEASE REVIEW THIS LIST carefully to see if there are any projects that may overlap or synergize with yours, as CFI will be looking for this. It is highly likely that unaddressed overlaps will be looked upon unfavorably in the review process. CFI will review the list as well, and will connect with institutions if they note any potential synergies or overlaps. We will be in touch with you if CFI contacts us about your project.

    It is ESSENTIAL that your proposal demonstrates clearly that you are aware of the regional, national and international landscape in your area of research, and that you have considered how your proposed research fits into that landscape. Remember that in addition to the mutli-disciplinary assessment committee, the first review will be by the Expert Committee who will be very familiar with your field of research.

  • Internal Deadlines

    All internal deadlines for this competition has passed. At this time there is no active competition.

  • Internal Project Selection

    Project selection decisions will be made by an Institutional Review Panel. As in previous competitions, in order to ensure that the U of A puts its best foot forward, we will have collaborative input and guidance from the Vice President (Research) Office, associate deans/vice-deans (research), department chairs, and units that are directly involved in infrastructure project implementation (SMS, F&O, REO, IST, RSO) to guide the internal selection and proposal development process. Project selection decisions will be made based on the following criteria:

    1. Project Team – The team includes national and international leaders, with a proven senior researcher as team lead; the team has had a very high level of impact to date.

    2. Strategic Importance – The area is strategically important to build or establish for the UofA; there has been a build-up of faculty or an investment in centres or institutes; there is a trajectory of investment; it is the basis of key national or international collaborations.

    3. Innovation or Imperative of Continued Investment – Proposals that build on a previous investment cannot be written as re-investment to continue to do the same work as before, but re-investment to enable a new vision of innovative research.

    4. Necessity of requested infrastructure – There is a clear linkage between the research agenda and the requested infrastructure; existence of similar infrastructure elsewhere on campus or nationally; effective use of proposed infrastructure; complementarities vs. duplication; space (only if needed to house essential equipment).

    5. Collaborations – Possible linkages explored with industry and other institutions.

    6. Other Strengths/Weaknesses – Sustainability, accountability, timeliness, feasibility, training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), potential for clinical applications of research or commercialization.
  • Review Panels

    Panel 1 Composition: President, Provost, VPR, AVPRs. Final project selection decisions regarding which projects will be invited to prepare a full proposal for submission to CFI will be made by this panel.

    Panel 2 Composition: AVPRs, ADRs/Vice-Deans Research, SMS, F&O, REO, IST, RSO. This panel will provide background information and feedback to Panel 1 to assist with the decision-making process and will be involved in review and development of proposals throughout the entire competition.