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Operation and Maintenance (O & M)

Operation and Maintenance of CFI-funded infrastructure

The CFI stipulates that institutions possessing CFI-funded research infrastructure ensure that appropriate resources are provided for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of the CFI-funded infrastructure over its useful life (i.e. the period of time over which the infrastructure is expected to provide benefits and be usable for its intended purpose, factoring in normal repairs and maintenance). Accordingly, the institution must carefully consider its ability to sustain the infrastructure when submitting a proposal to the CFI.

To meet this obligation, the CFI requires that the institution have an internal plan for the provision and administration of O&M support; the University of Alberta’s O&M Plan can be found here.

The O&M Plan describes:

  • Institutional Guiding Principles
  • Obligations to the CFI
  • Allocation of Infrastructure Operating Funds for O&M support.

Researchers are encouraged to read the O&M Plan as they develop their proposal so that O&M needs are considered and so that a plan can be developed to ensure that the infrastructure is supported adequately throughout its useful life. A worksheet designed to help applicants develop their O&M budget can be found here.

Infrastructure Operating Fund (IOF)

The CFI provides funds to the institution representing 30% of the maximum CFI contributions to projects held by the institution. The IOF is used by the project leader to cover a portion of the O&M costs required for the effective and optimal use of CFI-funded infrastructure, including technical personnel, maintenance and repairs, services, and supplies.

The CFI affords institutions flexibility in the distribution of the IOF allocation among the projects held by the Institution; as per the current CFI Policy and Program Guide (2017, section 6.10.2),

“The institution decides how the IOF funding is to be divided among eligible projects. The institution has the flexibility to distribute its IOF allocation based on actual operating and maintenance needs as opposed to allocating the exact amount to the project that generated it. The institution is therefore encouraged to carefully review and determine how it can make optimal use of the funding.”

For more information about IOF and how to apply for it, please refer to the O&M Plan

To apply for IOF, please contact your research support administrator or contract specialist.

For information about eligible and ineligible IOF costs, please refer to Section 4.7 of the CFI Policy and Program Guide.