Applied Research and Development (ARD)


ARD grants support well-defined applied research and development projects undertaken by college researchers with their private-sector partners. Direct project costs are shared by the company partner(s) and the CCI program. Projects may range from one year to three years in duration.

ARD projects can be at any point in the research and development (R&D) spectrum that is consistent with the college’s applied research, training and technology transfer mandate. All proposals require evidence of strong partnerships with firms, detailed planning and sound budget justification, and must clearly spell out the underlying assumptions, intended approaches, milestones and deliverables.

Projects that provide routine analysis, routine training, professional practice or consulting services, or routine use of college equipment, or that collect data without interpreting underlying mechanisms, are not eligible. Similarly, proposals that involve the set-up and operational management of an institute or a formal or informal group of researchers, or that are principally associated with the acquisition and maintenance of equipment in support of applied research, will not be accepted.

Company participation

The Guidelines for organizations participating in research partnerships should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the participating company partner(s).

The company partner(s) must participate in the project and contribute to the direct costs of the applied research and development project. The expected company contributions vary with the grant size:

For grants up to $75,000 per year: The eligible company partner(s) must actively participate and contribute at least half of the amount requested in CCI support, in cash and/or in kind—of which at least half (i.e., 25% of the requested grant amount) must be in cash. For example, if the application requests $75,000 per year, the company contribution must be at least $37,500 per year, of which a minimum of $18,750 must be in cash.

For grants between $75,000 and $150,000 per year: The eligible company partner(s)’s contribution(s) must be at least equal to the amount requested in CCI support, in cash and/or in kind—of which at least 40% must be in cash.

Note: To be eligible, a company partner must operate from a Canadian base and must be able to fully exploit the results of the applied research so that it will lead to significant economic benefit either to the company or to Canada. A sufficient maturity or capability must be demonstrated by at least one of the contributing company partners.

The CCI program will recognize only those in-kind contributions that are fully documented and considered essential to carry out the work outlined in the proposal. For a full discussion of the eligibility and value of in-kind contributions, refer to the Guidelines on eligibility and value of in-kind contributions section of the Guidelines for organizations participating in research partnerships.

Cash contributed by the partner before the proposal is submitted may be used to start the project, but company funds spent more than three months prior to the date of application submission will not be recognized. ARD grant funds cannot be applied to expenses incurred before a project was approved.


NSERC/Mitacs joint funding opportunity

Applicants may include in their ARD grant application a request for additional support through Mitacs Accelerate internships as a component of the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP). Note that Mitacs internships cannot be the only mechanism for HQP training, and Mitacs internships require an eligible partner cash contribution.

Applicants who wish to include Mitacs Accelerate internships in their ARD application should contact their local This link will take you to another Web site Mitacs business development representative to obtain the NSERC/Mitacs joint application form. Applicants must submit the Mitacs-NSERC joint application form to NSERC with their ARD proposal.

NSERC/Mitacs ARD applications require the following information when outlining the training of highly qualified personnel:

  • a description of the role of the Mitacs interns in the research project and an explanation of the quality of the research-based training experiences provided to the interns
  • a description of how the internship partnership organization is committed to providing supervision and mentorship to the interns
  • an explanation of how the number of Mitacs interns and the number of internship units are appropriate to the scope of the project

Applications will be peer reviewed, and funding decisions will be communicated jointly to the applicants.

Last Modified: February 26, 2021