Canada Foundation for Innovation – July 2016 VP Update

  • July 19, 2016
  • News

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) produces a periodic VP update from which Research Administration has highlighted key information for your convenience. This information is taken from the July 2016 Issue. Addressed in this issue are:

  1. Review of Federal support for fundamental science
  2. Building an inclusive and innovative Canada:  the Innovation Agenda
  3. 2017 Innovation Fund Competition
  4. Valuation of in-kind contribution from supplier
  5. CFI is turning 20

Review of Federal Support for Fundamental Science

Minister Duncan recently launched a review of Federal support for fundamental science convening a panel of key leaders from the scientific community chaired by David Naylor, Professor of Medicine and President Emeritus at the University of Toronto. The Panel’s mandate is to examine gaps in Canada’s funding ecosystem and to look at mechanisms and programs from other countries that could help to address these gaps. Many of the questions in this review are relevant to CFI, specifically those under the Funding facilities/equipment section.  CFI met with the review panel on July 13th to share their perspective on Canada’s funding ecosystem and its gaps and opportunities.

Building an Inclusive and Innovative Canada:  Innovation Agenda

On June 14th, Minister Bains put forward a vision to build Canada as a global centre of innovation.   His vision focuses on the following six areas of action:

    • promoting an entrepreneurial and creative society
    • supporting global science excellence
    • building world-leading clusters and partnerships
    • growing companies and accelerating clean growth
    • competing in a digital world
  • improving ease of doing business

2017 Innovation Fund Competition

June 23, 2016 was the notice of intent (NOI) deadline date for the 2017 Innovation Fund competition. CFI received 392 eligible NOIs from 67 eligible institutions, requesting approximately $1.2B in funding.  In an effort encourage collaborations among institutions, a list of all NOIs submitted for this competition has been posted on the CFI website.  McMaster submitted NOIs for 10 McMaster led projects, and is participating in 5 projects led by other institutions.

To further this objective, CFI may also draw attention to possible overlaps and synergies between institutions, as well provide guidance to institutions about large and complex projects needing face-to-face meetings between Expert Committees and senior representatives of the institution(s).

 By institution type:

Institution type

# NOIs (%)

Total cost $ (%)

CFI request $ (%)

Avg. CFI request $


Large universities


322 (82%)


2.91B (89.1%)


1.09B (88.7%)



Small universities

62 (16%)

283M (8.7%)

110.0M (9.0%)



Colleges and CEGEPS


4 (1%)


15.1M (0.5%)


5.2M (0.4%)



Non-profit research org.

4 (1%)

59.6M (1.8%)

23.8M (1.9%)



By project size:

CFI request ($)

# NOIs (%)

CFI request $ (%)


More than 10M


11 (2.8%)


165.9M (13.5%)

6M – 10M

25 (6.4%)

195.8M (15.9%)


4M – 6M


73 (18.6%)


357.7M (29.1%)

1M – 4M

208 (53.1%)

459.7M (37.4%)


Less than 1M


75 (19.1%)


50.7M (4.1 %)


Valuation of In-Kind Contributions

Following a review several years back, CFI simplified their guidelines to focus on the key principles of fair market value assessments for supplier discounts, as well as practices to help ensure the integrity of the procurement process and of the pricing information provide by suppliers.  Two observations and concerns related to this have arisen following a close monitoring process post implementation of revised guidelines highlighted below:

  • Consult the Items involving in-kind contributions provided by suppliers document available on CFI website for examples of communications with suppliers.   
  • Lack of documentation of all information considered in fair market value assessments.  For example, other bids received, cash consideration paid in previous non-CFI purchases and experience with a supplier’s discount structure.

Reference the revised guidelines to ensure best practices related to the valuation of in-kind contributions are exercised.  More information on this topic can be found in the CFI Policy and Program Guide, under section 6.5.2, as well as Examples of fair market value assessments.

CFI Turns 20

CFI will be kicking off their 20th anniversary celebrations in September with a campaign highlighting individuals who have been touched by research enabled by CFI-funded infrastructure.  Stories supporting the campaign slogan, “Research builds my community” will be featured on a new corporate website ( going live in late September.  In preparation for the anniversary celebration, CFI has worked with several institutions from across Canada to develop stories that illustrate their campaign slogan. CFI invites all institutions to support their campaign and social media by sharing stories of how CFI-funded research projects are having an impact on people in communities, by linking existing online stories – articles, images or multimedia through #CFI20yrs.