CFI 2015 Innovation Fund: Internal Call for Expressions of Interest

Internal Planning Process for Upcoming CFI IF Call for Proposals

  • CFI IF Expressions of Interest are due to the ORS by January 31, 2014. 
  • To access the official CFI call (which includes the CFI's timelines), click here.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) will soon be issuing a call for large research infrastructure projects under the 2015 Innovation Fund.  The objectives of the 2015 Innovation Fund (IF) are to enable institutions and their best researchers to:

• Strive for global leadership by conducting world-class transformative research and technology development in areas of institutional strategic priority;

• Forge and foster productive, value-added partnerships within and among institutions, sectors and disciplines that will nurture creativity and innovation resulting in an effective and sustainable use of the research infrastructure and facilities;

• Identify and develop plans and potential pathways to social, health, environmental and economic benefits for Canada, including better training and improved skills for highly qualified personnel.

The Office of Research Services in collaboration with the Faculty Deans would like to invite all faculty members and research centres to submit CFI IF Expressions of Interest with infrastructure project proposals that would be competitive under the IF.  At this time, the proposals will not be evaluated but will be used to seek opportunities for collaboration among researchers, other academic institutions and partners. Once the CFI issues a formal call for proposals (Notice of Intent (NOI) to apply), the VP (REDI) then will formally issue an internal call for NOIs. 


The CFI’s Challenge to Institutions

It is important to note that for this competition (to access the CFI call, click here), the CFI will be challenging institutions to propose transformative infrastructure projects that will underpin cutting-edge research and will have a structural effect on Canada’s research landscape. As well, the CFI expects that projects funded through the 2015 IF competition will support promising and innovative directions in research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage. The CFI has indicated that it will support initiatives that allow institutions and their researchers to build on and enhance an emerging strategic priority area, accelerate current research and technology development work or take established capabilities to a globally competitive level.

 Under the 2015 IF competition, the CFI is encouraging institutions to submit proposals for which there is a proven record of, or a strong potential for, excellence and commitment.  Institutions are also being encouraged to consider how their proposals can be made more competitive through collaboration with appropriate partners and to plan co-operatively to acquire, develop and maintain infrastructure.  Finally, in developing proposals, institutions are encouraged to engage with end-users of research or technology development to clearly define the potential benefits for Canadians. 


For purposes of the 2015 IF competition, the CFI has placed a limit on the total value of funding that an eligible institution can request from this fund.  Lakehead University’s institutional envelope is $2,150,000 (representing CFI’s 40% of project costs). No application that exceeds Lakehead’s CFI institutional envelope will be considered. As in previous competitions, CFI awards will be available to fund infrastructure and equipment (capital expenses only) and will provide up to 40% of the total project cost.  We also anticipate that the Ministry of Research and Innovation’s Ontario Research Fund (ORF) will fund an additional 40% with the remaining 20% of the funding to be provided by eligible funding partners (for example, in-kind contributions in the form of special discounts from equipment suppliers on infrastructure items beyond the best educational price).


Submission Requirements

Expressions of Interest submitted should be no more than two pages, including the budget estimate, and must include the following information:

1. Name of Principal Applicant, Co-applicants (and their academic institutions) and potential external partners.

2. Project Title.

3. General Objectives – Describe how your proposed project meets the requirements and vision of the CFI 2015 IF call for proposals.

4.  A brief description of the proposed research project.

5.  A budget estimate and list of potential equipment.        

6.  How the proposed research project fits with the research priority areas outlined in the Lakehead University Academic/Research Plan.

Researchers are reminded that the proposed CFI IF project should meet the following CFI criteria:

•         Institutional track record and commitment: The proposal builds on existing capacity and key investments in people and infrastructure. Through tangible commitments, the institution supports the area of the proposal in order to maintain or gain a competitive advantage internationally.

•         Research or technology development: The proposed research or technology development activities enabled by the research infrastructure are timely, innovative and at the leading edge internationally. The activities have the potential to lead to breakthroughs and will enhance the international competitiveness of the institution and its researchers.

•         Team: The principal users of the infrastructure are established or emerging leaders in the relevant research or technology development domains. The team has the necessary expertise, ability and relevant collaborations and partnerships in place to successfully conduct the research or technology development activities.

•         Infrastructure: The infrastructure is necessary and appropriate to conduct the research or technology development activities. The use of the infrastructure will be maximized within and among institutions and sectors (private, public and non-profit).

•         Sustainability of the research infrastructure: The proposal presents a compelling plan for the management, operation and maintenance of the proposed infrastructure with tangible and appropriate commitments over its useful life.

•         Benefits to Canadians: The research or technology development activities are likely to lead to significant tangible benefits for society, health, the economy and/or the environment. Where appropriate, effective pathways have been identified and will be developed to transfer the results and outputs of the research or technology development to potential end-users in a timely manner.

Should you have any questions regarding the CFI IF competition or internal CFI planning process, please contact  Anne Klymenko at ext. 8223 or via email:


Dr. Umed Panu,

Associate Vice-President (Research, Economic Development and Innovation)