NSERC Synergy Awards

How to Apply: 

Call for nominations

Nomination deadline: April 15, 2021, 8:00 p.m. (ET)

The Synergy Awards for Innovation honour outstanding research and development (R&D) partnerships between a university or college and industry, in the natural sciences and engineering. Since 1995, the awards have showcased the value of pooling Canadian research excellence and Canadian industrial expertise to address challenges that provide tangible benefits to Canada.

Synergy Awards include three categories for universities and one category for colleges, to highlight the impact and lasting benefits of their applied R&D collaborations with industrial partners.

Winners of the Synergy Awards must show effective use of human, technical and financial resources, leading to tangible commercial and, where applicable, additional social or environmental benefits with their industrial partners. Universities must demonstrate a sustained partnership, while colleges may focus on the impact of near-term applied research.

Synergy Awards are an opportunity to show the world what Canadian ingenuity and collaboration can accomplish.


The nominated partnership must be in the natural sciences and/or engineering, between a Canadian university professor or group of professors, or a Canadian college, and a Canadian-based company or companies with commercial activities in Canada, such as R&D and/or manufacturing. The Guidelines for organizations participating in research partnerships should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the industrial partner(s). To be eligible, the partnering organization(s) must be at arm’s length from the nominee and co-nominee(s). Refer to the Conflict of interest guidelines for partner organizations for more details.

An individual, team of individuals or a college may be nominated for the Synergy Awards and other major NSERC prizes in the same year but can receive only one such prize in a given year. There is no limit to the number of nominations for the Synergy Awards that a university or college can put forward in a given competition.


Nominations can be made in one of four categories:

For universities

  • Small and medium-sized companies: A partnership with a single company with less than 500 employees globally.
  • Large companies: A partnership with a single company with 500 employees or more.
  • Two or more companies: A partnership with two or more companies, of any size, or a consortium of companies

If you are interested in being nominated for this award, please contact Dr. Batia Stolar, Associate Vice-President, Research & Graduate Studies, at avp.research@lakeheadu.ca

External Deadline: 
Thursday, April 15, 2021
Award Category: 
Funding Source: 
Funding Level: