Canada – UK 2022-23 collaborative industrial research and development call for proposals
From: National Research Council Canada
Working together, the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom (UK) aim to foster and support collaborative research and development (R&D) projects with a high potential for commercialization. This call for proposals is open to organizations from Canada and the UK who wish to form project consortia to perform collaborative projects focused on developing innovative products, processes or technology‑based services in the area of net‑zero value chains, specifically those that reduce the carbon footprint of transportation.
2. Application deadlines
|May 23, 2022||Canadian registration deadline|
|May 27, 2022||Canadian expression of interest deadline|
|June 29, 2022||International consortium project proposal deadline|
3. Sectors of focus
Projects must focus on the research and development of on‑vehicle, which includes locomotives, or on‑vessel innovative technologies, processes, or technology‑based services that enable transition to net‑zero transportation, for the automotive, rail or maritime sectors. Projects must demonstrate high potential for commercialization, address on‑vehicle, including locomotives, or on‑vessel innovative technologies, processes or technology‑based services.
Projects must focus on 1 or more of the following themes:
- Low- and zero‑emission propulsion
- Advanced materials and manufacturing
- Highly disruptive technologies
- Assistive technologies and control systems
1. Low- and zero‑emission propulsion:
- Power electronics, machines and drives (PEMD) systems for electrified powertrains for vehicles, locomotives or vessels, including retrofitting of fossil fuel internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs) or fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs)
- Hydrogen and fuel cell (FC) technologies
- Low‑emission carbon‑neutral propulsion, including range extenders (ICE or FC) and hydrogen ICE
- Energy‑storage technologies (including batteries) and energy-management software and controls
- Energy‑efficient electrification for traction and non‑traction rail vehicles, and bi‑mode locomotives (hydrogen and battery powered)
- Vessel propulsion that uses batteries, fuel cells, hybrids or engines with low‑carbon alternative fuels such as hydrogen, methanol or ammonia
- On‑vessel power generation and fuel production to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs), e.g. wind turbines, solar panels and synthetic fuel production
2. Advanced materials and manufacturing:
- Sustainable lightweight materials, including processes, composites and joining, for vehicle and vessel panels and structures
- Additive manufacturing processes for complex structural vehicle and vessel components
- Advanced methods for corrosion resistance and durability improvement in a multi‑materials including composites, metal, ceramic blends and novel materials
- Materials and manufacturing processes for batteries, fuel cells and power electronics, machines and drives (PEMDs)
- Extraction or recovery, recycling and remanufacturing reuse processes for critical valuable materials used in devices such as fuel cells, batteries and electric powertrains
3. Highly disruptive technologies:
- Technologies or processes that significantly increase the efficiency of the powertrain or reduce the energy demand of auxiliary systems
- Advanced design methods and tools for aerodynamic vehicle (or hydrodynamic vessel) designs, including simulation and modelling, and design for manufacture
- Energy transmission technologies that efficiently deliver power to vehicles or vessels such as battery recharging and connectivity
- Novel electrochemical catalysts or membranes for the conversion of CO2 emissions into low or net‑zero -carbon fuels including syngas and ethanol
- On‑board hydrogen technologies to power the drive, or auxiliaries in passenger or freight rail systems
- Technologies that optimize rail vehicle ventilation systems and climate control for healthier travel
4. Assistive technologies and control systems:
- Autonomous mobility technologies from platooning, to advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and last mile delivery solutions that provide direct and indirect efficiency savings
- Technologies that increase safety and operational efficiency via in‑service remote health monitoring
- Smart shipping technologies delivering quantifiable energy efficiency savings and GHG emission reductions
- Technologies to support automated train and track inspections such as machine vision and artificial intelligence (AI)
- Optimisation of fleet energy efficiency
4. Eligibility requirements
To be considered for funding, applicants must form a project consortium and develop a collaborative research and development (R&D) project that meets the following criteria:
4.1 Canadian applicant
- The Canadian SME applicant must:
- be an incorporated, profit‑oriented small or medium‑sized business in Canada
- have 500 or fewer full‑time equivalent employees
- pursue growth and profit by developing and commercializing innovative, technology‑driven new or improved products, services or processes in Canada
- have a differentiated and protectable technology that could become competitive in global markets
- have sufficient working capital and resources to undertake a multi‑year R&D collaboration and commercialize the results
- be committed to significant growth through international market expansion
- Preference may be given to SME applicants who:
- have a minimum of 15 full‑time equivalent employees
- have commercialized 1 or more products domestically or internationally
- have greater than $500,000 CAD in annual revenue
- The project consortium must include at least:
- 1 incorporated Canadian small or medium‑sized enterprise (SME), defined as a for‑profit company with 500 or fewer full‑time equivalent employeesFootnote *
- 1 incorporated UK business of any size defined as a for‑profit company
- The parties listed above must be unrelated parties (i.e. no direct, indirect, beneficial or constructive ownership interest between these parties)
- The project partners that form the consortium must agree on a plan addressing intellectual property rights and intent to commercialize.
- Footnote *
In addition to the Canadian SME, additional Canadian organizations (research institutes, universities, government laboratories, research and technology organizations, large enterprises and other companies) may participate on a self‑funded basis or as subcontractors.
- The project must focus on co‑development, adaptation, and/or validation of an innovative product, process or technology‑based service that has:
- substantial commercial potential and outcomes that can be realized within 2 years of completion of the project
- a civilian (non‑military) purpose
- The project must demonstrate:
- a complementary technological contribution from each partner
- an obvious advantage and added value resulting from the cooperation between the participants
- a balanced contribution between project partners and countries (i.e. no more than 70% of the effort contributed by any one partner or country)
4.4 UK eligibility requirements
Please consult the Innovate UK Innovation Funding Service (IFS) call for proposals announcement for UK eligibility requirements.
Eligible project participants in collaborative projects selected through this call for proposals may receive funding from their respective national funding bodies. Funds will be provided in accordance with the applicable laws, regulations, rules, and procedures established by the relevant national funding bodies, country, and jurisdiction.
Non‑eligible project participants (e.g. universities, research institutes, etc., and participants from other countries) are welcome to participate on a self‑funded basis or as sub‑contractors to funded participants, according to each country's funding regulations.
Additional country‑specific funding parameters are outlined below:
5.1 Canadian funding
In Canada, this call for proposals is offered through the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP). NRC IRAP is responsible for delivering this call for proposals and for managing any resulting funding agreements.
Eligible Canadian SMEs may receive up to 50% reimbursement of eligible project costs up to a maximum total funding amount of $500,000 CAD over 12 to 24 months.
Note: Canadian SME applicants must be eligible for funding as NRC IRAP clients before they can be considered for funding through this call for proposals. For more information on NRC IRAP eligibility and becoming an NRC IRAP client, please contact NRC IRAP at 1-877-994-4727.
Note: Canadian SME applicants may apply to more than 1 NRC IRAP call for proposals simultaneously. However, NRC IRAP may limit the number of funded projects per applicant. Canadian SME applicants who are applying to more than 1 opportunity or who have ongoing NRC IRAP projects should speak to their NRC IRAP representative for more information.
5.2 UK funding
In the UK, this call for proposals is offered through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Innovate UK, part of UKRI, is responsible for the delivery of this call for proposals and the management of any resulting funding agreements.
Please consult the Innovate UK IFS call for proposals announcement for UK funding parameters.
6. Application process
This call for proposal is being hosted by Innovate UK's Innovation Funding Service (IFS). Each project consortium must complete and submit the joint project application form via the UK Innovation IFS application portal. Please consult the Innovate UK IFS application portal for instructions on how to complete and submit the project application package.
In addition to the project consortium submitting the IFS project application form, each project partner seeking funding must submit all required documents to their respective national funding body and meet its due diligence process requirements. Failure to do so, at any point or for any reason, may cause the entire collaborative project application to be considered incomplete or ineligible and render the entire project consortium ineligible for funding through this call for proposals.
Application processes and evaluations will be performed independently by each national funding body in accordance with their national and institutional laws and regulations. Once each national funding body has evaluated the submitted applications, a final joint project selection will be performed.
Information on respective application processes follows below:
6.1 Canadian application process
The Canadian application process has 4 phases:
- Expression of interest
- International consortium project proposal
- National funding body proposal and funding agreement
Step 1: Registration phase
Each Canadian applicant must register using the Register button at the bottom of this page. Basic information about the applicant and the organization will be required upon registration.
NRC IRAP will review registrations for this call for proposals and contact applicants if more information is required. Qualifying applicants will proceed to the next phase and be invited to submit an expression of interest form.
Step 2: Expression of interest phase
During this phase, each Canadian applicant seeking funding must submit an expression of interest (EOI) form outlining basic information on the applicant and the collaborative project.
While completing the EOI form, each Canadian applicant is encouraged to contact their NRC IRAP representative to discuss their project idea and receive guidance on preparing their submission.
It is recommended that applicants submit the EOI as early as possible. EOIs will be evaluated by the applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. Qualifying applicants will be invited to submit the more detailed international consortium project proposal in collaboration with their project partners. The lead Canadian applicant will be provided all templates needed to submit the project application package.
Step 3: International consortium project proposal phase
During the international consortium project proposal (ICPP) phase, all project partners must work together to complete and submit the project application package.
In this call for proposals, the Canadian project application package consists of:
- International Consortium Project Proposal / Innovate UK IFS project application form, outlining the:
- project consortium
- collaborative project
- expected outcomes
- expected project cost and calendar
- NRC IRAP Canadian SME Annex form containing additional information required to assess the Canadian SME applicants and the project consortium
- Draft international consortium agreement containing descriptions of the following:
- Roles and responsibilities of each consortium member
- Project management framework
- Division of intellectual property rights
- Confidentiality and publication agreements, and liability clauses
Canadian ICPP applications will be evaluated by an NRC IRAP evaluation team including the applicant's NRC IRAP representative and the NRC IRAP International Office. Then, the amalgamated evaluation results will be shared between both implicated national funding bodies to jointly select the collaborative projects that will be invited to proceed to the final national funding body proposal and funding agreement stage.
Step 4: National funding body proposal and funding agreement phase
During the national funding body proposal and funding agreement phase, all eligible project partners work independently to complete funding proposals and sign legally binding funding agreements with their respective national funding body. Canadian applicants will work with their NRC IRAP representative to prepare an NRC IRAP funding proposal and contribution agreement.
6.2 UK application process
For information related to application stages, requirements, instructions, ICPP application packages, and national funding body proposals and funding agreements, please consult the Innovate UK IFS call for proposals announcement.
For questions, concerns, or for more information, please contact the appropriate call for proposals representative listed below:
NRC IRAP UK National Program Coordinator
National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program
Programme Manager – Automotive, Zero Emission Vehicles, Land & Maritime Transport
Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund
UK Research and Innovation | Innovate UK
Canadian SME participants are registered NRC IRAP clients. If not already an NRC IRAP client, Canadian SMEs must contact 1-877-994-4727 to determine if they might be eligible for support through the NRC IRAP.
To begin the application process, the lead Canadian applicant must register for this opportunity by clicking the Register button:
If there is no Register button visible below this line, it means the call for proposals has closed. Please contact the Contact listed or the NRC IRAP International Office for more information.