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About the Award

Changes to the Synergy Awards for Innovation

As of January 2015, the Leo Derikx category will no longer be offered due to insufficient nominations. Long-term partnerships can continue to apply to any of the other categories.

NSERC thanks and acknowledges the partnerships that have received Leo Derikx awards in the past.

Information About the Prize Offered to Industrial Partners (University Categories)

In Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada indicated that This link will take you to another Web site Mitacs will become the single delivery agent of federal support for postdoctoral industrial R&D fellowships. As a result, NSERC has wound down the Industrial R&D Fellowships Program, with resources being redeployed to other priorities within NSERC.

Therefore, NSERC is offering an alternative to industrial partners associated with future winning Synergy nominations.

Please see the Universities section.

Innovation paves the road to success in the new global economy. The Synergy Awards for Innovation were launched in 1995 by NSERC to recognize partnerships in natural sciences and engineering research and development (R&D) between universities and Canadian industry. In 2014 a category for colleges was added. Since their inception, the Awards have honoured the most outstanding achievements of these collaborations in the natural sciences and engineering. By working together, award-winning companies and post-secondary institutions have proven that effective partnerships are the foundation of achievement. Their success has enriched the academic and research programs within Canadian post-secondary institutions while providing tangible benefits to Canadians.

Prizes

Universities: The winner (principal nominee) in each category will receive a $200,000 NSERC research grant. Industrial partners will each receive a $30,000 voucher valid towards the cash portion of their required contribution in a new Collaborative Research and Development Grant (CRD). Applications using the voucher must be received within three years of the Synergy Award for Innovation being awarded. The value of the voucher can be divided across multiple years of the CRD project. The intent is to offer one voucher to every eligible industrial partner however, NSERC reserves the right to limit the number of vouchers in categories where multiple partners are involved.

Colleges: The winning institution will receive up to $100,000 for an Applied Research Tools and Instruments grant that can be used to purchase equipment to foster and enhance the ability of the college to undertake applied research, innovation and training in collaboration with local companies. Industrial partners will each receive a $20,000 voucher valid for a cash portion of their required contribution towards any NSERC – College and Community Innovation Program (CCI) grant. Applications using the voucher must be received within three years of the Synergy Award for Innovation being awarded. The value of the voucher can be divided across multiple years of the CCI project. The intent is to offer one voucher to every eligible industrial partner however, NSERC reserves the right to limit the number of vouchers in categories where multiple partners are involved.

The Synergy Awards for Innovation showcase innovation and the benefits of pooling resources to make the most of Canadian ingenuity. The Awards are judged on:

  • partnership;
  • effective use of resources; and
  • tangible benefits.

Award Categories

Synergy Awards are offered in four categories:

For universities:

  • Small and Medium-Sized Companies—A partnership with a single company of up to 500 employees.
  • Large Companies—A partnership with a single company of more than 500 employees.
  • Two or More Companies—A partnership with two or more companies of any size or with a consortium of companies.

For colleges (only nominations in the natural sciences and/or engineering will be considered):

  • Colleges—An innovative applied R&D partnership with demonstrable impact between a college research team and one or more companies, of any size.
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