Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
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On January 16, 2024, the Government of Canada published its Policy on Sensitive Technology Research and Affiliations of Concern. This funding opportunity is in scope of this new policy, wherein grant applications that involve conducting research that aims to advance a sensitive technology research area will not be funded if any of the researchers involved in activities supported by the grant are currently affiliated with, or in receipt of funding or in-kind support from, a named research organization. Please read the Tri-agency guidance on the STRAC Policy to understand how this policy may impact your grant application.

NSERC Alliance grants and Ontario Centre of Innovation Collaborate 2 Commercialize

Duration Up to 12 months
Application deadline No deadline
Application forms
  • Form 100A – Personal data form
  • Form 101 – Application for a grant
Guidance on this page takes precedence over other Alliance or C2C descriptions and instructions. Additional guidance for questions not addressed on this page can be found in the relevant Alliance grants instructions. To create or access an application, log in to the online system.
For more information Contact the Ontario regional office.

Context and objectives

In partnership, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC – Alliance Advantage grants) and the Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI – Collaborate 2 Commercialize [C2C] program) are offering C2C Alliance Advantage grants to support post-secondary research and development collaborations with the highest potential for regional economic development and commercialization in Ontario.

Individual proposals can request from $20,000 up to $30,000 from NSERC Alliance Advantage grants and from $20,000 up to $30,000 from OCI C2C, with a corresponding $20,000 to $30,000 from the industry partner (at least 50% must be cash provided to the academic institution).The streamlined joint application and decision process enables companies to quickly undertake new research collaborations with Ontario-based researchers and have their cash contribution leveraged by both NSERC and OCI. The mutually beneficial projects are expected to result in economic benefits both to the company and to Ontario, and to build impactful longer-term collaborations between the researcher and the company.

To start the application process for C2C Alliance Advantage grants, the industry partner must connect with their business development and commercialization manager.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

NSERC is acting on the evidence that achieving a more equitable, diverse and inclusive Canadian research enterprise is essential to creating the excellent, innovative and impactful research necessary to advance knowledge and understanding, and to respond to local, national and global challenges. This principle informs the commitments described in the Tri-agency statement on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and is aligned with the objectives of the Tri-agency EDI action plan.

Excellent research considers EDI both in the research environment takes place (forming a research team, student training) and in the research process. For Alliance grants, EDI considerations are currently evaluated in the training, mentorship and professional development opportunities for students and trainees. The aim is to remove barriers to the recruitment and promote full participation of individuals from underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Inuit, and Métis), persons with disabilities, members of visible minority/racialized groups and members of 2SLGBTQI+ communities. Applicants are encouraged to increase the inclusion and advancement of underrepresented groups as one way to enhance the excellence in research and training. For additional guidance, applicants should refer to Alliance grants: Equity, diversity and inclusion in your training plan and the NSERC guide on integrating equity, diversity and inclusion considerations in research.


  • You must meet NSERC’s eligibility criteria at the time of your application and when funding is released.
  • You must be faculty from an eligible Ontario-based university with an active OCI or NSERC peer-reviewed grant.
  • You are encouraged to collaborate with experts in fields other than the natural sciences and engineering, where appropriate, since implementing policy or applying the research results can depend on socioeconomic considerations as well as scientific understanding. Academic researchers outside the natural sciences and engineering may participate in proposals as co-applicants if they meet NSERC’s eligibility requirements for the type, duration and nature of the appointment. Research costs for these collaborations may account for up to 30% of the project costs and must be identified in the project budget.


Consult the C2C Program Guidelines section on Partnered Project Eligibility (pages 6-7) for full details on company eligibility.

How to apply

The industry partner must connect with their business development and commercialization manager to start the application process. OCI will oversee an initial vetting and due diligence of submitted project summaries to ensure that requests for funding fulfill all eligibility criteria and are suitable. If your project is selected as eligible and suitable, you will be sent a link to access the required proposal template for C2C Alliance Advantage.

Fill out the C2C Alliance Advantage proposal template provided by OCI using a maximum of six pages and following the instructions for completing an Alliance grant application. Submit your completed application and supporting documents, including the Personal data form with Common CV attachment for the applicant and all co-applicants, through NSERC’s online system. Your contact person for the partner organization will be invited through the online system to provide information about their organization following the partner organization instructions. A letter of support is not needed.

Consult the C2C Program Guidelines for a summary of information that needs to be addressed in a completed application.

Evaluation criteria

Please consult the Alliance Advantage evaluation criteria for full details on how C2C Alliance Advantage applications will be reviewed.


All project expenditures are subject to the principles and directives governing the appropriate use of grant funds as outlined in the Tri-agency guide on financial administration.

You must follow the Tri-agency open access policy, and you are also encouraged to make any publication data resulting from funded projects open access.

Extension of grants

NSERC automatically provides an extension period of one year for using the grant funds. This extension period allows you to complete your planned research activities within the specified term of your grant. The extension is applicable for the NSERC portion of the grant only.


You will be informed of reporting requirements and the corresponding schedule when you are notified of your award. NSERC and OCI will strive to streamline their reporting requirements to lessen the burden on participants.