Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

NSERC Alliance / Engage grants and Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP)


Up to 12 months

Application deadline No deadline
Application forms

VIP Alliance:

  • Form 100A – Personal data form
  • Form 101 – Application for a grant

VIP Engage:

  • Form 103CV (form-fillable) – CCI personal data form and instructions
  • Form 103 – Application for the CCI program
  • Form 183A – Information required from organizations participating in research partnerships
Guidance on this page takes precedence over other VIP, Alliance or Engage descriptions and instructions. Find additional guidance for questions not addressed on this page here. 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, NSERC Alliance / Engage grants and OCI’s This link will take you to another Web site Voucher for Innovation and Productivity (VIP) will support post-secondary R&D collaborations with the highest potential for regional economic development and commercialization in Ontario.

Individual proposals can request at least $20,000 up to $30,000 from NSERC (Alliance or Engage grant) and at least $20,000 up to $30,000 from OCI VIP, 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 to the company and to Ontario and build impactful longer term collaborations between the researcher and the company.

To start the application process for VIP Alliance or VIP Engage grants, the industry partner must connect with their This link will take you to another Web site business development and commercialization manager.

Equity, diversity and inclusion

NSERC is acting on the evidence that equity, diversity and inclusion strengthen the scientific and engineering community and the quality, social relevance and impact of research. Increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in the research enterprise are key priorities in our current strategic plan, NSERC 2020, and are highlighted in the strategic goal of “Building a Diversified and Competitive Research Base.”


VIP Alliance

  • You must meet NSERC’s eligibility criteria when you apply and when funding is released.
  • You must be a 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 percent of the project costs and must be identified in the project budget.

VIP Engage

  • You must be an Ontario-based college eligible to hold tri-agency funds (see the List of eligible institutions).
  • A new relationship with the industry partner with no existing or past association between the college and the industry partner is permitted.

    Note: It is not considered a new partnership if there has been: previous research collaboration between the college and the company or any of its divisions; a consulting contract in excess of a few days; or involvement of a member of the college research team with the company. In addition, if an employee of the company sits on the board of directors [or equivalent] of the college, this would be considered an established relationship.


Consult This link will take you to another Web site OCI VIP Industry Partner Eligibility Requirements (pages 5-6) for full details on company eligibility.

For VIP Engage partners are limited to two Engage grants awarded per fiscal year (April 1–March 31; this includes the company’s combined VIP Engage and standalone Engage projects). However, partners providing cash contributions to ongoing NSERC-funded projects outside of Engage will be allowed up to two additional Engage applications per year.


The industry partner must connect with their This link will take you to another Web site business development and commercialization manager to start the application process. The opportunity will undergo an initial vetting and due diligence assessment by OCI to ensure that opportunities fulfill all eligibility criteria and are suitable. If the opportunity is selected as eligible and suitable, you will be sent the required Proposal template for VIP Alliance or the Potential for commercialization template for VIP Engage.

VIP Alliance

Fill out the VIP Alliance proposal template provided by OCI using a maximum of 6 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 will be invited through the online system to provide information about the partner organization following the partner organization instructions. A letter of support is not needed.

Consult the Alliance grant application checklist for a summary of information that needs to be addressed in a completed application.

VIP Engage

Fill out the VIP Engage proposal template provided by OCI using a maximum of 3 pages. Full instructions for the applicant and the participating company on completing the forms and on the online submission process are found on NSERC's online services page. Form 103 (for colleges) should be created before creating Form 183A. Please see the online services instructions for more information.

A letter of support from the company involved in the project must be provided and must outline the company's support for, contribution to, and agreement with the research project plan. For details on the letter requirements please consult the Engage grant Application procedures.

Consult the Engage Grants for colleges application checklist and proposal template for a summary of information that needs to be addressed in a completed application.

Evaluation criteria

Please consult the Alliance evaluation criteria and the Engage grant selection criteria for full details regarding how the respective VIP Alliance and VIP Engage 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 (VIP Alliance) or the College and Community Innovation program tri-agency financial administration guide (VIP Engage). 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.


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.