Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre

Ontario Ministry of Research & Innovation (MRI)

The Ministry of Research & Innovation was created to focus on the government's commitment to innovation as the driver of growth across all sectors of the economy. The Ministry's mandate is set to focus on developing and deliveringan integrated innovationstrategy, investing in policies and programs to support such a strategy, and fostering, showcasingand promoting a culture of innovation throughout Ontario. This mandate is supported by three major branches: the Outreach, Promotion and Business Development Branch, the Innovation Policy Branch, the Research Branch, and the Commercialization Branch. Each MRI branch administers varying programs designed to meet the larger mandate of the Ministry, some of these programs include:

Early Researcher Award

The Early Researcher Award program (ERA) is a $51 million, 5 year program that aims to help promising, recently-appointed Ontario researchers build their research teams of graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and research associates. The ultimate goal of the program is to improve Ontario's ability to attract and retain the best and brightest research talent in high-priority economic sectors. Read more on this program here: Early Researcher Award.

Innovation Demonstration Fund

The Innovation Demonstration Fund (IDF) is a discretionary, non-entitlement funding program administered by the Ministry of Research and Innovation that focuses on the commercialization and initial demonstration of globally competitive, innovative technologies, processes and/or products. The objective of the IDF is to help companies in their efforts to commercialize innovative technologies in Ontario. Read more on this program here: Innovation Demonstration Fund.

International Strategic Opportunities Program (ISOP)

The International Strategic Opportunities Program (ISOP) provides funding for strategic international collaborations between Ontario research institutions and the global research community. The goal of the program is to improve Ontario's long-term economic potential by attracting and retaining the best and brightest research talent. Read more on this program here: International Strategic Opportunities Program.

Ontario Commercialization Investment Funds

The purpose of the Ontario Commercialization Investment Funds program is to leverage seed capital for spin-off technology companies created by faculty, staff, or students of research institutes. Once registered, an Ontario Commercialization Investment Fund corporation or partnership (OCIF) will raise money from investors and will receive a grant after it invests in eligible seed-stage businesses whose primary asset is intellectual property developed at qualifying institutes. This program is designed to provide research institutions in Ontario with an alternative source of the investment capital necessary to promote growth and create jobs. Read more on this program here: Ontario Commercialization Investment Funds

Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE)

The Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence (ORF-RE) program promotes research excellence in Ontario by supporting transformative, internationally significant research of strategic value to the province. The ORF-RE focuses on scientific excellence and strong commercialization and targets new, leading-edge research initiatives. Funding is open to publicly assisted universities, Ontario colleges, hospital research institutes, not-for-profit research institutes and more. Read more on this program here: Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence.

Ontario Research Fund Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI)

The Ontario Research Fund Research Infrastructure (ORF-RI) program will support the modernization, development and/or acquisition of new research infrastructure at Ontario's universities, colleges and hospitals. The program provides matching funds toward projects that have been awarded a grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). Read more on this program here: Ontario Research Fund Research Infrastructure.

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