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College and Community Innovation Program Applied Research Tools and Instruments Grants

Accessibility Notice: If you cannot access the following content, please contact the On-line Services Helpdesk by email at or by telephone at 613-995-4273. Indicate the e-mail address and telephone number where you can be reached.

Note: This program is intended for college researchers. University researchers should apply to the Research Tools and Instruments Grants program.

Application Deadline November 1, 2017
How to Apply See below
Application Forms
  • Form 103CV (form-fillable) – CCI Personal Data Form and instructions
  • Form 103 – Application for the CCI Program
To complete Form 103CV or to view its instructions, select the links above.

To create or access an application, select On-line System Login. To view forms and instructions, select PDF Forms and Instructions.
For More Information Consult the Contact List

Important Information

The College and Community Innovation (CCI) Program is managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in collaboration with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Applied Research Tools and Instruments (ARTI) Grants can be across the spectrum of the natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities and/or health. All applications must be submitted to NSERC. Grants are given by NSERC, with the exception of funded proposals exclusively in the social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences, which will be given by SSHRC or CIHR, as appropriate.


The objective of the ARTI Grants is to support the purchase of research equipment and installations to foster and enhance the capacity of colleges to undertake applied research, innovation and training in collaboration with local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).


ARTI Grants are one-year awards that support the purchase of applied research equipment costing between $7,000 and $150,000. The proposed equipment may be a single item or a collection of items targeted at a particular applied research area.

If requesting a collection of items, it is the responsibility of the college to ensure that each item on the list meets the selection criteria of the ARTI program. NSERC may remove the expenditures associated with any item that it finds does not sufficiently meet the selection criteria.

Colleges can apply for more than one ARTI grant; however it must be clearly demonstrated that each of the submitted applications fall within a distinct applied research area. NSERC considers the applied research disciplines, as well as the targeted industry sector, when assessing potential overlaps. Applications found to have overlap within an applied research discipline or within a targeted industry sector would result in all but one of the overlapping applications being rejected.

Example 1: The applied research areas of oil refinery, environmental land remediation of former oil sites, and oil site worker safety, would all be considered to be in overlap (although in distinct applied research disciplines), since they are targeted towards a common industry sector.

Example 2: The applied research area of polymers and coatings, biomaterials, and concrete, would all be considered to be in overlap (although targeting distinct industry sectors), since they fall under the ‘’Material Science’’ applied research discipline.

NSERC, taking into consideration the CCI Review Committee recommendation, will make the final decision on the eligibility of ARTI applications when there is the possibility of applied research overlap with another ARTI application.

NSERC will accept applications for research equipment whose total net cost is up to $250,000, provided that the applicant is able to secure funding from other sources to bring the amount requested to $150,000 or less. Funding from other sources must be clearly identified, in place and confirmed at the time that the application is submitted. The use of other CCI Grants may be permitted, provided that the proposed equipment is aligned with those CCI Grants and prior written authorization is obtained from NSERC. Applications requesting over $150,000 that have not specified the source of the additional funding will be deemed ineligible.

CCI Grants can be used to pay some or all of applicable taxes, as well as some or all of the shipping and handling expenses, as long as the overall grant does not exceed $150,000. Following the grant being awarded, should the purchase price of the equipment change and the total price increase compared to the original budget, the college will be responsible for the additional costs.

ARTI Grants must be used only to purchase the specific type of equipment for which the grant was awarded. Grantees who wish to purchase equipment different from that specified in the application must obtain written permission from NSERC prior to its purchase. Grantees may, however, buy a model different from that requested in the application without prior approval.

NSERC will accept applications only for equipment that has not yet been purchased. All applications are reviewed on a competitive basis.


Canadian colleges that have been declared eligible to administer grants according to the eligibility requirements for colleges of at least one of the three federal granting agencies (NSERC, CIHR and/or SSHRC) may submit an application.

If the proposed applied research and knowledge/technology transfer activities lie entirely within the mandate of a single agency (NSERC, CIHR or SSHRC) the college must be declared eligible to receive funding from that granting agency.

  • The college must offer programs in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences and in line with the applied research area proposed.
  • The college’s faculty members involved in ARTI Grants must be engaged in applied research in the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences.
  • The college must provide the space, basic facilities (including insurance) and services to enable its natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities and/or health sciences faculty members to fully utilize the equipment for the purposes of applied research.

Eligible Expenses

The table below describes the eligible expenses for Applied Research Tools and Instrument Grants.

Type of Expense Eligibility of Expense
Salaries and benefits Not eligible
Equipment (new or used) or Installation Purchase or rental (to the full value of the grant)
Installation of equipment Eligible
Travel Only travel required by college personnel to commission the equipment is supported.
(transportation costs for purchased equipment, extended warranty purchased with the equipment, brokerage and customs charges for the importation of equipment and supplies)
Insurance costs for equipment and research vehicles Not Eligible
Costs of the construction, renovation or rental of laboratories or supporting facilities (furniture and consumables) Not Eligible (unless required to meet regulatory requirements)
Software and hardware upgrades for existing equipment Eligible
Software licences or upgrades for subsequent years Not Eligible
Contingency fees Not Eligible
Overhead and administration costs Not Eligible

Application Procedures

To apply, submit an Application for a College and Community Innovation Grant (Form 103). Please refer to the ARTI Instructions for more information on how to complete and submit an ARTI Grant Application.

If a cash contribution towards the purchase of the equipment is provided by an organization (other than the applicant's institution), a letter is required from the organization confirming this commitment.

Letters from supporting organizations should clearly explain the support that the organizations will provide, including their financial contribution (cash or in-kind) to the purchase and installation of the equipment as well as their anticipated involvement in applied research and innovation activities with the college using the proposed equipment.

Selection Criteria

Applications are evaluated on the following criteria:

Relevance to applied research at the college

  • A demonstrated need for the proposed equipment and evidence that it will increase the college’s capacity for applied research in the area of the proposal;
  • The fit of the proposed applied research equipment with the college’s strategic plan and existing infrastructure and equipment;
  • The researcher(s)’ relevant experience and demonstrated ability to fully use the proposed equipment;
  • The impact on the applied research program of any delay in acquiring the proposed equipment;
  • The overall budget and justification for the proposed equipment.

Value to the region

  • The potential for the proposed equipment to foster, stimulate or enable collaborations with one or more local companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • The impact of the proposed equipment on current and potential projects;
  • The impact of acquiring the equipment on local or regional innovation, competitiveness and productivity;
  • The availability of applied research equipment similar to the proposed equipment and access to it in college or in the region, both for college and for local businesses.


  • The proposed research equipment’s importance to and impact on the training of college and partner personnel;
  • The quality and extent of training.