Northern Innovation Program - Industrial Research Chairs

The Northern Innovation Program supports the vision of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario by supporting the development and commercialization of new technologies that will contribute to future prosperity in Northern Ontario, and by fostering collaboration and partnerships among the private sector, academic institutions and research institutes.

Eligible projects must involve research and development or commercialization activities for new technologies in the targeted sectors identified and further described in the Growth Plan. Preference is given to projects falling under the following sectors:

  • natural resources
  • advanced manufacturing
  • clean technology
  • health sciences
  • the bioeconomy
  • the digital economy

The purpose of this program stream is to establish and enhance research capacity at Northern Ontario universities, colleges, and research institutes. As capacity is developed, Northern Ontario will benefit from research leading to the transformation of Northern Ontario’s key economic sectors which, in turn, will help attract and retain highly qualified personnel.

Who is Eligible?

Northern Ontario universities, colleges, and research institutes are eligible to apply. For NOHFC’s purposes a research institute is defined as a not-for-profit organization whose primary activity is scientific research and which is formally affiliated with a Northern Ontario post-secondary institution. 

Industrial Research Chairs (IRCs) must involve partnerships with the private sector. Along with having a credible plan and the expertise and resources needed to exploit the research results, industrial partner(s) must contribute financial support to, and be actively involved in the project.

What is Eligible?

IRCs are eligible for funding up to five years in duration. 

Eligible projects must fit with the applicant institution’s strategic research plan. Preference is given to IRCs that involve collaboration and partnerships with other academic or research institutions, First Nation communities, municipalities and other government agencies.

Chairholders must be recognized as international leaders in their field with extensive research experience and an exceptional track record of managing research programs and training researchers.

Eligible costs include:

  • salary and mandatory benefits of the chairholder over the duration of the project
  • construction or renovation of laboratories or supporting facilities used directly in carrying out the research
  • acquiring, operating and maintaining research equipment used directly in carrying out the research
  • materials used directly in carrying out the research
  • costs associated with publishing research findings

What is Not Eligible?

Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to:

  • compensation-related expenses of other members of the research team
  • any indirect operating or administrative costs
  • fees for professional and technical services
  • travel, accommodation and meeting costs
  • office equipment and furnishings


Financial assistance is limited to 50% of eligible costs to a maximum of $1 million as a conditional contribution for the duration of the project.

Not all projects meeting the program criteria outlined above will receive funding. Applications will be accepted under this program until March 31, 2017. This is subject to change without any prior notice.

How to Apply

Send completed application forms to:

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
70 Foster Drive, Suite 200
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
P6A 6V8
fax: 1-705-945-6701

For more information call our toll free line 1-800-461-8329.