Innovation – Industrial Research Chair

The Industrial Research Chair (IRC) initiative is designed to establish and enhance research capacity at Northern Ontario universities, colleges, and research institutions. 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 institutions (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).

What projects are Eligible?

  • IRCs are eligible for funding up to five years in duration.
  • Eligible projects must fit with the applicant institution’s strategic research plan, have a private sector partner, and is focussed on business problem solving, and / or is working towards the commercialization of a product or process in Northern Ontario. Preference is given to IRCs that involve collaboration and partnerships with other academic or research institutions, Indigenous communities, municipalities and other government agencies.
  • Eligible projects, activities and associated costs include but are not limited to:
    • Salary and mandatory benefits of the chair holder 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

Evaluation Criteria

Factors that will be considered during evaluation of applications will include, but not limited to:

  • Net economic benefits for Northern Ontario
  • Alignment with Industrial Research Chair’s host organization’s strategic research plan
  • Strength of collaboration and addressing the needs of partners in the proposal
  • Strength of the project’s detailed business plan


  • 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.
  • Funding for each project is determined by the NOHFC Board of Directors, and limited funding is available. Not all projects meeting the criteria will necessarily receive funding.

What is Not Eligible?

Ineligible activities and associated 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

Program Requirements

  • 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.
  • Chair holders 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.