Ontario-China Research and Innovation Fund (OCRIF)

New rounds of funding proposals are being accepted by the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation for the Ontario-China Research and Innovation Fund (OCRIF). The upcoming round of government funding for research and development will act as a cost-sharing program and provide up to $500,000 dollars per project. The project costs will be shared 50:50 between the two countries and research must involve collaboration between the Chinese and Canadian researching firms with the objective of commercializing a new technology or product.

Ontario Business Grants for International Collaboration

The Ministry of Economic Development is attempting to form a relationship with China’s Ministry of Science and Technology. Both of the Ministries will supply government funding for businesses taking part in the R&D and commercialization efforts of a product in one of the following areas:

  • Water and Water-Related Technologies
  • Neuroscience
  • Hydrogen Fuel Cells
  • Stem Cells

Each R&D team will receive up to $250,000 from their respective governments for a total contribution of $0.5 million from both governments per project. The researching organizations must be able to match the amount of business funding grants through the provision of in-kind contributions and/or cash contributions.

Project Eligibility for Research and Development Funding

In order to apply for the OCRIF program, applicants must locate and form a team with at least one Chinese-based research organization and at least one Ontario-based private sector organization before submitting an application. Canadian applicants must fall into one of the following categories in order to be considered an eligible research organization:

  • Ontario Post-Secondary Institution (University or College).
  • Ontario Hospital Research Institute.
  • Ontario Not-for-Profit Research Institution;
  • Or other Not-for-profit Research Institute not primarily funded by an industry.

For a project to go forward, the applications must be reviewed and agreed upon by both Ontario and China’s Ministries. Projects proposals must include the names and credentials of the Principal Investigators (PI’s) for both research organizations. The PI’s will be responsible for the financial management and reporting of the project. Each will report their project’s costs and progress to their respective Ministry’s throughout the duration of the project. The project should not last longer than 3 years and applications for new rounds of funding will not be available.

Eligible Costs for Ontario Government Grants

Eligible costs under the OCRIF program will include the direct and indirect costs of conducting the research including wages, salaries, and administration fees, as well as the costs of the facilities, equipment, and materials used for the research. Some additional costs will fall under consideration for eligibility. These might include consulting fees, salaries and benefits of the research and technical staff, and fees for honoraria guest lecturers. The maximum amount expensed for facilities and equipment can only equal up to 10% of the total amount received, while the maximum portion expensed for indirect costs would be 40%.

Next Steps

Those who are interested in this program may also be interested in another Ontario business grant called the Going Global Innovation Program(GGI). This program encourages international research and development collaboration by providing Canadian grant funding for foreign business relations.  Organizations in search of a Chinese research partner may also want to look into the Canada Technology Triangle Business Mission to China, taking place in April of this year.


For more information on the Canadian Government Funding Mechanisms mentioned in today’s article, please contact Mentor Works, the Canadian Government Funding Experts. We also provide up-to-date information on popular Canadian Government grants through our blog and new E-Newsletter located on the right-hand side of this page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *