Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF)

Building innovation

Much of Canada's post-secondary infrastructure is over 25 years old and is nearing the end of its useful life. The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund provides up to $2 billion for infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions to enhance and modernize research and commercialization facilities, as well as industry-relevant training facilities at colleges and polytechnic institutions in Canada.

The fund supports projects that are expected to be substantially completed by November 30, 2018, and correspond to at least one of the following three categories:

  • improve the scale or quality of facilities for research and innovation, including commercialization spaces;
  • improve the scale or quality of facilities for specialized training at colleges focused on industry needs; or
  • improve the environmental sustainability of research and innovation-related infrastructure at post-secondary institutions and, college training infrastructure.

Why it is important

In Budget 2016, the federal government put forward a vision to build Canada as a global centre of innovation—one that focuses on strengthening the middle class by creating jobs, driving growth across all industries and improving the lives of all Canadians. Known as the Innovation Agenda, this is an inclusive plan to foster a confident nation of innovators—one that is globally competitive in promoting research, translating ideas into new products and services, accelerating business growth and propelling entrepreneurs from the start-up phase to international success.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund is helping realize the Innovation Agenda's vision by investing up to $2 billion over three years in post-secondary institutions infrastructure across Canada to reinvigorate Canada's research and science base, address existing needs while contributing to Canada's long-term innovation and sustainability objectives.

Post-secondary institutions play a fundamental role in Canadian society by developing highly skilled and creative workers. Quality infrastructure in these institutions is a key component for attracting and retaining talented people, boosting innovation and building a sustainable economy. This fund aims to modernize research and commercialization facilities, as well as industry-relevant training facilities at colleges and polytechnic institutions. This helps strengthen the development of highly-qualified, talented people, performing world-leading research, and generating new breakthrough ideas.

These investments will promote economic activity across the country and will benefit the Canadian economy and Canadian society well into the future.

How it works

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) received project proposals in the spring 2016 and reviewed the applications against the program criteria. Eligible projects were selected at the discretion of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, in consultation with the Minister of Science and the provinces and territories.

The total contribution from federal sources covers up to half (50%) of a project's eligible costs, leveraging the remaining amount from non-federal partners, such as: federal and territorial governments, the institutions themselves, and private donors. In cases where the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund is supporting eligible projects at institutions accredited by an Aboriginal government, the total funding limit from federal sources will be up to one hundred percent (100%).

The Government of Canada and the recipient established a schedule of payments over the life of the project. Payments are made against detailed quarterly reports. The remaining amount of the project funding may come from the eligible recipients themselves, provincial or territorial governments, the charitable sector, the private sector, or others as appropriate. The level of investment from partners is required to be equivalent to the amount being funded by the federal government.

ISED is partnering with provincial and territorial governments on the delivery of this fund; and will report on the ongoing implementation and effectiveness of this initiative through the Departmental Performance Reports. Periodic updates of progress will also be posted on the fund's website.

Eligible institutions

Eligible institutions under the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund include accredited universities, colleges, publicly funded polytechnic schools, institutes of technology, and CEGEPs, as well as institutions that are affiliated or federated with an eligible institution, such as research and teaching hospitals, research parks, incubators, and accelerators.

The Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund defined eligible recipients as institutions that were directly or indirectly authorized by agreement, under the terms of provincial or territorial statutes, to deliver post-secondary courses or programs that lead to recognized and transferable post-secondary credentials. This encompasses both public and not-for-profit private institutions, including Aboriginal-controlled (institutions created by Aboriginal organizations, band councils or Aboriginal governments) and Government of Canada-controlled post-secondary education institutions.

Contact information

General questions and comments on the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund can be made at:

Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 8th floor, East Tower
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0H5

Telephone (toll-free in Canada): 1-800-328-6189
Telephone (international): 613-954-5031
TTY (for hearing impaired): 1-866-694-8389
Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)