Strategic Innovation Fund—Statement of Interest Guide

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© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Industry, 2018.

Cat. No. Iu37-7/2-2017E-PDF

ISBN 978-0-660-08807-5

Aussi offert en français sous le titre Fonds stratégique pour l'innovation — Guide de déclaration d'intérêt


The Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) seeks to support projects and investments put forward by companies of different sizes and from a range of sectors to encourage and accelerate the development of innovative and/or growth-oriented initiatives.

In addition to this guide, please review the Strategic Innovation Fund Program Guide for information on strategic objectives, eligibility criteria, information requirements and assessment process.

The Statement of Interest Form is applicable to Streams 5 as described in the Program Guide.

The purpose of the Statement of Interest Form is for Applicants to:

  1. provide an understanding of what the proposed project is and what the company hopes to achieve by undertaking the project; and
  2. demonstrate a basic management, technical and financial capacity to complete the project.

This guide is organized according to the sections of the Statement of Interest Form and provides more detailed guidance and explanations on how to complete the Form. Fields in the Form that are self-explanatory are not referenced in this guide.

When completing the Form, Applicants are expected to complete the fields in each section or indicate if a field is not applicable.

Please limit individual answers to the space provided in the Form. Also note that the use of point form (or bulleted lists) is acceptable, provided that the information is clear.

Use the best available information at the time of completion of this Form. It is understood that the information provided in this Statement of Interest Form may be preliminary.

Completing the Statement of Interest Form

This section provides guidelines and information on how to complete the various sections of the Statement of Interest Form.

Applicant Information

  • Legal name of the Applicant: The name of the incorporated business.
  • Operating name of the Applicant: The name under which business is publicly conducted. e.g. 123460 Canada Inc. may operate under Main Street Technologies.
  • Business Number: A company's nine-digit business number (BN). A BN is mandatory and is issued by the Canada Revenue Agency. You can register your business on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
  • Applicant Location: The complete address where the headquarters of the company is located.
  • Date of Incorporation: The date stated on the company's articles of incorporation.
  • If applicable, number of years the business was in operation before incorporation: This is to indicate when business operations first started, if they pre-date incorporation. These are the years in which business revenue was reported in a Canada Revenue Agency tax return.
  • Is the Applicant a public or private corporation? A public corporation is one which has its shares traded on a public stock exchange. For all other companies, including not-for-profit corporations, indicate private corporation.
  • Is the Applicant a subsidiary? If yes, identify the parent entity and its location: A subsidiary is a company which has a controlling interest in its shares owned by another company. Provide the legal name of the parent and head office location.
  • Brief description of the Applicant and its principal line(s) of business: Describe the applicant and the main areas of business which generate sales for the company.
  • Number of employees: Indicate the number of full-time and part-time employees in Canada, then the total number of employees, including those working for operations outside Canada.
  • Provide the number of employees engaged in R&D in Canada/outside of Canada: Indicate the number of full-time and part-time employees whose main duties are to conduct R&D activities.
  • Is the Applicant, its directors or officers is a party to legal proceedings that may adversely affect the business? Indicate if there are any current legal actions which could, directly or indirectly, affect the company.

Authorized Project Contact

  • Provide contact information for the person who is authorized to represent the company and who will be the main point of contact regarding the project.
  • If the person is not a signing officer of the company, confirmation of that person's right to represent the company may be required.

Project Information

This section is to provide a high-level understanding of the project.

  • Project Title: Provide a title for the project for reference purposes only.
  • Project Stream: Using the Program Guide, select a Stream that best describes your project. The Stream selection will be reviewed by, and may be modified by the program officials.
  • Select the Economic Strategy Table and the primary Canadian industry sector to which your project best relates. Also provide a secondary Canadian industry sector and if applicable; the Emerging Technology your project will be leveraging the most.
  • What is the Technology Readiness Level? The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a scale of 1 to 9 which reflects different stages of development of a given technology. Indicate which TRL best represents the current development stage of the project (a project goal may be to develop a technology or product to a higher TRL, but indicate the starting TRL). For reference, please refer to the Annex A—Technology Readiness Level Scale.
  • Confirm the company owns, or has the rights to, the required background Intellectual Property (IP) required to complete the project. The program requires that Applicants own or hold sufficient background IP rights to undertake the project's activities. Costs related to the acquisition of background IP rights are not eligible under the program.
  • Provide a description of the project, including the:
    • Objective(s) and expected outcome(s) anticipated from the project: The objectives are the company's reasons for undertaking the project and the outcomes are the anticipated results from the project. These should be described from the company's perspective, and would be applicable whether the program funding is obtained or not. This provides an understanding of how the project will impact the company and what it is trying to achieve.
    • Main activities to be undertaken to complete the project including any key partners: Briefly describe the main activities to be undertaken that are key to completing the project, including the key partners associated with these activities. As applicable, indicate critical milestones or anticipated risks to a successful outcome.
    • Any other information that provides a better understanding of the project: Input for this field is not required but it is provided to allow Applicants the opportunity to provide additional information which may assist the program officials to better understand the project. The space can also be used to continue the activities section.
  • Estimated starting and ending dates of the project: The start and end date refer to when project costs are estimated to start and stop being incurred.
  • Provide the primary physical address where the project will occur: Indicate where the main project work will be undertaken.
  • Are any of the activities of the proposed project expected to be completed to occur outside of Canada? If yes, indicate the locations and proportion of the project activities and project costs expected to be incurred outside of Canada.
  • Provide an estimate of total project costs in Canadian dollars: Costs estimates are only for direct costs attributable to the project and required for the project to be completed successfully. For Overhead costs, insert an amount in the Statement of Interest Form equal to 55% of Direct Labour costs in order to provide an estimate for project financial planning purposes.

Project Benefits

Describe the benefits that will result from the successful achievement of the project outcomes, using the following 3 categories: Based on the project outcomes indicated in the project description, identify the benefits that could result from those outcomes. Depending on the project Stream and the Technology Readiness Level, the type and level of benefit will vary by project.

Where possible, please provide metrics with timeframes and the type of benefits anticipated, such as, increase of sales by 30% over 4 years, 3 new patent applications in 2 years.

Economic Benefits: Benefits related to increased economic activity. For example, job creation and/or retention, impact in sales such as growth or market diversification, commercialization of project results.

Innovation Benefits: Benefits related to technological advancements. For example, creation of IP, improving the commercialization potential of a product or technology by advancing it to a higher Technology Readiness Level, potential market disruption.

Public Benefits: Benefits related to the public at large. For example, environmental improvements, increased local community involvement, increased gender balance in the workforce.

Please see the Program Guide for more information on project benefits.

Corporate Information

  • Provide a brief summary biography of key management staff required to complete the project. Information may include relevant prior experience, education, professional designation(s), etc. Please be brief with 1 or 2 lines per person, focussing on relevant information to demonstrate their ability to manage the project. For large companies where a description of the management team is more appropriate, please provide information for the key team leaders.
  • Provide a brief summary biography of key technical staff that will lead the project. Information may include relevant prior experience, education, professional designation(s), scientific publications, and patents or relevant technological achievements. Please be brief with 1 or 2 lines per person, highlighting expertise required to complete the project. For large companies where a description of the technical team is more appropriate, please provide information for the key team leaders.
  • Describe the company's major technological achievements in the past 3 years: Achievements can include externally visible indicators such as patents or internal technical achievements.
  • What were the company's R&D expenditures for the most recent fiscal year? Describe the nature of the company's R&D program: Indicate the approximate total amount spent on R&D by the company in the last year. Provide a very brief overview on the type of R&D work done and its timeframe, in other words, an ongoing program vs a one-time initiative.

Financial Information

  1. Attach the company's annual financial statements for the past 3 years. If the company has not been in operation for 3 years, provide the financial statements for the years it has been in operation (mandatory). A minimum of one year is (typically) required. Acceptable financial statement standards include:

    • audited;
    • review engagement;
    • notice to reader; or
    • CFO attested, or by the CEO if a company does not have a CFO.

    At a minimum, an Income Statement, Balance Sheet and Statement of Cash Flows are required and should have notes attached. If unable to provide financial statements for at least one year, an Applicant may submit an explanation and a substantive funding plan to demonstrate that the company has the financial means to support both the project and its business operations.

  2. Complete and attach a spreadsheet following the format of the table titled "Estimated Project Funding Sources" below to indicate how the company anticipates funding the project.

    The table is to provide an initial idea of how the project will be funded. This project funding does not need to be secured at this time. Complete the fields in your table that are relevant for the project.

    Provide your spreadsheet as an attachment to the Form.

Table 1—Estimated Project Funding Sources

Table 1—Estimated Project Funding Sources
Project Cost Amount Status (1)
Total Project Cost (from the table in Project Information) $  
Project Funding
Amount requested under SIF $
Amount Applicant contributes
Internal sources of funds:
—Cash on hand
—Forecast Cash from operations

Debt Financing (Loan, credit facilities, etc.) $
Equity Financing $
Other Sources (parent/partner/customer, etc.) $
Provincial and Federal ITCs $
Other Government Funding (2):
—Federal Program A
—Federal Program B
—Provincial Program A
—Municipal Program A

Total Project Funding (3) $  

(1) Status—indicate the sources that have been secured or the status if not. For example: Secured and available, application to be made, funding approved, shares to be issued.
(2) If more than one government source, list the sources and the status for each.
(3) "Total Project Funding" must equal "Total Project Cost".

Annex A—Technology Readiness Level Scale

Annex A—Technology Readiness Level Scale
Technology Readiness Level Description
TRL 1—Basic principles observed and reported Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development (R&D). Examples might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties.
TRL 2—Technology concept and/or application formulated Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Applications are speculative, and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions.
TRL 3—Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept Active R&D is initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.
TRL 4—Product and/or process validation in laboratory environment Basic technological products and/or processes are tested to establish that they will work.
TRL 5—Product and/or process validation in relevant environment Reliability of product and/or process innovation increases significantly. The basic products and/or processes are integrated so they can be tested in a simulated environment.
TRL 6—Product and/or process prototype demonstration in a relevant environment Prototypes are tested in a relevant environment. Represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a simulated operational environment.
TRL 7—Product and/or process prototype demonstration in an operational environment Prototype near or at planned operational system and requires demonstration of an actual prototype in an operational environment (e.g. in a vehicle).
TRL 8—Actual product and/or process completed and qualified through test and demonstration Innovation has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the end of true system development.
TRL 9—Actual product and/or process proven successful Actual application of the product and/or process innovation in its final form or function.