Language selection


Innovation and Clean Growth Research, Development, and Demonstration Programs

Department of Natural Resources, Office of Energy Research and Development

Applicants’ Guide to the Terms and Conditions

These are the general Terms and Conditions under the Innovation and Clean Growth Programs.  More specific Terms and Conditions may be applied to the various funding components within this program area.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  1. Objective.
    1. 1.1 Program Components
    2. 1.2 Disclaimer
    3. 1.3 Other RD&D Funding Programs
    4. 1.4 Expected Outcomes
  2. Application Process
    1. 2.1 Due Diligence Assessment
    2. 2.2 Contribution Agreement Negotiation
    3. 2.3 Service Standards
  3. Program Terms and Conditions
    1. 3.1 Eligible Proponents
    2. 3.2 Collaboration with federal laboratories
    3. 3.3 Eligible Activities
    4. 3.4 Regulatory Requirements.
    5. 3.5 Funding.
    6. 3.6 Reporting Requirements
    7. 3.7 Intellectual Property
    8. 3.8 Other Conditions
  4. Confidentiality and Security of Information
  5. Definitions
  6. Costing Memorandum
    1. 6.1 Eligible Expenditures
    2. 6.2 In-kind Support
  7. Technology Readiness Levels
    1. 7.1 Technology Readiness Level Descriptions
  8. Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Reductions
    1. 8.1 Reduction Types
    2. 8.2 Suggested calculation methods
  9. Trusted Partnerships
    1. 9.1 What are they and how are they established?
    2. 9.2 Benefits of Trusted Partnerships?
    3. 9.3 Moving Forward

1. Objective

The pace of innovation in the natural resource sectors remains significantly short of what is needed to meet shared climate change objectives.  The existing suite of clean technologies is neither sufficiently developed nor adequately de-risked to enable mass-market deployment.

Proposed investments will build on Canada’s strengths and competitive advantage, supporting next generation technologies that target the country’s natural resource sector profiles and needs, support Canadian prosperity, jobs and competitiveness, and help deliver on Mission Innovation  objectives, while reducing future GHG emissions and addressing other environmental goals.

Activities will seek to fill critical gaps in the natural resource sectors innovation chain by providing funding for research, development (R&D), demonstration, including up to first commercial installations, and related scientific activities  (RSA) - collectively, RD&D projects - where market failures are keeping new Canadian discoveries and technologies from being developed and commercialized domestically and internationally.

Activities are expected to contribute to new research, development, demonstration projects and associated codes and standards, and new knowledge products, including studies and analyses, and to support the Government of Canada’s commitments to reduce Canada's total greenhouse gas (GHG) by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030.

1.1 Program Components

The programs under these terms and conditions support a range of RD&D activities.

1.2 Disclaimer

NRCan reserves the right to alter or cancel any call for expressions of interest, call for proposals, funding amounts and/or deadlines associated with any program component, or to cancel any application process at its sole discretion.  Any changes will be communicated to registered applicants via the NRCan website.

Any costs incurred for the submission of any Expression of Interest (EOI) or of full project proposal are at the project applicant’s own risk.  In all cases, any funding under any submission, review and assessment process will be contingent upon the execution of a contribution agreement. 

Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make a financial contribution to any project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such contribution agreement.

1.3 Other RD&D Funding Programs

EOIs or proposals submitted that are deemed to better suit other funding programs may be shared with those programs, unless otherwise directed by Applicants in their EOI or Proposal submission. Applicants will be notified if their EOI or Proposal is shared with other programs.

Funding decisions made by any other program with which an EOI or proposal is shared are at the sole discretion of the other program.  Any communications or questions regarding any other program’s application and selection process should be made directly to the other program.  The notification will include information on how to contact the other program.

Please be advised that the protection of all information set out in paragraph 1 above shared with any of the entities will be governed in accordance with the laws applicable to said entities.

1.4 Expected Outcomes

Funded projects are generally expected to contribute to:

  • An improved suite of clean technologies for the natural resources sectors;
  • New knowledge to inform improved regulations, codes and standards;
  • Increased involvement and collaboration of the research community and key stakeholders;
  • Increased competitiveness of Canada’s clean tech industry and utility operations;
  • Increased awareness and understanding of technologies and processes associated with reducing air emissions;
  • Increased capability to develop new and improved energy systems; and
  • Advancement of technologies that contribute to clean air objectives.

Specific outcomes are further detailed per program component.

2. Application Process

Generally, programs under these terms and conditions include the following application stages:

(1) Submit an EOI (optional)

(2) EOI review, selection, and applicant notification (optional);

(3) Submit a full project proposal;

(4) Proposal review, selection, and applicant notification;

(5) Review of successful projects through a due diligence process; and

(6) Entering into a contribution agreement acceptable to NRCan.   

NRCan will make the final decision as to which projects will receive funding, and the level of support that will be available to each project. 

An applicant may withdraw its EOI or proposal without penalty at any stage of the evaluation process, by notification in writing. 

The submission and review process steps are further detailed in the program component application materials.

2.1 Due Diligence Assessment

All successful applicants passing the proposal stage will undergo a due diligence assessment, which will include an evaluation of the project’s finances, technical risk, and team risk. NRCan may request that the applicant provide additional information to support the due diligence evaluation.

All applicants undergoing due diligence will be notified whether or not their project passes the due diligence assessment.  Following due diligence assessment, applicants whose projects pass the due diligence assessment will be invited to begin negotiating a contribution agreement. 

2.2 Contribution Agreement Negotiation

Any funding under this entire submission, review and assessment process will be contingent upon the execution of a contribution agreement.  Until a written contribution agreement is signed by both parties, no commitment or obligation exists on the part of NRCan to make a financial contribution to any project, including any expenditure incurred or paid prior to the signing of such contribution agreement. 

More information on NRCan contribution agreements will be made available to successful applicants following the proposal results notification.

2.3 Service Standards

NRCan maintains a suite of service standards on the expected timelines for each phase of program delivery.  The service standards for NRCan’s programs are available at the following link: Service Standards.

3. Program Terms and Conditions

The following section describes the general terms and conditions. Further restrictions and conditions may apply to a specific program component.  Any specific conditions will be documented in the application materials.

3.1 Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients may include:

1) Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including:

  • For profit and not for profit organizations such as electricity and gas utilities, electricity system operators, transmissions owners and operators, companies, industry associations, research associations, and standards organizations;
  • Indigenous organizations and groups;
  • Community groups; and
  • Canadian academic institutions.

2) Provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies where applicable.

It is expected that Proponents (the entity that will sign a contribution agreement with NRCan) will be the majority owner of any assets purchased in full or in part by funding provided by NRCan.

3.2 Collaboration with federal laboratories

Some program components permit in-kind participation of a federal organization in a contribution project funded under this program.  Should this be a key feature of the program, applicants will be required to document separately the scope of work to be executed by the federal laboratory, and the associated costs required for the activity.  Further information will be made available in the application materials.

3.3 Eligible Activities

3.3.1 Demonstrations

Program funds may be directed to the following kinds of demonstration activities:

  • The permanent (for the normal life of the equipment) installation of a pre-commercial technology with the intent that it continues to operate in its intended operational environment. 
  • Permanent modification of existing processes, equipment, or systems to accommodate an innovative technology or process;
  • The permanent installation of equipment and/or infrastructure to support a demonstration, or multiple demonstrations. 
  • Associated costs for the engineering, design and permitting of a permanent installation as identified in the bullets above, including elements of a Front-End Engineering Design study (FEED) (see below) if required as part of a demonstration.  Operation, performance testing, and analysis of pre-commercial equipment in its intended environment to assess performance of an innovation.

3.3.2 Front-end engineering (FEED) studies

FEED studies focus on the technical requirements as well as financial and regulatory requirements to complete a demonstration project. A FEED determines the demonstration project’s specific requirements including technology, budget, and timelines to avoid significant changes in the execution phase of the demonstration project. Acceptable FEED studies could also incorporate a feasibility study, a design charrette, as well as completing any environmental assessments and addressing any other regulatory requirements.

3.3.3 Research and Development and Related Science Activities

Program funds may be directed to the following kinds of R&D activities:

  • Development, assessment, testing and integration of novel and innovative equipment, software and methodologies - for example:
    • proof of concept of technologies where there is a significant technical risk, including field trials, bench-scale testing, pilot plants and prototypes; and
    • analytical tools and modelling software
  • Pre-demonstration field trials - limited duration tests designed to identify further R&D needs before a technology can proceed to a pre-commercialization demonstration with limited expectation of long term operation;
  • Capacity building and training (where applicable); and
  • Assessments or characterization studies, including data compilations and syntheses, where there is a significant natural resources sectors-related knowledge gap.

3.4 Regulatory Requirements

NRCan programs are subject to the Impact Assessment Act 2019, and the duty to consult with Indigenous Groups as set out in Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.  Projects that are subject to these acts will be expected to complete all federal requirements related to these acts before funding is disbursed.

3.5 Funding

3.5.1 Timeframe for Funding and Program Funding Limits

The timeframe for funding varies per program component and will be provided in the application materials.

3.5.2  Stacking of Assistance

Prior to signing contribution agreements, on an annual basis, and upon project completion, proponents will be required to disclose all sources of funding on individual projects, including contributions from other federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments and industry sources. 

Collaboration and leveraging are strongly encouraged for all program components, and these will be included among the selection criteria. 

3.5.3 Basis and Timing of Payment

Contribution agreements will set out the required terms for payment, made upon receipt of proper documentation as defined in the contribution agreement.  

Final payment will not be made until all project activities have been completed by a proponent and are deemed acceptable to NRCan. To ensure appropriate project oversight, a percentage of the contribution will be withheld until all conditions of the contribution agreement have been met.  The percentage withheld will be determined based on the project type, nature of the project, and its risk level.  Any conditions related to the withheld payments will be stated in the contribution agreement.

3.5.4 Audits

Proponents may be audited one or several times either at project completion or at NRCan’s discretion during the project.  Auditors may call and potentially visit each proponent on site at the beginning of the project to explain the auditing process, and review project financial controls. 

3.5.5 Eligible Expenditures and Non-permissible Costs Eligible Expenditures

The Program will provide for Eligible Expenditures as described below. More information is provided in Section 6 Costing Memorandum:

Eligible Expenditures for an approved project under the Program must be directly related to, and necessary for, the implementation and conduct of a project, and will include:

  • Salaries and benefits for employees on the Proponent’s payroll, for actual time spent by the employees on the project;
  • Professional, scientific, technical and contracting services;
  • Reasonable travel costs, including meals and accommodation, based on National Joint Council Rates;
  • Capital expenditures such as the purchase, installation, testing and commissioning of qualifying equipment, materials and products, including diagnostic and testing tools and instruments and Original Manufacturer equipment warranty (including extended warranties where deemed appropriate to mitigate risk and lack of capacity).;
  • Other expenses including:
    • Laboratory and field supplies, and materials;
    • printing services and translation;
    • Data collection services, including processing, analysis and management;
    • Facility costs for seminars, conference room rentals etc.;
    • Licence fees and permits;
    • Capacity building and training; and
    • Field testing services.
    • Where the recipient is an indigenous organization, other expenses may include:
      • Costs associated with an Indigenous ceremony (excluding hospitality); and
      • Honoraria for Elders.
  • Overhead expenses, provided they are directly related to the conduct of the project and can be attributed to it. Overhead costs will be negotiated and agreed to on an individual basis with project proponents before signing a contribution agreement. They will not exceed 15% of eligible expenditures. Ineligible Expenditures

Costs ineligible for reimbursement from the Program (but permitted as part of the proponent’s contribution to the total project costs) will include:

  • All costs incurred within the Total Project Cost period but outside the Eligible Expenditure Period are considered as ineligible expenditures. All ineligible expenditures must follow the guidelines established in section 6.1 Eligible Expenditures of the Costing Memorandum.
  • From time to time, the Program may determine that some of the proponent’s project costs will not be eligible for reimbursement, but may be included towards the proponent’s contribution to the total project costs. These costs will be considered ineligible expenditures, and will be shown in the Ineligible Expenditures section of the budget. The Program will provide guidance to the Proponent as required.
  • Overhead expenses exceeding 15% of Eligible Expenditures, may be included as Ineligible expenditures and count towards the proponent’s portion of the total project costs provided that the sum of overhead expenses (Eligible plus Ineligible) does not exceed 15% of the Total Project Costs.
  • The reimbursable portion of Federal and Provincial Taxes
  •  In-kind costs Footnote 1 Non-permissible Costs

Costs ineligible either for reimbursement or for inclusion as part of the total project costs (non-permissible costs) will be listed in the application materials. At minimum, the following costs are considered non-permissible:

  • Purchase of land.

3.5.6 Non-Repayable Contributions Demonstration Projects

Contributions under these programs will be non-repayable, as they will be for pre-commercial (Technology Readiness Level 1-9) activities and the benefits from the contribution will be accrued broadly rather than to the recipient. The projects being supported under these programs are pre-commercial in nature and thus not anticipated to generate revenues as the technologies require further adaptation, improvements, and de-risking to be commercially profitable. R&D Projects, Front End Engineering and Design Studies, and Related Scientific Activities

Contribution agreements for these types of projects will not be repayable because the contributions are for activities whose primary aim is to further research and development.

3.6 Reporting Requirements

3.6.1 Research, Development and Demonstration Projects

Proponents are required to submit the following reports and updates:

  • Regular updates to NRCan summarizing the project progress and expenses incurred (at the same period as the submission of claims for payment);
  • Annual updates on project performance, for the period of the project and for five years after the project’s completion Footnote 2
  • A final report documenting the project’s results;
  • A public final report to be made available to the public through the proponent’s website, or by other means; and

Regular communication between NRCan and the proponents will be implemented to monitor progress.

3.7 Intellectual Property

  • Except for projects that include federal laboratory in-kind support: All Intellectual Property that arises in the course of a project shall vest in, or be licensed to, the Proponent. The Proponent will grant to Canada a non-exclusive, irrevocable, world-wide, royalty-free licence in perpetuity to use the data and information contained in reports and modify such reports and documents for non-commercial governmental purposes.
  • For projects that include federal laboratory in-kind support: The ownership and licencing of all Intellectual Property that arises in the course of a project will be negotiated on a case by case basis and will be documented in the agreement(s).

3.8 Other Conditions

  • No Member of the House of Commons shall be admitted to any share or part of the contribution agreements, or any resulting benefit.
  • Where appropriate, projects will be subject to appropriate environmental assessments prior to the release of any funds.
  • The Proponent will comply with the Conflict of Interest Act, the Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders.
  • Funding may be cancelled or reduced in the event that departmental funding levels are reduced by Parliament.  Agreements will include provisions to this effect.  
  • Proponents will be required to acknowledge the financial support of Canada in all public information produced as part of the project. 
  • As part of project monitoring requirements, NRCan will have the right to visit and inspect all project sites, upon providing a reasonable notice to project proponents. 

4. Confidentiality and Security of Information

Paragraph 20(1) of the Access to Information Act prohibits a government institution, including NRCan, from disclosing any information - financial, commercial, scientific or technical - supplied by a project applicant to NRCan so long as the project applicant treats the information as confidential in its own establishment.

Accordingly, NRCan will protect the applicant’s confidential information in its possession to the same extent as the applicant protects said confidential information in its own establishment: if the applicant chooses to send the proposal or other confidential information to NRCan by e-mail, NRCan will respond to the Proposal by e-mail.  Similarly, if the applicant’s correspondence is through regular mail, NRCan’s response will be in like manner.  However, in all cases, NRCan will use e-mail correspondence to the applicants for all non-confidential matters. 

NRCan recognizes that e-mail is not a secure means of communication, and NRCan cannot guarantee the security of confidential information sent via e-mail while it is in transit.  Nonetheless, applicants who regularly use e-mail to communicate confidential information within their own organizations may choose to interact with the program via the program’s email address:

For more information on this subject, a careful reading of the entire section 20 of the Access to Information Act is greatly encouraged.

5. Definitions

“Contribution” means funding provided by Canada under the contribution agreement toward Eligible Expenditures.

“Due Diligence Start Date” means the date on which the proponent was notified that it succeeded to the Due Diligence stage;

“Eligible Expenditure Period” means that recipients will be allowed to start incurring eligible expenditures from the date a recipient’s project has been conditionally approved (and pending a due diligence review) or April 1 of the fiscal year in which the contribution agreement is signed and ending on the contribution agreement completion date. Retroactive expenditures will be limited to 30% of NRCan’s contribution;

“Eligible Expenditures” means those costs incurred within the Eligible Expenditure Period, either directly by the Proponent or through a third party, which are cash disbursements made with respect to the activities set out in the Proposal;

“Profit” means in relation to the project, net operating profit as determined by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP);

"Project" means the Applicant’s proposal, as submitted to NRCan;

“Total Project Costs” means the Contribution and other verifiable contributions either received or contributed by the Proponent from the Due Diligence Start Date to the Completion Date and directly attributable to the Project.

6. Costing Memorandum

This costing memorandum provides more details on the categories of expenditures permitted by the program.

6.1 Eligible Expenditures

6.1.1 Salaries and Benefits Salaries

Salaries include wages for all personnel with direct involvement in the project such as engineers, scientists, technologists, draftsmen, researchers, laboratory, experimental and shop labour.  All eligible personnel must be employees on the Proponent’s payroll.  Payment in terms of shares, stock, stock options and the like are not eligible. The amount invoiced shall be actual gross pay for the work performed and shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing.

The eligible payroll cost is the gross pay of the employee (normal periodic remuneration before deductions).  Normal periodic remuneration rates are the regular pay rates for the period excluding premiums paid for overtime or shift work.  The payroll rate does not include any reimbursement or benefit conferred in lieu of salaries or wages.  When hourly rates are being charged for salaried personnel, the hourly rates shall be the periodic remuneration (annual, monthly, weekly, etc.), divided by the total paid hours in the period including holidays, vacation, paid sickness time.

Labour claims must be supported by suitable records such as time sheets and records, and be held for verification at time of audit. Management personnel are required to maintain appropriate records of time devoted to the project. Benefits

Benefits are defined as a reasonable prorated share of expenses associated with the direct labour cost such as the employer’s portion of Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, employee benefits such as health plan and insurance, Worker’s Compensation, sick leave and vacation plus any other employer paid payroll related expenses. Items such as salary bonuses and other salary incentives, stock options or vehicle use, which have no relationship to the project or which have been charged on an indirect basis are non-permissible. The determination of the fringe benefits amount shall be in accordance with generally accepted cost accounting principles. In general, fringe benefits rate provided in the project estimate shall be computed once during the life of the project and agreed on prior to the signing of the Agreement. If retroactive adjustments are made, these must be indicated on claims for progress payments for NRCan approval.

6.1.2 Professional, Technical, and Scientific Contracting Services

Sub-Contractors and Consultants: The nature of goods or services to be acquired shall be set out in the proposal estimate. The amount eligible from a sub-contractor or a consultant shall be the actual contract amount.

6.1.3 Travel, Meals and Accommodation Costs

Unless stated otherwise in the Contribution Agreement between the NRCan and the proponent, National Joint council rates that are in effect at the time of expenditure incurrence shall be used in reimbursing the following expenses:

  • Travel, food and lodging costs to meet with NRCan officials. 
  • Travel, food and lodging costs necessary for other project activities, e.g. field trials and demonstrations at locations away from the proponent's usual location; project planning and review meetings between the principal proponent and its partner(s). 

6.1.4 Capital Expenditures Materials

Materials include those consumed in carrying out the project, including those utilized in the production and operation of models, prototypes and pilot plants. Only utilities consumed to operate equipment or processes are eligible and may be metered and reported separately from the total utility cost. Utilities used for buildings are not eligible. 

Materials purchased solely for the project and issued from the Proponent’s inventory are eligible. All materials shall be charged to the project at the net price excluding GST after deducting all trade discounts and similar credits. Surplus materials shall be credited to the project at the original purchase price. Equipment

Equipment consists of equipment acquired or constructed exclusively for the project. In order to be eligible, such equipment must be identified in the project cost estimate, and approved by the Minister. All such equipment shall be charged to the project at the net price (excluding GST) after deducting all trade discounts and similar charges. 

Where such equipment is obtained from another division of the Proponent or from a related company, the eligible expenditures shall not exceed fair market value and shall not include any markup for profit, administration, selling or financing expense.

6.1.5 Other Expenses Testing Services

Eligible testing services are those conducted by testing organizations or accredited laboratories, such as the Canadian Standards Association, Underwriters Laboratories and must be essential to the success of the project. Testing services shall be charged at actual cost. Regulatory costs, where required may be eligible e.g. testing to comply with Environmental Standards. All such costs should be identified in the original proposal cost estimates. Overhead expenses

With regard to Overhead Expenses, they may include:

  • administrative support provided directly to the project by the proponent’s employee(s), valued on the same basis as professional staff time;
  • routine laboratory and field equipment maintenance, based on the actual cost to the proponent that is directly related to the project;
  • heat, hydro, and office operating costs (e.g. faxes, telephone), provided that they are directly related to the project.

Overhead costs will be negotiated and agreed to on an individual basis with project proponents before signing a CA. They will not exceed 15% of Eligible Expenditures. 

6.2 In-kind Support

The Program accepts In-Kind contributions (defined below) as part of Total Project Costs, subject to the definitions and limitations described in this section. As per section Ineligible Expenditures, in-kind support is ineligible for reimbursement.


Proposed in-kind contributions that are deemed acceptable by NRCan officials must be supported by a formal commitment from the project proponent to provide them, prior to any commitment on Program funding to the proposed project being made.


The purpose of this section is to identify the kinds of non-cash contributions (“in-kind support”) that are acceptable as part of the overall funding for the project from the project proponent Footnote 3, and to provide guidance on how to put a value on those contributions. 


  • In-kind support — a cash-equivalent contribution in the form of an asset Footnote 4 for which no cash is exchanged but that is essential to the project and that would have to be purchased by the project proponent on the open market, or through negotiation with the provider, if it were not provided by the project proponent. 
  • Fair market value ‑ the average dollar value the project proponent could get for a contributed asset in an open and unrestricted market, between a willing buyer and a willing seller (the proponent) who are acting independently of each other. As a guide, it should approximately represent the original cost minus the depreciation. 
  • Most favoured customer - a customer given the deepest discount from the normal selling price for a good or service sold to it by the project proponent. 

Eligibility of in-kind contributions

To be eligible as an in-kind contribution:

  • The contributed asset must be from one of the categories identified below under the heading “Categories of Eligible In-kind Support”
  • It must be essential to a project's success and would otherwise have to be purchased by the project proponent
  • Its value must be determinable and verifiable
  • Its valuation must be confirmed by NRCan officials or its auditors, and agreed upon by the project applicant and NRCan.

Assessing the Value of In-kind Contributions

Two different approaches to the valuation of in‑kind support are possible:

  • Using the fair market value, as described above.
  • Using the incremental cost – the cost to the project applicant or its partners and collaborators of providing the contributed asset over and above normal operating costs.

6.2.1 Categories of Eligible In-kind Support Salaries and Benefits

This category addresses the provision of the project partner’s employees’ time to undertake work, such as research, technology development and assessment, and expert analysis that is wholly and directly in support of the project.

  • The value of services of an employee of the project’s partner provided to the proponent should be at fair market value for the type of service provided and that these services are consistent with the duty for which the employee is normally paid. Professional, Scientific and Contracting Services 

This category addresses the provision of analytical and technical services. Analytical and technical services include routine laboratory and field technical services such as data collection, laboratory analyses and measurements, and field measurements, exclusive of equipment maintenance. These services may be provided by a component of the project proponent’s overall organization, or provided to the project proponent by a third party.

The value of analytical and technical services provided by or to the proponent should be the lesser of the project proponent’s internal rate Footnote 5 for the service  if that service is provided internally (i.e., within the project proponent's organization), or the incremental cost to the project proponent if it is provided by a third party. Provision of Equipment and Laboratory and Field Supplies and Materials

This category includes equipment, laboratory supplies and field supplies that are provided by or to the project proponent, and the provision of access to, and use of, proprietary software and databases owned by or provided to the project proponent.

Values assessed for equipment and laboratory and field supplies and materials provided to the project must meet the following criteria:

  • The value of supplies and materials shall not exceed the selling price to the provider’s most favored customer at the time of provision.
  • The value of equipment shall not exceed the fair market value of equipment of the same age and condition at the time of provision.
  • If the equipment is special purpose, one‑of‑a‑kind, its value shall not exceed the cost to the provider of its design, testing and manufacture.
  • The value of access to, and use of, proprietary software and databases should be the incremental costs to the project proponent of providing that access and use, such as staff time involved, including providing any required instruction on their use. Costs associated with developing the software or databases are ineligible as an in‑kind contribution. Travel, Meals and Accommodation costs

Unless stated otherwise in the Contribution Agreement between the NRCan and the proponent, National Joint council rates that are in effect at the time of expenditure incurrence shall be used in assigning a value to the following expenses.

  • Travel, food and lodging costs to meet with NRCan officials.
  • Travel, food and lodging costs necessary for other project activities, e.g. field trials and demonstrations at locations away from the proponent's usual location; project planning and review meetings between the principal proponent and its partner(s). Overhead expenses

With regard to Overhead Expenses, they may include:

  • administrative support provided directly to the project by the proponent’s employee(s), valued on the same basis as professional staff time (as described under category 1);
  • routine laboratory and field equipment maintenance, based on the actual cost to the proponent that is directly related to the project;
  • heat, hydro, and office operating costs (e.g. faxes, telephone) telephone, provided they are directly related to the project.

Overhead costs will be negotiated on an individual basis with project proponents. The total of overhead expenses (Eligible and Ineligible) will not exceed 15% of Total Projects Costs.

7. Technology Readiness Levels

Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is a measure used to assess the maturity of evolving technologies (devices, materials, components, software, work processes, etc.) during its development and in some cases during early operations. Generally speaking, when a new technology is first invented or conceptualized, it is not suitable for immediate application. Instead, new technologies are usually subjected to experimentation, refinement, and increasingly realistic testing. Once the technology is sufficiently proven, it can be incorporated into a system/subsystem Footnote 6.

The lowest level, TRL 1, indicates that information already learned from basic scientific research is taking its first step from an idea to a practical application of a lesson learned. For example, after learning that hydrogen and oxygen can be combined to generate electricity, some would suggest an idea for building a machine to do just that.

A technology that has achieved TRL 9 is one that has been incorporated fully into a larger system. It has been proven to work smoothly and is considered operational. An example of an operational TRL 9 technology is the fuel cells which combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate electricity for NASA's space shuttle Footnote 7.

7.1 Technology Readiness Level Descriptions:

  1. 0.  R&D not specifically intended for technology development (but could be in support of technology adoption). Examples are knowledge generation to support codes, regulations and standards needed to support domestic adoption and to support Canada’s position in opposing non-tariff export barriers. Also includes Basic Research conducted prior to Applied Research.
  2. 1.  Early-stage scientific research begins the translation to applied R&D - lowest level of technology readiness. Basic scientific research begins to be translated into preparatory applied research and development. Examples include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties, algorithms and mathematical formulations.
  3. 2.  Technology development begins - once basic principles are observed, development of practical and specific applications can be initiated. Applications are speculative and there may be no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumptions. Examples are limited to analytic studies, including concept development.
  4. 3.  Active R&D is initiated - active research and development is initiated to establish proof of concept, including analytical and laboratory studies to physically validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology, i.e., individual components that are not yet integrated into the technology.
  5. 4.  Basic technological components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work together, i.e. initial operational characterization of technology. Standalone component prototypes implemented and tested.
  6. 5.  System / subsystem prototypes are improved significantly - the basic technological components / prototypes are integrated within a reasonably realistic supporting environment so that the technology concept can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include bench-scale laboratory integration of components and observation of operating characteristics.
  7. 6.  Model/prototype is tested in relevant environment - representative model or prototype system, which is well beyond that of TRL 5, is tested in a relevant test environment. Represents a major step up in a technology’s demonstrated readiness. Examples include testing a prototype at the pilot scale, integrated with existing systems, if applicable, in a laboratory environment or in a simulated operational environment. Engineering feasibility demonstrated.
  8. 7.  Prototype near or at planned operational system - represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring demonstration of an actual system prototype in the intended operational environment. Examples include field testing or field trials over a period sufficient to provide meaningful data on the performance of the technology.
  9. 8.  Technology is proven to work in a “real world” operating environment - actual technology completed and qualified through test and demonstration. This includes projects currently at the demonstration project stage.
  10. 9.  System proven through successful demonstration. Actual application of technology is in its final form – commercialization-ready technology proven through successful operations.

8. Estimating Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) Reductions

This section guides applicants in forecasting direct and indirect lifecycle GHG reductions attributable to their project.

NRCan programs may request any or all of the following forecast figures, with programs specifically targeting significant GHG reductions generally requesting more information than those programs aimed at earlier stage RD&D or technology development:

  • Direct Canadian GHG reductions by the project’s completion (cumulative)
  • Indirect Canadian GHG reductions by the project’s completion (cumulative)
  • Direct Canadian GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050;
  • Indirect Canadian GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050;
  • Direct International GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050; and
  • Indirect International GHG reduction forecasts (estimated annual reductions), at 5 years following the project completion, in 2030, and in 2050.

When requested during the EOI, proposal, or during project negotiation, applicants and proponents should consider the following in their estimations:

8.1 Reduction Types

8.1.1 Direct Canadian reductions:

Estimate the lifecycle GHG reductions in Canada that directly stem from the funded project.  

  • As defined, this would apply to demonstration projects only where an emitting technology or process is being replaced by a non-emitting (funded) alternative.
  • Do not include direct reductions that occur outside of Canada.

8.1.2 Indirect Canadian Reductions:

Lifecycle GHG reductions occurring due to replication of the funded technology in a Canadian context that are incremental to a counterfactual trend of technology adoption that would occur without funding the project. Indirect Canadian Reductions (Eligibility):
  • Include replications of the demonstrated technology undertaken by the same funded entity in other areas of its organization but not funded by NRCan’s Innovation programs.
  • Include replications of the technology in Canada by other organizations whose decision to invest in the technology was attributable to the impacts of the funded project on the market (driving down costs, informing codes and standards, de-risking etc.) and are thus incremental to replications occurring for other reasons (market trends, other policy)
  • Some R&D projects could also be eligible to claim indirect reductions if they enable otherwise overlooked Canadian reductions to occur. E.g. Better methane sensors in the oil and gas sector to identify cost-effective mitigation measures.
  • Other demonstrations which may be eligible for indirect reductions, but likely not direct reductions, are demonstrations of enabling infrastructure that enhances the competitiveness of a low-GHG alternative e.g. smart grid, EV charging infrastructure
  • Does not include incremental replications occurring outside of Canada. However, these reductions may be stated separately as international indirect reductions.

8.1.3 Indirect International Reductions (where applicable):

The lifecycle GHG reductions from replication of the funded technology outside of Canada that are incremental to a counterfactual trend of technology adoption that would occur without funding the project.

8.2 Suggested calculation methods

8.2.1 Direct reductions:

Compare the lifecycle emission reductions achieved when switching from the prevailing industry standard (a baseline technology) to a technology being funding in the project. Can use spreadsheet calculations or, to enhance the analysis, use a lifecycle GHG calculator such as the “Smart Lite” tool.

8.2.2 Indirect reductions:

Obtain a baseline trend of technology adoption (from industry forecasts or forecasts made by other forecasting/statistical agencies). Make a case that the funded projects increases adoption beyond the baseline by a certain % (suggested values 1% - 5% depending on market conditions. Justification of the value chosen is necessary). Another approach would be to attribute a certain fraction of forecasted adoption under a given policy suite to your project. i.e. If a forecast included RD&D policies,  can claim a certain fraction of the forecasted adoptions to be “attributable” to your project (suggested attribution values 5%-50% depending on the suite of policies in the forecast- 5% if a strong policy package combining regulations, carbon pricing, RD&D and values exceeding 5% if fewer policies).

9. Trusted Partnerships

OERD has developed a network of “Trusted Partnerships” to facilitate close collaboration with organizations that fund energy innovation both in Canada and globally.

9.1 What are they and how are they established?

  • Trusted Partnerships” are a mutually beneficial platform that enable collaboration via information-sharing; leveraging of respective funding processes and technical/program expertise; and establishment of joint or complementary innovation programming.
  • Trusted Partnerships” are established through the signing of Memorandums of Understanding and Non-Disclosure Agreements.

9.2 9.2 Benefits of “Trusted Partnerships

  • Trusted Partnerships” reduces the burden on proponents seeking funding from both parties; and strengthens the pipeline of projects for consideration across various stages of government support, accelerating the path to scale for promising clean energy solutions.
  •  “Trusted Partnerships” focus on critical stages of technology development as well as specific industries/sectors of focus, enabling aligned priorities, shared risk, and maximized impact.

9.3 Moving Forward

The following “Trusted Partnerships” with NRCan – Energy Efficiency and Technology Sector are active as of June 2022:


Report a problem on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: