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Energy Innovation Program Smart Grid Regulatory Innovation Capacity Building Call for Proposals

Status: Closed

Regulatory Innovation Capacity Building Focus Area

The Regulatory Innovation Capacity Building Focus Area under the Smart Grid call for proposals seeks to support innovation in the economic regulation of Canada’s electricity systems. This will be accomplished by funding projects that are related to regulatory experimentation, regulatory sandboxes, and capacity building within organizations for regulatory innovation. These projects should promote cooperation and information sharing among actors operating within Canada’s electricity systems, enable the creation and adoption of innovative approaches for the economic regulation of these systems, and create the conditions for meaningful participation and engagement in the regulatory ecosystem.

Specifically, the objectives of this focus area are to:

  1. Promote regulatory experimentation necessary to support electrical grid modernization.
  2. Support the development of the skills, knowledge, and expertise required for enabling regulatory innovation and experimentation in grid modernization.
  3. Accelerate the adoption of flexible regulatory procedures needed for the adoption of innovation in the electrical grid and increase participation and learning from innovation in a regulatory context.
  4. Advance inclusivity, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in the electricity sector.


Eligible Canadian recipients will be:

  1. Legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada including:
    • For profit and not-for-profit organizations;
    • Community groups; and
    • Canadian academic institutions.
  2. Provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and their departments and agencies, where applicable.
  3. Indigenous
    • Indigenous communities or governments;
    • Tribal Councils or entities that fulfill a similar function (e.g., general councils);
    • National and regional councils, and tribal organizations;
    • Indigenous (majority owned and controlled by Indigenous people) for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

For the purposes of this Applicant Guide, the term “Indigenous” is understood to include Inuit, Métis, First Nation, Status Indian and non-Status Indian individuals, or any combination thereof.

It is expected that the proponent, i.e., the entity that will sign a contribution agreement with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), will be the majority owner of any assets purchased in full or in part through funding provided by NRCan.


Program funding for this call is open to projects that request between $250,000 and $1,500,000 (comprising up to 75% of total project costs).

Maximum Contribution Percentage
(% of Total Project Cost)
Minimum Contribution Maximum Contribution Project Life
75% $250,000 $1,500,000 4 years

The Energy Innovation Program provides non-repayable contributions for projects.

IMPORTANT: Details on eligibility and funding can be found in the Applicant Guide. Applicants are encouraged to download and read through the guide to determine eligibility.

How to apply

The call’s project selection process has two phases:

  • Expression of interest (EOI) phase, open to all eligible applicants
  • Full project proposal (FPP) phase, open to invited applicants only

To apply, applicants must complete and submit their EOI via the Applicant Portal by 11:59 a.m. EST on January 31, 2024.

Applicants are responsible for ensuring that they meet the eligibility criteria and that their EOI is fully completed and successfully submitted by the deadline.

NRCan reserves the right to apply the following additional criteria when selecting projects at the EOI and FPP stages:

  • Projects that support departmental priorities such as regional balance in Canada and socio-economic considerations.

Information Sessions

Recordings now available! Virtual information sessions were hosted in early December 2023 to offer guidance on the application process and provide an avenue for interested applicants to ask questions in a live Q&A format.

View recording

Next steps and timelines

The following timelines are anticipated for the call. NRCan, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to modify these anticipated timelines.

Steps Dates
Open for EOI Applications October 30, 2023
Deadline for EOI Applications January 31, 2024
11:59 a.m. EST
Notification of EOI Results Winter/Spring 2024
Deadline for FPP Submissions Spring 2024
Project Selection/Notification Spring/Summer 2024
Due Diligence Fall/Winter 2024
Negotiation and Signing of Contribution Agreements Winter 2024/2025

Need help? Contact us

For any questions regarding the call, please contact NRCan at During regular operations, NRCan will strive to respond within two business days.

For technical support with the Applicant Portal, please contact

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