How it Works

The AdvancingHealth Program, managed by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), is designed to bolster innovation in Ontario’s public healthcare sector by matching healthcare needs with innovative products and services through partnerships between public healthcare organizations, companies and academic institutions. The aim is to advance healthcare innovation directed to improved health outcomes, enhanced patient experience and efficient use of resources through investments in collaborative demonstration projects that show clear potential for scaling-up to the system-level and establish a strong case for adoption. 

The overall objectives of the program are to:

  • Enable the public healthcare sector to accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies and process improvements;
  • Engage the public healthcare community to demonstrate innovative products and services that produce better patient care, patient outcomes, patient safety and reduce costs; and,
  • Identify and bridge barriers to realize sustainable and long-term adoption of innovations/technologies in the public healthcare sector.
The program will facilitate connections between Ontario-based hospitals and public healthcare institutions and companies to pilot early market engagement and demonstrate innovative products and technologies in a healthcare setting, matching needs with innovative solutions. 

OCE will accept applications to the AdvancingHealth program based on Calls for Applications. Each call will focus on a specific healthcare theme. The theme for the second call for applications (which opens April 1, 2015, with Expressions of Interest due June 3, 2015) is Virtual Care and Patient Engagement.

Qualified Projects:

  • Demonstrate close collaboration between Ontario-based hospitals and/or public healthcare organizations and companies and leverage academic expertise
  • Demonstrate a good return on investment for the public healthcare sector
  • Proposed demonstration will provide a competitive advantage or other significant benefits
  • Proposed innovation/technology has been validated and can provide sufficient data to warrant a pilot scale project and has the necessary approvals if required
  • Following a successful pilot, the innovation/technology will be moved into the market
  • Innovation/technology is best in class and will lead to a globally competitive business and market opportunity
  • Innovation/technology has  a demonstrated benefit to the Ontario public healthcare sector, leading to adoption of novel, newly adapted or adopted processes, products or services

Project Activities:

  • Innovation/technology demonstration and implementation  in a hospital and/or public healthcare organization; and,
  • HQP training and development opportunities on demonstration projects. Students may be supported through the academic voucher add-on
  • Activities that are outside the scope of this program include pre-market evidence development and evaluation of medical technologies, as well as harmonization of health technology evaluations into a single, pre-market evidence-based evaluation process

How Funding Works

  • Up to $250,000 from OCE per demonstration project
  • Five demonstration projects will be funded this round
  • 1:1 matching required on direct project costs (combination of cash and in-kind; minimum 25% cash from the parties involved in the project;  preference given to projects with strong cash contributions)
  • Funds will support eligible demonstration project costs at both the company and the public healthcare organization based on a reimbursement model
  • Flow of Funds: Funding for the demonstration project will be released to the public healthcare organization that will be responsible for reimbursing their project partner(s). Funding for the academic voucher(s) will be released directly to the academic institution(s). Upon project activation, 25% of demonstration project funding and 100% of the academic voucher(s) funding will be released. Further payments will be reimbursed on a quarterly basis. 
  • Applicants have the option to access up to two academic vouchers per demonstration project to support academic researchers and students to work on the demonstration project and/or to assist with adoption.
    • Each academic voucher is valued at $50,000 (no match required)

How to Apply

An Expression of Interest (EOI) shall be prepared by the Applicant(s) and Partner(s).  Upon request, an OCE Business Development Manager will be made available to work with the Applicant(s) and Partner(s) throughout the application process.

Please complete all the information in the EOI template ensuring:

  • The proposal’s font and format are maintained
  • The proposal is submitted via the OCE online application system, and uploaded as an attachment (Word or PDF format accepted)

Download the EOI template

Upon review of your EOI, OCE may request additional information or clarification to determine project eligibility. You will be notified via email and asked to follow up accordingly. This documentation will be appended to the submission.

A limited number of EOIs will be invited to proceed to submit a full proposal. 


Call for Expressions of Interest

AdvancingHealth Partnering Forum
May 8, 2015

EOI Submission Deadline

June 3, 2015

Request for Full Proposal

June 30, 2015

Full Proposal Deadline

August 20, 2015 at 2:00pm

Notification of Awards

September 30, 2015

Announcement of Results October 30, 2015

Decision Making Process

  • Projects will be assessed and reviewed by an external panel of experts against well-defined selection criteria. Projects that are outside of the scope will not qualify and may be referred to partner programs as appropriate. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) will be completed by the review panels prior to review of the proposals
  • The application review process will comprise of:
    • EOI review and ranking by Review Committee that includes representatives from OCE and the Innovation Procurement Advisory Committee; highly ranked EOIs will be invited to submit full applications
    • Full application review by External Recommendation Panel, comprised of domain experts
  • Projects selected for funding will be endorsed by the Innovation Procurement Advisory Committee
  • Final decision will rest with OCE

AdvancingHealth is a competitive program with limited funding. All eligible projects are assessed on their merit and undergo a review process where the proposals are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria.

Eligibility Criteria

  • All applications must be a partnership between at least one public healthcare organization and at least one Ontario-based company
  • The public healthcare organization will as the demonstration site and/or a partner for the proposed demonstration project
  • The Ontario-based company must have a validated technology and/or innovative product that it wants to demonstrate in a public healthcare setting
  • Partners must meet the minimum cash and in-kind matching requirements
  • The proposed demonstration project must address the problem statement and/or challenge identified by the public healthcare organization partner
  • The partners must demonstrate close collaboration and the proposed project should be scalable with a high potential for adoption
  • Participants will agree to provide project metrics and progress reports to OCE
  • Participants will agree to cooperate with OCE and Dr. Anne Snowdon in the development of a case study based on the funded demonstration project (see below for details regarding the partnership between OCE and Dr. Anne Snowdon)

Eligible use of funds:

Demonstration Project Case Studies

Successful applicants are required to work with OCE and Dr. Anne Snowdon to:

  • Create a portfolio of case studies based on the projects funded under this program to: identify key lessons learned; identify opportunities for supporting policy development to drive and support momentum in health system innovation (e.g. procurement models); identify barriers, key success factors (policy, tools, consumer engagement, provider engagement and leadership) to accelerate the adoption of innovative products and services in the public healthcare sector
  • Disseminate lessons learned and demonstration project outcomes and impact across key health system stakeholders groups to build capacity in Ontario for health system innovation and scalability
  • Analyze barriers and opportunities for innovation adoption and the sustainability of the model for early market engagement established through this program among the four key stakeholder groups: health policy makers, healthcare providers, industry, and academic researchers, and make recommendations to the province for future actions
  • Develop performance measures and metrics for demonstration projects

Project Reporting Requirements

Interim Progress Reports:

1. At the end of every quarter, interim progress reports in addition to a detailed financial report (which provides an update on the actual expenditures against the budget is utilized to provide full details including source of funds) will be required. The Applicant will receive notification and a link to OCE’s MIS system to submit the reports. The reports must be approved by OCE for release of funding.

Final Reports:

2. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from OCE’s MIS system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant or Client wish to begin entering data. If an extension is required, it must be requested from your OCE Business Development Manager at this time.

3. On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics) from OCE’s MIS system. Both the Applicant reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.

4. All required final reports by all partners must be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to release the holdback, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

Project Metrics:

5. If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Applicant will be required to complete an annual Metrics survey each April, for the part of the project that has been completed since the previous March 31. This annual report is mandatory for OCE to fulfil its contract with the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

For project related inquiries, including assistance with potential applications, partnerships and details about the partnering forums, please contact:  
Matthew Johnson, Senior Business Development Manager

For inquiries specifically related to eligibility, contracting and funding disbursements, please contact:
Jennifer Moles, Innovation Procurement Manager

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact the Application Support Team at (416) 861-1092 x2400 or