How it Works

 

A. Program Overview
B. Program Objectives
C. Benefits of the Program
D. How Funding Works
E. Eligibility
F. How to Apply
G. Evaluation and Assessment Criteria
H. Timelines
I.  Reporting Requirements
J. Downloads

K. Contacts

A. Program Overview

The Voucher for E-Business (VEB) Program connects eligible industry partners with the expertise and resources available at Ontario colleges to help their business scale up the development, adoption and implementation of online tools to drive innovation.  Projects executed by the colleges will lead to new market opportunities for businesses, which may include exports.

Voucher for E-Business (VEB) projects typically run in association with existing college courses. College faculty and students engage with industry partners to identify their online business innovation challenges. Members of student teams then act as consultants to the industry partner, and are responsible for solving the challenge, with input and guidance from college faculty and their industry partner.

VEB projects may include, but are not limited to, e-business solutions such as website development, online sales process, digital and social media, and customer relationship management.

Intake for applications to the Voucher for E-Business program opened on February 6, 2017.

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B. Program Objectives

The objectives of the Voucher for E-Business program are to:

  • Assist Ontario industry to scale up the development, adoption and implementation of their online tools to drive innovation 
  • Drive increased industry-college collaborations while creating an efficient marketplace for industry to access innovation, productivity and commercialization services from Ontario colleges
  • Provide experiential learning opportunities for college students
  • Better align colleges with the needs of industry
  • Utilize e-business solutions in the development of new products, services and processes, and help generate new revenues and high-value jobs in Ontario

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C. Benefits of the Program

Students:

  • Gain hands-on, industry-related experience, often through in-course engagement
  • Solve real-world e-business problems 
  • Gain experience developing a project plan and industry-related solutions 
  • Receive input and guidance from academic and industry experts

Industry Partners:

  • Gain fresh perspective, new skills and new ideas to solve e-business related innovation challenges
  • Access motivated and skilled young talent
  • Gain affordable, short-term skilled labour
  • Get exposure for industry partner and brand 

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D. How Funding Works

  • Colleges (Applicants) may apply to OCE to be providers of the VEB vouchers to eligible industry partners. OCE may provide up to $25,000 to an Applicant college, for a bundle of vouchers valued at $2,500 each.
  • Each $2,500 voucher supports eligible research and development costs at the college, for a project with an eligible industry partner.
    • A maximum of one voucher can be allocated per eligible industry partner.
  • A minimum of 1:1 matching on the OCE contribution is required from the industry partner. Contributions may be cash and/or in-kind, provided that the total contribution is at least 1:1.
  • Colleges are responsible for the selection of eligible industry partners, assignment of faculty and students, delivery of the vouchers to their partners, and confirming receipt of industry cash and in-kind contributions. Each participating college will determine its own process and selection criteria for voucher recipient industry partners and projects.
  • Vouchers must be fully committed by January 30, 2018 and all projects completed by April 17, 2018.

Flow of Funds​

  • OCE contributions are provided to the approved Applicant College.
  • Upon award and execution of the OCE Funding Agreement, OCE will release a payment equal to 75 per cent of the award.
  • A hold-back of 25 per cent of the total OCE contribution will be released upon project completion, and receipt and OCE approval of the following for all individual voucher projects: final progress, metrics and financial reports, outcomes and attestation from the Applicant regarding the use of funds.
  • Institutional overhead is not an eligible VEB program expense and should not be included on either the OCE or industry funded portions of the budget.
  • The cash and/or in-kind contributions from industry partners on voucher projects are provided by the industry partners directly to the college. Project participants are encouraged to negotiate additional agreement(s) to enable the transfer of these funds as required. The college is required to provide periodic attestations to OCE to confirm receipt of the cash and in-kind contributions from all industry partners. 

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E. Eligibility

E1. College Applicant Eligibility

  • Applications for a bundle of vouchers must be submitted by an Ontario-accredited, publicly-funded college. Colleges that are approved by OCE to be VEB providers will be allocated a set number of VEB vouchers to deliver to industry partners.
  • The Applicant must be a representative of the college applied research office, with the primary faculty members and other researchers included as team members.
  • A college may only submit one application to the VEB program.
  • Applicants must be willing to co-operate with OCE in providing project outcome metrics.
  • Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.
  • Projects must leverage the unique capabilities of the college  environment and of the research team.
  • The Applicant must consent to represent the college and industry partners on all voucher projects, including, but not limited to, providing OCE with financial, metrics and progress reports on all voucher projects at pre-determined intervals and as necessary. Participating industry partners must consent to have the Applicant submit reporting to OCE on their behalf.

E2. Industry Partner Eligibility:

  • Industry partners must apply directly to participating VEB provider colleges, to access vouchers for projects.
  • Each voucher project must include at least one for-profit industry partner.
  • A maximum of one voucher should be allocated per eligible industry partner.
  • Industry partners must have a presence in Ontario and the operations in Ontario are expected to implement/ commercialize the results of the project.
  • The college must have an arms-length relationship with the industry partner as defined on NSERC's website (refer to the section Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations). 
  • The Industry partners must provide oversight, support, and guidance to the participating college student(s).
  • The Industry partners must be willing to co-operate with the college in providing project and outcomes metrics.
  • The Industry partners must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE. 

E3. Voucher Project Eligibility

  • Colleges that are approved by OCE to be VEB providers will be allocated a set number of VEB vouchers to deliver to eligible industry partners. Industry partners must apply directly to participating VEB provider colleges, to access vouchers for projects.
  • Voucher projects must relate to an eligible industry partner’s e-business challenge.
  • Colleges are responsible for the selection of eligible industry partners, assignment of faculty and students, delivery of the vouchers to their partners, and confirming receipt of industry partner cash and in-kind contributions. Each participating college will determine its own process and selection criteria for voucher recipient Industry partners and projects.
  • A maximum of one voucher should be allocated per eligible industry partner.
  • Voucher project scope must be defined jointly by the industry partner and the college.
  • All voucher projects must be completed by April 17, 2018.
  • The Applicant must provide OCE with interim lists of approved voucher projects during the duration of the overall project.
  • Projects must leverage the unique capabilities of the college environment and of the research team.
  • Industry partners must use the results for the economic, environmental or social benefit of Ontario. (e.g., new jobs, increased revenue, increased productivity, cost savings.)
  • Contribution to the training and industry exposure of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) at the college is required.
  • Intellectual Property arising from the project will be managed by the project participants. OCE does not claim or manage IP rights.

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F. How to Apply

Colleges:

  • Colleges (Applicants) may apply to OCE to be providers of the VEB vouchers to eligible industry partners.
  • Applications are only accepted through OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE, where full application requirements are listed.
  • Applicants must engage with an OCE Business Development Manager to initiate the application, assist in preparation of the application, and to maintain responsibility for the oversight of approved projects.
  • To initiate an application in the OCE online application system, contact your OCE Business Development Manager with the following information:
    • College Name
    • Project Title
    • Lead applicant at Applied Research Office (job title, first and last names, e-mail address, mailing address, postal code, telephone number)

    *Please ensure that you have initiated your online application through an OCE Business Development Manager at least one week prior to the deadline.

  • Applicants who already have an online AccessOCE account must still contact their Business Development Manager to initiate a new VEB application. The application may then be accessed using your existing AccessOCE username and password. 
  • Submission of a Full Application requires the following:
    • The proposal questions must be uploaded as an attachment (only PDF format accepted)
    • All submission requirements in AccessOCE including project contacts, summary for public release, classification, budget and milestones, and identified team members must be completed
    • Applicants will be required to outline, in their application, their proposed plan to review and select projects to commit their allocation of vouchers. This review process must be to OCE’s satisfaction and may draw on the relevant expertise internally and/or externally, including participation by OCE, as required
  • Applications must be submitted before 2 p.m. on April 3, 2017.

Successful applicants must execute OCE’s standard funding agreement within 30 days of notification of award. 

Industry partner:

  • Industry partners interested in applying for a VEB project must apply directly to a VEB provider college.
  • OCE will publish a list of approved VEB provider colleges here once selected (anticipated in May 2017).

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G. Evaluation and Assessment Criteria

The Voucher for E -Business program is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. Following internal OCE review for application completeness and financial compliance, all eligible applications undergo a review process where they are assessed against program objectives and assessment criteria. The final funding decision rests with OCE.

Assessment criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Evidence of a strong commitment  of the college’s capability,  resources, facilities and mentorship capacity
  • Demonstration of a well-defined process at the college for identifying, reviewing and selecting projects and industry partners  
  • Demonstration of capacity for projects to address industry partner challenges
  • Demonstration of commitment by the college to help the partner industry  sustain the solutions, including utilization of college capabilities/expertise in the areas of technology assessment, technical support, and business case analysis (e.g. market research)
  • Provision of significant training and/or experiential learning opportunities for student teams and student engagement in projects
  • Cash and/or in-kind contributions to the project by the industry partners  and college

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H. Timelines

Monday, February 6, 2017

Call for applications

Monday, April 3, 2017 (2 p.m.)

Deadline for application submission using OCE's online system, AccessOCE

*Please ensure that you have initiated your online application through an OCE Business Development Manager at least one week prior to the deadline.

Late April, 2017

Decision notification

May, 2017

Funding agreements executed and approved projects start

April 17, 2018

Completion of projects

May 15, 2018

Deadline for submission of final report (including success stories)

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I. Reporting Requirements

All voucher projects must be completed by April 17, 2018. The Applicant will be responsible for collecting progress, financial and metrics data from all voucher projects and industry partners, and providing reports to OCE. The Applicant must also provide attestations to OCE to confirm receipt of cash and/or in-kind matching funds from each industry partner.

The following project reports will be required:

Interim Progress Reports

  • Periodic Interim Progress Reports to confirm allocation of the vouchers to projects will be required throughout the duration of the project.

Final Reports

  • Forty-five days prior to the scheduled final overall project completion date, the Applicant will receive a notification of the project end date from OCE’s AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Project Report should the Applicant wish to begin entering data. The Applicant will be submitting reports on all voucher projects on behalf of all industry partners.
  • On the scheduled overall project completion date, the Applicant will receive notification and a link to complete a Final Project Report (including a comprehensive list of all industry partners who have received vouchers, and report on progress, financials, metrics and success stories) from OCE’s AccessOCE system. These reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of overall project completion (i.e. completion of all individual voucher projects).
  • When the Applicant and industry partner final reports have been approved, the Applicant will be required to complete an attestation of the use of funds to close the project. OCE may also request proof of expenditures.
  • All required final reports must be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of the overall project completion in order to release the hold-back, and maintain good financial standing with OCE.

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J. Downloads

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K. Contacts

For OCE Business Development assistance with initiation and preparation of applications, please contact your OCE Business Development Manager.

For more information on the Voucher for E–Business program, eligibility and general inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Associate
Tel: 416 861-1092 x1061
Email: Natalia.lobo@oce-ontario.org

Rebecca Tran
Business Development Manager
(416) 861-1092 x1036
Cell: (416) 276-5227
Email: rebecca.tran@oce-ontario.org

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