How it Works

A. Program Overview
B. How Funding Works
C. Decision-Making Process
D. Eligibility
E. Eligible Use of Funds and Activities
F. Demonstration Project Case Studies
G. Project Reporting Requirements
H. How to Apply
I. Timelines

J. Contact Information

Please note that applications to this program are currently closed. 

A. Program Overview

The AdvancingHealth Program 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 focused on a specific healthcare theme.

  • Round 1: Information Communication Technologies (ICT) / Mobile Applications and how they impact (1) Acute Care, (2) Community Care, or (3) Mental Health
  • Round 2: 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


B. 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)


​C. 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.


D. 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


E. Eligible use of Funds and Activities​

  • Refer to the Eligible Expenses document for full details


F. Demonstration Project Case Studies

Successful applicants will be invited to work with OCE and our academic case study partner (the World Health Innovation Network (WIN)) to share their experiences and perceptions of the demonstration project they have been funded to implement.  The objective of this case study research includes the following:

  • Create a portfolio of empirical case studies to document evidence of outcomes, impact and key lessons learned from innovation procurement processes in the health care sector;
  • Describe the impact of policy frameworks on the innovation procurement processes and outcomes;
  • Provide evidence to inform policy development to better support innovation procurement across the province;
  •  Document opportunities to build capacity and expertise in innovation procurement models and processes across the health care system
  • Create evidence of the barriers and enablers and key conditions for success (ex. policy, tools, consumer engagement, provider engagement and leadership) to accelerate the adoption of innovative products and services in the public health care sector.
  • Disseminate lessons learned and procurement project outcomes and impact across key health care system stakeholder groups to build capacity in Ontario for health care system innovation and scalability

Successful applicants will be introduced to the WIN research team (Chair of WIN, Dr. Anne Snowdon), who will then contact project leaders to describe the study protocol and obtain consent to participate.  The study protocols will involve interviews, document analysis, and observations of project events.


G. Project Reporting Requirements

  1. Interim Progress Reports:

    • At the end of every quarter, interim progress reports in addition to a detailed financial report – detailing actual expenditures and sources of funds – are required. OCE’s on-line application system, AccessOCE, will notify the Applicant and forward a link to the Applicant to submit the reports. The reports MUST be approved by OCE for release of funding. 
  2. Final Report(s):

    • Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, OCE’s on-line application system, AccessOCE, will notify the Applicant of the project end date and forward 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.
    • On the scheduled project completion date, OCE’s on-line application system, AccessOCE, will notify the Applicant and forward a link to complete a Final Project Report (including progress, financials and metrics). Both Applicant reports MUST be received and approved by OCE within 30 days of project completion.
    • 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. 
  3. Metrics Survey:

  • If the project continues past a fiscal year end (March 31), the Applicant MUST 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 fulfill its contract with the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
  • Required metrics reports from all partners MUST be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.


H. How to Apply

The application is a two-step process:

  1. Expressions of Interest (EOI) stage
  2. Full proposal (invitation only)

Applicants can initiate an online application by working with an OCE:

  1. Business Development Manager, or
  2. Innovation Procurement Manager.

Once an application is initiated, applicants MUST complete all requisite information requested in the online application module and upload a completed EOI form to the module.

Please complete all the information in the EOI template to ensure:

  • The proposal’s font and format are maintained
  • The proposal is submitted through the OCE online application system and uploaded as an attachment (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 submit a full proposal. 

Full applications must be submitted in OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE. Prior to submission, applicants MUST first request their OCE Business Development Manager (BD) to provide an endorsement of the application for eligibility and suitability. Once the endorsement is provided, the applicant or BD will then be able to submit the application.

Please allow at least one week prior to the application submission deadline for the BD endorsement step to be completed. Applications initiated less than one week prior to the deadline MAY NOT have sufficient time for a BD to support the application and provide an endorsement.


I. Timelines

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 2:00 pm

Notification of Awards

September 30, 2015

Announcement of Results October 30, 2015


J. Contact Information

For inquiries related to the program, please contact: Jennifer Moles, Innovation Procurement Manager,