Cybersecurity Fintech Technology Development and Demonstration Projects

Government of Ontario, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Toronto Finance International

Please note that this program is no longer accepting applications

Partnering Forum

In order to facilitate potential partnerships between start-ups/scale-ups and FIs, OCE hosted a partnering forum to bring together potential collaborators for Technology Development and Demonstration projects. 

A. Program Overview

Start-ups or scale-ups with innovative cybersecurity products/services are matched with large and medium-size Financial Institutions (FIs) that are the end users of the technologies, to develop and/or demonstrate cybersecurity solutions in the finance sector. A technology development and demonstration project involves a start-up or scale-up and an Fl that agree to work together on the development or demonstration of a new cybersecurity technology, using the resources and competencies of both organizations. Learnings from these projects will be used to drive widespread technology adoption. 


  • Accelerate the growth of cybersecurity start-ups and scale-ups through technology development and demonstration projects that will catalyze the early adoption of innovative technologies
  • Engage the innovation ecosystem in Ontario to demonstrate innovative products and services that produce clear economic impact
  • Accelerate the adoption of emerging cybersecurity technologies and process improvements in the finance sector
  • Identify and address barriers to realize sustainable and long-term adoption of innovations/technologies in the finance sector
  • Identify, attract and retain Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) with skills in cybersecurity for the finance sector

All applications must entail a partnership between:

  • Applicant: At least one Ontario-based start-up or scale-up with an appropriately validated product/service ready for development or demonstration with a FI.
    • Start-up and/or scale-up is a for-profit company that is typically a newly emerged, fast-growing business with fewer than 500 total employees, that aims to meet a marketplace need by developing or offering an innovative product, process or service in the area of cybersecurity fintech
  • Project Partner(s): At least one significant, strategic FI customer/partner with operations in Ontario, with the capacity to be the development/demonstration site of the product/service, and an end user of the technology.
    • Financial Institution (FI) is a for-profit organization engaged in the business of dealing with monetary transactions (including banking, insurance, asset management, financing, etc.)

Internship/Fellowship Option

While completing a Technology Development/Demonstration Project application, applicants may also request funding to hire an Intern and/ or Fellow to work at the start-up/scale-up or FI, who will support the delivery of key milestones directly linked to the proposed Development/Demonstration project. More details on the Internship and Fellowship program stream including eligibility are available.


B. How Funding Works

  • Start-ups and scale-ups can apply for up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $100,000 OCE contribution for the technology development and/or demonstration portion of the project, with the balance of the funding (the match) coming from the start-up/scale-up (applicant) and/or FI (partner). Expenditures may be incurred by the start-up/scale-up (applicant) and/or FI (partner).
  • At least 28 projects are expected to be funded during the course of the pilot program
  • Projects may be up to 1 year in duration
  • Projects must start before March 31, 2018 and end before March 31, 2019

If an internship and/or fellowship is also being requested as part of the project, additional matching funds must be provided by the applicant/partner(s):

  • Internships
    • Undergraduate (current final year) or graduate (current Masters or PhD, or recent Masters graduate) students from Ontario college or university
    • Four, eight, or 12 months in duration
    • Each four-month Internship is valued at $20,000 ($10,000 from OCE, and $10,000 matching applicant/partner contributions, of which $5,000 must be cash towards the Intern salary)
    • Interns must receive a minimum compensation of $15,000 per four-month internship period
  • Fellowships
    • Post-doctoral Fellow with PhD from Ontario university
    • Up to 12 months in duration
    • Each 12-month Fellowship is valued at $85,000 ($35,000 from OCE, and $50,000 matching applicant/partner contributions, of which $25,000 must be cash towards the Fellow salary)
    • Fellows must receive a minimum compensation of $60,000.

Flow of Funds

Successful applicants must execute OCE’s standard Funding Agreement within 30 days of notification of award. An executable copy of the agreement will be generated through OCE’s online system and sent to successful applicants and their partners upon project approval only.

Before applying, please review the Funding Agreement standard template, and ensure that all requirements can be met.

  • Upon successful execution of the standard Funding Agreement, 25 per cent of funds will be released directly to the start-up/scale-up. The remaining funding will be released to the start-up/scale-up on a claims and reimbursement model for eligible expenses. Claims can be made when submitting Interim Report(s), and the Final Report, required at the end of the project. More information on reporting in section E. Project Reporting and Claims Requirements.
  • As funding will be released directly to the start-up/scale-up, the start-up/scale-up will be responsible for reimbursing the other partner(s), if necessary.



C. Eligibility

  • Projects must be in the area of cybersecurity and applicable to the finance sector
  • Projects must involve close collaboration between at least one start-up/scale-up (lead applicant) and at least one Fl (partner)
    • The Fl(s) partner(s) must be a financial institution with operations in Ontario
    • Projects may also include Ontario post-secondary institutions as partners along with FIs – i.e. at least one start-up/scale-up, one FI, and post-secondary institution
  • Lead applicant must be an Ontario-based, for-profit, start-up/scale-up with in-house R&D capacity
  • Lead applicant must be an Ontario or other provincially, territorially or federally incorporated company (including a similarly incorporated subsidiary of a foreign incorporated company) and should have fewer than 500 total employees
  • Lead applicant must be committed to develop and/or demonstrate their innovation or technology in Ontario
  • The innovation or technology must be scalable further across the market, with a high potential for adoption
  • Total Industry (applicant and/or partner) contributions must meet the minimum matching requirements of 1:1 
  • If an internship and/or fellowship is being requested as part of the project, additional matching funds must be provided by the applicant/partner(s) as described in Section B. How Funding Works. Additional Intern/Fellow eligibility criteria must also be met.

Eligible Expenditures

Please carefully review the Eligible Expenditures Guide.


D. Evaluation and Assessment

CFIPP is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. OCE will fund qualified projects with potential for the greatest economic benefits to Ontario. Not all eligible applications can be funded.

Applications are internally reviewed for eligibility, completeness and financial compliance, prior to evaluation by external reviewers with domain expertise from industry and academia. All reviewers are bound by Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs). The final funding decision is made by OCE. 

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the basis of assessment criteria, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Significance of the market opportunity, and expected economic benefit to companies and Ontario (e.g. new revenues, job creation/retention, productivity improvements)
  • Technical merit and ability of the start-up/scale-up solution to address the FI’s needs
  • Expertise and experience of the project team members, clarity of roles and responsibilities, and evidence of collaboration
  • Clarity, feasibility and appropriateness of the project plan and budget
  • Evidence of next steps, and clear strategy and capacity to bring the results to market and/or implement at the FI
  • Potential for broader adoption and scalability of the solution
  • Overall quality and completeness of the application

Projects that are outside of the scope of the program may be referred to partner programs as appropriate. 


E. Project Changes, Reporting and Claims Requirements

Project Change Requests

For any variances to the OCE budget of $5,000 or greater, or extensions to the project end date, the applicant must complete a Project Change Request form prior to the project end date, using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.

Project Reporting and Claims

1. Interim Progress and Claims Report(s)

Interim report(s), including progress, proof of expenditures, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement must be submitted twice per fiscal year – by the applicant company only.

Copies of detailed Reporting Instructions will be sent to successful applicants at the time of contracting. The report must be received and approved by OCE prior to release of funds for eligible claims.

NoteApplicants MUST retain all proof of purchases, receipts, and other relevant documentation relating to eligible expenses. These should be included in the Interim Progress and Claim Report.

2. Final Results and Claim Report

A final report, including progress, proof of expenditures, financial attestation, and a request for reimbursement, will be required from both the applicant and project partners (start-up/scale-up and FIs) at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the applicant and project partners will receive an email notification of the project end date from the AccessOCE system, with a link to the Final Progress and Claim Report should the applicant and/or project partner wish to begin entering data.

  • Applicants are required to report on project milestones, success stories, deviations, financial expenditures and contributions, and commercialization and economic outputs.
  • FIs are required to report on financial contributions, commercialization and economic outputs.
  • If a project extension is required, the applicant must request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file. Extension requests must be made before the project end date.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, both the applicant and project partner will receive another notification and a link to complete the Final Project Progress and Claim Report from OCE’s AccessOCE system.
  • All required final reports from the applicant and project partner must be submitted within 30 days of project completion in order to be reimbursed for eligible expenses and maintain good financial standing with OCE. 
  • If early reporting is required, the applicant may request it by emailing the Program Manager.

3. Metrics Survey

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 its funding Ministries. Required metrics reports from all applicants must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.

4. Retrospective Project Reports

At one, two and three years after project completion, the applicant will be sent a link to complete a retrospective survey to collect data on commercial outcomes from the project. This information is required by OCE for assessment of program impact and continuous improvement.


F. How to Apply

To begin the application process, please complete a client intake form. An OCE Business Development Manager (BD) will contact you to discuss the opportunity and assist you with developing your application. Your OCE BD will also maintain oversight responsibility for any approved project.

Applications must be accompanied by a signed letter of support from the FI, confirming the high-level project scope, budget, timelines, and commitment to the project as a “Project Contributor/Partner” (including any cash, personnel and/or other contributions). A template for the letter of support is available. Use of the template is optional, however all items listed must be included in the letter.

Prior to submission, applicants must first request their 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.

Successful applicants must execute OCE’s standard funding agreement, within 30 days of notification of award. A copy of the Funding Agreement can be downloaded for your reference. Please do not fill out this form; a copy of the agreement will be generated through our online management system and sent to you upon approval of your project.


G. Timelines

Milestone Date
Application Intake  Ongoing until all funds are allocated, or December 15, 2017 – whichever occurs first
Partnering Forum September 28, 2017
Project Start Date Deadline March 31, 2018
Deadline for the completion of all projects March 31, 2019




Please review OCE's Program FAQ.


I. Downloads

For program-related inquiries, including assistance with deadlines and applications, please contact: 

Elizabeth Chak
Business Development Manager
Tel: 416.861.1092 x 1037

For eligibility, contracting and funding disbursement inquiries, please contact:

Natalia Lobo
Program Manager 
Tel: 416.861.1092 x1061