How it Works

A. Program Overview
B. How the Program Works
C. Procurement Project Case Studies
D. How Funding Works
E. Eligibility
F. Reporting Requirements
G. How to Apply

H. Evaluation and Assessment
I. Timelines
J. Downloads
K. Contact Information

Please note that applications to this program are currently closed.

A. Program Overview

The REACH (Resources for Evaluating, Adopting and Capitalizing on Innovative Healthcare Technology) Program supports Ontario health care provider organizations to utilize innovation procurement methodologies to more effectively identify and procure innovative health care technology products and services.   

The identification and procurement of innovative technology products and services by the health care sector has potential to improve the quality of patient care and create long-term value for money.  It also stimulates innovation within the economy by enabling the market to respond to current and future public service needs. When purchasing organizations are procuring products, it has been common practice to issue public tenders based on detailed product specifications and financial terms.  However, overly-detailed specifications often restrict the solutions that vendors propose, and which vendors qualify, resulting in only incremental improvements rather than step-change innovation.

Support through the REACH program will enable health care provider organizations to:

  • Effectively identify and procure innovative technologies focused on solving priority system challenges.
  • Build internal capacity and expertise in applying alternative methods of procurement.
  • Share knowledge and best practices in innovation procurement with peer organizations
  • Be seen as an innovation leader in Ontario and globally.

Public sector innovation procurement projects are intended to build capacity within public healthcare delivery organizations and medtech innovators to use outcome-based specifications and, when evidence justifies, lead directly to procurement of innovation. REACH funding will support the entire process of innovation procurement, including any field evaluation studies required to test the identified technology and/or service within an Ontario public healthcare delivery organization. Medtech innovators cannot formally be involved until they respond to a request for qualifications (or similar) once the project is underway.

Application intake for REACH is now closed.


B. How the Program Works

Through the use of enhanced public sector innovation procurement methodologies, health care organizations will be able to develop and implement a preferred procurement process that is intended to identify solutions to their most complex challenges.  Recognized public sector innovation procurement methodologies include (but are not limited to):

  • Research & Development (R&D) Procurement 
  • Innovation Partnership
  • Design Contest
  • Competitive Dialogue
  • Competitive Procedure with Negotiation
  • Innovation Friendly Competitive Process

Funding through the REACH program may be allocated to activities undertaken by an Ontario health care provider organization to design, develop, and administer a public sector innovation procurement process.  These activities can include, staff training, procurement document development and review, facilitation of vendor information sessions, development of agreements and contracts, and knowledge dissemination. 

An important and expected use of REACH funds is the engagement of public sector innovation experts and professional services, to assist with the selection of the most appropriate method and to advise the project team through the various stages of their process.

REACH projects are expected to directly result in the procurement of an innovative product or service by the applicant health care provider organization, but REACH funding may NOT be used for the actual purchase transaction.


C. Procurement Project Case Studies

Successful applicants are required to work with OCE and our academic case study partner (the World Health Innovation Network) to share their experiences and perceptions of the public sector innovation procurement 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 innovative public sector procurement processes in the healthcare sector;
  • describe the impact of policy frameworks on procurement processes and outcomes;
  • Provide evidence to inform policy development to better support public sector innovation procurement across the province;
  • Document opportunities to build capacity and expertise in innovative procurement models and processes across the healthcare system;
  • Document 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 sector and health-care sectors;
  • Disseminate lessons learned and procurement project outcomes and impact across key healthcare system stakeholder groups to build capacity in Ontario for healthcare 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. 


D. How Funding Works

Applicant (mandatory): One or more Ontario public health care provider organizations. Eligible health care system applicants include publicly-funded Family Health Teams, community care providers, long-term care homes, and hospitals.  The health care provider organization must provide the necessary employee and capital resources to support completion of approved REACH project activities and milestones, and should be committed to procuring the technology product or service identified through the public sector innovation procurement process.

REACH funds will reimburse 95 per cent of total eligible project costs up to a maximum of $1,000,000. REACH projects may incur costs for a term of up to 24 months.

Funding for the projects will be released to the lead Applicant health care provider organization.  The lead Applicant will, in turn, reimburse any project Partners, if applicable.

Flow of Funds: OCE will reimburse 95 per cent of the eligible project costs. Upon approval, OCE will release an advance payment of 25 per cent; future disbursements will be based on receipt of supporting documentation and upon receipt and approval of interim progress reports. A final payment of 10 per cent will be released upon project completion and receipt of final progress and financial reports, outcomes and attestation from the partner(s) regarding the use of funds.


E. Eligibility

I) Applicant Eligibility
II) Project Eligibility
III) Eligible Use of Funds

I) Applicant Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a publicly funded Ontario health care provider organization.
  • The health care provider organization is designated as the lead applicant and commits to providing the resources required to complete the process required to procure a solution.
  • The applicant organization’s commitment to purchase a solution identified through the public sector innovation procurement process must be documented by a non-binding Letter of Intent signed by senior management.
  • Applicant must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE.
  • Participants will agree to provide project metrics and progress reports to OCE.

II) Project Eligibility:

  • Projects must use a public sector innovation procurement methodology to identify and procure a solution that addresses a challenge identified by the health care provider organization(s). 
  • Projects can be up to 24 months in length.

III) Eligible Use of Funds:

Refer to the Eligible Expenses document for full details.


F. Reporting Requirements

I) Interim Progress and Claim Report(s):

  • Interim report(s), including progress, proof of expenditures, and a financial attestation, will be required at the nine month and, if applicable, 18-month marks  of the project. The applicant organization will receive notification and a link from OCE's AccessOCE system to submit the report. The report must be received and approved by OCE prior to release of funds for eligible claims.
  • Note: Applicants 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.

II) Final Results and Claim Report(s):

  • A final report, including progress, proof of expenditures, and a financial attestation, will be required at the end of the project. Forty-five days prior to the scheduled completion date, the Applicant 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 wish to begin entering data.
  • If a project extension is required, the Applicant MUST request it using the Project Administration tab in their AccessOCE project file.
  • On the scheduled project completion date, the Applicant 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 by all Applicants 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 OCE Project Administration,​​

III) Metrics Survey:

  • If the project continues past a fiscal year-end (March 31), the applicant and industry partner(s) 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 Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. Required metrics reports from all partners must be submitted in order to maintain good financial standing with OCE.


G. How to Apply

Publicly-funded health-care organizations interested in applying to REACH are encouraged to contact an OCE Business Development Manager  or the Innovation Program Manager. An application must be initiated by one of these Managers. The Business Development Manager and/or Innovation Procurement Manager will also maintain oversight responsibility for the OCE components of any approved project. 

Applications are only accepted through OCE’s online AccessOCE system where the application and requirements are listed. Download instructions for completion of the application. Proposal questions must be attached, and application submission requirements (including project contacts, summary for public release, classification, budget, milestones and team members) are listed.

Prior to submission, applicants MUST first request their 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 initiation and BD endorsement steps 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.

Complete and eligible REACH applications will proceed to review by an external panel of domain experts. Review and adjudication of REACH applications will occur as per the timeline indicated below in Section H. Successful Applicants must execute OCE’s non-negotiable funding agreement, within 30 days of the notification of award. 

A copy of the OCE 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.

H. Evaluation and Assessment

Applications will be reviewed by OCE to determine the eligibility to the program. Projects that are outside of the scope will not qualify and may be referred to partner programs as appropriate.

Applications submitted through the AccessOCE portal are internally reviewed for completeness, eligibility and use of funds prior to evaluation by an external review panel with domain expertise. Applications will be reviewed by an external panel of domain experts against program objectives and assessment criteria. Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) will be completed by the external reviewers prior to the review of the proposals. The final funding decision is made by OCE.


I. Timelines



Call for Applications

January 9, 2017 

*See link to application form in the ‘How to Apply’ section.

Innovation-Based Procurement Workshop

February 23, 2017

REACH Project Development Training

March 3, 2017

 Application Submission Deadline March 20, 2017 at 2 p.m. *Extended*

Invitation to Present to External Reviewer Panel

March 27, 2017

External Reviewer Panel Meeting

April 20, 2017

Award Notification

May 2017

Public Announcement of Results

June 2017


J. Downloads


K. Contact Information

For project related inquiries, including assistance with potential applications please contact a REACH Program Business Development Manager in your area (listed below).

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

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