Canada Foundation for Innovation - Innovation Fund Call for Letters of Intent

Canada Foundation for Innovation – Innovation Fund

The competition for the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Innovation Fund is currently closed and the timeline for applications for the CFI Innovation Fund has not been released.  However, the Vice President, Research recognizes that the CFI is likely making decisions regarding upcoming CFI competitions and that many other institutions are in the process of developing proposals in advance of a formal announcement from CFI.   The University of Lethbridge will follow the lead of institutions such as University of Guelph by releasing a call for Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the next CFI Innovation Fund Competition.  In the words of one of our colleagues at the CFI, “chance favors a prepared mind”. 

Innovation Fund (IF) Program Description

In 2017, the CFI announced the Call for Proposals for the 2017 Innovation Fund (IF), “Striving for Global Leadership and Reaping the Benefits”.  In the upcoming competition, the objectives are expected to be similar to those of past programs, including encouraging institutions and researchers to:

  • Strive for global leadership by conducting world-class transformative research and technology development in their areas of institutional strategic priority.
  • Forge and foster productive, value-added partnerships within and among institutions, sectors and disciplines that will nurture creativity and innovation, resulting in the effective and sustainable use of the research infrastructure and facilities.
  • Identify and develop plans and potential pathways to social, health, environmental and economic benefits for Canada, including better training and improved skills for highly qualified personnel.

The CFI also places priority on the following types of projects:

  • Transformative infrastructure projects that will underpin cutting-edge research and have a structuring effect on Canada’s research landscape. 
  • Projects with promising and innovative directions in research or technology development in areas where Canada currently is, or has the potential to be, competitive on the global stage.
  • Initiatives that allow institutions and their researchers to build on and enhance an emerging strategic priority area, accelerate current research and technology development work or take established capabilities to a globally competitive level.

Institutions are expected to submit proposals in areas for which they have a proven record of, or a strong potential for, commitment and excellence.  The CFI expects that effective collaboration with partners, where appropriate, will strengthen every aspect of a proposal.

Eligible Infrastructure

The CFI funds research infrastructure (ie. research equipment, software subscriptions, installation, etc). An eligible project involves the acquisition or development of research infrastructure to increase research capacity, enabling the pursuit of world‐class research. Construction costs to build new space or to renovate existing space which is essential to house and effectively use the infrastructure are eligible.  The specific eligibility criteria will be released by CFI in the upcoming CFI IF call for proposals.

Project Costs and University of Lethbridge Allocation

The CFI Innovation Fund is an allocation‐based competition whereby each institution has a predetermined maximum amount of funding able to be requested from the CFI across the entire institution.  Based on the previous competition, the University of Lethbridge’s allocation is expected to be $3,500,000.  This amount represents the maximum amount provided by CFI to support infrastructure costs (and roughly equates to submitting proposals of $8,500,000 in total combined project costs).  In 2017, the CFI only considered proposals whose total project costs were greater than $750,000.  For the upcoming competition, the University of Lethbridge expects to support between one to three projects, depending upon the size of our allocation and the quality of the projects. 


November 15, 2018

Letter of Intent Deadline

December 15, 2018

Notice of Decision for LOI

December 2018 – January 2019

Proposal development plan 


Further information: 

For more information, visit the CFI Innovation Call for Letters of Intent posted to the Notice Board (


  • Please contact Penny D’Agnone (, 403-382-7198) in the Office of Research and Innovation Services.


    Agency Name: 
    Canada Foundation for Innovation
    Contact Name: 
    Penny D'Agnone
    Grant Location: 
    External Deadline: 
    Thursday, November 15, 2018
    Grant Type: 
    Grant Area: 
    Natural Science
    Social Science
    Fine Arts
    Grant Eligibility: