Frequently Asked Questions

Energy Innovation Program

Table of Contents

  1. Does funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) count towards the 75% limit for total Canadian government assistance to the project?
  2. Can demonstration projects be national in scope? 
  3. Can a US industrial partner be eligible to receive funding from the Energy Innovation Program?
  4. Are purchase incentives for EVs an eligible expense?
  5. If an applicant received funding for an infrastructure project, could that funding be used as in-kind support for a demonstration project?
  6. Do SR&ED and other tax credits count as government contributions towards the Total Government Stacking Limit?
  7. Our company (or partners) has highly sensitive information related to the details of our proposal. Before submitting our proposal, we would like to understand how this information will be protected.
  8. If a Canadian company is 70%-owned by an American company, is it still eligible to apply?
  9. What is an industry partner in a project?
  10. Would there be a preference as to who leads the proposal and who is the industry partner, i.e. if a technology company partners with an oil and gas company, would you prefer the technology company submit the proposal or the oil and gas company?
  11. Can a federal department (e.g. NRCan) be listed as the project participant in the application? For example, can a project utilize an NRCan test facilities during pilot and field testing?
  12. What is a pre-commercial technology?
  13. Although the funding program indicated support to projects at the pre-commercial/ demonstration-type "shovel-ready" stages, would it consider large-scale commercial "shovel-ready" project which can be executed now and would result in significant GHG reductions?
  14. If an application has all the information needed for evaluation sooner than later, will the program wait until the Fall to do the due diligence or will the timing of the review and contracting be moved forward?
  15. Would the program consider surface land lease costs for wells and sites as eligible costs? Would it also support equipment acquisition?
  16. Aside from provincial funding, is funding from other federal sources (i.e. IRAP, etc.) acceptable as part of project funding? Or is NRCan the only federal funding permitted? How is provincial government funding contribution considered in the allowable stacking?
  17. What constitutes funding from the participants? What are admissible contributions?
  18. When is the period of eligible costs could be claimed from the program, e.g. costs only until Mar 31 2018?  Can non-government share of funds (i.e. funding from applicants and its partners) be contributed and spent in the period April 1 - Mar 31 2019.
  19. Given the short timeline to complete the funding application and the subsequent contract negotiation if successful, what would be the expectation should a project not be 100% "complete" by March 31st, 2019.  Would NRCan claw back all of its contribution?
  20. Can an applicant submit multiple stages of a project as one application (including pre-FEED, FEED and some portion of pilot)? Or does the submission have to be for a full pilot, or one-stage of engineering design only?
  21. What are FEED studies, e.g. could they involve elements of research, or would they have to be entirely engineering design?
  22. Would an R&D company that collaborates with the proponent on the technology development, be eligible as industry partner, or would an end user still have to be involved?
  23. Is there a screening process to ensure that the technology is not infringing on other patented technology?
  24. I understand that evidence of secured funding must be provided with my proposal submission. Will the portion of secured funding be considered in the evaluation of my project?
 

1. Does funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) count towards the 75% limit for total Canadian government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) assistance to the project?

Yes.  This is considered Government funding.

2. Can demonstration projects be national in scope? For example, if a Proponent has been working with stakeholders from across Canada to develop new concepts, would the EIP consider projects that share and develop these new concepts across Canada?

Multiple smaller projects or components could be combined into a national project, provided that the individual components were all in the scope of the request for proposals, and a single recipient is able to sign the contribution agreement with Canada.

3. Can a US industrial partner be eligible to receive funding from the Energy Innovation Program, along with a Canadian company?

Eligible applicants must be entities that are validly incorporated or registered in Canada. Collaboration with US entities, as co-funders, is encouraged, but they cannot receive EIP funding directly. They could be contracted by an eligible Canadian recipient. Note the project receiving EIP funding under this call for proposals has to be in Canada.

4. Are purchase incentives for EVs an eligible expense?

Incentives for electric vehicle infrastructure may be considered as part of the proponent’s portion of the total project costs of the project (not eligible for reimbursement). 

Incentives for electric vehicles themselves would only be considered as part of the proponent’s portion of the total project costs of the project (not eligible for reimbursement) if the applicant could demonstrate that the purchase of electric vehicles was integral to the execution of the demonstration project, and would be considered on a case by case basis.

These incentives, if approved, would be considered a government cash contribution to the project and would count towards the government stacking limit.  

5. If an applicant received funding for an infrastructure project, could that funding be used as in-kind support for a demonstration project?

Given that you would be receiving a cash contribution from the infrastructure program to your project, we would consider this a federal government cash contribution to the total project costs of the project (not eligible for reimbursement), and it would also count towards the total government stacking limit.

6. Do SR&ED and other tax credits count as government contributions towards the Total Government Stacking Limit?

No, SR&ED and other tax credits are not considered contributions towards the Total Government Stacking Limits set out in Energy Innovation Contribution programs.Tax credits are treated under Canadian GAAP as a cost reduction.

7. Our company (or partners) has highly sensitive information related to the details of our proposal. Before submitting our proposal, we would like to understand how this information will be protected.

You will find in Section 4 of the Applicants’ Guide a summary explaining that the confidential information supplied to NRCan will remain confidential to the extent that the applicant protects said confidential information.

“The Access to Information Act, (the “Act”) governs the protection and disclosure of information, confidential or otherwise, supplied to a federal government institution. This Act is a law of public order; as such the government of Canada, including NRCan, cannot contract out of it.

Paragraph 20(1) (b) of the Act states that:

a government institution [such as NRCan] shall refuse to disclose any record requested under the Act that contains financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information supplied to a government institution by a third party and is treated consistently in a confidential manner by the third party.

Pursuant to Paragraph 20(1) (b) of the Act, NRCan will protect the applicant’s confidential information supplied to NRCan from disclosure if:

  1. the applicant’s information supplied to NRCan contains financial, commercial, scientific or technical information; and
  2. the applicant consistently treats such information in a confidential manner.

Further, NRCan will protect the applicant’s confidential information in its possession to the same extent as the applicant protects said confidential information in its own establishment: if the applicant chooses to send the proposal or other confidential information to NRCan by e-mail, NRCan will respond to the Proposal by e-mail. Similarly, if the applicant’s correspondence is through regular mail, NRCan’s response will be in like manner. However, in all cases, NRCan will use e-mail correspondence to the applicants for all non-confidential matters.

For more information on this subject, a careful reading of the entire section 20 of the Access to Information Act is greatly encouraged.”

The Proposal Template states that the applicant’s name, project partners’ names, project title, non-confidential overview, and amount awarded will be public information if the proposal is selected for funding by the Program. All other information is treated as confidential unless otherwise indicated by the proponent.

8. If a Canadian company is 70%-owned by an American company, is it still eligible to apply?

Yes, the company is a registered business in Canada, it would be eligible to apply. Eligible proponents to the program include legal entities validly incorporated or registered in Canada, including electricity and gas utilities, companies, industry associations, research associations, aboriginal and community groups, Canadian academic institutions, and provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and their departments and agencies. Please refer to Section 3.3 Eligible Proponents of the Applicants’ Guide. 

9. What is an industry partner in a project?

An industry partner in a project provides additional support or resources in the form of cash or in-kind (technical expertise, samples, use of research facilities, etc.) contribution. Please refer to the Applicants’ Guide for more details regarding in-kind contribution.   

10. Would there be a preference as to who leads the proposal and who is the industry partner, i.e. if a technology company partners with an oil and gas company, would you prefer the technology company submit the proposal or the oil and gas company?

No, there is no preference who leads the proposal or who the industry partners are. It will be up to the applicants to decide among themselves who will be the main proponent and partners in a project.

11. Can a federal department (e.g. NRCan) be listed as the project participant in the application? For example, can a project utilize an NRCan test facilities during pilot and field testing?

The program is considering a collaborative mechanism which would allow in-kind participation of a federal organization in a contribution project funded under this program.  As there is no current confirmation that this will be possible, it is suggested that information on any potential collaboration of this type between a federal research organization and an applicant be described in a separate document and attached to the proposal as supplementary information.

Subcontracts directly with federal laboratories may be included as part of the Total Project Costs provided that the applicant is able to warrant that they have sufficient funds outside of any Program contribution to cover all costs associated with the said subcontract.

12. What is a pre-commercial technology?

A pre-commercial technology is a process or device that has been developed through R&D activities, has not yet been used in the market, but has a strong potential to be fully developed in the short term for commercial or industrial application. In the program’s context, new technologies developed from the program will be expected to lead to significantly reduced emissions of greenhouse gases from the oil and gas sector. Please also refer to the Applicant’s Guide, Appendix 3: Expected Program Outcomes for details of supporting further development of pre-commercial technologies.

13. Although the funding program indicated support to projects at the pre-commercial/ demonstration-type "shovel-ready" stages, would it consider large-scale commercial "shovel-ready" project which can be executed now and would result in significant GHG reductions?

No, the execution of a large-scale commercial shovel-ready project is considered a deployment of developed technology and will not be supported by the program. The program only supports proposals that demonstrate and test pre-commercial technologies.

14. If an application has all the information needed for evaluation sooner than later, will the program wait until the Fall to do the due diligence or will the timing of the review and contracting be moved forward?

The Clean Energy Innovation component will initiate the assessment process once all proposals are received i.e. by 23:59 EDT, October 31, 2016. The Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration Program will initiate the assessment process once all proposals are received i.e. by 23:59 EDT, November 14, 2016. Applicants must ensure the applications have complete information and all appropriate supporting documents are included upon submission. Project proposals are not evaluated on a rolling basis and they will be evaluated following the submission deadline. Therefore it will be difficult to adjust the timelines. The program schedule is below:

  • Final date for submission of project proposals Clean Energy Innovation – October 31, 2016
  • Final date for submission of project proposals Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration – November 14, 2016
Program Schedule

 

CEI

EVID 2

Project selection by expert committee

Late Fall 2016

Winter 2017

Applicants notified of NRCan decision

Winter 2017

Winter 2017

Negotiation of contribution agreements

Late Winter 2017     

Spring 2017

Anticipated contribution agreement signing

Spring 2017 

Late Spring

Oil and Gas Clean Tech Program and the first call for the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstrations calls are closed and proposals are currently under review.

Please refer to Applicants’ Guide, Section 5 Application Schedule and Process for details.

15. Would the program consider surface land lease costs for wells and sites as eligible costs? Would it also support equipment acquisition?

No, land lease costs are not eligible expenditures within the program. Equipment acquisition directly related to the conduct of the projects is supported. Please refer to Applicants’ Guide, Section 3.9 Eligible Expenditures and Non-permissible Costs for details.

16. Aside from provincial funding, is funding from other federal sources (i.e. IRAP, etc.) acceptable as part of project funding? Or is NRCan the only federal funding permitted? How is provincial government funding contribution considered in the allowable stacking?

Other federal funding sources, i.e. IRAP, as well as provincial/ territorial and municipal funds are acceptable as part of the total project funding. Provincial funding is considered part of government funding in determining the stacking limit.
The total Canadian government assistance (federal, provincial/territorial, regional and municipal governments) must not exceed 75% of Total Project Costs, except in the case where the recipient is a provincial/territorial, regional, or municipal government or their department or agency, in which case, the total Canadian government assistance authorized may be up to 100%.   Please refer to Applicants’ Guide, Section 3.8 Stacking of Assistance for details.

17. What constitutes funding from the participants? What are admissible contributions?

Funding to a project by participants (defined as the main applicant and its project partners) can be in the form of cash or in-kind contributions. In-kind support is defined as a cash-equivalent contribution in the form of an asset for which no cash is exchanged but that is essential to the project and that would have to be purchased by the project proponent on the open market, or through negotiation with the provider, if it were not provided by the project proponent.
In-kind contributions will only be permitted on a case-by-case basis and must be verified and approved by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) before entering into a contribution agreement. They must be supported by a formal commitment from the project proponent and partners to provide them, prior to any commitment on Program funding to the proposed project being made. Please refer to Applicants’ Guide, Appendix 2 Costing Memorandum, Section 4 In-kind Support for details.

18. When is the period of eligible costs could be claimed from the program, e.g. costs only until Mar 31 2018?  Can non-government share of funds (i.e. funding from applicants and its partners) be contributed and spent in the period April 1 - Mar 31 2019.

The eligible expenditure period to claim costs from the program incurred by a project covers the period starting on the date a proponent was notified of a successful completion of the due diligence assessment or April 1 of the fiscal year in which the contribution agreement is signed,  and ending on either of the date the project is completed or March 31, 2018, whichever earlier of the two dates. No reimbursements will be made for costs outside the eligible expenditure period.
Applicants may also continue to contribute to their portion of the project costs until March 31, 2019, though no program funding will be available after March 21, 2018. The  applicants will not be reimbursed for costs if, following due diligence and negotiation, no contribution agreement was signed or the applicant decided to formally withdraw from the funding process. Please also refer to Applicants’ Guide, Appendix 2 Costing Memorandum, Sections 1 to 3 for more details on costs.

19. Given the short timeline to complete the funding application and the subsequent contract negotiation if successful, what would be the expectation should a project not be 100% "complete" by March 31st, 2019.  Would NRCan claw back all of its contribution?

Although there are risks inherent with performing demonstration activities, there is strong expectation that the projects supported by the program will deliver on planned objectives per contribution agreement. The program will work with the applicants at all phases of the project to identify risks and measures to mitigate them to ensure projects will achieve what they set out to do.
There will be an NRCan project manager assigned to projects for  project monitoring  of budgets, tasks and timelines to minimize potential delays. As with some previous demonstration projects, a stage-gated approach could be developed by applicants in the implementation of project phases in the agreement, i.e. specific points and results of demonstration activities will be identified indicating feasibility or lack of it if a project proceeds from one phase to the next. Contribution agreements can be amended to reflect any changes in the scope of work and funding or changes in timelines at any time during implementation, and thus claw back from payments will be minimized.

20. Can an applicant submit multiple stages of a project as one application (including pre-FEED, FEED and some portion of pilot)? Or does the submission have to be for a full pilot, or one-stage of engineering design only?

Yes, an applicant could request funding for multiple stages of a project in one application, or for a specific component only, i.e. a demonstration project or a Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) study that may lead into a demonstration project. Note though the program funding is only 2 years.

21. What are FEED studies, e.g. could they involve elements of research, or would they have to be entirely engineering design?

Front-End Engineering Design (FEED)  is a basic engineering study which comes after a conceptual design or feasibility study. In the context of this program, the FEED study focuses the technical requirements as well as rough investment cost to determine a follow-on demonstration project’s specific requirements, and to avoid significant changes in the execution phase of the demonstration project. The proposed FEED would not involve any R&D elements. Although this call for proposals targets technology demonstrations, FEED studies leading to demonstration projects will also be considered.

22. Would an R&D company that collaborates with the proponent on the technology development, be eligible as industry partner, or would an end user still have to be involved?

Yes, an R&D company collaborating with a proponent on a technology development would be eligible as an industry partner. An end user may also be considered an industry partner in the case where it allows the applicant to test, validate or integrate the technology being developed in the project into the end user’s facilities or operations. 

23. Is there a screening process to ensure that the technology is not infringing on other patented technology?

It will be the responsibility of the applicants to ensure their proposals do not infringe on patented technologies.

24. I understand that evidence of secured funding must be provided with my proposal submission. Will the portion of secured funding be considered in the evaluation of my project?

Yes, the portion of secured funding you receive will be considered in the evaluation criteria. Be sure to include firm letters of commitment, letters of support, loan documents, and/or financial statements showing funding availability.