Name of transfer payment program: Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP) (Voted)
Start date: May 31, 2012
End date: March 31, 2016
Description: The objective of ITAP is to further develop commercial alternatives to existing reactor-based isotope production technologies to improve the security of supply for Canadians, and to support the Government of Canada in exiting the medical isotope business, thereby moving towards a fully market-based supply chain in 2016.
The ITAP, funded through Budget 2012, is a $25 million, conditionally repayable, contribution program over four years (2012-16) to advance the development of alternative isotope production technologies, specifically cyclotron and linear accelerator production of the key medical isotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m).
Strategic outcome: 2) Natural Resource Sectors and Consumers are Environmentally Responsible
Results achieved: Three contribution agreements were finalized and signed for projects led by the University of Alberta, TRIUMF and Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise. A public announcement was made by the Minister of Natural Resources in February 2013.
Comments on variances: The variance in planned spending vs. actual spending is attributed to the timing of the Request for Project Proposals (RPP) and budget announcement for the ITAP. The budget announcement for the ITAP took place after the RPP and therefore was not included in the RPP. As part of Budget 2012, NRCan received $25 million over four years ($7 million in Year 1; $10 million in Year 2; $5 million in Year 3; and $3 million in Year 4).
Of the $7 million in 2012-13, $5,780,000 was in Vote 10 and $1,220,000 was in Vote 1. The Vote 1 total includes $390,164 for Salary and $779,115 for operating expenditures (including employee benefit plans) and $50,721 in accommodation charges.
The Treasury Board submission provided $300,000 in Vote 1 to support the work of federal laboratories and also provided that NRCan was to use appropriate mechanisms to transfer any of the $300,000 that was not needed for federal laboratories to Vote 10. A competitive RPP process was used to award funding, and none of the projects required work by federal laboratories. Therefore, the $300,000 in Vote 1 was transferred to Vote 10 for a total of $6.080 million in contribution spending.
Audits completed or planned: Recipient audits are planned for 2013-14.
Evaluations planned: The program will be evaluated in 2015-16.
Engagement of applicants and recipients: A dedicated website (http://www.isotopes.nrcan.gc.ca) is used to communicate the Government of Canada's action on medical isotope supply. It provides information on the report from the Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope Production, news releases and other useful links. The website was also used to launch the RPP for the ITAP, including providing details on the scope of the Request, and contact information.
An RPP for the ITAP was publicly launched by Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver on June 22, 2012, and was accompanied by a news release. A public announcement for the signing of contribution agreements with TRIUMF, University of Alberta and PIPE was made by the Minister on February 28, 2013, and was accompanied by a news release.
A program email address (ITAP-PATI@NRCan-RNCan.gc.ca) was set up for the ITAP to allow applicants to ask questions related to the RPP. This email address was also used to inform all relevant stakeholders of the Request. Recipients of the program will use the email address as a communication tool with program administrators. All inquiries are tracked by program administrators, and service standards have been established for the ITAP.
Program administrators will engage with recipients on a quarterly and annual basis for progress reports (financial and technical) as outlined in the contribution agreement. A 10% holdback will be used to encourage receipt of final reporting requirements. Operating and monitoring funding for the ITAP has been set aside for site visits and recipient audits. At least one workshop to engage recipients and other stakeholders is planned for the program.
The Department will continue to engage with recipients through follow-up reports after the completion date of the project. For three years following the completion date of the project, recipients will be required to submit annually an updated outcome report on the progress of the project. For ten years following the completion date of the project, recipients will be required to annually submit a financial report detailing project revenues to determine whether repayment is required.
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