Frequently asked questions: energy innovation programs
Find a collection of frequently asked questions on the Energy Innovation Program, including those asked during the program webinars.
Contact the firstname.lastname@example.org if you still have questions or require further clarification on the topics listed below.
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 program 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 EOI/request for proposals, and a single recipient is able to sign the contribution agreement with Canada.
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.
What will be the driver to determine the level (percentage) of funding a project can receive?
It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate why a particular amount of funding is necessary to support the project. Preference may be given to projects that are leveraging other sources of funding.
Does funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) count towards the limit for total Canadian government assistance to the project?
Yes. This is considered Government funding.
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.
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.
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.
If the purchase of an Electric Vehicle (EV) is part of the project cost, would that expense be eligible for reimbursement?
The purchase of an EV is not an eligible expenditure for reimbursement. However, it can be included as part of the total project cost as a contribution from the proponent or a project partner.
Are purchase incentives for EVs an eligible expense under the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Demonstration funding stream?
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.
Program application process, timeline, review and selection
Is there a limit to the number of projects one company can be involved in?
No, there is no limit.
How will NRCan review projects?
NRCan will be using a review committee comprised of technical experts, economists and policy advisors from within the department and other federal departments/agencies to evaluate proposals. The evaluation process will review the applicant’s plan for the long-term sustainable operation of any project. NRCan will also complete a “due diligence” process with successful applications to collect further information before entering into a contribution agreement with an applicant.
Can a US industrial partner be eligible to receive funding?
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 funding directly. They could be contracted by an eligible Canadian recipient. Note the project receiving funding under this program has to be in Canada.
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.
Would there be a preference as to who leads the project and who is the industry partner?
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. However, it is expected that Proponents (the entity that will sign a contribution agreement with NRCan) will be the majority owner of any assets purchased in full or in part by funding provided under this program.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our company (or partners) has highly sensitive information related to the details of our EOI/proposal. Before submitting our EOI/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.
Paragraph 20(1) of the Access to Information Act prohibits a government institution, including NRCan, from disclosing any information - financial, commercial, scientific or technical - supplied by a project applicant to NRCan so long as the project applicant treats the information as confidential in it’s own establishment.
Accordingly, 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 EOI/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.
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