Ontario Aerospace R&D Challenge

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), the Ontario Aerospace Council (OAC), the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC), and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) are partnering to support collaborative research and development projects by Ontario industry companies and academic research partners through OCE’s Voucher for Industry Association R&D Challenge Program.


The Aerospace R&D Challenge is a $2.5-million program initiative supporting areas of technology that are strategically important to the Ontario aerospace sector. Goals of the program include development of technological breakthroughs and new enabling technologies, with significant economic benefit for Ontario (jobs, revenues, etc.).

Interested researchers are invited to submit expressions of interest in partnership with industry partners for the development of collaborative research projects for this Aerospace R&D Challenge.

How Funding Works

The Aerospace R&D Challenge program partners (OCE, OAC, CARIC and NSERC) will select approximately five qualified projects (each lasting up to two years) to be funded by OCE, NSERC, industry and CARIC (where applicable). Selected projects will undertake research and development in the aerospace sector and demonstrate an economic benefit to Ontario. Potential areas of focus include purpose-built aerospace, supply chain development, and systems and sensors, although all R&D projects that address aerospace industry needs will be considered.

Direct contributions from OCE, CARIC, NSERC and the industry partner(s) may total up to $400,000 per project (cash and in-kind). Overall, this program provides industry partners with a maximum 2:3 total leverage on their contribution (in-kind and cash). For details on OCE, CARIC and NSERC leverage calculations, please see examples below.

Projects may be funded in one of two ways:

  • Stream 1: OCE and NSERC funding (for non-CARIC-eligible projects)
  • Stream 2: OCE, NSERC and CARIC co-funding (for CARIC-eligible projects; see Eligibility Criteria below)

More details



  • Access new talent and established academic researchers
  • Identify innovative marketable solutions to current industry challenges
  • Gain affordable short-term skilled labour
  • Increase productivity and revenue
  • Gain exposure for company and brand


  • Access exciting innovation challenges and conduct cutting edge research to solve industry and sector-wide problems
  • Increase visibility of your team in both academic and industry research environments
  • Create intellectual property
  • Establish relationships with industry firms


  • Gain real-world experience
  • Enhance skills through R&TD training and development
  • Connect with established companies
  • Use knowledge and fresh ideas to solve industry and sector-wide problems

How to Apply

Application is a two-step process:

  1. Expressions of Interest (EOI) stage: 
    OCE, OAC and CARIC will issue a Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for industry-academic R&D projects that address opportunities/challenges in the identified focus areas.
  2. Invited NSERC application stage: 
    Selected applicants submit a full application to NSERC CRD or ARD grants.

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