CFI Innovation Fund

Program Overview

The CFI Innovation Fund supports transformative infrastructure projects that underpin cutting-edge, globally competitive research. Its objectives are to enable global leadership by supporting world-class research or technology development; enhance and optimize the capacity of institutions and research communities to conduct the proposed research or technology development program(s); and will lead to social, health, environmental and/or economic benefits for Canadians.

Value: Minimum total project size is $1M.  Projects generally range from $5M - $20M.  CFI will provide 40% of the funding and the Province of British Columbia generally provides another 40%.  The remaining 20% must come from supplier discounts and/or other eligible funds. 


For more information on eligibility guidelines, please refer to CFI's Policy and program guide.

  • Acquisition and development of research infrastructure to increase world-class research capacity.
  • Construction costs to build new space or to renovate existing space, exclusively for research activities.
  • Expenditures and in-kind contributions must have taken place on, or after, June 1, 2017.

Internal Selection Process (Notice of Intent Stage)

The Vice-President, Research & International invites all interested teams to submit an internal Notice of Intent (iNOI) for consideration of which proposals will be selected to advance to CFI, within SFU's maximum allocation of $24.7M.

Institutional Strategic Awards (ISA) will manage the internal selection process, as follows:

  • Teams meet with Charlene Allard to discuss requirements for space/renovations (required prior to iNOI submission)
  • Draft iNOIs (download template here) to be submitted to ISA by July 7, 2019
  • External expert panel will review iNOIs against CFI assessment criteria and make recommendations to the VPRI 
  • VPRI will select the iNOIs to advance to CFI under institutional cap
  • Feedback from the panel will be provided to all applicants (successful and unsuccessful)

Developmental Support

  • ISA will host an information session on April 11, 2019. After the session, a recording will be posted.
  • ISA will host a Test Your Concept workshop on May 3, 2019, where groups can pitch their Innovation Fund ideas and receive feedback from experts. To register, contact Charlene Allard (; availability is limited and will be first-come, first-served.
  • NOIs selected to move forward to CFI will be assigned a Research Project Manager from ISA to assist with the development of a full application

Assessment Criteria

A full description of the selection criteria (and instructions on how to address them) can be found here.

Objective 1. Enable global leadership by supporting world–class research or technology development

  • Research or technology development The research or technology development program(s) are innovative, feasible and internationally  competitive. 
  • Team The diverse team comprises the breadth of expertise to conduct the proposed program(s).

Objective 2. Enhance and optimize the capacity of institutions and research communities to conduct the proposed research or technology development program(s)

  • Research capacity The institutions and their partners have the necessary research capacity on which this proposal will build. 
  • Infrastructure The requested infrastructure is necessary and appropriate to conduct the proposed program(s).
  • Sustainability The infrastructure will be optimally used, operated and sustained over its useful life through tangible commitments. 

Objective 3. Lead to social, health, environmental and/or economic benefits for Canadians

  • Benefits The team and its partners have a well–defined plan to transfer the results of the research or technology development program(s). The results are likely to lead to social, health, environmental and/or economic benefits for Canadians. 

Submission Requirements

Internal NOI: Completed SFU iNOI Template Form [download]


  • Project information.
  • Project summary (1,500 characters).
  • Collaborating institutions (they must authorize).
  • Team (10 core team members).
  • Project description (4 pages max).
  • Suggested reviewers.

CFI Full Application:

Information pulled from NOI plus:

  • Project Module (35 pages)
  • Finance Module (itemized budget, contributions, etc.)
  • Suggested Reviewers Module (6)

Helpful Resources


  • April 11, 2019: ISA info session
  • May 3, 2019: Test Your Concept workshop (optional)
  • May 31, 2019: Last day for discussing space/renovation requirements with ISA (required)
  • July 7, 2019: Internal submission of NOIs to ISA (11:59 pm)
  • July 29, 2019: Decisions on internal selection communicated
  • September 3, 2019: NOIs to ISA
  • September 16, 2019: NOIs to CFI
  • January 2, 2020: Applications to ISA
  • January 20, 2020: Applications to CFI
  • November 2020: CFI results

CONTACT/Questions, 778-782-9323 (29323)