Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator
For More Information
Learn more about the criteria and process for applications at MICA.
MICA, is a 5-year national network that was created in 2021 through a $40M Strategic Innovation Fund grant. Their initiative brings together stakeholders from a wide range of fields to accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies to make the mining sector more productive and sustainable.
One of the mandates of the MICA Network is to provide access to leverage funding for high-impact innovative clean technologies within one of the following four technical themes:
- Increase Mine Production Capacity, at Lower Cost.
- Reduce Mining Energy Consumption and GHG Emissions.
- Implement Smart, Autonomous Mining Systems.
- Reduce Environmental Risk and Long-Term Liabilities.
The investment in the projects is to advance made-in-Canada solutions, commercialize new, late-stage, high impact mining technologies and accelerate the number and scale of SMEs engaged in mining.
In order to be eligible to apply, the lead applicant must be associated with an organization that is/has:
- a member in good standing with the MICA Network (minimum SME Level1)
- incorporated pursuant to the laws of Canada, carrying on business in Canada and have a presence in Canada.
- has secured funding for the project to match the MICA investment.
Up to $2.5M per project over 5 years.
Up to 2/3 of project costs will be funded by MICA, while the remainder must come from ‘other sources’ (government, not for profit, or industry). Leverage does not need to be confirmed until the Submission of Full Application to MICA.
Please note, given the commercialization focus of MICA, they are seeking technologies in the Technology Readiness Level 5+ range*. In some instances, earlier TRL (3+) may be permitted, if they are in the proof of concept or demonstration phase.
*Technology Readiness Levels
These are the 9 technology readiness levels, with 1 being the least ready and 9 being already used in real-life conditions.
Level 1: Basic principles of concept are observed and reported
Scientific research begins to be translated into applied research and development. Activities might include paper studies of a technology’s basic properties.
Level 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated
Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, practical applications can be invented. Activities are limited to analytic studies.
Level 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or proof of concept
Active research and development are initiated. This includes analytical studies and/or laboratory studies. Activities might include components that are not yet integrated or representative.
Level 4: Component and/or validation in a laboratory environment
Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together. Activities include integration of “ad hoc” hardware in the laboratory.
Level 5: Component and/or validation in a simulated environment
The basic technological components are integrated for testing in a simulated environment. Activities include laboratory integration of components.
Level 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a simulated environment
A model or prototype that represents a near desired configuration. Activities include testing in a simulated operational environment or laboratory.
Levels 7 through 9 represent the pre-commercialization gap for innovations
Level 7: Prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment
Prototype at planned operational level and is ready for demonstration in an operational environment. Activities include prototype field testing.
Level 8: Actual technology completed and qualified through tests and demonstrations
Technology has been proven to work in its final form and under expected conditions. Activities include developmental testing and evaluation of whether it will meet operational requirements.
Level 9: Actual technology proven through successful deployment in an operational setting
Actual application of the technology in its final form and under real-life conditions, such as those encountered in operational tests and evaluations. Activities include using the innovation under operational conditions.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
Please express interest in applying by contacting Vanja Banks, Industry Liaison Officer (information below) before 4:59pm EST Friday March 25th.
How to Apply
Given the institutional membership requirement, Research Innovation Office is first soliciting technologies for assessment on suitability to Technology Readiness Levels as required by MICA. Please express interest in applying by contacting Vanja Banks, Industry Liaison Officer (information below) before 4:59pm EST Friday March 25th.
Upon internal review of submitted technologies, the University of Guelph may initiate membership and the applicants will be encouraged to apply to MICA by March 7th 4:59pm EST.
The application process with MICA includes:
- Submission of an Initial Application (due March 7th);
- Approval to advance to Full Application;
- Submission of Full Application; and
- Approval of Full Application
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