Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation - Spark 2020 Call for Innovations


CABHI (Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation)


Spark-ON - Investing in innovative frontline care solutions


COVID-19 has created extremely challenging circumstances for point-of-care staff who work with older adults and persons with dementia. Throughout 2020, healthcare workers – especially those working in congregate-care environments – have been relied upon to use their expertise and creative problem-solving abilities to protect the health and wellbeing of the aging population.

Spark-ON seeks applications for projects that accomplish one of the following two objectives:

  • Developing and/or testing your own novel innovative solution at your own organization.
  • Scaling your own solution to one or more collaborating organizations.


Spark-ON seeks applicant who work at a healthcare delivery organization located in Ontario and are one of the following:

  • Frontline care staff, including:
    • Healthcare professionals
    • Allied health professionals
    • Personal support workers
    • Certified nursing assistants
    • Support staff (for example, dietary aides or housekeepers)
    • Home healthcare aides
  • Clinical care manager
    • Person who directly manages clinical care delivery
  • Clinical researcher
    • Person who conducts applied or translational research in a care setting

Proposed solutions must:

  • Clearly address clearly at least one of CABHI’s four Spark-ON priority themes
  • Be sufficiently innovative, meaning that the solution purposely differs from existing solutions
  • Represent Intellectual Property that belongs to the host organization, the applicant, or a combination thereof

Projects must:

  • Focus on the development, testing, and/or scaling of an innovative solution at a healthcare delivery organization located in Ontario
  • Be completed, reasonably, in a maximum of 12 months
  • Not involve basic research, primarily academic goals, subsidizing existing programs or initiatives at the host organization, capital investment, pharmaceutical trials, or incubators for startups

To be considered for funding, your proposed solution must address one or more of the COVID-19-related senior care priority themes.

Funding Availability

CABHI plans to fund up to 20 projects through this program.

Maximum Project Value

Up to 50,000 CAD.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

The Spark-ON program funds projects scheduled to occur over 12 months, starting March 1, 2021.

Special Notes

Please note that research activities carried out in the context of COVID-19 need to adhere to the University of Guelph COVID-19 research principles, policies, guidelines and processes as they may be updated from time to time and communicated on the Office of Research web-page.


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

External Deadline

Register here for the webinar on December 2, 2020 at 12:00pm ET to learn more about how to submit a successful application. Topics will include: keys to a successful proposal; how to submit a proposal through the online portal; funding allocation; and responsibility for reporting.

Internal Deadline

Researcher to submit a PDF copy of the application, along with an OR-5 Form to research.services@uoguelph.ca.

External Deadline

Lead applicant to submit online application form via the CABHI website.

How to Apply

For more details on how to apply, eligibility guidelines and evaluation criteria, please view the program guide.

For Questions, please contact


Karol Kamecka

Office of Research

Vanessa Knox, Awards and Agreements Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x53429

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