Ministry of Transportation Ontario: 2021/22 Highway Infrastructure Innovations Funding Program (HIIFP) – Call for Proposals


Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO)


2021/22 Highway Infrastructure Innovations Funding Program (HIIFP)

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MTO Highway Infrastructure Innovations Funding Program (HIIFP) 2021/22 - Guidelines & Application Forms


The Ontario Government continue to invest in the future of Ontario’s Transportation Infrastructure through its Highway Infrastructure Innovation Funding Program (HIIFP). HIIFP provides funding to Ontario universities and colleges to encourage applied research in topics related to transportation infrastructure in Ontario. The program solicits research proposals from institutions to assist the Ministry in meeting their current and future challenges, and to encourage undergraduate and graduate research in transportation and infrastructure related engineering.
HIIFP provides a challenge to Ontario’s academic community to contribute to solutions in several areas including the following. Some of these challenges involve detailed technical issues and others are open invitations for new ideas in a focus area. 
  • Engineering materials
  • Traffic operations
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • Highway design
  • Investment planning
  • Environmental
  • Bridges
  • Geomatics
  • Construction
  • Maintenance


Faculty Eligibility
The principal researcher must be a member of the faculty (full or part-time) at the sponsoring Institution. The salary of the principal researcher is not eligible for funding under the HIIFP, and nor is the principal researcher to charge any fee in this respect.

Eligible Research Topics
A diverse range of research topics in the area of transportation and infrastructure engineering are included in this program.

To be eligible for funding, HIIFP applications must cover one (or several) of the topics from the following categories:
  • Specific Research Topics
    • The following topics have been identified as priority research areas for this year:
    1. Support for Spring Load Restriction Decisions
    2. Impact of Cement Changes on Determination of Aggregate Reactivity
    3. Automatic Road Condition Reporting: Sensors Development
    4. Winter Severity Index (WSI) Representation Review
    5. Innovative Winter Maintenance Material, Equipment and Procedures Evaluation
    6. Salt-impacted Soil and/or Water Remediation Strategies
    7. Development of Computer Tools to Analyze a Concrete Section Subject to Combined Loading
    8. Development of Computer Applications to Determine the Roughness of Concrete Surfaces
    9. Jurisdictional Scan on Utilizing Drone Technology by Transportation Agencies
    10. Remote Inspection on Construction Sites
    11. Introduction into the Systemic Approach to Safety for Ontario
    12. Investigating Applications of the Autonomous Vehicle (AV) Technology Stack to Enhance Highway Operations
  • Open Research Topics
    • MTO will also accept and evaluate HIIFP proposals on topics not specified in the Guidelines that the principal researcher considers relevant to highway infrastructure innovation and the Ministry’s business needs.
    • If you choose to submit an HIIFP application on another research topic, please carefully outline to the Ministry a clear need for the research topic(s) including how its application will enhance MTO practices and business needs.
    • For more information and to determine suitability of the proposed topic, contact:
      Olena Czajkowski
      HIIFP Program Coordinator
      Transportation Infrastructure Management Division
      Ministry of Transportation

Funding Availability

Please be advised that the award value is subject to budget approval and MTO may have to delay any awards until the budget has been approved. MTO reserves the right not to provide any funds in its sole discretion and without any reasons.
MTO will consider applications that are multi-year, where funding is required in each year. In such cases, MTO will endeavour to provide funding beyond next fiscal year, however, cannot guarantee funding in future years and reserves the right to not provide the funding and terminate the research on written notice to the Institution.

Indirect Costs


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.

Internal Deadline

Please submit your completed application package along with an OR-5 Form to Please ensure your Associate Dean, Research (ADR) has signed the Application under 'Head of Department'. The Office of Research Services will obtain the ORS signature.

External Deadline

Applicant is responsible for submitting the fully signed, electronic copy of the application package to by the deadline. 

How to Apply

The application shall consist of the following components, which are available in the attached Program Guidelines:
  1. MTO HIIFP Application Form (Attachment B)
  2. Summary of Research Proposal
    • 300 words maximum, in plain language suitable for communicating with the public (Attachment C).
    • Portions of this summary may be used in a media release, so the language should be non-technical and free of acronyms or jargon.
  3. Budget Summary (Attachment D)
  4. Detailed Research Proposal
    • Maximum 10 pages in 12-point font
    • Note, requirements are described in Section 4.2
  5. Budget Details
    • See Section 5.0 Budget
  6. Curriculum vitae of Principal Researcher and other principal research staff named in the Application Form
  7. If applicable, description of and reason for request for use of MTO Facilities and or work on MTO highways.

Information For Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least five days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For Questions, please contact
Olena Czajkowski
HIIFP Program Coordinator
Transportation Infrastructure Management Division
Ministry of Transportation

Office of Research

Amy Bossaer, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x58613

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