Ministry of Transportation Ontario: Highway Infrastructure Innovations Funding Program 2023/24 - Call for Proposals


Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO)


2023/24 Highway Infrastructure Innovations Funding Program (HIIFP)


The objective of this program is to supplement the technical expertise at MTO by providing HIIFP funding to eligible Ontario universities and colleges (institutions). This funding encourages the academic community to conduct research that will contribute to the generation of innovative solutions to current technical challenges experienced during the construction and maintenance of the provincial highway infrastructure network. This research aids MTO in achieving its strategic plan.
Research on innovative approaches and methodologies contribute to solutions in several areas of transportation and infrastructure engineering which are included in this program, such as:
  • Traffic Operations
  • Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • Engineering Materials
  • Highway Design
  • Investment Planning
  • Environmental
  • Geomatics
  • Bridges
  • Construction
  • Maintenance
A majority of the research topics involve detailed technical issues identified by MTO that will require an innovative solution to address the specified problem. MTO further supports the research methodology and solution generation by assigning an MTO Technical Specialist in the relevant subject area to liaise with the Principal Researcher for all research projects awarded HIIFP funding.


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, nor is the Principal Researcher eligible to charge any fees in this respect.
Eligible Research Topics
A diverse range of specific research topics have been developed by MTO that outline: 1.) the background of the research requirement, 2.) the challenge or problem to be addressed, and 3.) the anticipated outcome and/or research deliverables.
A majority of the research topics involve detailed technical issues identified by MTO that will require an innovative solution to address the specified problem. To qualify for HIIFP funding, an eligible institution’s HIIFP application package must cover one (or several) of the specific research topics. An institution may also submit a HIIFP application package with their own research topic (i.e., an open research topic).
Details of Specific Research Topics can be found in Appendix 'A' of the HIIFP Program Guide, attached. Alternatively, an open research topic can be utilized if the Principal Researcher considers it to be relevant to the provincial highway infrastructure as well as to MTO’s business needs.

Funding Availability

The total HIIFP funding amount for any fiscal year is subject to provincial budget approval. MTO may be required to delay the award of HIIFP funds until the provincial budget has been approved.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

MTO will consider application packages for research project proposals that are multi-year, meaning funding may be required for the current and future fiscal year(s). In such cases, MTO will endeavour to provide funding beyond the first fiscal year, however, MTO cannot guarantee funding in future years.

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 PDF copy of the application package to with the Subject Line: HIIFP Application Package, by the deadline. 

How to Apply

Application Package Components
The application package for a research project proposal shall consist of the following components, available as a component of the 2023/24 Program Guide, attached. 
  1. HIIFP Application Form (see Appendix D, Form 23-A)
  2. Research Proposal Summary (see Appendix E, Form 23-C)
  3.  Budget Summary (see Appendix F, Form 23-D)
  4. Detailed Research Project Proposal (maximum 10 pages)
  5. Budget Details Form (see Appendix G, Form 23-E). See Section 5 for details.
  6. Curriculum Vitae (CV) for t he Principal Researcher and the Co-Applicants (if any) listed in the HIIFP Application Form (23-A).
  7. Additional Approvals (where required). For example:
    1. Pre-approvals (use of MTO facilities, work conducted on MTO highways, etc.)
    2. Open Research Topic Form 23-B (if applicable, see Section 3.2.2 for details).

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).


PDF icon 2023-24 HIIFP Program Guide1.86 MB
For Questions, please contact

HIIFP Coordinator

Office of Research

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

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