NSERC Synergy Awards for Innovation - Call for Nominations

Updated Information

Internal deadline added:  Friday, April 7, 2017 at 4:00pm 

Internal deadline note added:  Please submit the complete nomination package along with a signed OR-5 form to resserv@uoguelph.ca




Synergy Awards for Innovation

For More Information

About the Award
Call for Nominations


The Synergy Awards for Innovation honour outstanding research and development (R&D) partnerships between a university or a college and industry, in the natural sciences and engineering. Since 1995, the Awards have showcased the benefits of pooling university and industry resources to make the most of Canadian research excellence and Canadian industrial expertise. Winners of the Synergy Awards show effective use of human, technical and financial resources, leading to tangible commercial benefits with their industrial collaborators. Universities must demonstrate a sustained partnership while colleges may focus on the impact of near-term applied research.


The nominated partnerships must be in the natural sciences and/or engineering and be between a Canadian university professor, or group of professors and a Canadian-based company or companies with commercial activities in Canada, such as R&D and/or manufacturing.  An individual, a team of individuals, or a college may be nominated for these awards. Only nominations in the natural sciences, and/or engineering will be considered. There is no limit to the number of nominations that a University or college can put forward in a given competition.

The Partner Eligibility Guidelines section of the Guidelines for Organizations Participating in Research Partnerships should be consulted to determine the eligibility of the industrial partner(s). In order to be eligible, the partnering organization(s) must be at arm’s length from the nominee and co-nominee(s). Refer to the Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Partner Organizations for more details.

Funding Availability

Universities: The winner in each category will receive a $200,000 NSERC research grant. Industrial partners will each receive a $30,000 voucher valid towards a cash portion of their required contribution in a new Collaborative Research and Development Grant (CRD). Applicants using the voucher must be received within three years of the Synergy Award for Innovation being awarded. The value of the voucher can be divided across multiple years of the CRD project. 

Special Notes

New for this nomination process: NSERC is striving for increased inclusion and advancement of women and other under-represented groups in the natural sciences and engineering. The nomination must outline how gender equity was considered in the nomination process.


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

Internal Deadline

Please submit the complete nomination package along with a signed OR-5 form to resserv@uoguelph.ca

External Deadline

Nominator saves nomination package on a USB key or a CD and sends one printed original copy and the USB key (or CD) to the address below. An acknowledgement of receipt will be sent for all nominations received. Please arrange for letters of support well in advance of this deadline. 

How to Apply

The nomination package must include:

  • Synergy Awards for Innovation Nomination Form completed and signed (electronic signature possible) by:
    • the nominator, who must be a senior executive from one of the participating organizations, i.e., an executive head from the university or college (the President or Vice-President of Research, or equivalent), or a senior executive from one of the industrial partner organizations (President, Chief Executive Officer, Vice-President of Research, or equivalent); and
    • an appropriate representative of all other industrial partner organizations listed on the nomination form.
  • Terms and Conditions Form for Nominees completed and signed.
  • Terms and Conditions Form for Nominators completed and signed.
  • Signed letters of support, on letterhead, from:
    • the nominator (a senior executive of one of the industrial partner organizations or an executive head of the university or college); and
    • the senior executive or executive head of all other partner organizations, including the university(ies) or colleges, listed on the Synergy Awards for Innovation Nomination Form.
  • A concise company profile (no more than half a page) for each industrial partner.
  • The nomination (free-form, maximum of six pages plus one page of references). See the General Presentation Guidelines and the Selection Criteria section for details.
For Questions, please contact

Synergy Awards for Innovation
350 Albert Street
Ottawa, ON
K1H 1H5
(613) 995-1111

Office of Research

Carolyn Osborn, Director, Grants & Contracts
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52935

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