OCE 5G (ENCQOR) Academic Technology Development Program


Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)


ENCQOR (Evolution of Networked Services through a Corridor in Quebec and Ontario for Research and Innovation) is a collaboration between the governments of Ontario, Quebec and Canada and is powered by five global digital technology Anchor Firms: Ericsson, Ciena Canada Inc., Thales Canada Inc., IBM Canada and CGI.

For More Information

ENCQOR Program Announcement

Program FAQ

Expression of Interest (EOI) Template


The 5G ENCQOR Academic Technology Development Program partners researchers at Ontario-based post-secondary institutions with ENCQOR Anchor Firms on 5G technology development projects. Areas of research interest are defined by Challenge Statements submitted to OCE by the ENCQOR Anchor Firms and posted to the OCE website on a rolling basis.

The 5G (ENCQOR) Academic Technology Development Program supports collaborative technology development projects to develop, integrate, test or validate pre-commercial technologies for the iPaaS testbed.



  • Principal investigator at an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario university, or applied research officer at an accredited, publicly-funded Ontario college (additional primary researchers must be listed as team members in the application)
  • Adjunct professors may be eligible on a case-by-case basis. At a minimum, the adjunct professor must: 1) actively conduct research at an Ontario institution, 2) be allowed by the institution to hold a grant and given an institutional account, and 3) be allowed to supervise students
  • The applicant must have an arms-length relationship with the ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner defined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement for which they are applying
  • Applicants must be in good financial and reporting standing with OCE
  • Applicants must be willing to co-operate in providing project and outcomes metrics
  • Applicants must be willing to execute a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner defined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement for which they are applying
  • Applicants must be willing to undergo the procurement process of the ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner defined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement for which they are applying
  • Applicants must be willing to enter into a funding agreement with OCE and Innovation ENCQOR
  • Applicants must be willing to enter into a separate agreement with the ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner defined in the 5G SDP Challenge Statement for which they are applying
  • Additional Applicant eligibility requirements may vary by Challenge Statement.

Industry Partner

  • Project Partners must be one of the Ontario ENCQOR Anchor Firms (Ciena, Ericsson, Thales)
  • Partners are defined in the posted Challenge Statement


  • Projects must be developed in response to an active 5G ADP Challenge Statement
  • Areas of technology interest and expected project outcomes will be defined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement
  • Projects must be between 12-24 months in duration. Expected project timeline will be defined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement.
  • All 5G ADP Challenge Statements and projects developed in response to these Challenge Statements must drive the development, integration, testing or validation of pre-commercial technologies with a link to the Innovation Platform as Service (iPaaS) testbed.
  • Project activities may vary from R&D to later stage validation- expected technology readiness level of the solution technology may vary by 5G ADP Challenge Statement but must be within TRL levels 1-7.
  • Projects should show a clear fit with the industry priorities outlined in the 5G ADP Challenge Statement and show strong potential for commercial impact on the ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner.
  • The ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner must be able to utilize the results of the project for the economic, environmental or social benefit of Ontario. This includes direct economic benefit to the Anchor Firm (e.g., new jobs, increased revenue, increased productivity, cost savings), and/or indirect economic benefit to other members of the value chain, partners, or industry in Ontario (e.g. job creation, capacity building, strategic benefit). Contribution to the training and industry exposure of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) at the company is also a desired element.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) arising from the project will be managed by the project participants as OCE does not claim or manage IP rights. Successful applicants and the ENCQOR anchor firm(s) must execute OCE’s standard funding agreement, including an executed Schedule D, Intellectual Property Term Sheet (for example, in the form of a Collaborative Research Agreement), within 30 days of notification of approval.

Funding Availability

100% of total eligible project costs, maximum to be defined in the posted Challenge Statement

Special Notes

Anchor Firm Agreement:

Prior to execution of the final funding agreement with OCE/Innovation ENCQOR the Applicant company must have an agreement with the ENCQOR Anchor Firm.  This agreement will define a detailed statement of work and formalize the terms of the collaboration between the Applicant Institution and Anchor Firm Partner.

As part of this process the applicant Institution will be expected to undergo a procurement process with the ENCQOR Anchor Firm. This process will vary by ENCQOR Anchor Firm Partner and may vary by Challenge Statement.  Requirements may include: negotiations around intellectual property or other requirements as defined by the ENCQOR Anchor Firm.

Applicant Institutions and ENCQOR Anchor Firms are highly encouraged to start discussions around Anchor Firm procurement process expectations as soon as possible after the Applicant Institution has been invited to submit a full application.  Early discussions will ensure that both parties are aware of the expectations and requirements for this process and help to accelerate the contracting process after the project is approved.

OCE is not a signatory on the agreement between the ENCQOR Anchor Firm and the Applicant Company should not be included in the procurement process or partnership negotiations.

When the agreement between the Applicant Company and the ENCQOR Anchor Firm has been executed the Anchor Firm will provide documentation to OCE as confirmation as well as a statement regarding the intellectual property agreement between the ENCQOR Anchor Firm and the Applicant Company to be incorporated as a schedule of OCE/ Innovation ENCQOR Funding agreement.

If the ENCQOR Anchor Firm and the Applicant Company are unable to execute an agreement or if the Anchor Firm Agreement Process causes a significant delay in project activation OCE may consider not awarding the project.


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

External Deadline

Expression of Interest (EOI) Deadline:

EOI Deadlines will vary by 5G ADP Challenge Statement and will be posted at the time that the Challenge Statement is released.  Challenge Statements will be posted to the OCE website for a minimum of four (4) weeks.

If you are ready to start applying for 5G ADP Challenge, the applicant (from the post-secondary institution) should submit a client intake form. An OCE Business Development Manager (BD) will contact you within two business days to discuss the opportunity. If you are already working with an OCE BD, please indicate this in the form.

Once the BD confirms that the opportunity is suitable for the program, you will be sent a link to OCE’s online application system, AccessOCE. Complete the online Expression of Interest and then request your OCE BD to provide an endorsement of the application. The endorsement must be requested at least one week prior to submission.

Internal Deadline

Full Application (by Invitation ONLY) Deadline:

Selected EOIs that meet ENCQOR anchor firms' requirements will be invited to submit a full application to OCE approximately two (2) weeks from EOI submission deadline. 

At the time of notification, successful applicants MUST notify Office of Research Services (ORS) immediately via resserv@uoguelph.ca

Applicants are required to complete their full application as well as  execute a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the ENCQOR Anchor firm to develop the project Statement of Work. All applicants should work with ORS to start negotiation with the ENCQOR anchor firm(s) regarding intellectual property (IP) rights soon after their invitation to develop a full application. Applicants will have approximately four (4) weeks to complete their full application for OCE.

Applicants must submit a signed OR-5 form, a copy of the approved EOI along with their full application to ORS (resserv@uoguelph.ca) prior to signing the NDA or submitting to OCE.

How to Apply

5G ADP is a discretionary, non-entitlement program with limited funding. All eligible projects are assessed on their merit and undergo a review process against program objectives and assessment criteria.

Applicants must work with a Business Development Manager throughout the application process.  

5G ADP is a two-step application process including EOI and Full Application stages.

Step 1: Expression of Interest (EOI)

OCE will issue 5G ADP Challenge Statements on a rolling basis on the OCE website. Applicants can apply for funding to execute a project in response to an ENCQOR Anchor Firm-defined Challenge Statement by submitting an EOI.

See a list of current challenge statements

All submitted EOIs will undergo an initial internal review by OCE for eligibility and application completeness. Subsequently, the EOIs will be reviewed by the ENCQOR anchor firm(s) for fit. Selected EOIs that meet the ENCQOR anchor firms requirements will be invited to submit a full application to OCE.

Step 2: Full Application (Invitation Only)

Selected EOI applicants will be invited to submit a full application. Full applications will undergo an internal review for completeness and financial compliance. Following confirmation by OCE of application completeness and financial compliance, applications will undergo review by OCE’s Subject Matter Director.

For Questions, please contact

For program-related inquiries, including assistance with deadlines and applications, please contact:  

Sarah Fairlie
Analyst, Digital Economy Technologies
(416) 861 1092 x1083

For general inquiries about the online application system and application form, please contact the Application Support Team at (416) 861-1092 x2400 or application-support@oce.zendesk.com

Office of Research

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

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