Ontario Centre of Innovation: Demonstration Zone - Call for Applications - 2022-2023


Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) 


Demonstration Zone (DZ)

For More Information

Please visit the Demonstration Zone-Call for applications webpage


Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network (OVIN), a key component of Driving Prosperity, builds upon the highly successful Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) to ensure that Ontario capitalizes on the economic potential of advanced automotive technologies and smart mobility solutions such as connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AVs) and electric and low-carbon vehicle technologies, while enabling the province’s transportation and infrastructure networks to plan for and adapt to this evolution.

Ontario is a North American leader in transformative automotive technologies, transportation and infrastructure systems. Ontario’s strengths in automotive manufacturing and information and communications technology will continue to be leveraged under OVIN, with an expanded mandate to include accelerating the development of next-generation electric, connected, and autonomous vehicle and mobility technologies and supporting Ontario’s position in the automotive value chain and creating and maintaining jobs in this highly competitive and evolving sector. Via OVIN’s skills and talent strategy, companies will be able to access next-generation talent to ensure Ontario has the skills and is creating the jobs required to increase competitiveness in the sector.

OVIN is driving collaboration throughout the supply chain by linking large companies (partnering OEMs, Tier 1, etc.), fleet operators, municipalities and utilities with Ontario entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, and small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through the OVIN Regional Technology Development Sites as well as through the Demonstration Zone (DZ). The Demonstration Zone will allow for open collaboration and innovation, make available physical space, technology platforms, facilities, specialized equipment, hardware and software and other infrastructure and enable the testing and demonstration of leading-edge C/AV technologies.


Applicants must be one or more provider(s) of publicly funded organization(s), such as established regional innovation centres, economic development corporations, accredited academic institutions, or industry associations. Applicants must be operating in Ontario with a successful track record supporting advanced automotive technologies and the smart mobility innovation economy.

Partners may include a consortium of not-for-profits including sites in multiple locations across Ontario to form the Demonstration Zone (DZ).

Consortium models are encouraged. However there should be one Lead Applicant organization who will lead and coordinate all DZ activities.

Organizations already in receipt of OVIN funding (e.g., RTDS site partners in receipt of funds) are ineligible to be a DZ Applicant but can be partners.

Funding Availability

The maximum contribution from OVIN to the DZ’s budget is $2.7M over a program lifetime period, ending March 31, 2025. Funding will flow from OCI to the Lead Applicant organization. If the application is made by a consortium, the Lead Applicant will be responsible for coordination and oversight of delivery plans, regular reporting and distribution of funds to partner organizations.

A minimum of 1:1 in private sector contributions is required to be secured over the contracted funding period. Private sector contributions can be comprised of direct funding, value of staff time, operations, and value of equipment or services provided to the site. To be eligible as a matching contribution, private sector contributions must be unencumbered from other public funding sources.

Other non-private sector sources of funding, such as from municipalities and academia, are valued and will be measured separately. There is no minimum matching requirement for public funds. These do not contribute to the private sector match requirement.

As part of the agreement, OCI reserves the right to revise the approved funding amounts based on the evaluation of the business plan, or failure to achieve the private sector match requirements.

Contributors to the DZ may include industry (SMEs, NEs and MNEs), publicly funded academic institutions, economic development corporations, not-for-profits, Indigenous communities, municipalities, transit authorities, road and railroad operators, or utilities.

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

DZ programs are to end by March 31, 2025. 


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

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit a copy of application along with a complete OR5 form to: research.services@uoguelph.ca.



External Deadline

Your application must be submitted through email to ovinteam@oc-innovation.ca by December 20, 2022. Please include “DZ Business Plan” in the subject line.

How to Apply

The application template is available upon request from the Sector Manager.

Your application must be submitted through email to ovinteam@oc-innovation.ca by December 20, 2022. Please include “DZ Business Plan” in the subject line.

An internal review will be conducted. Only complete applications meeting the requirements above will be approved and advanced for external review. External review consists of a panel of experts who will score your application. A presentation to the panel will be conducted before OCI makes a final decision. A decision is expected in Spring 2023. The winning application will undertake a contracting process with OCI outlining the terms and conditions of the DZ project.

Please consult the Call for Applications Document prior to applying. 

For Questions, please contact

Sector Manager:

John George
Sector Manager, Automotive and Mobility Innovation

Office of Research

Devon Staaf, Senior Grants and Contracts Specialist
Research Services Office

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