What is the timing and process to implement multi-year funding?
The Alliance has been actively planning the implementation of each initiative since October 2022 in preparation for ISED’s funding decision. Implementation plans describe how the Alliance will administer each initiative by defining the program requirements, metrics, timelines, oversight, resources, risk management and communications. Contribution Agreements between ISED and the Alliance have been in development since early 2023 and will be finalized soon.
Once Contribution Agreements are signed, the Alliance will engage with regional organizations and partner institutions with respect to the development of funding agreements, updated operating budgets and cost-matching requirements.
Initiatives will be rolled out according to readiness and timelines. The high-level contribution funding process will unfold as follows, over a six-to-14-month period; some steps may proceed in parallel.
The Alliance and ISED sign Contribution Agreements
Partners/proponents secure cost-matching
The Alliance and partners/proponents update initiative operating budgets and complete Alliance Funding Agreements
The Alliance publishes Program Guidelines and issues Calls for Proposals
The Alliance initiates internal and external reviews; recommends proposals for award
The Alliance provides notification of award and contracting
Ultimate Recipients execute projects in accordance with terms of award and funding agreements (the Alliance monitors delivery, financial and performance outcomes)
Ultimate Recipients begin operations (projects are complete and new infrastructure or services are deployed)
Why were some initiatives not approved?
ISED assessed proposed projects based on their readiness for uptake and scalability, as well as alignment with the strategic vision and national mandate of both ISED and the Alliance for 2023-25. Initiatives that ISED deemed essential for service provision or to address rapidly growing demand were prioritized, for a total federal investment of up to $228.3 million over two years. Some initiatives will require additional collaboration and development to gain ISED approval. These initiatives will be re-evaluated as part of the Alliance’s 2025-30 funding proposal.
What happens to initiatives that were not approved for funding?
The Alliance remains committed to working with partners to address gaps in Canada’s digital research infrastructure (DRI), as identified during the collaborative development of the 2023-25 Multi-Year Funding Proposal (MYFP). Some initiatives will require additional consultation and groundwork to gain ISED approval. These initiatives will be re-evaluated as part of the Alliance’s 2025-30 funding proposal, to be submitted in fall 2023. We will continue to work with our colleagues across the DRI ecosystem to advance this important work.
Will cost-matching be required for initiatives?
ISED has required cost-matching from provinces and institutions for most initiatives and engaged provinces about co-funding requirements as part of its decision-making process. ISED will outline cost-matching requirements in Contribution Agreements as they are finalized. The Alliance will clearly communicate cost-matching requirements through the Program Guide and calls for proposals, and will work with proponents to ensure clarity.
How will the implementation of approved initiatives begin on April 1, 2023 when partner or regional agreements may not yet be in place?
There has historically been a bridge period between the start of the fiscal year and the flow of funds to institutions. In 2022-23, the bridge period was from April to August.
For existing programs, the Alliance is working with partner institutions to establish the necessary agreements to ensure a smooth transition into the next fiscal year.
The Alliance will work closely with applicants and partner institutions to ensure ISED and Alliance requirements are met, and funds can flow to institutions. New programs will roll out as requirements are met over the 2023-24 fiscal year.