Welcome to OCIP for Academic Researchers

The Ontario Collaborative Innovation Platform (OCIP)  connects expert researchers at Ontario’s postsecondary institutions with Ontario companies to help businesses innovate and get to market more quickly and confidently.

Generating Value for Institutions

Ontario postsecondary institutions are home to some of the best and most advanced applied research capabilities in the world. Meanwhile, Ontario businesses need that research to develop new products and innovate to help Ontario grow and prosper. 

OCIP’s matchmaking platform model means that academic researchers can bring their expertise to real-world problems and businesses can bring new innovations and products to market while both benefit from better access to direct funding opportunities. Institutions can also earn additional revenues for their programs, labs and equipment. 

The OCIP platform approach:  

  • Connects postsecondary researchers with Ontario businesses pursuing innovation and commercialisation to help them solve their R&D and funding challenges. 
  • Provides researchers and learners with the opportunity to work on real-world research initiatives. 
  • Creates new opportunities for co-op placements and work-integrated learning. 
  • Improves access to and utilisation of your research facilities, generate additional revenues and potentially create intellectual property. 
  • Showcases institutional expertise to businesses needing assistance. 
  • Increases the quantity and quality of funded research projects. 
  • Helps HEIs access the knowledge and expertise of businesses in innovation, development and commercialisation. 
  • Streamlines access to funding programs that support co-op students and R&D activities. 
  • Develops networks between institutions and local and provincial business communities. 

OCIP and Institutions: Connecting research with opportunity

Cutting-edge research and innovation are core ingredients for a thriving, globally competitive economy and also help produce the breakthroughs that lead to healthier lives and communities. Ontario’s universities, colleges and Indigenous institutes play a key role in producing ground-breaking and impactful research and innovation. 

From engineering and science labs, to advanced testing and prototyping facilities, to design and process improvement, postsecondary institutions across Ontario have faculty experts, specialized equipment and students engaged in some of the most advanced research in the world.  

OCIP opens up a world of opportunity to bring that research to bear on real-world problems.

How OCIP Works




Register on OCIP


Submit an Innovation Challenge


Get matched with a research expert


Submit fees*


Get matched with funding programs


Explore potential collaboration on the full project with HEI


From start to finish, OCIP provides support for both business/organization and HEI

Higher Education Institution (HEI)


Submit HEI registration form


Work with your affiliated institution to complete expert profile


Get matched with an Innovation Challenge


Provide a Scope of Work (SoW) for Innovation Challenge


Your affiliated institution receives the scoping fee*


Explore potential collaboration on the full project with business


Start the project


Complete the project


Protect your intellectual property (IP), If applicable


Apply for SR&ED tax credits, If applicable


*Scoping fee of $2500 (plus applicable HST + $250 admin fees)


When an Ontario business submits an Innovation Challenge – think project outline – to the OCIP platform, an advanced algorithm matches it to academic researchers working in that area of investigation. Some of the factors considered include proximity to the company; available facilities, experts and equipment, and a history of research in the project’s subject matter. 

Example: Dixon University and Sampson’s Boot Company 

  1. Jody is the VP Research at Dixon University in Ontario and is responsible for applied research opportunities for faculty and students. Jody has a deep understanding of the expertise, facilities and capacity within the institution to support industry partnerships and commercialization.​ Members of Jody’s staff are responsible for keeping the institution’s profile on OCIP up to date. 
  2. Sampson Boot Company has submitted an Innovation Challenge to the OCIP platform to find a research partner to help develop a new anti-slip substance that can be incorporated into the rubber soles of its newest line of winter boots targeted at hikers.   
  3. OCIP’s advanced algorithm identifies Dixon University and its materials science researchers as a match.   
  4. Researchers at Dixon University conduct a scoping assessment on Sampson’s Innovation Challenge and give the green light to move to the next stage.  The scoping costs Sampson’s $2500 (plus HST and admin fees).
  5. The head materials sciences researcher at Dixon University has several PhD candidates interested in commercial applications of similar materials that they have been exploring, and the institution is actively looking for funded projects and co-op opportunities for students in their Human Mobility Lab. The fit is perfect.  
  6. Dixon University and Sampson’s Boot Company together apply to several innovation funding groups for a grant to help defray the costs.  
  7. With a real opportunity in hand and funding in place, the Innovation Challenge becomes a project, and active research and development (R&D) begins.  
  8. When the project is complete, Dixon University and Sampson Boot Company have together developed a new polymer rubber compound that can be cost-effectively manufactured and incorporated into boot soles and that provides superior traction on snow and ice in below-zero environments.   

*All organizational or institutional names are fictitious. No identification with actual businesses or academic institutions is intended or should be inferred. 

OCIP and eCampusOntario

OCIP is a product ofeCampusOntario, a provincially-funded non-profit organization that supports Ontario’s highereducationinstitutions. We support digital transformation and encourage innovation, collaboration and education partnerships to connect Ontario’s campuses to the future of learning and innovation.  


eCampusOntario is a not-for-profit centre of excellence and global leader in the evolution of teaching and learning through technology.

OCIP is made possible with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

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