CUTRIC’s funding program objective is to make Canada a global leader in public transit, transportation and integrated mobility innovation by supporting industry-academic collaborations in alternative fuel systems, signalling and controls, materials light-weighting, big Data and analytics solutions, and asset management strategies for next-generation transportation networks.

CUTRIC collaborative innovation projects will integrate private companies (manufacturers, start-ups, and small to mid-sized enterprises), transit operators, and academic research teams to develop next-generation Made-in-Canada technologies for global transportation networks. Projects will be located across Canada, concentrated initially in the country’s transportation manufacturing hubs in Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia.

Collaborative innovation projects will range from a Technology Readiness (TRL) Level 1 (primary research stage) to Level 6 (demonstration stage), and they will relate to five research pillars identified by industry, transit, and academic stakeholders throughout 2015 consultations across the country.

Pillar 1: Zero- and low-emissions propulsion technologies and system integration

This includes battery electric propulsion technologies, hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen combustion propulsion technologies, compressed and renewable natural gas (CNG/RNG) propulsion technologies, and advanced low-emissions engine technologies that provide demonstrable greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

Pillar 2: Light-weight materials and processing technologies for light-weight vehicles

This includes composite materials, polymers, advanced metals, and multi-material designs.

Pillar 3: Autonomous and connected vehicular and infrastructure technologies that support automation, autonomy and connectivity of vehicle systems on roads and rail

This includes sensors, signaling and control systems.

Pillar 4: "Big data" and data-driven analytics solutions

This includes the support of fleet and network optimization for vehicles in mixed traffic, dedicated lanes, or specialized communities.

Pillar 5: Cybersecurity solutions

This includes the support of vehicular and infrastructure securitization for electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and autonomous vehicles given the susceptibility of these vehicle systems and their charging/fueling supplies to new forms of malicious attack.


Technology Readiness Level (TRL) (adapted from NASA)

TRL 9: Actual system "flight proven" through successful mission operations

TRL 8: Actual system completed and "flight qualified" through test and demonstration

TRL 7: System prototype demonstration

TRL 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment

TRL 5: Component and/or breadboard validator in relevant environment

TRL 4: Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment

TRL 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof-of-concept

TRL 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated

TRL 1: Basic principles observed and reported


CUTRIC Co-Financing Baseline Investment Rations Based on Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

All projects will have a total co-financing rate of 125% (100% in cash and 25% in-kind contributions)

TRL 1-3 - Early stage research and development (25% cash, 25% additional in-kind). Must have a federal investment of 50%* and a provincial investment of 25%*.

TRL 4-6 - Prototyping, small scale demonstration and early-stage pilots (50% cash, 25% additional in-kind). Must have a federal investment of 30%* and a provincial investment of 20%*.

TRL 7-8 - [Public sector application, e.g. transit] Large scale integration trials and demonstrations (5% cash, 25% in-kind). Must have a federal investment of 40% cash and 20% provincial or 35% municipal investment.

TRL 7-8 - [Private sector application, e.g. auto OEM] Large scale integration trials and demonstrations, and commercialization support (75% cash, 25% in-kind). Must have a federal investment of 15% cash and a provincial investment of 10% cash.

* In projects where the main "industry" stakeholders are municipally-owned or provincially-owned enterprises, such as transit authorities, utilities, school boards, or other social institutions, the ratios may differ from the stated ratios above given stacking limits that may need to be imposed to limit the risk to particular tax-payer communities.

NSERC will only match direct costs to the research to be undertaken by the academic institution (i.e., the amount less overhead, e.g. if a university charges an overhead rate of 40%, NSERC will match $7,143 of a $10,000 industrial contribution or $3,928 of a $10,000 transit agency contribution (with a 55% revenue from fares).

CUTRIC will match university overhead up to the amount of 15%, e.g. for the above example, CUTRIC will match $8,696 for the industrial contribution and $4,783 for the transit agency contribution.