Since 2017, the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP) has supported academic and industry-led research and development projects that boost Ontario’s innovation. The consortium provides researchers access to smart computing tools and big data analytics to address common industry challenges.

SOSCIP is administered by some of Ontario’s most prestigious academic institutions, Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE), and IBM Canada. SOSCIP aids innovative research projects by allowing businesses to access advanced computing technologies and resources to solve big data problems. To further support Ontario-based research projects, the consortium will now offer access to IBM’s newest artificial intelligence technologies.

Related Post: How to Access the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform

Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP)

The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform supports research collaborations to accelerate the commercialization of new products or services in Ontario. The consortium offers four advanced computing platforms, including:

  1. Blue Gene/Q;
  2. Agile;
  3. Cloud Analytics; and
  4. Large Memory.

SOSCIP provides university students with access to these platforms to support the collaborative R&D project and gain hands-on experience with technologies that they would be unable to access anywhere else.

SOSCIP supports Ontario-based businesses, academic institutions, and researchers by:

  • Creating industry-academic collaborations;
  • Tackling current industry challenges;
  • Providing opportunities to access advanced computing systems; and
  • Assisting with the commercialization of new products and/or services that support new opportunities for the applicant.

SOSCIP Project Focus Areas

To access SOSCIP’s resources, businesses must execute projects that demonstrate innovation, provide economic benefit for Ontario, and addressing one of the following focus areas:

  • Advanced Manufacturing;
  • Cybersecurity;
  • Agile Computing;
  • Digital Media;
  • Mining;
  • Health;
  • Water;
  • Energy; or
  • Cities.

Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform Research Institutions

The Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform embraces a working relationship between academic and industry researchers in a collaborative environment. Eligible businesses may hire a graduate student or PhD fellow to assist with a SOSCIP collaborative research project. Businesses can receive expert technical support from one of SOSCIP’s member institutions, which include:

  • The University of Ontario Institute of Technology;
  • The University of Ottawa;
  • The University of Toronto;
  • The University of Waterloo;
  • The University of Windsor;
  • Carleton University;
  • Laurier University;
  • McMaster University;
  • OCAD University;
  • Queen’s University;
  • Ryerson University;
  • Western University;
  • York University; and
  • Seneca College.

Ontario-based researchers and businesses may contact SOSCIP’s team of Industry Academic Development Officers (IADOs) to discuss potential partnership opportunities and access to computing platforms.

SOSCIP Research and Development Success Stories

For the past 5 years, the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform has supported a range of research and development projects. Some successful project examples include:

Access Small Business Grants to Hire an Academic Researcher

Businesses that partner with post-secondary researchers can access a range of government funding opportunities to offset a portion of a project’s research costs. Small business grants are available to help cover the costs associated with hiring a Masters student or PhD fellow to assist with a project’s R&D activities.

Some programs to consider include:

  • NSERC Engage: Up to $25,000 in research grants that help businesses partner with academic researchers to solve an innovative technological challenge. The program supports short-term R&D projects lasting between 4-6 months.
  • NSERC Collaborative Research and Development (CRD): Up to $150,000 in government funding to extend on-going project’s timelines by an additional 1-5 years and solve larger research and development challenge.
  • Mitacs Elevate: Up to $25,000 in research grants to hire a PhD fellow for up to 2 years. The program supports long-term exploratory studies that exercise the findings to guide large-scale technology development. This program has specific intake periods, so be sure to check Mitacs’ website or contact us to confirm the program’s next application window.
  • Mitacs Accelerate: Up to 50% coverage of Masters or PhD intern’s wages to a maximum $7,500 in grants for up to 4 months. The program supports short-term R&D studies that will allow the company to address a specific issue.
  • OCE TalentEdge: Up to 50% coverage of a researcher’s wages to a maximum $10,000 for internships or $35,000 to hire a PhD fellow for up to 4-12 months. The program support projects that allow businesses to overcome internal innovation challenges.

Apply for a SOSCIP Smart Computing Collaboration

To get started with SOSCIP, interested businesses will need to enter a Project Collaboration Agreement (PCA) and pay a one-time platform access fee of $5,000 + HST. Eligible industry partners must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form that state how the business will utilize the SOCIP platform and how their project’s outcomes could address current industry challenges. There is no deadline for the submission of EOIs, but they will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact Mentor Works to learn more about SOSCIP and discuss potential government funding opportunities for your company’s upcoming research projects.


This post originally appeared on Mentor Works. Mentor Works helps established for-profit companies find and leverage Canadian business grants and loans.