Frequently asked questions
November 20, 2023
FAQ – Round 4 Stage 2
Where can I find the application form?
The online application form is available on the Impact Canada Portal; applicants need to login to the portal using their unique username and password. Please note the username is the application ID (not an applicant’s email address).
The application form is also included in the Applicant Guide.
While applicants are encouraged to work offline in a separate document as they develop their answers to the various sections of the form, we strongly recommend applicants test using the online form well in advance of the application deadline.
When are applications due?
Applications are due on Thursday December 14, 2023 by 2pm EST. Please note this deadline is in Eastern Standard Time; CMHC and Impact Canada will not accept any responsibility for entries not received for whatever reason.
What can I do if I’m having issues uploading documents to our application form, or other technical issues related to submitting our application form?
Applicants can contact CMHC’s Housing supply Challenge team by emailing Challenge@cmhc.ca.
Can we use attachments in the application form to elaborate on information that supports our solutions?
Yes, but it is important to note that the application form is the primary document that the panel will refer to so all key information should be included within it. Applicants can attach documents to various sections of the application form to elaborate on the key information that is provided within the application form itself (i.e. research findings).
NOTE: Each optional upload can be a video up to 5-minutes OR a PDF up to 5-pages, so applicants are encouraged to be selective about the supplementary information they choose to include.
Do we have to use the budget template provided by CMHC?
Yes. Note that CMHC has also provided a Workplan Template and a Risks Template that applicants must use. There are instructional ‘how-to’ videos available on the Impact Canada portal as well as the Evergreen Resource Hub (formerly known as the Community Solutions Portal) to help guide applicants in how to use these templates.
Where can we provide supporting documents in our application?
Applicants have the option to submit additional documents to certain sections of the application form, where indicated. It is recommended to only upload supporting material that is vital to the context of the Stage 2 Application but remember: the application form is the key document that the Evaluation Panel will refer to. Note, the Impact Canada Portal does not accept multiple files per upload section, supporting materials must be combined into one PDF document. The maximum file size for uploads is 16MB. To upload a video, applicants are to use another hosting platform (e.g., YouTube) and provide a private link in the PDF (the Application Form cannot support video uploads).
Does the evaluation panel have accessibility requirements that applicants should keep in mind when preparing materials?
Shortlisted applicants do not need to make any accessibility accommodations for the evaluation panel.
Budget & Funding
This section includes information about budgeting, invoicing, implementation funding etc.
Can we continue spending incubation funding between the Stage 2 application deadline (December 14, 2023) and the Notice of Decision in March 2024, as long as the funding is spent on activities we put forward in our Stage 1 budget and work plan?
No. Incubation funds need to be spent by the end-date indicated in applicants’ Contribution Agreements.
REMINDER: If an applicant is selected to receive implementation funding in Stage 3, expenses incurred between the end-date of their incubation funding period and the date of their Stage 3 Contribution Agreement will not be eligible for Stage 3 funding.
Is stacking [of funding] permitted? I.e. if we are already receiving funding from other sources for some elements of our solution and/or we are receiving funding from another CMHC program.
CMHC does allow stacking which means applicants can use multiple funding sources to finance their solution, but CMHC will not fund an activity that is receiving funding from another program.
NOTE: applicants are responsible for ensuring that the funding received through other programs also allows for stacking.
Are costs associated with acquiring land that is needed for our solution eligible? Are costs related to buying a factory – i.e. needed to scale our solution – eligible?
No. Applicants need to identify any funding gaps and any risks these gaps pose to the solution, as well as how the applicant will address such funding gaps.
Can you prepay for activities that won’t be carried out until after the implementation timeline (i.e. beyond March 2025)?
No, implementation funds can only be spent on activities that fall within the implementation timeline (Stage 3), from March 2024 – March 2025. CMHC does not allow for advance payment of costs that will not be carried out within the funding period. We recommend flagging this in the risk/mitigation section of the application form and identifying the additional funding that the applicant will need in order to complete any post-implementation stage activities (for example, post implementation analysis) as well as the plan to address this funding shortfall. Even if applicants don’t have funding secured, they can identify potential funding that is available that they plan to apply for or expect to be able to access.
Do we include taxes as part of our budget to implement our solution?
Yes, taxes are an eligible expense, but applicants will not receive additional funding for taxes. Applicants must factor in tax amounts when determining the total amount of funding they are requesting in the application.
What level of detail is expected in Section 6 of the application form: Incubation Funding Report requirements?
This section provides evidence to CMHC that the incubation funding was used as intended and agreed upon in the incubation funding agreement that was signed by each applicant. CMHC will determine whether applicants are eligible to advance to Stage 3: Implementation based on this information. Applicants are to use the Incubation Funding Template provided in Section 6.1 of the application form to provide complete descriptions of the activities that were completed using the incubation funding, including a costed list of how the incubation funding was spent.
NOTE: Applicants are required to save receipts/invoices for the activities completed, but do not need to provide them as part of this requirement.
How and when will implementation funding be dispersed?
Applicants that advance to Stage 3 will receive an initial lump sum payment upon signing their Contribution Agreement. The intention of this payment is to cover early-stage operating expenses of at least three months. This initial payment will be a percentage of the total funding applicants will receive in Stage 3 as outlined in the Contribution Agreement. Subsequent payments will be disbursed in installments based on a demonstration of progress toward activities outlined in the Contribution Agreement.
What guidance has CMHC offered about the $50,000 allowance for the creation of knowledge products and reporting documents?
CMHC has prepared a Knowledge Mobilization Guide which offers guidance to Stage 3: Implementation funding recipients about how the $50 000 reserved for knowledge mobilization is expected to be used and what types of activities can be undertaken with these funds.
The minimum requirement for the Stage 2 application is to leave the prepopulated knowledge mobilization activity description in the workplan and the $50,000 budget line-item amount in your Stage 2 submission. Details on specific knowledge mobilization plans can come later.
For the Solutions Showcase, is the 10-minute presentation evaluated?
The 10-minute presentation for the Solutions Showcase section of the Stage 2 Application will not be weighted. Applicants will not be scored on the quality of the production and should focus on the content of their presentation. This is to ensure that Applicants understand that they are not expected to have a full video production and can submit any quality of presentation. Your solution will be scored based on the evaluation criteria listed in the Applicant Guide, and the Solutions Showcase can help elevate the Evaluation Panel’s understanding of your project through additional information and/or context provided in the presentation and your answers during the Q&A. In summary, the Solutions Showcase will affect your application insofar as it will provide a more fulsome picture of your solution to the Evaluation Panel.
What information does my 10-minute presentation need to include?
The purpose your 10-minute pre-recorded presentation serves is to provide the full Evaluation Panel with information about your solution. Therefore, your presentation should take a pitch-style approach by offering an overview of your solution, how it works, the intended impact, the progress you have made over the Incubation phase, and your work planning toward the solution’s anticipated readiness at the end of Stage 3: Implementation. For this requirement, your presentation could be a recorded PPT presentation, an audio file or voice recording, a voice-over demonstration, etc.
Can the Support Program help me with my 10-min prerecorded presentation?
While the Support Program cannot review the draft presentation, we can advise on the framing and language based on the outline of your presentation.
Do we need to have insurance in place before the implementation stage?
Funding recipients will need to provide proof of insurance to trigger the first payment upon signature of their Contribution Agreement. Applicants that do have insurance can attach their certificate to the application form as a pdf in Section 1.8.
NOTE: It can take up to 6 weeks to arrange for insurance coverage. It is strongly advised to begin doing some preliminary research on insurance policies to cover the activities related to the implementation of your solution. Visit the Insurance FAQs on the Impact Canada Portal for more information.
What should you include in the application as intellectual property?
Intellectual property doesn’t just cover things that have been patented or officially registered, it covers all original creations including ideas and anything that an applicant holds copyright over. Include in the register anything the team has produced over the course of the incubation period in support of the project. This might include things such as websites, apps, reports, proprietary technologies and datasets, “trade secrets” or frameworks and models that are being developed. If the intellectual property of a third-party was incorporated into the solution (I.e., data, knowledge/ideas, multimedia, etc.) those should also be included in the register and be labeled as such.
What type of insurance do I need?
Any organization that engages in a commercial activity or provides a service needs General Liability Insurance. Applicants should also procure or maintain insurance policies to cover risks generally deemed adequate and customary for their businesses. These risks may include (but are not limited to) policies covering cyber liability, and errors and omissions. The FAQs on the Impact Canada Portal should help applicants think through additional activities that might need to be covered.