VISTA Prototyping Fund

Application Guidelines

VISTA provides funds to support members in the development of a prototype (hardware or software) that will lead to the commercialization of a product that is aligned with the VISTA mandate.

Applicants: Core and Associate VISTA members

Deadline: Open

Amount: Up to $50,000 to be matched by other sources (matching funds should be at least half (50%) the VISTA funding request/award). In exceptional cases, and upon availability of funding at the end of the year, requests for up to $100,000 will be considered.

Average funding available per year: $300,000

Project Length: 6 to 12 months to be extended to maximum of 18 months

Use of fund: To develop the prototype (hardware or software) of a product where the proof of concept has already been done. The fund can be paid as salary, material or fee for service.


  • The technology must be disclosed to Innovation York @VISTA.
  • IP agreement with York University must be signed.

Application: Please submit a request for funds that includes the following to

  • Title of the proposal
  • Project description (250 words)
  • Milestones (100 words)
  • Budget and source of the matching fund (all expenditures must be CFREF eligible)
  • Future plan for commercialization (100 words)

Process: Requests can be submitted on a rolling basis. Once the request form is submitted, Innovation York, along with the Associate Director, VISTA will review it for eligibility. If the proposal is eligible, the funding will be awarded to the applicant.

If the Requests exceed the available amount of funding in Year 1, Innovation York will implement a panel review process for Year 2 onward. Requests will be reviewed by three members of the Innovation Advisory Committee, and ranked based on (a) commercial potential of the technology (4 points), (b) project plan (4 points) and (c) future plan for commercialization (2 points).

Reporting: Awardees must submit a final report no later than two months following the end of the project. The report must include the following:

  • Overall outcome of the project (100 words)
  • Milestones achieved; Milestones not achieved and the reasons
  • Use of fund
  • Next steps (50 words)