CMC Platforms Program

CMC Platforms is a collaborative R&D cost-sharing program intended to help SMEs and Canadian universities innovate, develop, and share novel platform technologies across Canada. Projects will contribute their resulting technologies or services to Canada’s National Design Network (CNDN), and will be selected for their potential to enable or accelerate research. Ideally, funding from CMC would be matched by external funding organizations such as NSERC, Mitacs, or provincial funding bodies such as OCE in Ontario, with CMC acting as an industry partner.

CMC Microsystems develops, maintains and manages CNDN, giving researchers access to the world’s best design tools, manufacturing technologies, and engineering support for making micro-nano technologies, and for training industry-ready graduates.

CNDN involves stakeholders in academe, industry, government and intermediary organizations (other not-for-profits) across Canada, and internationally. In the last five years, 1300 professors including 800 service subscribers and 8200 graduate students in 63 academic institutions have participated as have the 950 companies in Canada collaborating with professors or hiring graduates.

In addition to our CAD tool and fabrication services, we offer project-specific consultation and marketing expertise; for more information regarding CMC’s services, please see Services for Emerging Processes and Products and Contract R&D.

Contribution from CMC will depend on the project, and may include any of the following:

  • CAD tools
  • Fabrication services
  • Hardware supply chain expertise
  • Network of researchers and SMEs for:
    • Target user feedback
    • Mentorship
  • Technology dissemination via:
    • Promotional webinars
    • Web page for tech offerings
    • CMC Newsletters
  • Equipment loan:
  • Industrial experience for students
  • Project funding

We can host individuals at CMC offices in Ottawa, Montreal, or Kingston for Mitacs and similar projects.

Projects will be ranked according to their potential to deliver platform technology useful to other researchers in Canada’s National Design Network.  Platform technologies have the attributes of being generally applicable, customizable, modular, reusable, and scalable in some way.  Platform technologies also have a dependable source (or multiple sources) of supply, be it institutional or industrial.  Proposals that provide evidence of platform technology are preferred over proposals that only describe the potential for this.

 Highly RankedAcceptableLow Ranking
Platform technology eligibility
  • Platform technology and PDK as final deliverables
  • Platform is customizable to fit the need of several research areas, and requires minimal work to adapt to new use cases
  • Platform technology as final deliverable
  • Platform is a customizable technology with little work needed to adapt for new use cases
  • Basic or discovery research
  • No distributable and customizable technology as final deliverable
  • Final Deliverables are only usable by select group or by current applicants and collaborators
Benefit to future research, CNDN, and CMC
  • New technology is closely related to CNDN research topic areas
  • Demonstration of CMC’s existing technology offerings in new research areas
  • Demonstration of strong demand for technology to Canadian researchers and commercial sectors
  • New technology, or new application of existing technology falls within CNDN’s or CMC’s expertise
  • Demonstration of demand for the technology to Canadian researchers and commercial sectors
  • Technology does not fall into CNDN’s or CMC’s research areas
  • No evidence of need for technology in Canadian research or commercial sectors
Fabrication plan post completion (for hardware platforms)
  • Collaboration with CMC post project to provide support for new platform
  • Collaboration or partnership with industrial fabrication providers during and post project
  • Identified key collaborators or fabrication facilities to provide devices after project completion
  • Recipe or fabrication protocol given to CMC as a final deliverable
  • No proposed plan for a fabrication supply chain
  • Fabrication process unique to current applicants and requires significant effort to translate out of lab

3.1 Example Projects

The following example projects illustrate platform technologies and leverage CMC’s expertise to develop a post-project source of supply for the technology:

  • ASIC implementations of embedded RISC-V architectures, Application-Specific Instruction Set Processors (ASIPs), or hardware accelerators
  • Edge or cloud implementations of AI/machine learning prototypes usable in a wide range of applications
  • Enhancements to the open-gate JFET technology, such as microfluidic integration and fixturing for biosensing
  • Services for multi-user processes for microsystems integration, such as electrical and optical interposers, wafer-scale integration, and 3D IC die stacking
  • A shareable or distributable IP library of royalty free or non-proprietary microelectronic modules available to researchers
  • Projects must be eligible for NSERC Alliance, Mitacs Elevate, or other cost matching R&D programs
  • Principal Applicants may participate in only one CMC Platforms program project at a time. While a letter of intent can be submitted, the subsequent project plan cannot be approved until a previous project is completed, based on completion terms agreed in a statement of work.
  • Timelines and availability of resources may be determining factors for project acceptance.
  • Project duration is expected to be one year, with a max limit of two years.
  • Primary funding will be though a co-application for NSERC, Mitacs, or other relevant funding agencies; CMC will contribute up to $50k, which may be matched 1:1 or 1:2 (NSERC, Mitacs, other) for a maximum project total of $150k per year, per project.
  • Depending on the project and proposed deliverables, CMC may provide additional funding without matching requirements from other funding sources.
  • This program will defray costs for microsystems development and prototyping, and contribute HR resources for collaborative R&D projects that are structured for mutual benefit to clients and to the CNDN.
  • Project must conform to NSERC and/or MITACs eligible expenses restrictions.
  • Project expenses are shared between applicants, CMC, and other collaborators.

Researchers and their collaborators involved in R&D projects use background intellectual property (IP), create foreground IP, and generate new knowledge. CMC approaches these projects expecting that whenever possible, the IP will subsequently result in a benefit to Canada preferably including economic value creation.

6.1 Related Expectations

  • Clients will own their IP developments arising from the project.
  • CMC will own its IP developments arising from the project.
  • CMC will provide rights to IP developed by CMC at no cost to others involved in the project who are proceeding with commercial development.
  • Clients will provide to CMC at no cost rights to their IP arising from the project if they do not plan to develop it.
  • Clients will provide to CMC at no cost rights for non-commercial use of their IP arising from the project for the purpose of delivering developments to university and college users.
  • Not all projects are expected to yield valuable IP. Some projects may require a separate agreement.
  1. Create an account with CMC.
  2. Review the evaluation criteria in section 3 and our preferred research areas in section 9. A project that ranks poorly for the evaluation criteria may not be considered. Projects that do not fit any of the technology themes in section 9 are also welcome and will be considered on their own merits.
  3. Download and review the Letter of Intent (LOI) form, enter the requested information and submit to
  4. The submission deadline is June 1, 2020.
  • There will be a response to a submitted LOI within four weeks. The response will indicate whether the project has been selected for further consideration.
  • Following a positive response, the applicant will work with a designated CMC Technical Project Manager to develop an application for submission to co-funders which will likely include:
    • Project Purpose and Overview
    • Collaborators engaged in the project and their respective roles and responsibilities
    • Allocation of committed financial contributions (cash and in-kind) from each of the participants
    • Allocation of HR resources
    • Project deliverables
    • Project schedule
    • Project budget
    • Key risks and challenges
    • IP expectations
  • The project plan will be reviewed internally by CMC. This review will result in the final go/no go decision for the project.
  • Eligible applicants whose LOIs are unsuccessful may reapply.
  • Successful projects will be co-submitted for NSERC, Mitacs, or other funding agencies for cost matching (if applicable)

8.1 Project Management

  • For each approved project, CMC will designate a project manager, who will be responsible for the progress of the work and management of CMC’s financial and HR investment
  • Approved projects will have funding allocated and will proceed according to a detailed and mutually agreed to Statement of Work. The SOW identifies the final agreement on the project plan
  • Academic or Industry mentors may be assigned depending on the project research area
  • Projects will be monitored by CMC’s project manager and a short bi-yearly progress presentation to CMC and any assigned mentors
  • Researchers will present the outcomes of their research and their technology via a public webinar upon (or prior to) project completion
  • Aspects of some projects may require additional agreements
  • Microelectronic platforms
    • 2.5D or 3D heterogeneous integration (i.e., silicon interposers)
    • Printed electronics or packaging
    • GaN on silicon for RF
  • Photonic platforms
    • Printed photonics
    • Heterogeneous integration between microelectronics and photonics
  • Quantum computing platforms
    • General computation
    • Read-out circuitry
    • Cryogenic circuitry
  • MEMS platforms
    • Fabrication and packaging
    • Actuators and sensors
    • Sensor integration for microfluidics
  • Embedded system platforms
    • RISC-V open hardware
    • Artificial intelligence embedded systems
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Disruption to CMC online applications

Thursday, May28th 6am-9am EDT

CMC is making improvements to infrastructure that will temporarily affect license access to ANSYS Campus Solutions for research, Amira, Avizo, Coventor, DW2000, Labview, Optiwave, SoftMEMS, and Zemax CAD tools. These improvements will also affect access to the CMC Cloud web access and My Account sections of the website. All other online services will continue to operate normally. 

We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause.