Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund

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Centre for Regulatory Innovation: Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund

Home Events What is Regulatory Experimentation? Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund Regulators' Capacity Fund Completed CRI Supported Projects Tools and Resources

What is the Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund (REEF)?
The REEF is a fund to help regulators support innovation by experimenting with:

  • innovative approaches to any or all stages of the regulatory lifecycle (issue definition and instrument choice, regulatory development, administration, compliance/enforcement, and review/evaluation)
  • regulatory approaches for new products or services.

The REEF provides regulators with:

  • financial support to offset expenses associated with experimenting, and
  • technical advice and guidance to help you navigate your specific situation.

The REEF can be used to help regulators:

  • conduct a regulatory experiment
  • determine whether an experiment would be the right approach (NEW)
  • develop a regulatory experiment (NEW)

The CRI currently has five ongoing projects under the REEF. A list of these ongoing projects can be found at the bottom of this page.

Click here to access a list of completed REEF projects and their associated experimentation reports.

Who Should Apply?

  • Regulators who want to understand the impacts of a proposed regulatory solution before implementing it permanently
  • Regulators who are considering multiple potential solutions and want to identify the best option through testing and generating evidence

What is New?

The CRI has expanded the scope of the REEF to support regulators with their ‘pre-experimentation’ efforts. This means that regulators can access funding before they are ready to conduct an experiment. Some examples include projects aiming to:

  • determine if experimentation is the right approach for a specific situation or problem
  • develop an experimentation idea (e.g., develop experiment scope, clarify evidence needs, develop what the experiment would look like and how the evidence would be obtained)  

If you are interested in accessing funding or learning more, reach out to the Centre for Regulatory Innovation to request a consultation.

Application Documents


To be eligible for funding, proposed experiments must clearly demonstrate how their funding request meets the criteria as outlined in the REEF Guide. It is recommended to contact the Centre for Regulatory Innovation to informally confirm your eligibility before drafting an expression of interest.

Any Government of Canada regulator may apply for funding. Priority will be given to experiments where regulators have identified collaboration with regulated entities or other businesses with the aim of bringing applications of new and emerging technologies into the Canadian marketplace or enhancing competitiveness.


Starting in fiscal year 2023-2024, the total funding envelope available for the REEF is $1,400,000 per fiscal year. Projects can receive multi year funding when applicable. Funding will be available from April 2023 upon completion of a MOU with the successful applicant and TBS.

Funding is made available on a cost recovery basis. The department is responsible to forecast their expenses and include the spending schedule in the MOU. The department will be expected to submit scheduled invoices to TBS to recover the expenses incurred as well as submitting financial forecast to allow TBS to decommit the funds that the department no longer plans on recovering.

How to Apply for Funding
The CRI uses a two-step process to make funding decisions. The first step is the submission of a high-level Expression of Interest (EOI) that is used by the CRI to determine the eligibility of the project. Eligible EOIs will be invited to the second step being the submission of a proposal intended to present the project in more detail and allow the interdepartmental DG-level CRI Steering Committee to confirm the project’s eligibility and rank the project using the assessment criteria.

1. Expression of Interest Submission

The EOI provides a brief overview of the proposed experiment or pre-experimentation project and amount of funding requested. The EOI should not take more than a few hours to complete. If you have questions on how to complete the EOI, it is recommended that you reach out to the CRI. EOIs should be submitted by email to

The CRI will contact applicants as required if clarifications on the proposed experiment or pre-experimentation project are needed. Applicants with an eligible EOI will be invited to submit a proposal.

2. Proposal Submission

Successful EOI applicants will be invited to complete the second stage of the application process which is the submission of a full proposal. Before developing a proposal, applicants should obtain the support of their Director General or above. The CRI supports applicants throughout the proposal development process. Regulators should refer to the Regulators’ Experimentation Toolkit to assist in identifying, designing, and carrying out regulatory experiments and sandboxes.

Proposals will be assessed, and final funding decisions will be determined by an interdepartmental Steering Committee, made up of representatives from TBS, Privy Council Office, Innovation Science and Economic Development, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Health Canada, and the Community of Federal Regulators.

REEF Process Map

EOI – Proposal –Funding Decision – MOU – Project start – Reporting – Sharing of Lessons Learned

-------------------------------------------------CRI Support and Oversight------------------------------------------------

Contact us
For additional information about this funding opportunity, including any assistance required to complete the application process, please contact the Centre for Regulatory Innovation.

Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund Ongoing Projects

(Click here to see a list of the CRI’s completed projects and experimentation reports)

Ongoing projects selected to receive funding under the Regulatory Experimentation Expense Fund.
Department/ Agency Project Title Project Description
Transport Canada (TC) Light Sport Aircraft This experiment as proposed by TC involves setting up a sandbox to determine if Light Sport Aircraft, with appropriate conditions, are as reliable as other aircraft currently being used for the purpose of flight training and if the quality of training is as good, or better, than other aircraft currently used for pilot training. The experiment will also inform Transport Canada on potential additional conditions/measures that should be included in future exemptions or regulatory amendments.
Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) – Standards Council of Canada (SCC) Piloting an Accreditation Program for the Assessment of Artificial Intelligence Management Systems (AIMS) The purpose of this experiment is to pilot a prototype accreditation program to understand whether the main SCC Requirements and Guidance document that works in conjunction with ISO/IEC 17021-1:2015 Conformity assessment is clear and appropriate and obtain feedback from the certification bodies and Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies about the program. This information is necessary to improve and refine the prototype.

The SCC is also looking to gather information on whether the AIMS could have an impact on the level of risk of AI products to inform potential use of AIMS for regulators.

Transport Canada (TC) Aviation E-Licensing Pilot This is a follow up to previous experiment to test a new QR code prototype with pilots of an air operator within Canada for effectiveness. The sandbox experiment will test if the digital solution lowers the cost of compliance and improve compliance with respect to air operators’ obligation to track employee compliance with licensing requirements.
Health Canada (HC) Machine Learning Enabled Medical Device (MLMD) Sandbox Development Health Canada is developing a sandbox to test new regulatory approach for MLMDs. Currently, MLMD can be marketed in Canada if the device algorithm behaviour is locked to remain the same overtime as what was presented in the product’s market authorization application. Any change to the algorithm behaviour requires the submission of an amendment to the licence. Health Canada wants to test a new regulatory approach that would use a different method of risk management than requiring a licence amendment so that the device can change its behaviour over time as it learns from new data it acquires over time. The current project scope is limited to accessing the legislative authorities to establish the sandbox and developing the sandbox application scheme.