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Grants for Space STEM Initiatives for Youth

Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology - Space Awareness Element

Announcement of Opportunity (AO)

Publication date:

Deadline:

Table of Contents

Key Information

  • Eligible Recipients: Canadian elementary, secondary and post-secondary institutions, not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada
  • Type of transfer payments: Grants
  • Maximum Amount per Project: $50,000
  • Maximum Duration of the Project: up to 24 months from the grant agreement signature
  • Announcement of Opportunity for -
    • Publication date:
    • Estimated application deadline:
    • Total estimate funding from CSA: $100,000
    • Estimated projects start date:
    • Status: Closed
  • Announcement of Opportunity for -
    • Publication date: To be determined
    • Estimated application deadline: To be determined
    • Total estimate funding from CSA: $200,000
    • Estimated projects start date: To be determined
    • Status: Closed
  • Announcement of Opportunity for -
    • Publication date: To be determined
    • Estimated application deadline: To be determined
    • Total estimate funding from CSA: $200,000
    • Estimated projects start date: To be determined
    • Status: Closed

1. Introduction

In , the Government of Canada announced an investment of $2.05B related to Canada's involvement in the Lunar Gateway. This investment included youth Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities linked to Lunar Gateway. Shortly thereafter, the Government released a new Space Strategy for Canada entitled "Exploration, Imagination, Innovation: A New Space Strategy for Canada", which laid out the CSA's commitment to inspiring young Canadians through space.

In order to reach youth through STEM, it is important to consider educators who have an influence on their learning, future education, and career choices. Educators can include parents, teachers, volunteers, and youth group leaders through various organizations (e.g. schools, school boards, teachers' associations, science centers, youth organizations, youth associations, clubs, community groups, etc.).

The grants provided through this AO will support initiatives that include a focus on or an element related to STEM and the Moon that contribute to increased awareness, knowledge and/or experience of the space-related disciplines among Kindergarten to Grade 12 (K-12) (Maternelle-CEGEP in Quebec) youth and educators. Priority will be given to projects focusing on robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), health, nutrition, lunar rovers missions.

This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is consistent with the terms and conditions of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Class Grant and Contribution Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Space Awareness Element.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO Objectives

The objective of this AO is to invest in the development, the delivery and the promotion of activities that engage Canadian youth in space-related initiatives to increase their level of interest and involvement in STEM.

3. Eligibility Criteria

3.1 Eligible Recipients

Eligible recipients will include:

The application should be submitted by one eligible organization which will be fully liable and the only signatory of the grant agreement.

3.2 Eligible Projects

Grants under this Program will be made towards initiatives that contribute to increase interest, knowledge and/or experience in STEM using space-related disciplines among youth (K-12) and educators.

To be eligible, the proposed projects must include the following elements:

Activities such as, but not limited to, the following will be considered eligible for these grants:

Activities will be delivered at no cost to the participants during the agreement period. For the activities planned to be offered in locations where entry or other standard fees are required, no additional cost will be charged for participation in the activities supported by the grant.

The recipients of the grants will have access to the same services that the CSA Communications and Public Affairs group offers to all Canadians, such as information on CSA activities and missions.

3.3 Links to CSA Priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the CSA's commitment to inspiring young Canadians through space as highlighted in the Government's Space Strategy for Canada entitled "Exploration, Imagination, Innovation: A New Space Strategy for Canada".

In support of the strategy, the Canadian Space Agency invites applications for initiatives that promote space and STEM to Canada's young people, particularly to groups such as girls and Indigenous peoples or other under-represented groups in scientific and engineering careers.

Furthermore, the CSA encourages organizations to consider the needs of official language minority communities in their area while developing the activities to be proposed in the application and to strive to have official documentation and promotional material in both official languages.

3.4 Links to the Class G&C Program Objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of at least one of the following objectives:

4. Applications

Applicants must submit a completed Application as described below. Applications can be submitted either electronically or mailed.

The Application must include the following:

The Application must be prepared as a single PDF-formatted file containing all of the above requested documents with all security features disabled. Please order the document with the application form and proposal first. If there are any accessibility issues with the submitted PDF file, all consequences reside with the Applicant.

Any missing supporting document or any incoherence between the requested documents and the information provided within the documents may lead to the rejection of the proposal on that sole basis.

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications can be submitted either electronically or mailed:

  1. To upload the application electronically, please follow the steps below:
    • Prepare the Application in a single PDF –formatted file as per instructions above;
    • Submit an account creation request to use the CSA Electronic proposal portal. Please note that Google Chrome is the browser of choice for submissions; Internet Explorer is also supported with some restrictions. Applicants using the electronic portal are encouraged to create their account several days before the submission deadline, in order to address any technical difficulties that could arise. If the technical issues cannot be resolved, Applicants can submit their application by mail (before the deadline);
    • Upon account creation, the CSA will send an email with instructions on how to connect to the CSA secure filer system to allow you to upload documents securely. Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload their applications well before the submission deadline;
    • In the "Proposal title" field of the Electronic Proposal Portal, please use the following formatting standard: ORGANIZATION NAME_PROJECT TITLE_YOUTH STEM .
  2. Mail the Applications to the CSA at the following address:

    Youth STEM
    c/o Magalie Renaud
    Communications and Public Affairs Directorate
    Canadian Space Agency
    6767 Route de l'Aéroport
    Saint-Hubert
    , Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Applications must be received at the CSA no later than (to be determined).

Important notes:

If CSA receives the same application by both ways acceptable for submission, the latest valid version received will be considered.

If the applicant choose to submit the applications electronically, the applicant must keep one hard copy of the Application with the original (inked) signatures. The CSA may require from the applicants who successfully passed the stages described in Sections 5.1 and 5.2 to send a hard copy of their complete application with the original signatures.

4.1 Service Standards – Complete Applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely manner. Service standards may vary by Announcement of Opportunity.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility Criteria

Applications must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

5.2 Evaluation Criteria

The table below shows the definition and a breakdown of all the evaluation criteria, which are further described in Annex A. Applicants should address each criterion in their application. Please note that an application must receive an overall minimum score of 60 and achieve the minimum specified thresholds for each criterion to be considered for funding.

Criterion Description Poor Avg. Good Excellent Minimum
Score
1.Depth of Canadian space science and/or technology content Canadian content and alignments with CSA priority space domains 0 10 20 25 10
2. Knowledge transfer mechanism Activity design and delivery method 0 7 15 20 7
3. Feasibility Project definition and management 0 7 15 20 7
4. Resources Project budget, schedule and team 0 7 15 20 7
5. Results Reach and sustainability 0 5 12 15 5

5.3 Evaluation Process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, evaluators will assess the screened applications according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the fields relevant to the applications and may include representatives of Canada and other countries, and representatives of other government and non-government agencies and organizations. If applicable, a multidisciplinary evaluation committee will be formed when applications from several different disciplines are competing in order to provide a uniform final score and ranking of proposals.

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

For the final selection, the CSA will consider the applicants having the highest final scores. The CSA could also take into consideration factors linked to priorities of the Government such as, but not limited to, the representativeness of the following underrepresented groups in STEM: girls, Indigenous, youth from socio-economically disadvantaged communities, members of a visible minority.

6. Funding

6.1 Available Funding and Duration

The total maximum funding available per fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) for grants for this AO is as follows:

The total maximum funding amount given per project will be $50,000, over a maximum period of two (2) years.

Each eligible recipient can be funded for three (3) project(s) per fiscal year under this AO.

The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or reduce the amount of the grants at its entire discretion.

Approved proposals will be eligible for a total amount of government assistance (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) of up to 100% of total project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

6.2 Eligible Costs

Eligible costs for grants will be direct expenses associated with the delivery of approved projects that are required to achieve the results to which they relate. Costs such as, but not limited to one or a combination of the following will be considered eligible for the grant:

7. Funding Agreements

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful Applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments will be made in a lump sum or instalments as described in the signed agreement. Grant funding agreements will include a clause stipulating the recipient's obligation to confirm—once a year in the case of multi-year agreements—their eligibility for the G&C Program – Awareness Component and inform the CSA in writing of any changes to the conditions used in determining their eligibility for this component.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

7.4 Intellectual Property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes (SQRC), as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.6 Performance Measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain aspects of their projects such as:

8. Privacy Notice Statement

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class Grant and Contribution Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Tel. : 450-926-4866
Email: aiprp-atip@asc-csa.gc.ca

9. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address stimjeunesse-youthstem@asc-csa.gc.ca . Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this AO. CSA will not respond to any questions received after 11:59 PM (ET), .

Question 1: Are the costs for spaceflight launcher services considered as eligible costs for this AO? Under which budget line should these costs be accounted for?

Answer 1: Under this opening of the AO, spaceflight launcher service costs are considered eligible costs and should be accounted as "Acquisition of rental of equipment". However, the value of these costs should be identified clearly and separately in the budget.

Question 2: We are a large junior high school and we would like to improve a STEM option course at grade 7 and 8 level by adding more content for students. We would like to know if this grant program is designed for schools like ours and if a project aiming to build a rover where the students can design and solve challenges from lunar surface is suitable for the this grant program.

Answer 2: The eligibility of the applicant and of the proposal is part of the evaluation process and therefore Canadian Space Agency cannot comment or give any statement on eligibility at this stage of the AO. We encourage the applicants to carefully read the Section 3.1 (Eligible Recipients) and Section 3.2 (Eligible Projects) to determine if the organization is eligible and if the project falls under one of the elements presented in this section.

Question 3: Could you please clarify the funding distribution over the fiscal years, per projects and per eligible recipient?

Answer 3: The total available budget for the entire period of three fiscal years of this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is $700K ($200K for the first two years and $300K for the last one). The AO has several opening periods when applications can be submitted. An approximate total budget of $100K is available for each opening. The maximum grant amount per project is $50K for a period of maximum two years from the date of the grant agreement signature. The same applicant may submit proposals for any of the AO openings, but cannot be awarded more than three grants per fiscal year. The total number of grants per each AO opening will depend on the budgets of the selected projects.

Question 4: If an application is for a project delivery over two years and the funding is approved, would the funds be released in one installment or broken down by fiscal year?

Answer 4: If a proposal has been approved for funding, a grant agreement will be signed by the recipient and the CSA before any transfer of funds is made. This agreement will include a payment arrangement that will ensure a timely, prudent and efficient transfer of funds. The number and the value of installments will be determined based on the grant amount requested, the cash flow of the recipient provided in the proposal and the risks involved.

Question 5: We are a secondary school-affiliated group and not a registered non-governmental organization. What should we write in the application form when it comes to number and date of registration in Canada?

Answer 5: For primary and secondary schools, the applicant should submit a copy of the document(s) proving the legal establishment of the institution according to the provincial and local regulations and by-laws. You should therefore provide at a minimum the name of issuing authority and issuing date listed in the document as well as the name (or any other identifier) of the school.

Question 6: What are the requirements for the person who is to be our legal authorized representative?

Answer 6: The duly authorized representative (DAR) should be the person who in accordance with the organization's by-laws or policies can legally bind the organization. The DAR will have to sign the funding agreement with the CSA.

Question 7: Our team is planning to develop an engineering learning experience for 30 to 50 classes of grade 4 to grade 8 students. The initiative aims to create prototypes and pitch campaigns on different subjects focused on the future lunar (Artemis) or Mars missions. We were wondering if a project such as this would qualify for any assistance from your organization or if you could direct us towards another program that might be more suitable.

Answer 7: The eligibility of a proposal is part of the evaluation process and therefore the CSA cannot comment or give any statement on eligibility at this stage of the Announcement of Opportunity (AO). We encourage the applicants to carefully read the Section 3.2 (Eligible Projects) to determine if the project falls under one of the elements presented in this section. At this moment, there are no other funding opportunities for the eligible organizations and projects listed in this AO. Should any other opportunity open in the future, it will be published on our Funding Opportunities webpage.

Question 8 : We are a private school and, at the same time, a not for profit organization located in the province of Quebec. In the M-30 form, what is the definition of a public agency? Also, what do you mean by "will the agreement affect a (...) school body within the meaning of the Act"?

Answer 8 : In Quebec, the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil Exécutif (L.R.Q., chapter M-30) ("Act M-30") provides, among other things, the rules governing agreements between the federal government and public agencies and school bodies located in Quebec. Failure to respect these rules may result in the nullity of the agreement. The definitions of the different agencies and bodies that are subject thereto are given in the Article 3.6.2 of the Act. The expression "affect a government agency or school body" is used in the Act M-30, particularly in the Article 3.12.1, first and fourth paragraph. More information regarding the provisions of the Act and its application may be requested from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application submitted under the CSA Class Grant and Contribution Program complies with all relevant federal, provincial/territorial and municipal laws.

Question 9 : The maximum grant amount per project is $50K for a period of a maximum of two years from the date of the grant agreement signature. Are budgets awarded based on the total number of selected projects vs. the number of applicants? Are there any preferences or preferred funding level suggestions?

Answer 9 : The proposals are selected for funding according to the evaluation process described in the Section 5.3 of the AO. The total number of grants will depend on the total amount of the budgets of the selected projects. The level of requested funding has no incidence on the selection process, other than those mentioned in section 5 (Eligibility) and in the Section 6 (Funding).

Question 10 : If the application for a project of two years is approved for financing, is the number of installments determined based on the grant amount requested? Does year 2 of a successful multi-year request require a re-application/continuance process?

Answer 10 : If an application for a two-year project is approved for funding, the number and the value of installments will be determined based on the grant amount requested, the cash flow of the recipient provided in the proposal and the risks involved. The decision on continuation of the project for the second year and the payment of the second installment, if any, will be based on the progress report(s) provided by the beneficiary at the CSA request. These details will be clearly stated in the grant agreement that will be signed between the CSA and the beneficiary of the grant.

Annex A – Scoring

A numerical score will be associated with each criterion.

1. Depth of Canadian space science and/or technology content

This criterion will be used to evaluate

Scoring - Criterion 1. Depth of Canadian space science and/or technology content
Poor (Score: 0) The content related to space is very limited and has no links to any Canadian space mission, science or technologies
Average (Score: 10) The content is space related, but with very limited description of Canadian content included in the activity and limited link with science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The space science and technologies concepts present major gaps and weaknesses to be accurate and current.
Good (Score: 20) Links between the activity content and Canadian space missions, science or technologies are demonstrated. The activity content is related to one of the CSA priority domains (robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), health and nutrition, lunar rovers) and links with science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The science or technology concepts included need some improvements to become accurate and current.
Excellent (Score: 25) The activity content is strongly based on a Canadian space mission, science or technology and it is related to one or several CSA priority domains (robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), health, nutrition, lunar rovers) and has clear links with science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM). The science or technology presented is accurate and current.

2. Knowledge transfer mechanism

This criterion will be used to evaluate

Scoring - Criterion 2. Knowledge transfer mechanism
Poor (Score: 0) The proposed activity has no original or innovative concepts or methods for the planned activities. The proposed content is based on an old activity that didn't demonstrate its attractiveness to youth. No adaptability to different characteristics of the target group is described.
Average (Score: 7) The proposed activity is based on existing concepts and methods with limited success demonstrated in reaching and increasing youth interest. The adaptability to different characteristics of the target groups (ability levels, learning/teaching types, pre-activity knowledge, age appropriateness) is limited and/or requires substantial additional work/effort from the educators.
Good (Score: 15) The proposed activity contains elements of originality and attractiveness with high chances to attract youth interest and to be adopted by educators. The proposals presents how the content and methods may be adapted to different characteristics of the target group (ability levels, learning/teaching types, pre-activity knowledge, age appropriateness) and includes the description of the educator guide that will be developed.
Excellent (Score: 20) The proposed activity is clearly original and attractive, and has elements that stand out from classical approaches. The proposals clearly presents how the content and methods used are adapted to different characteristics of the target group (ability levels, learning/teaching types, pre-activity knowledge, age appropriateness) and includes detailed description of the educator guide that will be developed. The project shows evidence on how the activity will be tested, assessed and tuned before delivery (e.g. focus groups).

3. Feasibility

This criterion will be used to evaluate

Scoring - Criterion 3. Feasibility
Poor (Score: 0) The project objectives are very poorly defined, they are not SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-oriented) and there is no coherence between resource allocations, timelines, resources and final deliverables in the project plan.
Average (Score: 7) The project objectives are defined, but they are not very clear and they present only a part of SMART characteristics. The project plan is realistic, but it is lacking major coherency between some elements. The promotional plan is presented, but covers only some elements of an efficient promotion campaign.
Good (Score: 15) The objectives are well defined, and they are presented following the SMART characteristics. The project plan is realistic, and coherent in most of the its elements. The organization has some experience in carrying similar projects. The promotional plan is well described, but is lacking detail for some elements.
Excellent (Score: 20) The objectives are very well defined, and they are presented following the SMART characteristics (specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and time-oriented). Many details are provided in a coherent project plan regarding, in particular, the breakdown of the work, scheduled milestones, and the organization of team members' time to carry out the project. The organization has experience in successfully carrying similar projects. The promotional plan is well described, with extensive reach and diversity of communication channels.

4. Resources

This criterion will be used to evaluate:

Scoring - Criterion 4. Resources
Poor (Score: 0) The project team members do not have any experience and/or expertise in carrying out K-12 STEM awareness projects. The duties and responsibilities are briefly presented. The budget is not realistic.
Average (Score: 7) The project team members have limited experience in developing K-12 STEM awareness activities. The team lacks expertise in some key areas required in their duties and responsibilities. The budget appears to be adequate for the proposed work and a rationale is provided, but there are still questions about some cost items. No other financial or in-kind contribution.
Good (Score: 15) The project team members have demonstrated experience in developing K-12 STEM awareness activities. The team is made up of experts from various educational fields of study with a variety of expertise. The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable and a good rationale is provided for most budget items. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals are identified and supported by rationales. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution, if applicable, given the total budget for the project.
Excellent (Score: 20) The project team members have considerable demonstrated experience in developing K-12 STEM awareness and learning activities. The team is made up of experts from various educational fields of study and there is clear complementarity between them. The budget appears to be adequate and reasonable for all components of the proposed work and a credible rationale is provided for all budget items. The physical resources and infrastructure required to achieve the project's goals and objectives are identified in detail, supported by rationales, and planned in order to be used efficiently and effectively. The applicant will make a financial or in-kind contribution, if applicable, given the total budget for the project. Other organizations participating in the project plan to make financial or in-kind contributions.

5. Results and sustainability

This criterion will be used to evaluate:

Scoring - Criterion 5. Results and sustainability
Poor (Score: 0) The expected reach and level of engagement with youth are low relative to the project scope No process to measure the results is presented. The participation in the activities is expected to have little to no influence to make youth aware of space STEM. There is no evidence presented to support a continuation of the proposed activities after the termination of the CSA grant
Average (Score: 5) The expected reach and level of engagement with youth are reasonably balanced with respect to the project scope. Processes to measure some results are presented. Despite a minimal influence on making youth aware of space STEM, it is not expected to make a change on the target group's interest in space STEM. The project presents a very brief plan, but no credible evidence is presented to support a continuation of the activities after the termination of the CSA grant.
Good (Score: 12) The expected reach is acceptable and level of engagement with youth is high relative to the project scope. Processes to measure most of the results are presented. The planned outcomes will have an influence on making youth aware of space STEM, and it is expected that it will potentially make a change on the target group interest in space STEM. There are some evidences presented to support a possible continuation of the activities after the termination of the CSA grant, such as long term plan and outcomes, resources identification and allocation, partnerships, but the availability of resources is unclear.
Excellent (Score: 15) The expected reach and level of engagement with youth are very high relative to the project scope. The processes to measure all the results are presented. The planned outcomes will clearly have a strong influence on making youth aware of space STEM, and the probability to make a significant change on the target group interest and engagement in space STEM is very high. There is a very strong and credible plan to continue after the termination of the CSA funding, with credible resources availability.
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