Autonomous systems and robotics: Call for prototypes

We are seeking pre-commercial innovative prototypes that can be tested in real life settings and address a variety of priorities within the Government of Canada.

Funding mechanism:
Contract

Opening date:
September 22, 2022

Closing date:
October 14, 2022, 14:00 Eastern Time

 

Small or medium enterprise (SME)

Before submitting a proposal, please read the following solicitation documents for small or medium enterprise.

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Small or medium enterprise

Large business, not-for-profit, or academic institution

Before submitting a proposal, please read the following solicitation documents for large business, not-for-profit, or academic institution.

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Large business, not-for-profit, or academic institution

 

Overview
 

The Testing Stream aims to procure, test and evaluate innovative late stage pre-commercial prototypes.

The purpose of these calls for proposals (CFPs) is to create pools of conditionally qualified innovations that Canada may select from to address a broad range of the Government of Canada organizations' requirements.

Each call includes a Standard Component and Military Component:

Standard component $550,000

Military component $1,150,000

If you meet the eligibility criteria and have a prototype that can respond to one of the problems below, apply now!

Long range cargo

Problem statement

As Canada strives toward a zero emissions future, there is a growing need to manufacture and supply made-in-Canada solutions for autonomous vehicles and robotics. The Government of Canada remains committed to bolstering the development of the next generation of connected, autonomous and zero emissions vehicles and accelerating the transition to a net zero emissions economy. The breadth of Canadian geography can make transportation of goods to all parts of the country challenging, particularly in winter conditions.

We invite Bidders to propose operations-ready autonomous systems and robotics that can perform cargo delivery to various parts of Canada and support remote government operations. We expect to see a variety of cutting-edge technologies in UAS which will fit the Canadian landscape and demonstrate a clear understanding of Northern terrain and environmental conditions. Bidders must also demonstrate sufficient forethought and determination to begin the long road towards regulatory compliance and safe operation.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • Long range (LR): 50km from takeoff point
  • Cargo: a load weighing 5kg or above
  • Operations-ready: Demonstrate a level of technological sophistication commensurate with a rapidly maturing aviation project, including an understanding of civil aviation regulations, flight history (hours of flight), testing regime, concept of operations and a development timeline.
  • UAS: An Uncrewed Air System is an uncrewed aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft
  • CUAS: A Counter-UAS system is a system or device capable of lawfully and safely disabling, disrupting, or seizing control of an uncrewed aircraft or uncrewed aircraft system.
  • ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked.
  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems

Outcomes

Innovations must meet at least one of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid)

  • Autonomous air, land, marine vehicles and robots with a variety of fuel and battery types including electric, gas, hydrogen; complete systems that include a full technology stack including requisite hardware and software that have been appropriately integrated.
  • Aviation based solutions including but not limited to:
    • UAS with a variety of fuel and battery types including electric, gas, hydrogen;
    • operations-ready, long-rage, UAS that can perform cargo delivery to fly-in communities and support remote government operations;
    • autonomous convoys for LR cargo transport; or Innovations capable of transporting more than 5kgs autonomously for 50km or more.
  • Support systems including: onboard detect and avoid systems; ground based detection systems including radar, optical, airspace management (software); ground-based detection (CUAS); or ADS-B and ADS-B like solutions
  • Marine based solutions including: remote operations centers for large maritime autonomous surface ships; autonomous convoys for LR cargo transport; fuel and battery technologies to expand range of autonomous marine vehicles
  • Land based solutions including fuel and battery technologies to expand range of autonomous vehicles.

ISC will not accept (out of scope):

  • Solutions that cannot carry a load of over 5kg for some of or the entire duration of their long-range delivery cycle
Surveillance and Monitoring

Problem statement

The Government of Canada is interested in testing a wide range of autonomous systems and robotics that can support surveillance and monitoring efforts in a variety of operational environments. The Government of Canada is seeking land, marine, or air-based autonomous vehicles and systems. Proposed solutions must be capable of supporting either surveillance, situational awareness operating, or monitoring infrastructure within a particular environment.

We invite Bidders to propose autonomous systems and robotics solutions that can support any of the following operations:

  • Search and rescue operations;
  • Remote response and support operations;
  • High frequency infrastructure inspection including rapid and frequent inspection of fixed sites;
  • Facility monitoring and intruder detection;
  • Niche infrastructure inspections such as power plant inspections;
  • Environmental monitoring for natural disasters such as fire or floods;
  • Marine surface and underwater monitoring;
  • Arctic and cold weather operations; and
  • Border inspection.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems
  • UAS: An Unmanned Air Systems is an unmanned aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft
  • Long-range: 50KM from take-off point

Outcomes

(Innovations must meet at least one of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid.)

  • Environmental monitoring solutions for natural disasters
    • forest fire monitoring, flood monitoring, or temperature and salinity monitoring solutions;
  • Marine monitoring solutions
    • Marine monitoring systems or robotics;
    • marine mammal surveillance and monitoring using drones, autonomous ships, gliders, satellite or other solutions;
    • shore erosion evaluation solutions; marine pollution monitoring and evaluation (oil, waste, etc.) tools;
    • Ice and iceberg monitoring in important shipping lanes using Small MASS; seabed mapping solutions;
    • small MASS (in distributed swarms) to measure wave conditions (ship as a sensor); emissions monitoring or spot check solutions;
  • Continuous surveillance solutions for land, air or sea including but not limited to aerial drone surveillance of over water bodies; tethered drones or autonomous systems; drone in a box solutions; road traffic monitoring solutions; facility monitoring and intruder detection robots and autonomous systems; or border monitoring and inspection solutions;
  • Long-range mapping and situational awareness solutions including but not limited to vehicle launched and recoverable UAS systems (truck bed drone-boxes, ship launched systems, micro platforms); rail infrastructure monitoring solutions; subsurface solutions; small MASS surveillance of vehicles over fishing waters.

ISC will not accept (out of scope)

  • Software-only solutions that do not come with supporting monitoring hardware or systems
Infrastructure

Problem statement

The Government of Canada is interested in testing a wide range of infrastructure that can support the active deployment of autonomous systems and robotics in land, air, or marine environments.

We invite Bidders to propose innovations that address infrastructure for autonomous systems and robotics capable of supporting any of the following operations:

  • Remote maintenance;
  • Frequent surveying of shipping lanes to ensure critical under-keel clearance;
  • Delivery facilities for remote locations;
  • Mobile facilities for MASS related R&D;
  • Inspection of linear infrastructure (road, rail, electricity, telephone);
  • Bridge Inspection; and
  • Asset Management of autonomous systems.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems
  • CUAS: A Counter-UAS system is a system or device capable of lawfully and safely disabling, disrupting, or seizing control of an unmanned aircraft or unmanned aircraft system.
  • Autonomous Vehicle: A vehicle capable of sensing its environment and operating without human involvement

Outcomes

(Innovations must meet at least ONE of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid)

  • Ground based detection systems including radar, optical sensor relays, C-UAS,;
  • Smart hangars and remote delivery depots for autonomous vehicles including remote emergency operation centers and fire resistant drone operations centers for forest fire mapping and emergency response; or deployable small drone repair facilities;
  • Airspace management systems and advanced air mobility systems;
  • Ship lane inspection stations for MASS deployments;
  • Small MASS with mobile remote operations center;
  • Underwater communications data transfer, charging, including remote subsea docking;
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) analytics of drone imagery for asset condition assessment and drone supported structural health monitoring solutions.

ISC will not accept (out of scope):

  • Payload solutions with no supporting infrastructure
Urban and Industrial Operations

Problem statement

The Government of Canada conducts a wide range of operations in the urban and industrial theatre that could be bolstered with autonomous systems and robotics.

The Government of Canada seeks autonomous systems and robotics capable of addressing the following:

  • Inspections of ports, ships, and infrastructure;
  • Operations conducted in confined spaces including but not limited to mines, ships, warehouses, offices, and labs and research facilities;
  • Policing and Surveillance; and
  • Emergency Response.

We invite Bidders to propose operations-ready, autonomous vehicles, systems and robots that can support any number of functions within urban or industrial settings. We expect to see a variety of cutting-edge technologies which will fit the Canadian environment and demonstrate a clear understanding of urban conditions and restrictions. Bidders must also demonstrate sufficient forethought to begin the long road towards regulatory compliance and safe operation of their innovation.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems
  • UAS: An Uncrewed Air System is an uncrewed aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft
  • Cargo: a load weighing 5kg or above

Outcomes

(Innovations must meet at least one of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid.)

  • A variety of UAS solutions including: UAS for inspection in confined spaces or areas with a concentrated population density; uncrewed aerial vehicles or vehicle subsystems to perform repairs on elevated structures; GPS-denied UAS solutions;
  • Autonomous systems for snow and ice removal from roofs or roads and runways;
  • Urban cargo movement solutions;
  • Robotics for emergency response including ambulatory services;
  • Solutions to improve the interaction between MASS and port facilities and congested waterways;

ISC will not accept

  • Hardware without accompanying software solutions
Rural, remote or marine solutions

Problem statement

The Government of Canada conducts a wide range of operations in rural and remote regions that could be bolstered with autonomous systems and robotics. Furthermore, marine vehicle and system automation is relevant to the modernization and enhancement of existing fleets.

The Government of Canada seeks autonomous systems and robotics capable of addressing the following:

  • MASS & USV operations in Canadian harsh marine environment and ice covered waters;
  • Operations conducted in areas that lack network connectivity;
  • Long term operations in locations without power;
  • Policing and Surveillance; and
  • Emergency Response.

We invite Bidders to propose operations-ready autonomous vehicles, as well as systems and robots that can support functions within rural, remote or marine settings. We expect to see a variety of cutting-edge technologies which will fit the Canadian environment and demonstrate a clear understanding of regional conditions and restrictions. Bidders must also demonstrate sufficient forethought to begin the long road towards regulatory compliance and safe operation of their innovations.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems
  • USV: Uncrewed Surface Vehicle

Outcomes

(Innovations must meet at least one of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid.)

  • Marine solutions including:
    • sealift solutions;
    • surface operations solutions;
    • technologies for MASS that will enhance marine situational awareness and characterization of environmental conditions;
    • subsea and remote communications, data transfer & charging solutions; rail and related communication infrastructure solutions
  • Emergency response solutions including:
    • Ambulatory solutions and health service applications;
    • remote response and support solutions;
    • autonomous vehicles and robots capable of operating in c2-link and GPS denied environments;
  • Supporting systems including:
    • battery solutions that can expand range of operations for autonomous vehicles; increased instrument payloads, with extended range and duration;
    • data processing solutions that are not cloud-based;
    • weather-robust sensing and perception technologies for autonomous transportation operation;
    • or solutions that automate the tracking and support of northern supply chain logistics;
  • Land based solutions including rail infrastructure characterization with remote sensing;

ISC will not accept

  • Solutions that require cloud access or consistent network connectivity to operate as described.
Management and Response

Problem statement

The Government of Canada is interested in testing a wide range of autonomous systems and robotics that can support management and response efforts in a variety of operational environments. We invite Bidders to propose land, marine, or air-based autonomous vehicles and systems solutions that are capable of supporting a short-term response to the following crisis scenarios:

  • Search and Rescue Operations;
  • Remote response and support operations;
  • Environmental response including floods, forest fires, avalanche, etc.;
  • Marine surface and underwater management solutions;
  • Arctic and cold weather operations; and
  • Border response solutions.

The relevance of proposed innovations will be assessed according to how they address and resolve the Problem Statement above.

Definitions

  • ADS-B: Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) is a surveillance technology in which an aircraft determines its position via satellite navigation or other sensors and periodically broadcasts it, enabling it to be tracked.
  • UAS: An Uncrewed Air System is an uncrewed aircraft (UA) and all of the associated support equipment, control station, data links, telemetry, communications and navigation equipment, etc., necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft.
  • MASS: Marine Autonomous Surface Systems

Outcomes

(Innovations must meet at least one of the following outcomes to meet the requirements of SC4 of the Evaluation Grid).

  • IT solutions including:
    • Artificial Intelligence (AI) data processing (computer vision);
    • multiple scales of data capture (satellite, UAS, on ground);
    • collision avoidance solutions for autonomous vehicles;
    • airspace management software; management, storage and collation of terabyte scale datasets;
    • flight control and planning software;
  • Fleet management solutions;
  • Micro utility devices for logistics and maintenance;
  • Systems and vehicles to assist with environmental response;
  • ADS-B solutions;
  • Facilities such as remote operations centres for large MASS monitoring and intervention (marine); or communications and centralized operations centres;

ISC will not accept (out of scope)

  • Surveillance or monitoring solutions that do not allow for management or response

Eligibility and evaluation

Mandatory Criteria (MC)

MC1: Canadian Bidder

The Bidder must meet the definition of a Canadian Bidder. A Canadian Bidder is defined as a Canadian person or entity submitting a proposal on its own behalf and having a place of business in Canada where the person or entity conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

MC2: Canadian Content

80% of the financial proposal costs, the total proposal price to Canada stated in "Section –G Financial Proposal", must be Canadian goods or Canadian services. For the complete Canadian content definition please refer to the Canadian Content Definition A3050T (2020-07-01) at Part 1, General Information, Article 1.5 of the solicitation documents:

MC3: Ownership

The Bidder must be the owner of the Intellectual Property (IP) for the proposed innovation, or have a licence to the IP rights from a Canadian licensor for the proposed innovation and not be infringing on any IP rights.

MC4: Topic and Component

The Bidder's proposed innovation, as described and in its intended application, must be within the scope of one (1) of the relevant Military or Standard Component topic(s) identified, as selected by the Bidder.

MC5: Pre-Commercial Status

The proposed innovation must not be openly available in the marketplace, and must not have been previously sold on a commercial basis as of the date of this bid submission. Refer to the definitions of "Pre-Commercial Innovation and Commercial Sales" at Appendix 2 of the solicitation documents:

MC6: Previously Pre-qualified Innovation

The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not have been previously awarded a contract or grant in the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) or its predecessor, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), nor under any Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Streams.

The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not currently be active in a pool of pre-qualified innovations in any of the above. A proposed innovation that is currently active in a pool will be accepted only once the bid validity period for that proposal has expired or the Bidder has withdrawn their innovation from the relevant pool, prior to solicitation closing date.

A Bidder can participate more than once, as long as the proposed innovations are sufficiently different. If the proposed innovation resembles an innovation that is currently active in a pool and has not been withdrawn prior to solicitation closing, the following assessment will be used to determine sufficient difference to proceed.

Pass Sufficiently Different
  • A distinct product and/or service that has undergone a completely separate path of R&D or that diverged early in technology development.
  • Significant modifications to the application of the previous technology or components of the technology, applied in a setting or condition which was not possible or feasible for the pre-qualified or contracted innovation; OR
  • A significant improvement in functionality, cost or performance over the pre-qualified or contracted innovation.
Fail Not Sufficiently Different
  • Incremental improvements;
  • Technologies that follow a normal course of product development (i.e. the next version or release); OR
  • Stated differences are not quantified or are inadequately described.

MC7: Maximum Funding

The Bidder's Financial Proposal must not exceed $550,000 CAD in the Standard Component, or $1,150,000 CAD in the Military Component, not including applicable taxes, shipping costs, and travel and living expenses, where applicable. Refer to Section G – Financial Proposal.

MC8: Program Eligibility

The Bidder's proposal must be aligned with the mandate of the ISC Testing Stream where Canada procures, through a Contract, the Bidder's Innovation with the purpose of testing it in an operational environment.

The following criteria only apply to small or medium enterprises

MC9: Small Business

The Bidder must be a for-profit person or entity, with 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. This calculation must take into account and include affiliated businesses, such as parent companies and subsidiaries that are either in or outside of Canada.

MC10: Bidder Presence in Canada

The Bidder must meet the following minimum requirements: 50% or more of the Bidder's FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work; 50% or more of the Bidder's annual wages, salaries and fees must be paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in Canada; and 50% or more of the Bidder's senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence. These calculations must take into account and include affiliated businesses, such as parent companies and subsidiaries that are either in or outside of Canada.

Stage 1 Technical Evaluation – Screening Criteria (SC)

SC1: Innovation

The proposed innovation must meet one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation below:

  • An inventionFootnote 1, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the marketplace.
  • Significant modifications to the application of existing technologies/components/processes that are applied in a setting or condition for which current applications are not possible or feasible.
  • An improvement in functionality, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice.
Pass The proposed innovation meet one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation.
Fail
  • The proposed innovation does not meet any of the ISC definitions of innovation; or
  • The proposed innovation is an incremental improvement, "good engineering", or a technology that would go ahead in the normal course of product development (i.e. the next version or release).

SC2: Operational Readiness Validation

The Bidder must demonstrate that at the time of proposal submission, the proposed innovation is ready for testing in an operational environment, i.e. at minimum TRL 7 per the ISC Technology Readiness Level Scale.

Pass
  • The Bidder has provided evidence demonstrating that, at minimum, the proposed innovation is a functional prototype (form, fit, and function) ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment, at the time of proposal submission; and
  • The Bidder has provided evidence supporting that an operational demonstration of the proposed innovation is feasible.
Fail
  • The proposed innovation is not ready for demonstration in any operational environment at the time of proposal submission or the Bidder has not provided evidence to that effect; or
  • The Bidder has not provided evidence supporting that an operational demonstration of the proposed innovation is feasible.

SC3: Safety Considerations

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have obtained or possess, at the time of proposal submission, the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely deploy the proposed innovation, and that it poses no risks to individuals or Government of Canada organizations involved in an operational demonstration.

This is to ensure that a Government of Canada organization and personnel are not exposed to safety or privacy risks during the conduct of the operational demonstration.

Pass At the time of proposal submission:
  • The Bidder has demonstrated that they have obtained or possess the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely deploy the proposed innovation; and
  • No concerns remain regarding the physical safety and privacy of individuals that could be involved in an operational demonstration; and
  • The proposed innovation does not pose organizational safety or security concerns for a Government of Canada organizations when used in an operational setting.
Fail At the time of proposal submission:
  • The Bidder has not demonstrated they have obtained or possess the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely deploy the proposed innovation; and/or
  • Concerns remain regarding the physical safety or privacy of individuals that could be involved in an operational demonstration; and/or
  • The proposed innovation may pose organizational safety or security concerns for a Government of Canada organizations when used in an operational setting.

SC4: Scope – Outcomes

The Bidder must demonstrate that the proposed innovation provides a solution to the Problem Statement, and meets one or more of the Outcomes identified in the Problem Statement.

Pass
  • The proposed innovation is within the scope of the Problem Statement, and clearly addresses one or more of the Outcomes identified in the Problem Statement.
Fail
  • The proposed innovation is articulated as out of scope for the Problem Statement, or;
  • The proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed innovation addresses any of the Outcomes identified in the Problem Statement, or;
  • The proposed innovation is poorly described and does not permit concrete analysis, or;
  • There is little to no scientific and/or technological evidence that the proposed innovation is likely to meet any of the Outcomes.

Stage 2 Technical Evaluation – Point-Rated Screening Criteria (PS)

PS1: Advance on State of the Art

The Bidder must demonstrate that the proposed innovation improves upon current approaches and state of the art, or current practices relevant to its purpose or application, in a manner that yields competitive advantages.

2 points
  • The proposed innovation improves minimally upon the current state of the art, though not sufficiently enough to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; or
  • The stated advancements are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.
12 points
  • The proposed innovation offers one or two minor improvements, and no significant improvements, to the state of the art that are not likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; or
  • The stated advancements are well-described in general, but are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.
24 points Minimum
  • The proposed innovation offers three or more minor improvements to the state of the art, that together are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; or
  • The proposed innovation offers one significant improvement to the state of the art, that is likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches.
40 points
  • The proposed innovation offers two or more significant improvements to the state of the art, that are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches and could define new market spaces; or
  • The proposed innovation can be considered a new benchmark of state of the art that is clearly ahead of competitors and that is likely to define new market spaces.

PS2: Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy

The Bidder must demonstrate a suitable Intellectual Property (IP) strategy, relevant to protect IP generated by the proposed innovation and to protect the Bidder. This criteria also assesses the degree to which the strategy is appropriate to support successful commercialization.

0 points The Intellectual Property (IP) strategy is insufficiently rationalized or substantiated, and is poorly suited for background IP or generated IP as they pertain to the proposed innovation.
8 points Minimum
  • The ongoing activities described and rationalized form a suitable IP strategy in terms of relevant background IP or generated IP, and enables the application of suitable protection where and when relevant, as they pertain to the proposed innovation; and
  • A path to effective monetization of the proposed innovation is generally described, and sufficiently adequate considering the maturity of the company and the sector or industry.
12 points
  • The activities described are well substantiated and form an IP strategy that addresses all relevant background IP and generated IP as they pertain to the proposed innovation, and will ensure the Bidder is protected; and/or
  • The Bidder describes an IP strategy factoring considerations beyond the operational demonstration of the proposed innovation, for the effective and competitive leveraging of IP in terms of profitable exploitation and market access.

PS3: Management Team

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have filled the key roles in the management team with individuals possessing relevant background or skill setFootnote 2, who can support the successful commercialization of the proposed innovation.

  • Role A: Company leadership (e.g. CEO, or equivalent)
  • Role B: Technology development (e.g. CTO, or equivalent)
  • Role C: Commercialization strategy (e.g. Business Manager, or equivalent)
  • Role D: Financial management (e.g. CFO, or equivalent)
0 points
  • One or more roles are not identified; or
  • One or more roles significantly lacks relevant background or skill set; or
  • One or both company leader role and technology manager role have significant and unmitigated gaps in qualifications relevant to the company's activities, which could obstruct the company's efforts to reach commercial launch.
4 points All roles are identified and possess a background or skill set (education and/or experience) that is relevant to the company's activities or their respective fields, however gaps remain that are unmitigated and have the potential to impede commercial launch and commercial success.
8 points Minimum All roles are identified and possess, or are supported by, a background or skill set (education and/or experience) that is relevant to the company's activities or their respective fields, and will likely enable them to reach commercial launch.
12 points All roles are identified and possess, or are supported by, a strong background or skill set (education and/or experience) that would serve well in commercializing the proposed innovation, is clearly relevant to their respective industry, and increases the likelihood of commercial success.

PS4: Financial Capacity

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources and a credible financial strategy in order to execute their commercial launch plan, without a potential ISC Testing Stream contract.

In determining the credibility of a financial strategy, evaluators consider: funding sources, the amount of secured and unsecured funds, the degree of risk, and whether these risks are reasonable or sufficiently mitigated based on the context of the sector. Credibility, potential risks, and applicability to support launch costs should also be considered.

Financial resources must demonstrate ability to commercialize the proposed innovation.

0 points
  • The Bidder has not demonstrated they have sufficient funds to commercialize the proposed innovation; or
  • The Bidder has no credible plan to secure necessary funds or the costs are significantly underestimated; or
  • The financial strategy provided is inadequate, unrealistic, or incomplete.
8 points Minimum
  • The Bidder has demonstrated they have funds in place, and otherwise possesses the financial capacity to undertake production and delivery of the proposed innovation; or
  • The Bidder has a credible financial strategy and remaining unsecured funds will not significantly impede commercializing the proposed innovation.
12 points The Bidder has demonstrated they have sufficient secured funds and have a credible financial strategy to successfully commercialize the proposed innovation.

Stage 3 Technical Evaluation – Point Rated Criteria (PR)

PR1: Innovation Benefits

This criterion is intended to assess the degree to which the proposed innovation could contribute to the positive economic development of the innovation ecosystem in Canada.

0 points Economic benefits are not identified or are insufficient.
4 points Economic benefits to the innovation ecosystem in Canada are limited.
8 points Economic benefits to the innovation ecosystem in Canada are significant.

PR2: Operational Demonstration Risk Mitigation Strategies

This criterion is intended to assess the degree to which the Bidder has identified all important risks in the demonstration scenario, and degree to which those risks are addressed with appropriate mitigation strategies.

0 points
  • 2 or more important risks were not identified and/or have a high level of residual risk.
4 points
  • 1 important risk was not identified; and/or
  • The risks that were outlined in the demonstration scenario have mitigation strategies that are plausible and sufficiently described.
8 points
  • All important risks have been identified; and
  • The risks outlined in the demonstration scenario have mitigation strategies that are plausible and sufficiently described, but there is some residual risk.
16 points
  • All important risks have been identified; and
  • The risks outlined in the demonstration scenario have mitigation strategies that are comprehensive and well described, and there is very little residual risk.

PR3: Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Benefits

This criterion is intended to assess the degree to which the Bidder has sufficient measures to effectively achieve and maintain diversity, inclusivity and gender equity within; their business, supply chain, or business ecosystem.

Score levels reflect the number of the following elements the Bidder addressed in their answer:

  • Anti-discrimination policies;
  • Recruitment strategy and hiring process;
  • Training available to educate the Bidder's workforce on diversity and inclusion;
  • How diversity and inclusion are factored into Bidder's supplier selection methods.
0 points Policies regarding diversity, inclusivity and gender equity are not identified, are insufficient, or do not appear genuine.
4 points Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Bidder is implementing some measures (up to two (2) elements) to achieve and maintain diversity, inclusivity and gender equity.
8 points Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Bidder is implementing most measures (two (2) or more elements) to achieve and maintain diversity, inclusivity and gender equity.
12 points Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Bidder is implementing all measures (all four (4) elements) to achieve and maintain diversity, inclusivity and gender equity.

PR4: Commercialization Strategy and Market Risks

This criterion is intended for the Bidder to demonstrate that they have a credible strategy to commercialize the proposed innovation, identifying market risks and providing suitable mitigation strategies for these risks.

0 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are inadequate, incomplete or have not been presented.
8 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies could support limited target market entry; or
  • Shortcomings in the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels or physical assets present unmitigated risks to successful commercialization.
24 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are clear and well-developed and, given full implementation, should support entry into the target market; and/or
  • Shortcomings in the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels and physical assets present only small risks to successful commercialization.
32 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are complete, strong, and are highly likely to support long-term and sustained entry into the target markets; and
  • The Bidder has the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels and physical assets required to move forward with successful commercialization.

PR5: Adoption Potential – Features & Benefits, Target Market

This criterion is intended to assess to what degree the proposed innovation's features and benefits are attractive to the relevant target market.

0 points
  • Key features and benefits are limited and/or offer minimal differentiation from the competition; and
  • Target market is small in size, offers low growth and/or has limited long term potential.
4 points
  • Key features and benefits offer moderate differentiation from the competition; or
  • Target market is moderate in size, offers moderate growth and/or has adequate long term potential.
8 points
  • Key features and benefits offer either moderate or clear differentiation from the competition; and/or
  • Target market is moderate in size, offers moderate growth and has adequate long term potential.
16 points
  • Key features and benefits offer clear differentiation from the competition; and
  • Target market is large in size, promises high growth and/or has significant long term potential.

PR6: Adoption Potential – Cost to End User

This criterion is intended to assess to what degree the cost of the proposed innovation and the efforts required to adopt it are attractive and relevant for the target market.

The acquisition costs of the proposed innovation include the intended market price, the organizational impact, time and resources required for training and installation, and other direct costs for target market end-user (the customer) to acquire the proposed innovation.

0 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, an unacceptable amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation.
4 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, a significant amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation.
8 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, a reasonable amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation.
16 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, virtually no time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation.

 

This criterion is intended to assess the degree to which the Bidder meets the Outcomes identified in the Problem Statement.

Maximum available points from Stage 2 & Stage 3 : 176 points

Minimum Total ScoreFootnote 3 from Stage 2 & Stage 3 to pre-qualify: 106 points

Pathway to commercialization

Enabling the Government of Canada to buy what it tries – a Pathway to Commercialization for eligible Canadian SMEs

Our new pilot project gives small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to sell your innovation directly to the Government of Canada without competing.

Through the Pathway to Commercialization under ISC's Testing Stream, eligible SMEs can receive commercial contracts based on the successful testing and market-readiness of your pre-commercial prototype. It is important to note that this pathway will only be available to eligible Canadian SMEs, which represent over 97% of all businesses in Canada, a percentage that mirrors past participation in the program.

How will it work?

  • Once your initial ISC testing contract is completed, you may be eligible for the Pathway to Commercialization if your innovation is market-ready at technology readiness level (TRL) 9 or above (see other eligibility criteria)
  • You will have up to 12 months to be assessed against eligibility criteria to determine if you will be placed on a Pathway to Commercialization source list where government departments can browse and purchase your successfully-tested innovations for up to three years
  • Contracts under this initiative will each have a limit of up to $8M

Important considerations

  • You must be selling the same innovation from your initial Testing Stream contract
  • If you participate in the Pathway to Commercialization, your innovation will no longer be admissible for further testing nor any subsequent purchases contracts under EN578-22ISC5 of the Testing Stream.
  • The requirements for commercial contracts will reflect the operational needs of client departments, the nature of the innovation, and will be put in place by Public Services and Procurement Canada, the program's Contracting Authority

How will SMEs be assessed?

A number of criteria will be used as part of the assessment process, including:

  • Financial capacity
  • Technology readiness
  • Certifications
  • IP strategy
  • Company size
  • Scalability
  • Innovation test performance

Please read the call for proposals (CFP) for more information on the Pathway to Commercialization.

Frequently asked questions

All incoming questions regarding this specific call for proposals should be addressed to TPSGC.PASICVoletessai-APISCTestingStream.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.

glossary is also available.