The Canadian North and Arctic

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: 
March 21, 2023

Closing date: 
April 18, 2023, 14:00 Eastern Time

 

Overview

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

The purpose of these calls for prototypes (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: $1,100,000 CAD

Military component: $2,300,000 CAD

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

Problem statements

Sustainability and agriculture

For too long Canada's Arctic and Northern residents, including Indigenous peoples, have not had access to the same services, opportunities, and standards of living as those enjoyed by other Canadians. There are longstanding inequalities in a number of sectors, including in transportation, energy, communications, employment, and community infrastructure.

In addressing these inequalities, the Government of Canada is seeking solutions to challenges within the agricultural and sustainable development space. The Government is interested in testing sustainable food systems that deliver food and nutrition in such a way that preserves the economic, social and environmental bases to generate and maintain food security. Further, the Government is interested in testing technologies that will support or sustain arctic agricultural practices, as well as those that can provide innovative solutions to address challenges in Arctic Construction and Arctic Conditions.

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

Definitions
Re-deployable:
The solution must be capable of being relocated, several times, without any impactful degradation to the structure or performance.
Deployable:
The solution must be capable of rapid deployment in under 3 months from the date of contract award (notwithstanding the time associated with the shipment of materials necessary to test the innovation).
Short-term:
The solution must be able to withstand Arctic Conditions and unstable permafrost over a period between 6 months to 5 years.
Long-term:
The solution must be able to withstand Arctic Conditions and unstable permafrost over a period between 5 to 30 years.
Arctic Conditions:
The solution must be capable of deploying on permafrost, and withstand temperatures of down to -40C and inclement weather, with at times limited or sporadic access to sunlight, potable water, and energy.
Infrastructure:
Residential and Operational structures and installations of any variety
Self-sufficient:
Proposed infrastructure must be able to function off grid.
Outcomes:

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

Northern agriculture (food systems)
  • Growing facilities and other solutions which include innovations that retrofit shipping and other containers;
  • Greenhouses capable of functioning in Arctic Conditions;
  • Innovative air quality sensors for greenhouse applications;
  • Water purification systems and solutions including solutions capable of measuring water quality with ion selective sensors;
  • Stand-alone water filtration systems and reservoirs;
  • Solutions that identify, integrate, and apply low waste, waste utilization, and circular waste system principles in northern agricultural practices;
  • Food production solutions that can function in Artic Conditions, including:
    • Controlled environment agriculture,
    • Vertical farming container systems,
    • Mushroom farms;
    • Solutions that are not impacted by outdoor environmental conditions;
    • Aquaponic solutions;
    • Enclosed livestock production;
  • HVAC solutions capable of withstanding Arctic Conditions and capable of venting high humidity air into -0C environments.
Construction and sub-zero materials
  • Lightweight and durable infrastructure materials designed to function in Arctic Conditions;
  • Innovative fire extinguishers;
  • Environmental sampling solutions: can include manual sampling, autonomous solutions, or a combination of both;
  • Innovative construction methods that enable construction in Arctic Conditions;
  • Modular construction solutions;
  • Modular mobile research laboratories and portable laboratory facilities that can be redeployed several times to various communities;
  • Ground cooling solutions;
  • Self-sufficient, stand-alone, deployable residential and operational structures that are resilient to Arctic Conditions;
ISC will not accept any of the following (out of scope)
  • Solutions that are not stand-alone or require retrofits to existing infrastructure;
  • Energy generation or management solutions without accompanying infrastructure; or
  • Maintenance solutions for existing infrastructure.

Communications, navigations and connectivity

Canada's vision for the Canadian North and Arctic is a stable, rules-based region with clearly defined boundaries, dynamic economic growth and trade, vibrant Northern communities, and healthy and productive ecosystems. Some of the biggest challenges to this vision are quality of internet, communications, and connectivity amongst the people and groups operating in the Canadian North and Arctic. Due to the vast expanse of land encapsulated within the Canadian North, and the concentration of communications and connectivity infrastructure in populated areas, there is tremendous difficulty in conducting a variety of operations related to regular inspections, remote deployments and emergency operations in the area.

The Government of Canada is interested in testing solutions that can enhance communications, digital networks, and connectivity within the Canadian North and Arctic.

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

Definitions
Emergency operations:
Search and Rescue (SAR), Flood Response, Fire response, evacuation
VoIP:
Voice-over-Internet Protocol
Satcom:
Satellite Communications
IoT:
Internet of Things
Arctic conditions:
The solution must be capable of deploying on permafrost, and withstand temperatures of down to -40C and inclement weather, with at times limited or sporadic access to sunlight, potable water, and energy.
Outcomes:

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

  • Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) that can operate as intended in Arctic Conditions;
  • VoIP and satcom solutions;
  • Low Earth Orbit Satellite Constellation and Ground Stations;
  • High Altitude Platforms Systems (HAPS);
  • Communications for Search and Rescue (SAR) and evacuation vessels;
  • Ship-based connectivity solutions, including ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication;
  • Solutions that enable reliable and robust remote monitoring and data transfer;
  • Enhanced data compression solutions;
  • IoT solutions that enhance connectivity and situational awareness;
  • A variety of area monitoring solutions, and solutions intended to improve situational and navigational awareness, including:
    • Distant Early Warning (DEW) systems;
    • Solutions to provide predicative and dynamic assessment of conditions;
    • Signal rebroadcasting solutions for deployment in Arctic Conditions;
    • Weather stations and remote monitoring infrastructure including ground-based radar;
    • Solutions to enhance mapping and data collection of permafrost and ice movement;
    • Solutions to monitor and surveil maritime traffic in the Arctic;
    • Solutions to track surface and subsurface vessels in the North West Passage and Arctic Ocean, and;
    • Signal rebroadcasting stations including those that can assist with expanded drone operations beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS)
ISC will not accept any of the following:
  • Collaboration only tools;
  • E-learning solutions;
  • Solutions that can only function in urban centers or require stable high-speed internet to operate, and;
  • Solutions that cannot function in artic conditions

Emergency responses

Climate change is having far-reaching effects on the lives and well-being of Northerners. Extreme weather events such as intense storms, wildfires, and floods are occurring more often and with greater severity than ever before. These events not only pose an immediate threat to the lives and property of Northerners, but can also impact the security of communities more broadly by severing crucial transportation and communication links that Northern operations depend on. Other climate change effects, including increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, melting permafrost, and changing sea ice conditions, can have an impact on food security, making transportation and travel more difficult and endangering the stability and functioning of delicate ecosystems.

The remoteness of Arctic and Northern communities also pose a challenge with regard to critical infrastructure (CI) and emergency management (EM) considerations, which are likely to be exacerbated due to climate change. Melting ice could contribute to an increase in search and rescue requirements within the Canadian North and Arctic.

The Government of Canada is interested in exploring a wide-range of solutions that can support operations ranging from Search & Rescue (SAR) and emergency evacuation, to natural disaster management and environmental response.

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

Definitions
Arctic Conditions:
The solution must be capable of deploying on permafrost, and withstand temperatures of down to -40C and inclement weather, with at times limited or sporadic access to sunlight, potable water, and energy.
Critical Infrastructure:
Refers to processes, systems, facilities, technologies, networks, assets and services essential to the health, safety, security or economic well-being of Canadians and the effective functioning of government in the Arctic and the Canadian North.
Enhanced communications:
Refers to the establishment and improvement of lines of communication in the event of an emergency response to an Arctic or remote Northern location.
IoT:
Internet of Things
Natural disaster:
Includes forest fires, flooding, avalanche, coastal erosion and the impact of permafrost thaw
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., that are necessary to operate the unmanned aircraft
Outcomes:

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

  • Pre-disaster monitoring and situational awareness solutions;
  • Forest fire management and response solutions;
  • Flood prevention and mitigation solutions;
  • Emergency Search and Rescue solutions (SAR) and Air-droppable survival kits (SKADs);
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and cold-resistant equipment. This includes gloves for outdoor operations and repairs, and gender-appropriate PPE for Search and Rescue Operations;
  • Oil spill response solutions;
  • Ambulatory Services;
  • Emergency Evacuation Tools and Vessels;
  • Interoperable Drone Swarms and related software solutions for rapid deployment;
  • Inspection and persistent surveillance solutions and associated computer vision and IoT applications which support surveillance; and
  • Vehicle Launched and Recoverable UAS systems (Truck bed drone-boxes, Ship launched systems, micro platforms)
ISC will not accept any of the following:
  • Collaboration Tools and Digital management solutions;
  • Enhanced communications; and
  • Software solutions for awareness that don't include the requisite sensors, radar, lidar or monitoring hardware.

Transportation

Operations in the Canadian North and Arctic are vastly different than those conducted in the rest of the country. In the case of transportation, these differences are exemplified. Efficient movement of people and goods is a core requirement for the effective functioning of government operations and services, and sustainability for inhabitants in the Canadian North and Arctic.

The usual means of transporting goods and people are not necessarily available, as a result of the harsh climate, which has lead to systemic issues like food insecurity and supply chain shortages for the area. It is critical that Canada improves existing means and modes of transportation, and ensures transport-related infrastructure to address the ever-present issues related to supply chain logistics in the Canadian North and Arctic.

The Government of Canada is requesting solutions for enhanced transportation and transport-related infrastructure pertaining to marine, rail, air and surface vehicles.

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

Definitions
Arctic conditions:
The solution must be capable of deploying on permafrost, and withstanding temperatures of down to -40C, as well as inclement weather
Cargo:
5kg or more
Long range:
50km or more
Operations-ready:
A functional prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment
RPAS:
Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems
Structural Health Monitoring:
Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) involves the observation and analysis of a system over time, through sampled response measurements, to evaluate and monitor structural health
UAS:
Uncrewed Aerial Systems (complete drone systems with no onboard or remote pilots or safety pilots to operate the aircraft beyond visual line of sight)
Outcomes:

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

  • Lifecycle assessment tools for assessing environmental and geological impacts of transportation infrastructure;
  • Long-range transports to deliver cargo by surface, air, or sea. This includes operations-ready, long-range UAS and unpiloted alternatives to fixed wing aircrafts that can perform cargo delivery to fly-in communities and support remote government operations;
  • Railway monitoring, inspection and infrastructure-related technologies, including narrow-gauge rail;
  • Surface vehicles, subsurface vehicles, and technologies intended for, or usable on, sealift transportation platforms;
  • Complete RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) and UAS systems for long-range cargo and infrastructure inspection;
  • UAS with a variety of fuel and battery types including: electric, gas, and hydrogen;
  • Drone Supported Structural Health Monitoring;
  • Innovative and novel snowmobiles and snowmobile technologies, snow moving equipment, and vocational surface transportation; and
  • Ground effect vehicles
ISC will not accept any of the following:
  • Components and incomplete systems that cannot be integrated into existing operations;
  • Incomplete systems that do not include a full technology stack. All requisite hardware and software must be appropriately integrated to be considered for qualification; and
  • Solutions that are not capable of carrying a load of 5kg or more for some or the entire duration of transport

Energy and waste management

The Canadian North and Arctic has many remote locations with limited access to energy and waste management services. Energy generation, storage and management are challenges that are ever-present in remote communities that are not widely connected to Canadian electricity or natural gas infrastructure. This challenge leaves Arctic and Northern communities more vulnerable, subjected to higher energy costs that continue to rise significantly.

There is a heavy reliance on imported diesel and much of the territories' energy assets are already at capacity. This threatens the reliable supply of energy to Northern operations. While communities in the Canadian North and Arctic don't produce more waste than comparable municipalities in southern Canada, the geographical remoteness of these locations provides little access to the kinds of services and infrastructure that would allow them to better manage their waste lifecycles.

Many communities are incorporated into municipalities that manage local waste, and most of the dumps created for this purpose far exceed their intended lifespans. Waste management facilities are also often located near coastlines, creating a concern that overflow may cause marine pollution.

The Government of Canada is seeking energy generation and management solutions, as well as waste reduction and management solutions, to help address the issues that exist in the Canadian North and Arctic, as well as putting into place infrastructure to improve future operations and delivery of services.

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

Definitions
Arctic Conditions:
The solution must be capable of deploying on permafrost, and withstand temperatures of down to -40C, as well inclement weather
RPAS:
Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems
UAS:
Uncrewed Aerial Systems
Zero-Waste:
The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, and reuse. The recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that can threaten the environment or human health
Outcomes:

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

  • Self-sufficient energy generation systems that are stand-alone or integrated into existing grids, including renewable electricity generation and renewable heat generation;
  • Small Modular Reactors;
  • Renewable power sources capable of operating in Arctic Conditions;
  • Solutions to forecast, track and monitor GHG emissions;
  • A variety of fuel and battery solutions including electric, gas, and hydrogen
    • Batteries for UAS/RPAS that are drone-agnostic, and general Biofuels including fuels made from biomass;
    • Batteries capable of integrating with renewal energy generation solutions;
    • Two-way batteries capable of charging while demand is off-peak and supplying the grid when demand increases
  • Sustainable energy solutions, including solutions to minimize the energy required to power sites;
  • Reliable and resilient energy management solutions that require minimal maintenance and performance if maintained in Arctic Conditions;
  • Practices that enhance the 'Carbon Sink-ability' of local ecosystems;
  • Energy generation and management solutions capable of integrating and optimizing inputs from at least two energy sources;
  • A variety of waste management solutions:
    • In-situ waste management;
    • Small/Compact garburators;
    • Solutions to manage waste water;
    • Zero-waste and zero-landfill solutions;
    • Portable incinerators;
    • Electronic Waste solutions
  • Operational waste management solutions for construction and demolition.
ISC will not accept any of the following:
  • Solutions that increase GHG emissions;
  • Solutions that require full-time maintenance or operators; and
  • Solutions that require full-time maintenance or operators, excluding small modular reactors.

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: Problem Statement

The Bidder's proposed innovation, as described and in its intended application, must provide a relevant solution to the outcome(s) described in the selected Problem Statement.

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 in the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) or its predecessor, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), nor under the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Testing Stream.

The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not currently be active in a pool of pre-qualified innovations. 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.

Bidders may submit multiple proposals, ensuring that each proposal is for a different Innovation. The same or similar proposals may not be submitted twice for different problem statements. If the proposed innovation is similar or identical to an innovation previously submitted by the bidder 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 $1,100,000 CAD in the Standard Component, or $2,300,000 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 applies to Small Businesses

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 meets 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 that 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 selected Problem Statement by the Bidder. In addition, the Bidder must demonstrate that the proposed innovation meets one or more of the outcomes identified in the selected Problem Statement by the Bidder. Proposed innovations that possess characteristics and functionalities cited in the out of scope outcomes will not be accepted

Pass
  • The proposed innovation is within the scope of the selected Problem Statement by the Bidder, and clearly addresses one or more of the outcomes identified in the selected Problem Statement.
Fail
  • The proposed innovation is articulated as out of scope for the selected Problem Statement by the Bidder, or;
    • The proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed innovation addresses any one of the outcomes identified in the selected Problem statement by the Bidder, 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 the 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, but there is moderate residual risk.
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.

ISC recognizes the Government's commitment to increase supplier diversity by leveraging social procurement practices for underrepresented groups, including Indigenous People. If your company is registered on the Indigenous Business Directory, you will receive the maximum score for the stage 3 technical evaluation – Point-Rated criteria #3 – Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Benefits.

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 (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 (three (3) 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 and 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.

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

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

Pathway to commercialization (PTC)

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.

Through the PTC 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 above technology readiness level (TRL) 9
  • You will have up to 12 months following the end of your initial ISC Testing Stream contract to apply to the Pathway to Commercialization, at which time you will be be assessed against the PTC entry criteria to determine if your innovation will be placed on a PTC source list where government departments can browse and purchase your successfully-tested innovations for up to three years

Important considerations

  • You must be selling the same innovation from your initial Testing Stream contract
  • If you participate in the PTC, you will no longer be eligible for additional testing through the Testing Stream. Unlike PTC contracts, additional testing contracts are still considered R&D contracts, similar to the initial Testing Stream contract. Additional testing opportunities are open to all program participants, SMEs and non-SMEs.
  • The requirements for commercial contracts will reflect the operational needs of client departments, the nature of the innovation, as well as input from 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.