Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) is seeking a solution that allows for greater homogeneity of soil samples through their efficient and consistent collection, leading to greater reliability and accuracy of test results.
Sponsoring Department: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC)
Funding Mechanism: Contract
Opening date: October 18, 2018
Closing date: December 17, 2018, 14:00 Eastern Standard Time
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell
Problem Summary Statement
The current process for soil sample collection is labour intensive, inefficient, and increases the risk of variability in the samples collected.
Homogenous soil samples are essential to ensure accurate test results. The greatest risk of compromising soil samples is at the time of collection, resulting in a lack in necessary homogeneity. The need to manually mix soil samples from different depths or different locations may also impact the quality of the sample. Further challenges in manual soil sample collection include increased requirements for labour and travel between distant field plots. Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) is seeking a solution that allows for greater homogeneity of soil samples through their efficient and consistent collection, leading to greater reliability and accuracy of test results.
Desired outcomes and considerations
Proposed solutions must:
- Reduce the amount of error introduced into each sample by 50%;
- Control cross-contamination of samples;
- Allow multiple samples to be collected and pooled together from a field or plot;
- Have the option to collect and keep separate samples at different depths from the same location (ie. 0–15 cm, 15–30 cm, 30–45 cm, 45–60cm) with minimal labour; and
- Geo-reference sample locations.
Proposed solutions could ideally:
- Create a homogenous sample that is represented of the area/location sampled so that when the test sample is analyzed there is minimal difference, between 5% and 10%, between multiple tests of the same sample; and
- Need minimal labour - defined as 1–2 people, such as the equipment operator and potentially one helper.
Background and context
There are soil samplers available now, that can be operated as a separate tractor, or attached to a general use trailer by the operator. The issue with the current technology is that it does not allow for samples to be taken at different depth. It does not ensure a thorough sampling of a field, since it is up to the tractor operator to decide when and where to take a sample, which leads to inconsistent distances, as opposed to a more organized approach. Improved soil sampling technology will help AAFC scientists, but its uses could also benefit provincial governments, and academia.
Maximum value and travel
Maximum contract value
Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.
The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $150,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 6 months.
The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $1,000,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 2 years. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.
This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.
No travel is anticipated
Progress Review Meeting
Final Review Meeting
Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:
- for profit
- incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
- 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employeesFootnote *
- research and development activities that take place in Canada
- 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in CanadaFootnote *
- 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of workFootnote *
- 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residenceFootnote *
The official source of the Evaluation Criteria for this challenge is the Government Electronic Tendering System (Buy and Sell) (https://buyandsell.gc.ca/procurement-data/tender-notice/PW-18-00846769)
In the event of a discrepancy between the information below and the information published on Buy and Sell, Buy and Sell will take precedence.
Part 1: Mandatory and Minimum Pass Mark Criteria
Proposals must meet all mandatory criteria (Questions 1a and 2) and achieve the minimum pass mark for Question 3 in order to be deemed responsive and proceed to Part 2.
1 a. Scope
Describe your proposed solution and how it responds to the challenge. Include in your description the scientific and technological basis upon which your solution is proposed and clearly identify how your solution meets all of the EssentialOutcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes and Considerations section in the Challenge Notice.
Mandatory - Pass/Fail
2. Current Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
Mandatory - Pass/Fail
Pass: The Applicant/Bidder has demonstrated that the proposed solution is currently between TRLs 1 and 4 (inclusive), and provided justification by explaining the research and development (R&D) that has taken place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.
Fail: The Applicant/Bidder has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the current TRL is between 1 to 4 (inclusive) including:
Describe the novelty of your solution and how it advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including competing solutions.
Point Rated with Minimum Pass Mark
The minimum pass mark for this criteria is 4 points.
0 points/Fail: The Applicant/Bidder has not demonstrated that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions; OR
The stated advancements are described in general terms but are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.
Part 2: Point-Rated Criteria
Proposals that do not achieve the overall minimum score of at least 55 points out of a possible 110 points (50%) will be declared non-responsive and given no further consideration.
The overall minimum score is determined by adding the Applicant/Bidder's scores from the following questions together (1b, 3, 4-13).
Describe how your proposed solution addresses the Additional Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes and Considerations section in the Challenge Notice.
If no Additional Outcomes are identified in the Challenge Notice, Bidders/Applicants will receive 10 points
4. Phase 1 Science and Technology Risks
Identify potential scientific and/or technological risks to the successful development of the proof of concept and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1?
5. Benefits to Canada
Describe the benefits that could result from the successful development of your solution. Applicants/Bidders should consider the potential benefits using the following three categories:
6. Phase 1 Project Plan
Demonstrate a feasible Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.
Note: Phase 1 cannot exceed 6 months and TRL 4.
7. Phase 1 Project Risks
Identify potential project risks (eg. Human resources, financial, project management, etc) to the successful development of the proof of concept and how they will be mitigated?
8. Phase 1 Implementation Team
Demonstrate how your project implementation team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the project plan for Phase 1 by completing the table. A member of the implementation team can have more than one role.
Include the labour rates and level of effort for each member. A day is defined as 7.5 hours of work, exclusive of meal breaks. The labour rates and level of effort will be reviewed as part of the evaluation for Question 10.
If your business were to receive funding from Innovative Solutions Canada, describe what actions (e.g., recruitment strategy, internships, co-op placements, etc.) might be taken in Phase 1 to support the participation of under-represented groups (e.g., women, youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, visible minorities) in the research and development of the proposed solution.
10. Phase 1 Financial Proposal
Demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.
11. Phase 1 Financial Controls, Tracking and Oversight
Describe the financial controls, tracking and oversight that will be used to manage the public funds throughout Phase 1.
12. Phase 2 Strategy
Describe a realistic strategy for the prototype development if selected to participate in Phase 2.
Responses should include:
13. Commercialization Approach
Describe your overall commercialization approach for the proposed solution.
Responses should include:
Questions and answers
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell.
Please visit Buy and Sell for all Questions and Answers related to the Call for Proposals.
If you have a question about a challenge, please send it to ISED-ISDE@canada.ca.
You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.
A glossary is also available.