The closing date for this challenge was extended to February 7, 2019.
The Department of National Defense (DND) is seeking a solution that will provide innovative devices, applications, personal protective equipment technology supports to help position Canadian firefighters to work in a more Head Up Hands Free (HF/HF) mode of operation on the fire ground.
Sponsoring Department: Department of National Defence (DND) Defence Research and Development Canada Centre for Security Science
Funding Mechanism: Contract
Opening date: December 6, 2018
Closing date: February 7, 2019, 14:00 Eastern Standard Time
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell
Fire fighters face many personal safety and operational effectiveness challenges when involved in calls for service involving structural fires and other calls for service where operators are called upon to be able to 'see through' and operate safely within an environments obscured by smoke: there challenges also limit the ability of fire crews to locate personnel and determine their wellness. As well, fire crews they require timely alerts to threats and hazards such as heat, gases and structural obstacles which may not be readily apparent. Currently, industry solution providers offer technologies such as audible, visual, and haptic alarms for air supply remaining in the firefighter's self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) as well as devices which alert when a crew member is inert for an extended period. Other firms have thermal imaging capabilities as a single device or data feed. Fire fighters and services are hard pressed to carry, operate and support myriad devices, power sources, communications infrastructure and data sources. The current devices, sensors and notification systems are not connected to each other. At the moment, fire fighters are, in many instances, required to direct their attention away from the fire ground to touch and monitor situational awareness devices. It is anticipated that a more integrated HU/HF capability is needed to reduce cognitive load and improve operational effectiveness
Desired Outcomes and Considerations
Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes
Proposed solutions must:
- Integrate multiple sensors, data feeds, information communications technologies (ICT) and equipment components into a more consolidated technology support that goes beyond current industry offerings.
- Move towards architectures and solutions with: standardized approaches, and/or interoperable solution components, and/or 'plug and play' modular approaches, and/or ways to license and share approaches across industry.
- Have the ability to detect and display toxicity of harmful or lethal gases, including compromise to SCBA or other personal air filtration devices.
Proposed solutions should:
- Receive and retrieve a comprehensive summary of building characteristics to assist in the development of a fire attack plan;
- Correlate building construction information affecting response with observed fire behaviour and response tactics;
- View a thermal image and select field-of-view concurrently, e.g. proximate objects and surfaces, 360° view and broader response environment;
- Access fire propagation modelling to enhance situational awareness on fire spread, structural collapse potential or other hazards; and
- Address relevant privacy and ethical considerations in framing solution architectures where operator information and behaviour is captured by the proposed supports, while many of the fire specific HU/HF sensor and situational awareness data feeds will likely be public domain or unprotected information.
Background and Context
The intended users of the solution are primarily civilian first responders — police officers, fire fighters, paramedics and other 'operators' - who are normally clients of the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) administered by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), in partnership with Public Safety Canada. The CSSP aims to strengthen Canada's ability to anticipate, prevent/mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from acts of terrorism, crime, natural disasters, and serious accidents through the convergence of Science and Technology (S&T) with policy, operations and intelligence.
The CSSP invests in, among other things, developing capabilities that help responders to conduct operations safely and effectively. Related CSSP project investments are intended to foster improvements to detection and decontamination technologies, forensic techniques, personal protective equipment, explosives countermeasures, and associated standards and processes.
Six US and six Canadian fire service captains and executives have begun characterizing capability gaps on the fire ground with a view to developing innovative technology supports to improve operator's real time understanding of fire dynamics and the overall characterization of the fire ground. Initial reflections from these operators would likely build on further lower Technological Readiness Level requirements definition activities and research work done by agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Fire Protection Research Foundation (NIST Special Publication 1191: Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting [PDF, 12.97 MB]). Solution development pathways will recognize that, in large part, American and Canadian firefighters share a common set of knowledge and common operating methods. This doctrine is combined with guidance and technical standards largely aggregated together by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
A head up/hands-free fire fighting requirements development workshop was conducted in Ottawa in, 2018 by the Centre for Security Science, Defence Research and Development Canada (CSS DRDC). The workshop focused on the requirements of front line firefighters for a HU/HF decision support capability suited to the demanding requirements of structural firefighting. Participants were Canadian and U.S. subject matter experts (SME) in firefighting, technology development, equipment safety and, performance standards. Group ideation over the two days was guided by pre-reading materials consisting of: a set of use cases or response scenarios that outlined response criteria, technical requirements options and a current technology overview/market characterization. Workshop discussions were informed in large part by ideas drawn from NIST Special Publication 1191: Research Roadmap for Smart Firefighting.
Participants defined a list of key requirements categories for the information that the HU/HF capability should support using the firefighter's visual, audible and tactile sensory modes. These HU/HF input requirements have been captured in this report in the following categories:
- Improved situational awareness for on scene operators and command vantage points;
- Crew tracking capability (location based services);
- Physiological monitoring of operators health and safety;
- Reference information related to the fire ground and adjacent cadastral information;
- Alerts to operators with appropriate cognitive load considerations; and
- Improved communications (current land mobile radio and emerging long term
- evolution offerings)
Operators consulted thus far have placed significant emphasis on the notion that decision supports should capture and depict just the right amount of information when it's needed most during operations. Their perceptions of operator cognitive limits while en route to a response and on the fire ground, as well as their (collective) abilities to sort and prioritize information from multiple concurrent stimuli, should be key considerations for solutions developed through this contract. Initial research and limited operator reflections on the promise of HUHF capabilities will need to be validated with a broader sample of firefighters as well as a relative importance ascribed to types of information depicted in the HUHF and the anticipated improvements in operational effectiveness or 'outcomes' described herein. This should include obtaining an initial reaction from the fire leadership through representative organizations such as the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs.
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 $200,000.00 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.
For Phase 1, it is anticipated that two meetings may require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:
Kick-off Meeting: Ottawa, Ontario
Final Review Meeting: Ottawa, Ontario
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.
All incoming questions regarding this specific challenge should be addressed to SIC-ISC@pwgsc.gc.ca
You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.
A glossary is also available.