The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking an innovative device that could be used to detect volatile organic compounds associated with the presence of targeted invasive alien plant pests across Canada.
Sponsoring Department: Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Funding Mechanism: Contract
Opening date: December 6, 2018
Closing date: January 29, 2019, 14:00 Eastern Standard Time
The CFIA's national plant protection surveillance program provides information in support of import, export and domestic regulatory programs, forming the basis for sound regulatory decisions. To date, surveillance activities have been mainly restricted to traditional survey activities, such as the deployment of traps and lures, and visual surveys. To detect new populations of non-indigenous plant pests, semiochemicals (host tree kairomones and aggregation pheromones) are used to bait traps. However, semiochemicals are not available for various groups of plant pests of concern. Visual signs and symptoms related to pest presence can be very cryptic, making it challenging to effectively survey for those pests. Surveillance activities also include import inspections to detect pests that could enter Canada via various commodities/conveyances, but there are sometimes challenges in detecting pests hidden in those shipments. Volatile organic compounds emitted from plants, which provide functional information about the plant's growth, defense, and health status, allow for the possibility of monitoring plants' status using non-invasive detection. Similarly, volatile organic compounds can be emitted from specific plant pests' life stages.
The challenge is to develop a device that could be used operationally and incorporated into daily surveillance activities to detect volatile organic compounds associated with the presence of targeted invasive alien plant pests.
Desired outcomes and Considerations
Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes
Proposed solutions must:
- allow for a fast and non-invasive approach for the diagnosis of insects and diseases of plants in various commodities (e.g., wood products, grain, nursery stock, trees) and in/on large structures (e.g., containers, ship superstructures) or facilities (e.g. grain silos, warehouses) and in post-office/courier hubs.
- be portable and/or self-propelled (like a robot vacuum)
- be able to detect volatile compounds associated with the presence of one or multiple life stages of one or more of the following organisms: Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis), gypsy moth (Lymantria species), khapra beetle, exotic snails (i.e., giant African land snails or European brown garden snails), oak wilt disease (Ceratocystis fagacearum) and some invasive plants/ seeds. For Asian longhorned beetle and gypsy moth, the device must be able to distinguish the origin or source of the emitted volatiles to the genus (e.g. Anoplophora or Lymantria) level. For Lymantria, the device must be able to delineate to the species level.
- be specific in terms of targeted species and it needs to be very sensitive: confidence in the detection/non-detection results must be of at least 90%.
- be controlled remotely, programmable and able to record and store in a digital form its findings which can then be easily accessed either remotely in real-time or by downloading to a computer or other mobile device.
Background and Context
The development of a device able to detect volatile organic compounds associated with the presence of plant pests would greatly enhance CFIA's plant health detection capacity during targeted surveillance/sampling, and would contribute to the overall delivery of CFIA's plant protection mandate.
Semiochemicals are not always available for plant pests of concern, and reliance on visual signs and symptoms related to pest presence can be challenging. Therefore, our ability to detect newly introduced pests may be very low until the population level increases significantly. Unfortunately, if the population level is high, this has a huge negative impact on CFIA's ability to control and eradicate the new introductions.
Over the last few years, new technologies have started to change the way that surveillance is being delivered. Although sniffer dogs and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are becoming more popular for surveillance activities in plant protection, little progress has been made into incorporating new technologies to our plant health surveillance tool kit. UAVs and sniffer dogs are now being used in some jurisdictions (e.g. United States of America, Chile, New Zealand and European Union) to detect plant pests over a larger area, to detect plant pests for which lures are not available and/or to detect pests that have shown to be difficult to detect using traditional surveillance methods. For example, sniffer dogs have been shown to effectively detect a number of plant insects and diseases, including the Asian longhorned beetle and plum pox virus. The Canada Border Services Agency also uses detector dogs to detect plant products at ports of entry across Canada, serving both traveler and commercial operations. However, the ongoing need for training and maintenance means the utilization of detector dogs for plant health surveillance over large areas and/or at various locations may not be practical for all situations. Furthermore, due to the sheer volume and diversity of commodities and origins and the cryptic nature of some pests, the risk of pests being introduced into Canada has increased.
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 $100,000.00 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 $300,000.00 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 will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:
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.
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.