The Canada Border Services Agency is seeking a technological solution to handle and extract samples of potentially highly toxic substances safely at the border in a timely manner.
Sponsoring Department: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Funding Mechanism: Contract
Opening date: May 8, 2019
Closing date: July 8, 2019, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time
Please refer to the tender notice for this challenge on Buy and Sell
CBSA Border Services Officers must sample unknown substances during the examination of packages from vehicles, cargo and people. Currently, the sampling process is done by hand which is inefficient and can potentially expose Border Services Officers to highly toxic substances. The challenge is to develop an automated solution that would enable Border Services Officers to handle and sample unknown, potentially highly toxic substances safely.
Desired outcomes and considerations
Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes
Proposed solutions must:
- be a portable device that can be deployable to CBSA operations across Canada (portable is considered to be: not too large in size or weight so that it can easily be moved from area to area, be able to be held and used in a vehicle) (amended on June 11, 2019)
- present negligible risk of exposure to Border Officers
- allow for the extraction of a sample from a package, weighing less than 1 kg, containing an unknown powder in less than 10 minutes — where packaging material consists of a single layer of aluminum foil bag, a single layer of plastic bag or a combination of one layer of aluminum foil bag with one layer of plastic bag
- be able to access and transfer the unknown sample into a sealed bottle and reseal the package
- ensure that parts of the device which come into contact with the unknown substances are disposable
- be able to be decontaminated easily so that they can be repaired and maintained as needed
Background and context
The emergence of new, highly potent opioids like fentanyl has presented a challenge to the CBSA and other law enforcement agencies. This international opioid crisis places law enforcement staff at a higher risk of encounters with Highly Toxic Substances (HTS) such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogues including carfentanil, and precursor chemicals. The extremely toxic nature of these opioids require the CBSA, and other law enforcement agencies, to develop and implement a HTS framework to ensure officer safety while improving the ability to interdict these substances. In response, the CBSA has been working diligently with domestic and international partners to identify new tools and technologies to enhance our manual sampling process. The current process requires a Border Services Officer to open a suspicious package and extract a small sample of the unknown substance, by hand, for scientific analysis. The intent is to automate the sampling process in order to eliminate the need for Border Services Officers to handle unknown, potentially HTS and thereby reduce the risk to officer safety.
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 $500,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 12 months. 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 four meetings will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the locations identified below:
- Kick-off meeting
- Site Visits
Two visits to the nearest port of entry to the successful bidder(s) (one land border and one airport port of entry)
- 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 Essential Outcomes (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, text entered in this section will not be considered.
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.
Each bidder/applicant in their response to this question must focus only on describing relevant programs, policies, or initiatives that it currently has in place or would put in place to support the R&D effort in Phase 1. Do not provide any personal information of individuals employed by your company or that of your subcontractors in the response below.
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 on Buy and Sell.
Please visit Buy and Sell for all Questions and Answers related to the Call for Proposals.
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.