Earth observation images processing and management system

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is seeking an automated system outside of PHAC infrastructure that would enable the pre-processing of large sets of Earth Observation (EO) data and the storage and overlaying of user defined ground truth data (GT) on pre-processed EO images to help address a wide range of public health needs.

Sponsoring Department: Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)

Funding Mechanism: Contract

Opening date: July 16, 2018
Closing date: October 1, 2018, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time

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Challenge

Problem statement

The large volume of EO data available in Canada and abroad and the high rate at which these data must be updated for disease risk assessment exceeds the information management information technology (IMIT) capacity and technologies currently available in-house. As the need for high volume data on factors affecting health (environmental, climatic, socio-economic) increases both domestically and internationally, the PHAC is continuously challenged to maintain access in timely, reliable and accurate manner with EO data.

The pre-processed data and GT system would help to answer the need for actors engaged in responses to public health priorities and crisis to improve effective and accurate mapping capacities that support: risk assessments and decision-making during health emergency events; risk communication via the supplied ready to analyze images; and, the evaluation of factors affecting health via risk modelling. There is also a need for enhanced ground information for the surveillance of diseases so that greater emphasis can go towards the development of efficient models and tools that make use of EO data to inform decision-makers. Finally, this is a problem beyond PHAC as it applies to a much wider geomatics/EO audience nationally and internationally.

Desired outcomes and considerations (updated August 15, 2018)

The EO data and products will enable estimation of variables and indicators related to environmental determinants of health. Targeted environmental determinants desired are land use and land cover determinants (e.g. forest cover, type and density, forest fragmentation metrics, shrublands, grasslands, croplands, urban and built up areas, semi-urban areas, surface water, wetland types, micro artificial and natural water containers, etc.) and climate and microclimate determinants (e.g. vegetation index, percent vegetation cover, land surface temperature, land surface moisture, soil moisture, accumulated surface degree-days, near surface air temperature, near surface air humidity, precipitation, etc.).

Enhanced access to multi-source open data (e.g. satellite images), along with preprocessing functionality such as image format conversion, re-projection creation of masks (e.g. cloud and water detection and masking), image correction (radiometric, atmospheric and geometric corrections), spatial integration (co-registration) and down scaling functions. The system should allow users to upload a dataset of GT (e.g. samples of reference data developed from aerial photos, thematic maps, field measurements, etc.) in order to develop a bank of GT with metadata such that they can automatically overlay to image scenes and downloaded for future use. This system could be integrated with other systems.

The solution must support uploading of EO open data (e.g. Landsat-8, Modis, Sentinel series data) from the web and new data with metadata defining new GT, such that the information can be enriched by national and international users on a continuous basis to address the limits that current image processing capacity places upon disease risk mapping activities (going from weeks and months to days and hours). The EO data and products must cover local (spatial resolution < 30 m), regional (30 < spatial resolution < 250 m), national (250 < spatial resolution < 500 m) and global scales (500 < spatial resolution < 1000 m), with a daily, weekly, monthly (climate and microclimate determinants) and yearly (land use and land cover determinants) time frequencies. EO data and products from 1990 to present days are needed.

In addition, the solution must have the requisite storage and analytical capacity to ensure a more rapid analysis/use of the outputs. Functionality for restricted access to some dataset of the GT bank is needed.

Background and context

PHAC's mandate is to lead federal efforts and mobilize Pan-Canadian action in preventing disease and injury, and promoting and protecting national and international public health.

PHAC's roles are to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from threats to public health. PHAC also provides information, advice and leadership in public health to Canadians and stakeholders. In this regard, the current challenge is meant to support the organization's scientific, advisory and communications roles and responsibilities, both nationally and internationally, by enhancing analytical and communication tools such as risk maps that spatially locate and evaluate health events or risks. These risk maps are used by surveillance programs, public health researchers, outbreak investigators, officials engaged in health emergency preparedness and response, and epidemiological risk assessment and modeling teams at many levels of the public health system (local, regional, national and international) and beyond to other decision-makers in society.

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.

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. 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.

Travel

For Phase 1 it is anticipated that two meetings will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:

  • Kick-off meeting
    Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
  • Final Review Meeting
    Saint-Hyacinthe, QC

Eligibility

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 *

Application guide

All federal departments and agencies that issue ISC challenges, regardless of whether they use a grant or a contract as the financial instrument to support research and development (R&D) in Phases 1 and 2, will assess proposals and bids from small businesses based on standard questions. The online application and bid submission system will contain these standard questions and provide guidance on the length of responses.

Assessment process

Once a complete application or bid is submitted, it will be sent to the department and agency that issued the challenge as well as to the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) for assessment. It is the prerogative of the challenge sponsoring department or agency to decide which businesses will receive funding for Phase 1. All businesses that submit an application or bid will receive feedback.

In advance of accepting applications and bids from eligible businesses, the following is meant to provide guidance to businesses on what could be asked as part of the application and bid submission process. The information below may be used to evaluate proposals and is subject to change.

Innovation

  • Please be prepared to identify the starting technology readiness level (TRL) of the solution and the anticipated TRL at the completion of Phase 1. Reminder, Phase 1 is meant for solutions in the TRL range from 1 to 4.
  • Be prepared to describe the novelty of your solution and how it advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including competing solutions. Include in your description the scientific and technological basis upon which your solution is proposed.
  • Be prepared to identify what are the key scientific and technical risks facing your solution and how those risks would be addressed in Phase 1.

Benefits to Canada

  • Please be prepared to provide a brief description of your proposed solution and how it addresses the problem identified by the department or agency that issued the challenge statement.
  • Be prepared to describe the benefits to Canada that could result from the successful development of your solution, with a focus on three types of benefits: Economic Benefits, Innovation Benefits, Public Benefits.

Economic Benefits: Consider the proposed solution's potential impact on the growth of your firm but other firms in Canada more broadly. This could include the development of new clusters and supply chains. Consideration should be given to the number of jobs created, number of high-paying jobs, project-related revenue growth, etc.

Innovation Benefits: Consider the proposed solution's expected contribution towards the enhancement or development of new industrial or technological innovation within your firm. For example, potential spillover benefits, creation of intellectual property, impact on productivity of the new technology, etc.

Public Benefits: Consider the proposed solution's expected contribution to the broader Canadian public, including but not limited to inclusive business and hiring practices (e.g., gender balance), investment in skills and training and the environment.

Management and technological capability

  • Please be prepared to identify the work plan for Phase 1 including key milestones and activities anticipated, the total time foreseen to complete Phase 1 (not more than 6 months), resources required to complete the project and the key success criteria.
  • Be prepared to identify the potential project risks (e.g., financial, project management, human resources, etc.) to the successful development of the solution and how those risks would be managed in Phase 1.
  • Be prepared to provide a brief description of the project implementation team including specific members, partners, their roles and responsibilities, and how their expertise is relevant to the project. The team members must include a Project lead.
  • Be prepared to describe what your business is doing to encourage greater inclusivity in its innovation activities. One of the objectives of the program is to encourage greater participation of under-represented groups (e.g., women, Indigenous people, youth, persons with disabilities, visible minorities) in the innovation economy.

Financial capability

  • Please be prepared to provide a financial proposal for R&D in Phase 1. Be sure to check the details of each challenge posting which will indicate the maximum funding available for Phase 1 as well as any eligible or ineligible costs.
  • In addition, please be prepared to provide information on funding received from other orders of government (i.e., federal, provincial and municipal) for the same work being proposed in your application or submission.
  • Please be prepared to describe the financial controls and oversight that your business has in place to manage public funds if selected to proceed into Phase 1.

Commercialization

  • Please be prepared to describe how you envision the commercialization of your solution and how potential risks or barriers to further commercialization would be mitigated.

Application guide

Evaluation Criteria

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-18-00816551 Attachment 1)

In the event of a discrepancy between the information below and the information published on Buy and Sell, Buy and Sell will take precedence.

Innovation PASS/FAIL section
Question Mandatory/ Point Rated Criteria Assessment Pass/Fail or Points Range Minimum Pass Mark
1 (a) Mandatory The Applicant/Bidder demonstrates that the proposed solution is starting between Technology Readiness Level 1 and 4 (inclusive). Pass: The Applicant/Bidder has demonstrated that the proposed solution is starting between TRLs 1 and 4 (inclusive), and provides justification by explaining what kind of research and development (R&D) has taken place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.

Fail: The Applicant/Bidder has not provided sufficient evidence that the TRL is between 1 to 4 (inclusive) including:
  1. There is insufficient/no evidence provided for TRL judgment.
  2. The solution involves the development of basic or fundamental research.
  3. The solution is at TRL 5 or higher.
  4. The solution is commercially available
  5. The explanation simply paraphrases the description of a given TRL level.
  • TRL 1: Basic principles observed and reported
  • TRL 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated
  • TRL 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or proof of concept
  • TRL 4: Components and/or validation in a laboratory environment
  • TRL 5:Component and/or validation in a simulated environment
  • TRL 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a simulated environment
  • TRL 7: Prototype ready for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment
  • TRL 8: Actual technology completed and qualified through tests and demonstrations
  • TRL 9: Actual technology proven through successful deployment in an operational setting
Pass/Fail Pass
1 (b) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has demonstrated that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions, and provides a description of the scientific and technological basis of the solution.
  • 0 points The Applicant/Bidder has not provided any details that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions.
  • 4 points
    • The proposed solution offers one or two minor improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions, that have potential 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.
  • 6 points
    • The proposed solution offers three or more minor improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions, that together are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; OR
    • The proposed solution offers one significant improvement to existing technologies that is likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches
  • 8 points
    • The proposed solution offers two or more significant improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions that are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches and could define new market spaces; OR
    • The proposed solution 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
0–8 4
1 (c) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has demonstrated that the proposed solution can solve the problem identified in the challenge.
  • 0 points There is no clear link between the solution and the challenge.
  • 4 points The proposed solution has components that partially relate to the challenge, but it is not clear or substantiated how the solution solves the challenge problem.
  • 6 points The proposed solution includes a sufficient description of how it solves the challenge problem with minor substantiation of the claimed solution.
  • 8 points The proposed solution substantially addresses how it solves the challenge problem with substantial evidence to support the solution claims.
0–8 4
1 (d) Point Rated The Applicant/Bidder identifies scientific and technical risks facing their solution and explains how those risks would be addressed in Phase 1.
  • 0 points The Applicant/Bidder has not provided any details on potential scientific or technical risks facing their solution.
  • 4 points The Applicant/Bidder has provided vague scientific and technical risks and does not provide how those risks will be mitigated.
  • 6 points The Applicant/Bidder has identified scientific and technical risks to their solution but only provides vague mitigation strategies.
  • 8 points The Applicant/Bidder has clearly identified specific scientific and technological risks facing their solution and clearly outlines how those risks will be mitigated in Phase 1.
0–8 N/A
Benefits to Canada
Question Mandatory/ Point Rated Criteria Assessment Pass/Fail or Points Range Minimum Pass Mark
2 Points Rated The proposed solution describes the benefits that could result from the successful development of the solution using the following 3 categories (Economic Benefits, Innovation Benefits, Public Benefits The Applicant/Bidder identifies the benefits to Canada citing 3 categories of below (Innovation, Economic and Public).
  1. Innovation Benefits: The proposed solution's expected contribution towards the enhancement or development of new industrial or technological innovations. Assessment factors could include: potential spillover benefits, creation of intellectual property, impact on productivity of the new technology, etc.
    0 points: Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit.
    1.5 points: Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification.
    3 points: Benefit is significant and well justified.
  2. Economic Benefits: The proposed solution's forecasted impact on the growth of Canadian firms, clusters and supply chains, as well as its expected benefits for Canada's workforce. Assessment factors could include: number of jobs created, number of high-paying jobs, project-related revenue growth, etc.
    0 points: Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit.
    1.5 points: Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification.
    3 points: Benefit is significant and well justified.
  3. Public Benefits: The solutions expected contribution to the broader public, including inclusive business and hiring practices (e.g., gender balance), investment in skills and training and environmental best practices. Assessment would consider the degree to which the Applicant/Bidder demonstrates that the solution is expected to generate social, environmental, health, security or other benefits to Canada. Assessment factors could include: solution-related environmental benefits, investment in local communities and solution-related impact on Indigenous communities.
    0 points: Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit.
    1.5 points: Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification.
    3 points: Benefit is significant and well justified.
9 N/A
Management and Technological Capability
Question Mandatory/ Point Rated Criteria Assessment Pass/Fail or Points Range Minimum Pass Mark
3 (a) Point Rated The Applicant/Bidder provides a project plan for Phase 1 that includes key milestones and activities, estimated time to complete the milestones and associated success criteria.
  • 0 points The proposed project plan is partially complete with significant gaps in time between milestones. Total time for completion of Phase 1 not provided.
  • 4 points The proposed project plan is conceivably achievable and time available, but it is not clear or substantiated that this is the case. Total time for completion of Phase 1 provided.
  • 6 points The proposed project plan includes milestones that provide some substantiation that the solution is solvable with the time available. Total time for completion of Phase 1 provided.
  • 8 points The proposed project plan substantially addresses time available and provides evidence of the ability of the Applicant/Bidder to reasonably develop the proposed solution within the scope of Phase 1. Total time for completion of Phase 1 provided.
0–8 N/A
3 (b) Point Rated The Applicant/Bidder describes the potential project management risks to the successful development of the solution and how will they be managed in Phase 1.
  • 0 points The Applicant/Bidder has not identified any project management risks
  • 4 points The Applicant/Bidder has identified vague project management risks and does not provide a risk mitigation strategy.
  • 6 points The Applicant/Bidder has identified project management risks and only partially addresses them with a mitigation strategy.
  • 8 points The Applicant/Bidder clearly outlines project management risks and provides a mitigation strategy to address them.
0–8 N/A
3 (c) Point Rated The Applicant/Bidder identifies roles, responsibilities and expertise in the project implementation team that will develop the solution in Phase 1.
  • 0 points There is no information that describes the roles, responsibilities and expertise of the applicant/bidder or any associated external partners.
  • 4 points There is no project lead identified and/or there is minimal or incomplete information concerning the roles, responsibilities, capabilities and expertise of the applicant/bidder and any external partners.
  • 6 points A project lead is identified and there is sufficient information regarding the roles and responsibilities of the applicant/bidder and any associated external partners. However, the expertise of team members, including the project leader, is not clearly demonstrated.
  • 8 points The applicant/bidder has provided full and complete information on roles, responsibilities and expertise of all project implementation team members including any associated external partners. The project implementation team, including the project lead, have an exceptional combination of skills, capabilities and experience to deliver the project in Phase 1.
0–8 N/A
3 (d) Point Rated The Applicant/Bidder identifies how it is including members of under-represented groups (e.g., women, Indigenous people, visible minorities) in its efforts to innovate.
  • 0 points No description or examples of actions the Applicant/Bidder has taken to encourage inclusivity in its innovation activities.
  • 2 points. The Applicant/Bidder only vaguely mentions that under-represented groups are involved its innovation activities with no examples or substantiation.
  • 3 points The Applicant/Bidder identifies clearly how under-represented groups are involved in its innovation activities and provides examples and/or justification.
0–3 N/A
Financial Capability
Question Mandatory/ Point Rated Criteria Assessment Pass/Fail or Points Range Minimum Pass Mark
4 (a) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has identified a realistic financial proposal to advance the proposed solution in Phase 1.
  • 0 points The financial table is not provided OR significantly lacks credibility in the costs identified to complete Phase 1.
  • 2 points The financial table is completed however some costs are either over or under-estimated for the work foreseen in Phase 1.
  • 4 points The financial table contains strong, credible elements of the costs associated with Phase 1.
0–4 N/A
4 (b) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has indicated financial controls and oversight to manage public funds in Phase 1.
  • 0 points No financial controls or oversight mechanisms are identified.
  • 2 points The Applicant/Bidder provides very general or vague descriptions of financial controls and oversight to manage public funds.
  • 4 points The Applicant/Bidder has clearly identified human resources as well as processes to manage public funds in Phase 1.
0–4 N/A
Commercialization
Question Mandatory/ Point Rated Criteria Assessment Pass/Fail or Points Range Minimum Pass Mark
5 (a) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has thought beyond the work in Phase 1 and advancing the solution in Phase 2.
  • 0 points  The Applicant/Bidder has not provided any description of activities in Phase 2.
  • 4 points The Applicant/Bidder has provided some evidence of thinking about moving the solution from Phase 1 to Phase 2. However, there are significant gaps.
  • 6 points  The Applicant/Bidder has provided a more complete picture of how the solution could be moved from Phase 1 to 2, however, there are unrealistic expectations.
  • 8 points  The Applicant/Bidder has provided a complete picture of efforts to take the solution from Phase 1 to Phase 2.
0 - 8 N/A
5 (b) Point Rated The degree to which the Applicant/Bidder has identified target market, risks and barriers to commercialization following Phase 2.
  • 0 Points  The Applicant/Bidder has not provided a vision or plan of taking the solution beyond Phase 2.
  • 2 Points The Applicant/Bidder has provided a vision or plan of taking the solution beyond Phase 2. However, the Applicant/Bidder has not identified, or made very little effort to identify, a target market barriers or risks to commercialization after Phase 2.
  • 4 Points The Applicant/Bidder has provided a clear vision or plan of taking the solution beyond Phase 2. Target market, Barriers or risks to commercialization following Phase 2 are identified as are potential risk mitigation strategies.
0 - 4 N/A
Minimum pass mark
40
Total available points
80

Questions and answers

Please visit Buy and Sell for all Questions and Answers related to this challenge.

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.

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