Call for prototypes to help combat COVID-19

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

COVID virus icon

We are seeking prototypes that can help combat current and future outbreaks of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and other similar threats. We are specifically looking for prototypes that fall within technology readiness level (TRL) 7 to 9.

Through our Testing Stream, we buy and evaluate pre-commercial goods and services by testing them in real-life setting. If you have developed an innovative solution that is at the prototype stage of development and it has the potential to protect the health and safety of Canadians, please apply.

Sponsoring department: Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Funding mechanism: Contract

Opening date: April 9, 2020
Closing date: April 22, 2020, 17:00 Eastern Daylight Time

Please refer to the tender notice on Buy and Sell.

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Call for proposals

We are launching a COVID-19 Call for Proposals (CFP) under our Testing Steam, to help public sector organizations fight against COVID-19 in innovative ways. Through this competition, we hope to discover leading-edge prototypes that can be tested by federal, provincial, and municipal organizations in their own operational setting.

Under our COVID-19 call for proposal:

  • Innovators can receive up to $550K for their innovation
  • In particular cases we may provide up to $5M in funding if an innovation demonstrates significant potential in meeting the Government of Canada's efforts in combating COVID-19, and similar outbreaks
  • Innovators who received an initial contract for their innovation under ISC may be eligible to receive additional sales with other federal organizations

We are seeking innovative solutions that fall within the following categories:

  • Medical Category: The medical category refers to innovations that will directly support doctors, researchers, and healthcare workers in their efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovations applying under the medical category should have a direct application towards the combating of the COVID-19 or be of direct use for healthcare professionals to assist and protect them in the course of their duties.
  • Non-Medical Category: The non-medical category refers to innovations that will assist Government of Canada departments and agencies, including through their partnerships with provinces, territories and municipalities, in addressing the challenges and impacts posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies in the future.

Let's get started

Eligibility

To be considered, you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

Canadian Bidder: The Bidder must meet the definition of a Canadian Bidder. A Canadian Bidder is defined as a Canadian person or entity submitting a proposal on its own behalf and having a place of business in Canada where the person or entity conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

Canadian Content: 80% of the financial proposal costs, the total proposal price to Canada stated in "Section Four – Financial Proposal", must be Canadian goods or Canadian services, as defined in the Canadian Content certification. Refer to the Tender Notice, Attachment 4 - Certifications and Additional Information

Ownership: The Bidder must be the owner of the Intellectual Property (IP) for the proposed innovation, or have a licence to the IP rights from a Canadian licensor for the proposed innovation and not be infringing on any IP rights.

Pre-Commercial Status: The proposed innovation must not be openly available in the marketplace, and must not have been previously sold on a commercial basis as of the date of this bid submission. Refer to the definitions of Pre-Commercial Innovation and Commercial Sales at Appendix X of the solicitation documents.

Previously Pre-qualified Innovation: The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not have been previously awarded a contract in the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) or its predecessor, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), nor in the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Challenge Stream, and it is not currently active in a pool of pre-qualified innovations.

Maximum Funding: The Bidder's Financial Proposal must not exceed $550,000 CAD, not including applicable taxes, shipping costs, and travel and living expenses, where applicable. Refer to Section Four: Financial Proposal.

Program Eligibility: The Bidder's proposal must be aligned with the mandate of the ISC Testing Stream where Canada procures, through a Contract, the Bidder's Innovation with the purpose of testing it in an operational environment.

Evaluation Criteria

Mandatory Criteria (MC)

MC1: Canadian Bidder

The Bidder must meet the definition of a Canadian Bidder. A Canadian Bidder is defined as a Canadian person or entity submitting a proposal on its own behalf and having a place of business in Canada where the person or entity conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

MC2: Canadian Content

80% of the financial proposal costs, the total proposal price to Canada stated in "Section Four – Financial Proposal", must be Canadian goods or Canadian services, as defined in the Canadian Content certification. Refer to the Tender Notice, Attachment 4 - Certifications and Additional Information

MC3: Ownership

The Bidder must be the owner of the Intellectual Property (IP) for the proposed innovation, or have a licence to the IP rights from a Canadian licensor for the proposed innovation and not be infringing on any IP rights.

MC4: Pre-Commercial Status

The proposed innovation must not be openly available in the marketplace, and must not have been previously sold on a commercial basis as of the date of this bid submission. Refer to the definitions of Pre-Commercial Innovation and Commercial Sales at Appendix X of the solicitation documents.

MC5: Previously Pre-qualified Innovation

The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not have been previously awarded a contract in the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) or its predecessor, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), nor in the Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Challenge Stream, and it is not currently active in a pool of pre-qualified Innovations.

A Bidder can participate more than once, as long as the proposed innovations are sufficiently different.

Pass – Sufficiently Different

  • A distinct product and/or service that has undergone a completely separate path of R&D or that diverged early in technology development
  • Significant modifications to the application of the previous technology or components of the technology, applied in a setting or condition which was not possible or feasible for the pre-qualified or contracted innovation, OR
  • A significant improvement in functionality, cost or performance over the pre-qualified or contracted innovation

Fail – Not Sufficiently Different

  • Incremental improvements
  • Technologies that follow a normal course of product development (i.e. the next version or release), OR
  • Stated differences are not quantified or are inadequately described
MC6: Maximum Funding

The Bidder's Financial Proposal must not exceed $550,000 CAD, not including applicable taxes, shipping costs, and travel and living expenses, where applicable. Refer to Section Four: Financial Proposal.

MC7: Program Eligibility

The Bidder's proposal must be aligned with the mandate of the ISC Testing Stream where Canada procures, through a Contract, the Bidder's Innovation with the purpose of testing it in an operational environment.

Screening Criteria (SC)

SC1: Innovation

The proposed innovation must meet one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation below:

  • an inventionFootnote *, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the marketplace
  • significant modifications to the application of existing technologies/components/processes that are applied in a setting or condition for which current applications are not possible or feasible
  • an improvement in functionality, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice

Pass

  • The proposed innovation meet one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation

Fail

  • The proposed innovation does not meet any of the ISC definitions of innovation, OR
  • The proposed innovation is an incremental improvement, "good engineering, or a technology that would go ahead in the normal course of product development (i.e. the next version or release)
SC2: Technology Readiness Level (TRL) Validation

The Bidder must demonstrate that at the time of proposal submission, the proposed innovation is ready for testing in an operational environment, i.e. TRL 7.

Under the present Call for Proposals, and regardless of its Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at time of submission, the production of the submitted innovation has to be rapidly scalable and deployable into a Government of Canada organization test environment.

TRL 7: Prototype system ready (form, fit and function) for demonstration in an appropriate operational environment.

Pass

  • The Bidder has provided evidence demonstrating that the proposed innovation is at TRL 7 or higher at the time of proposal submission

Fail

  • The proposed innovation is not at TRL7 or higher at the time of proposal submission, OR
  • The Bidder has not provided evidence demonstrating that the proposed innovation is at TRL 7 or higher at the time of proposal submission
SC3: Safety Considerations

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have obtained, at the time of proposal submission, the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely test the proposed innovation in an operational setting.

This is to ensure that the potential testing department is not exposed to safety issues or risks during the conduct of the test.

Pass

  • The Bidder has demonstrated that they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely test their proposed innovation in an operational setting at the time of proposal submission, AND
  • Remaining certifications yet to be obtained for the proposed innovation, or for its use in an operational setting, do not pose safety concerns for the testing departments

Fail

  • The Bidder has not demonstrated they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely test their proposed innovation in an operational setting at the time of proposal submission, AND/OR
  • Remaining certifications yet to be obtained for the proposed innovation, or for its use in an operational setting, may pose safety concerns for the testing department
SC4: Alignment to Theme

The Bidder must demonstrate that the proposed innovation addresses the Government of Canada's response against the COVID-19 pandemic and other like public health emergencies in relation to one of the three (3) Medical Category Themes: Prevention and Protection, Testing and Diagnostic or Patient Monitoring, Tracking and Wellness; OR one of the two (2) Non-Medical Category Themes: Situational Awareness and Critical Response, or Sanitization. Refer to Categories and Themes.

Proposal as a whole will be used to assess this criteria.

Pass

  • The Bidder's proposal is within the scope of addressing the Government of Canada's response against the COVID-19 pandemic and other like public health emergencies (The Response), and meets one of the Themes under the Medical or Non-Medical category

Fail

  • There is little to no evidence that the proposal is likely to meet the response against the COVID-19 pandemic/other public health emergencies or any Theme under the Medical or Non-Medical Category, OR
  • The proposal was defined as out of scope for the Theme, OR
  • In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, an unacceptable amount of time and resources are required for the departmental user to adopt the proposed innovation

Point Rated Screening (PS)

PS1: Advance on State of the Art

The Bidder must demonstrate that the proposed innovation improves upon current approaches and state of the art, or current practices relevant to its purpose or application, in a manner that yields competitive advantages.

2 points
  • The proposed innovation improves minimally upon the current state of the art, though not sufficiently enough 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
12 points Minimum
  • The proposed innovation offers one or two minor improvements to existing technologies that have potential to create competitive advantages in existing market niches
24 points
  • The proposed innovation offers three or more minor improvements to existing technologies that together are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches, OR
  • The proposed innovation offers one significant improvement to existing technologies that is likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches
40 points
  • The proposed innovation offers two or more significant improvements to existing technologies that are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches and could define new market spaces, OR
  • The proposed innovation 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
PS2: Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have a suitable Intellectual Property strategy, relevant to the proposed innovation.

This can vary by industry and rate of technology turnover. For example:

  • Software: Copyright and Source Code protection
  • Hardware: Patent and/or Trade Secret protection
  • System: Both hardware and software protection
  • Service, Methodology, or Process: Copyright
0 points The Intellectual Property strategy is not clear and is not appropriate for the proposed innovation
8 points Minimum The Intellectual Property strategy is identified and is adequate for the proposed innovation
12 points The Intellectual Property strategy is clearly identified and is appropriate to support commercialization for the proposed innovation

Point Rated Criteria (PR)

PR1: Commercialization Strategy and Market Risks

This criterion is intended for the Bidder to demonstrate that they have a credible strategy to commercialize the proposed innovation, identifying market risks and providing suitable mitigation strategies for these risks.

0 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are inadequate, incomplete or have not been presented
8 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies could support limited target market entry, AND/OR
  • Shortcomings in the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels or physical assets present unmitigated risks to successful commercialization
24 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are clear and well-developed and, given full implementation, should support entry into the target market, AND/OR
  • Shortcomings in the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels and physical assets present only small risks to successful commercialization
32 points
  • The presented commercialization strategy, market risk strategies and mitigation strategies are complete, strong, and are highly likely to support long-term and sustained entry into the target markets, AND
  • The Bidder has the expertise, human resources, partners/sales channels and physical assets required to move forward with successful commercialization
PR2: Adoption Potential – Features & Benefits

This criterion is intended to assess to what degree the proposed innovation's features and benefits are attractive to the relevant target market.

0 points
  • Key features and benefits are limited and/or offer minimal differentiation from the competition

4 points

  • Key features and benefits offer moderate differentiation from the competition

8 points

  • Key features and benefits offer either moderate or clear differentiation from the competition

16 points

  • Key features and benefits offer clear differentiation from the competition
PR3: Adoption Potential – Cost to End User

This criterion is intended to assess to what degree the cost of the proposed innovation and the efforts required to adopt it are attractive and relevant for the target market.

The acquisition costs of the proposed innovation include the intended market price, the organizational impact, time and resources required for training and installation, and other direct costs for target market end-user (the customer) to acquire the proposed innovation.

0 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, an unacceptable amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation
4 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, a significant amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation
8 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, a reasonable amount of time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation
16 points In relation to the acquisition cost and key features and benefits, virtually no time and resources are required for the end user to adopt the proposed innovation
PR4: Objectives, Scope, and Feasibility of Proposed Test Plan
0 points

Not feasible

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed test plan are not described, inadequate, not measurable, or not feasible (e.g. has significant unaddressed challenges in its adoption by a potential test department)
4 points

Low feasibility

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed test plan are quantifiable but with low feasibility, AND/OR
  • High test department resource requirements or potential adoption challenges are likely to be a barrier to performing a test
8 points

Moderate feasibility

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed test plan are quantifiable and feasible, AND
  • Moderate test department resource requirements or potential adoption challenges could pose a barrier to performing a test
16 points

High feasibility

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed test plan are quantifiable and feasible, AND
  • Test department resource requirements or potential adoption challenges are insignificant or unlikely to be a barrier to performing a test
PR5: Test Plan Risks & Risk Mitigation Strategies
0 points
  • 2 or more important risks were not identified and/or have a high level of residual risk
4 points
  • 1 important risk was not identified, AND/OR
  • The risks that were outlined in the test plan have mitigation strategies that are plausible and sufficiently described
8 points
  • All important risks have been identified, AND
  • The risks outlined in the test plan have mitigation strategies that are plausible and sufficiently described, but there is some residual risk
16 points
  • All important risks have been identified, AND
  • The risks outlined in the test plan have mitigation strategies that are comprehensive and well described, and there is very little residual risk
PR6: Proposed innovation's effective impact regarding selected Theme

Degree of impact the proposed innovation can have to assist in the response against COVID-19 and other like epidemic, pandemic, or public health emergencies.

Proposal as a whole will be used to assess this criteria.

1 point
  • There is evidence that the proposed innovation is likely to have impact in the selected Theme

4 points

  • There is evidence that the proposed innovation will have an effective impact in the selected Theme

8 points

  • There is clear evidence that the proposed innovation will have an effective impact in the selected Theme

16 points

  • There is overwhelming evidence that the proposed innovation will have an effective impact in the selected Theme. The proposed innovation also addresses additional problem areas outside the scope of the Themes

Max total score possible: 164 points

Minimum pass score: 96/164 points

Categories and themes

Medical Category

The medical category refers to innovations that will directly support doctors, researchers, and healthcare workers in their efforts to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Innovations applying under the medical category should have a direct application towards the combating of the COVID-19 or be of direct use for healthcare professionals to assist and protect them in the course of their duties.

1. Theme: Prevention and Protection

Solutions under this theme could include, but are not limited to:

  1. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • masks, gloves, clothing or other equipment that protects individuals from infection
    • solutions around the recycling and re-purposing of PPE
    • PPE manufacturing process improvements to increase the overall output of PPE
    • training solutions designed to assist personnel to work with PPE and/or deal with hazardous environments/materials
  2. sanitization
    • sanitization agents or chemical protective measures to assist in combatting the spread of COVID-19 in hospitals, clinics, labs, or other medical facilities
    • automated cleaning/sanitization of PPE

2. Theme: Testing and Diagnostics

Solutions under this theme could include, but are not limited to:

  • rapid, portable, and/or Point-of-care (POC) testing methods and solutions
  • reagents solutions to improve diagnostic testing
  • laboratory equipment (both POC and non-POC) for research, study and development of treatments

3. Theme: Patient Monitoring, Tracking and Wellness

Solutions under this theme could include, but are not limited to:

  • patient monitoring, tracking, and management solutions and tools to support in-hospital/disease center, non-hospital or in-home health care and services
  • tracking, consolidating and acquisition of data from provincial health experts and authorities such as epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists
  • ventilators and other medical devices to address COVID-19 or other infectious diseases
  • solutions relevant to the assessment and improvement of mental health during public health emergencies
  • mobile quarantine facilities

Non-Medical Category

The non-medical category refers to innovations that will assist Government of Canada departments and agencies, including through their partnerships with provinces, territories and municipalities, in addressing the challenges and impacts posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health emergencies in the future.

1. Theme: Surveillance, Tracking, Situational Awareness and Critical Response

Solutions under this theme could include, but are not limited to:

  • solutions or applications to support education, information sharing and guidance between public sector organizations and individuals/citizens
  • disease predictive modeling and tracking solutions that enable information sharing among public health professionals/medical service providers
  • solutions and tools that boost situational awareness and allow medical, public health, first responder and security personnel to coordinate, decide and respond to crisis initiatives in real-time
  • solutions that will assist with remote detection of infections and/or surveillance and/or enforcement of pandemic/crisis lockdowns
  • solutions and tools to improve planning, tracking and assignment of medical, first responder, and law enforcement personnel, and/or health supplies during pandemic responses
  • methods for analyzing information sources to understand how communities and public health agencies are responding to public health emergencies 
  • food supply chain stabilization solutions that promote efficient and sustainable agricultural production to enhance food security
  • solutions that help address awareness, information sharing and mitigation of increased COVID-19 themed (or like public health emergencies) cyber threats and online scams
  • solutions or tools to support impact analysis and decisions regarding economic recovery

2. Theme: Sanitization

Solutions under this theme could include, but are not limited to:

  • sanitization agents or chemical protective measures for a variety of applications or settings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases
  • automated sanitization and remote sanitization tools
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