Developing innovative phytosanitary treatment options for control of quarantine plant pests

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is seeking innovative pest management solutions for quarantine and pre-shipment uses that will support many end-users in meeting phytosanitary requirements and address evolving plant health risks in Canada.

Challenge sponsor: Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

Funding mechanism: Grant

Opening date: July 28, 2020
Closing date: September 22, 2020, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time

Prospective applicants should refer to the Grant Instructions and Procedures document.

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Challenge

Problem statement

Plant pests, including insects, pathogens and weeds, are responsible for diminished yields and market access issues that contribute to economic losses for Canadian producers and other businesses along agriculture and forestry supply chains. Safeguarding plant health is imperative to maintaining food security, environmental sustainability and public health, and to support continued economic growth.

There is a need to leverage existing theoretical knowledge to develop cost-effective pest risk mitigation approaches that are comparable to the desirable properties of methyl bromide, but with fewer negative impacts, to support plant health stakeholders in meeting phytosanitary requirements.

Methyl bromide is a highly effective broad-spectrum treatment that can be applied to cargo, commodities, soil, and other plant and non-plant products to manage a range of pests and meet international phytosanitary requirements. However, it is currently undergoing phase-out worldwide due to its ozone-depleting properties. Research has led to the identification and development of promising methyl bromide alternatives, including chemical (e.g. fumigants, systemic pesticides, etc.) and non-chemical (e.g. physical processes — heat, cold, radiation, irradiation, controlled atmosphere etc.), but there remains a need to transfer that knowledge into a practical solution that can be successfully used in real-life applications.

While some alternatives have been adopted for specific uses, no single methyl bromide alternative offers a technically comparable broad spectrum of activity, high level of efficacy, and rapid mode of action. Many alternatives also exhibit harmful effects on the environment and human health, or have led to the development of resistance in certain pests. Additionally, several alternatives demonstrate comparable efficacy in theory, but novel tools are required to enable these solutions to work in practice. The innovative solution must be feasible for implementation based on economic and technical considerations.

Desired outcomes and considerations

Essential (mandatory) outcomes

Proposed solutions must:

  1. Have the capacity to kill one or more pests that are regulated and/or of quarantine significance in Canada and/or in other countries (e.g. including, but not limited to pests that could be spread via trade pathways, such as those associated with various traded plant commodities, and "hitchhikers" found on cargo and containers like Asian gypsy moth)
  2. Kill pest(s) of concern to Canada and/or other countries with efficacy that is comparable to, or greater than, that of the current gold standard fumigant (i.e. methyl bromide) for the same usage; for example, applicants could demonstrate comparable or improved efficacy against a target pest relative to methyl bromide efficacy for that specific usage via comparison to concentration-time products, lethal dose (e.g. LD99), percent mortality, and/or time to mortality
  3. Not be a substance subject to phase-out of production and consumption under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer
  4. Offer a technically and economically feasible solution that is comparable to, or more effective than, the current gold standard fumigant methyl bromide in situations where it has historically been, and is currently used, as a treatment option, as described in the remaining Essential Outcomes
  5. Be feasible and practical for one or more phytosanitary applications, such as quarantine treatment of insects on imported products or pre-shipment treatment of exports to meet requirements of the importing country.
  6. Meet requirements to become commercially available for use in Canada (i.e. be eligible for product registration through expected compliance with applicable legislation such as the Canadian Environmental Protection Act and pest control products acts and regulations administered by Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency)

Additional outcomes

The innovation should:

  1. Preferably not be a chemical fumigant
  2. Be at least 40% less persistent in the environment than current solutions (i.e. methyl bromide has a lifetime of 0.8 years across atmospheric, oceanic and soil sinks)
  3. Not cause visible signs of phytotoxicity, including browning, if applied to live commodities that are susceptible to injury from methyl bromide fumigation (e.g. nursery stock, fruit or vegetables)

Background and context

Plant protection in Canada

In Canada, crop industries generate over $35 billion per year in exports and the forest industry contributes $24.6 billion to the GDP. The federal government is targeting an increase to agri-food exports to $75 billion per year by 2025. However, plant pests, including insects, pathogens and weeds, are responsible for the loss of up to 40% of global food crops annually, and for trade losses exceeding USD $220 billion in agriculture products per year. Stakeholders and governments work together in Canada to protect plant resources from pests. Pest risk mitigation practices implemented by stakeholders and governments are critical for protecting plant resources from pests, which in turn ensures food security and facilitates trade in support of Canada's continued economic growth.

In Canada, stakeholders work with governments to uphold the Plant Protection Act, which aims to protect plant life, and the agricultural and forestry sectors of Canada's economy, through prevention of the importation, exportation and spread of pests by appropriate pest control and eradication. Those responsible for protecting Canada's plant resources are facing new challenges as risks to plant health rise in complexity due to factors like climate change, increasing travel and movement across borders, and changing trade patterns. Agricultural and forestry production systems, urban ecosystems and natural biodiversity are at heightened risk due to the increasing introduction and spread of known and emerging pests under these evolving conditions.

In support of its mandate and as Canada's National Plant Protection Organization, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces regulatory measures to prevent the introduction and spread of pests in Canada. These efforts support the economy by protecting Canada's plant resources from avoidable losses, and by facilitating market access and trade. For example, CFIA issues phytosanitary certificates to compliant parties as confirmation that plants and plant products do not contain quarantine pests and meet the importing country's requirements.

Methyl bromide as a phytosanitary treatment

Methyl bromide is a highly effective treatment against a broad range of pest species — it can be applied to cargo, postharvest commodities, plant products, soil, conveyances, and other plant and non-plant materials, and it eradicates pests within hours to days. Due to its wide range of applications and broad spectrum of pesticide activity, methyl bromide can be found listed as a treatment option on phytosanitary directives for certain commodities to meet regulatory requirements confirming pest-free status. While extremely effective, methyl bromide is classified as an ozone-depleting substance. Canada, along with other Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, agreed to the reduction and phase-out of methyl bromide use in 1992. In 2005, the agreement was updated to include a ban on methyl bromide manufacture, import and export, except for critical use exemptions such as quarantine and pre-shipment fumigation. According to the International Plant Protection Convention, the need for the fumigant methyl bromide is still necessary as a phytosanitary measure to reduce the risk of movement of quarantine pests, until equivalent substitutes have been developed. The CFIA encourages the use of alternative treatments in cases where methyl bromide is listed as an approved option to meet phytosanitary requirements. For example, in cases where there are multiple treatment options including methyl bromide, the non-methyl bromide option should be selected where feasible. In situations where methyl bromide treatment is required, exporting countries are encouraged to submit data supporting the efficacy of alternatives to methyl bromide fumigation to the importing country's national plant protection organization for review (e.g. IPPC signatories including CFIA must adhere to guidelines for the determination and recognition of equivalence of phytosanitary measures as outlined in IPPC International Standard of Phytosanitary Measures 24). This is particularly important for exporters from countries that have completely banned the use of methyl bromide, such as those in the European Union, but wish to export products to Canada. An EU Exporter Guide was established to aid in the development and submission of methyl bromide alternatives to the CFIA.

Regarding critical use exemptions, Environment and Climate Change Canada has stated that the following conditions must be met for methyl bromide use to be considered "critical": a) the lack of availability for that use would result in a significant market disruption; b) there are no technically or economically feasible alternatives or substitutes available to the user that are acceptable from the standpoint of environmental and human health, and are suitable to the crops and circumstances of the nomination. In the nearly three decades since Montreal Protocol Parties agreed to phase out methyl bromide, a limited number of alternatives have been developed that yield comparable results for pest management (i.e. meeting criteria for technical and economic feasibility) without the environmental and health hazards associated with methyl bromide. These existing alternatives can be difficult to obtain (e.g. emergency registration is required for sulfuryl fluoride) and/or lack capacity for application in various situations (e.g. lack the physical capacity to steam large pipes on a port) and therefore have not replaced methyl bromide in all contexts (e.g. quarantine and pre-shipment applications). Recent research outcomes and existing alternatives could be leveraged to develop novel tools with improved practicality and likelihood for wider adoption. The international implications of this issue additionally highlight the global need for a new and effective treatment method.

Existing methyl bromide alternatives and considerations for development of innovative solutions

In 2017, the International Plant Protection Convention published its recommendation, R-03 2017, on the replacement or reduction of the use of methyl bromide as a phytosanitary measure. As recommended, many countries have focused efforts on reducing the methyl bromide usage and decreasing emissions, for example by using recapture technology. Chemical and non-chemical alternatives have been developed, but methyl bromide is still used as the primary treatment to meet phytosanitary requirements in pre-shipment and quarantine contexts. Development of an alternative that is comparable to the efficacy of the general biocide methyl bromide with its broad spectrum of activity, but without the associated negative environmental and human health impacts, presents a challenge. Some chemical alternatives may exhibit narrower spectra of activities that render them less effective against various pests, but broad-spectrum replacements are often considerably hazardous to human and/or environmental health and are therefore not ideal alternatives, such as the fumigants sulfuryl fluoride, phosphine and ethanedinitrile. There is also increasing evidence of insects developing resistance to phosphine. Physical processes that directly control pests have also shown promise as effective alternatives for specific contexts, including: heat treatment, cold treatment, steam sterilization, electrocution, modified atmospheres, radiation, electromagnetic energy and gamma irradiation. However, while many alternatives demonstrate comparable efficacy in theory, novel tools are needed to enable these alternatives to work in practice. Additionally, these phytosanitary treatments need to be evaluated for efficacy on various pests of concern. Implementing integrated pest management (IPM) into the production system has also been proposed to reduce the need for methyl bromide treatment and help support plant health overall, but such approaches do not necessarily offer solutions for pest eradication or address the need for effective treatment within short timeframes. Phytotoxicity and damage by chemical and non-chemical alternatives, respectively, should also be considered, since an important application of methyl bromide (and therefore for a comparable substitute) is for treatment of live plant material, like perishable commodities and fruit tree nursery stock.

Potential solutions and impacts

To address this challenge, potential solutions may consider a combination of treatments and/or practices to yield a comprehensive approach with a broad spectrum of activity. An innovative approach that meets criteria for methyl bromide replacement will have the potential to positively impact industry stakeholders and nations that are Parties to the Montreal Protocol and/or signatories to the International Plant Protection Convention, while reducing negative impacts of the fumigant methyl bromide on human health and the environment. The development of innovative tools that comply with relevant legislation to enable commercial availability, such as PMRA-administered plant protection acts and regulations, will allow industry to avoid market disruption by readily meeting phytosanitary requirements, and support overall plant health risk mitigation. Industry will additionally benefit from a technically feasible, commercially available and practical replacement that reduces the need for critical use exemptions; less effort will be placed on obtaining methyl bromide, reducing usage volume, and employing recapture technology.

Maximum grant value and travel

Multiple grants could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Grant resulting from this Challenge is $150,000.00 CAD for up to 6 months.

Estimated number of Phase 1 grants: 2

The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Grant resulting from this Challenge is $500,000.00 CAD for up to 18 months. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.

Estimated number of Phase 2 grants: 1

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to award any grant for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds. Canada reserves the right to make partial awards and to negotiate project scope changes.

Travel

No travel requirements are anticipated for this challenge. All meetings can be conducted via videoconference or teleconference.

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 *

Evaluation criteria

The applicant must complete the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form with a degree of information sufficient to enable Canada's assessment of the proposal against the criteria and the Evaluation Schema. The information must demonstrate how the proposal meets the criterion.

Part 1: Mandatory Criteria

Proposals must meet all mandatory criteria identified by achieving a "Pass" in order to proceed to Part 2. Proposals that do not meet all mandatory criteria will be deemed non-responsive and given no further consideration.

Mandatory Criteria

(Applicant's proposal must address)

Question 1 a: Scope

Describe the proposed solution and demonstrate how it responds to the challenge. Include in your description the scientific and technological basis upon which the solution is proposed and clearly demonstrate how the solution meets all of the Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes section in the Challenge Notice.

Evaluation Schema (Mandatory - Pass/Fail)

Pass

The Applicant's proposed solution is clearly articulated, within the scope for the challenge and addresses all Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes (if identified) in the Challenge Notice.

Fail

The proposed solution is articulated as out of scope for the challenge.
OR
The proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed solution addresses all Essential Outcomes listed in the challenge.
OR
The proposed solution is poorly described and does not permit concrete analysis.
OR
There is little to no scientific and/or technological evidence that the proposed solution is likely to meet the challenge.

Question 2: Current Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
  • Indicate the current TRL of the proposed solution. (Drop Down Menu of the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form)
  • Describe the research and development activities that have taken place to bring the proposed solution to the stated TRL.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory - Pass/Fail)

Pass: The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution is currently between TRLs 1 and 6 (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 has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the current TRL is between 1 to 6 (inclusive) including:

  • There is insufficient/no evidence provided for TRL judgment.
  • The solution involves the development of basic or fundamental research.
  • The solution is demonstrated at TRL 7 or higher.
  • Insufficient/unclear/no justification explaining the R&D that took place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.
  • The explanation simply paraphrases the description of a given TRL level.
Question 3a: Innovation

Demonstrate how the proposed solution meets 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.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory – Pass/Fail)

Pass:

The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution meets one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation.

Fail:

  • Applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the proposed solution meets any of the ISC definitions of innovation; OR
  • Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution 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).
Question 3b: Advance on State of the Art

Describe in detail the competitive advantages and level of advancement over existing technologies. Where appropriate, name existing technologies as well as potential substitutes or competitors.

To demonstrate this, proposals should include the following information:

  • Improvements (minor or major) over existing technologies or substitutes. Use direct comparison.
  • How the proposed innovation will create competitive advantages in existing market niches or market spaces.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory Criteria – Pass/Fail + Points)

0 points/Fail:

  • The Applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions; OR
  • The proposed solution 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 described in general terms but are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.

5 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that 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.

12 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that 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 Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution offers one significant improvement to existing technologies that is likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches

20 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that 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 Applicant has demonstrated that 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

Part 2: Point-Rated Criteria

Proposals must meet the overall minimum pass mark of 50% to be deemed responsive. Proposals that do not achieve the minimum pass mark will be declared non-responsive and given no further consideration.

Point-Rated Criteria

(Applicant's proposal to address)

Question 1b: Scope

Demonstrate the scientific and technological basis of how the proposed solution addresses the Additional Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes 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, Applicants will receive 10 points.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the solution will address any of the Additional Outcomes. 0 points
  2. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address some (<50%) of the Additional Outcomes. 3 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address most (50% or more) of the Additional Outcomes. 6 points
  4. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address all (100%) of the Additional Outcomes. 10 points
Question 4: Phase 1 Science and Technology (S&T) Risks

Describe potential scientific and/or technological risks to the successful development of the proof of feasibility and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has considered potential risks and mitigation strategies and/or information provided contains significant gaps. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has considered some potential risks and associated mitigation strategies but there are minor gaps in risks and/or associated mitigation strategies. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has sufficiently considered the risks and defined associated mitigation strategies. 10 points
Question 5: Phase 1 Project Plan

Demonstrate a feasible Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.

  • Indicate if any milestones and activities will be completed concurrently
  • Indicate the estimated exit TRL at the completion of Phase 1. (Drop Down Menu of the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form)
Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate a feasible project plan for Phase 1 and/or the project plan exceeds the maximum duration indicated in the Challenge Notice. 0 points
  2. Project plan for Phase 1 is conceivably feasible but not clearly demonstrated and/or includes gaps. 10 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates a feasible project plan for Phase 1. 20 points
Question 6: Phase 1 Project Risks

Describe potential project risks to the successful development of the proof of feasibility and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1.

Applicants should address the following risks, as applicable:

  • Human Resources
  • Financial
  • Project Management
  • Intellectual Property
  • Other project-related risks

Note to Applicants: S&T risks should not be included in this section. Question 4 addresses S&T risks.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has considered potential risks and mitigation strategies and/or information provided contains significant gaps. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has considered some potential risks and associated mitigation strategies but there are minor gaps in risks and/or associated mitigation strategies. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has sufficiently considered the risks and defined associated mitigation strategies. 10 points
Question 7: Phase 1 Implementation Team

Demonstrate how the 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.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the project team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 0 points
  2. Information is provided but there are minor gaps in required management and/or technological skill sets and/or experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 10 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the project team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 20 points
Question 8: Inclusivity

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 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.

Note: Do not provide any personal information of individuals employed by your company or that of your subcontractors in the response.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. No description and/or concrete examples of actions provided that would be taken to encourage greater participation of under-represented groups. 0 points
  2. A description and concrete examples of actions to encourage greater participation of under-represented groups provided.5 points
Question 9: Phase 1 Financial Proposal

Demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient information provided and/or information provided significantly lack credibility. Does not demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan. 0 points
  2. Information is provided but some costs lack credibility and/or are unclear for the Phase 1 project plan. 7.5 points
  3. Information provided contains credible elements to clearly demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan. 15 points
Question 10: 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. Applicants should indicate if an individual or firm will be managing the public funds and provide their credentials and/or relevant experience.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate the Applicant's ability to manage public funds in Phase 1. 0 points
  2. Information provided is vague and/or contains gaps. The Applicant has some controls, tracking and/or oversight in place to manage the public funds in Phase 1. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has strong financial controls, tracking and oversight to manage public funds in Phase 1. 10 points
Question 11: Phase 2 Overview

Demonstrate a realistic overview for the prototype development plan if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Responses should include:

  • key tasks
  • estimated cost for materials
  • human resources
  • project risks and mitigation strategies

Note: A more detailed proposal will be requested if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has contemplated a realistic overview for the Phase 2 prototype development. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates a conceivably realistic overview for Phase 2 prototype development, however there are gaps and/or the strategy is vague. 6 points
  3. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has a clear and realistic overview. 12 points
Question 12: Commercialization Approach

Demonstrate a realistic overall commercialization approach/business model that can successfully take the technology/service to market, and how the technology/service will help you develop and sell other products.

Responses should include:

  • Target markets (excluding Government of Canada)
  • Non-ISC funding sources
  • Transition to a commercially-ready product or service
  • Any other indicators of commercial potential and commercial feasibility

Note: A more detailed proposal will be requested if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the proposed solution has commercial potential. 0 points
  2. Some information provided to demonstrate that the proposed solution has commercial potential, however there are gaps in the commercialization approach. 6 points
  3. A realistic commercialization approach is provided that demonstrates that the proposed solution has commercial potential. 12 points
Question 13: Resulting Benefits to Canada

Describe the benefits that could result from the commercialization of the proposed solution. Applicants should consider the potential benefits using the following three categories and provide justification for each claim:

  • Innovation Benefits: Expected contribution towards the enhancement or development of new industrial or technological innovations within your firm. Responses could include: potential spillover benefits, creation of intellectual property, impact on productivity of the new technology, etc.
  • Economic Benefits: Forecasted impact on the growth of Canadian firms, clusters and supply chains, as well as its expected benefits for Canada's workforce. Responses could include: number of jobs created, number of high-paying jobs, investment in Canada's economy, etc.
  • Public Benefits: Expected contribution to the broader public to the degree that the solution is expected to generate social, environmental, health, security or other benefits to Canada. Responses could include: solution-related environmental benefits, solution-related accessibility benefits, and solution-related impact on Indigenous communities.
Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Innovation Benefits

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

  2. Economic Benefits

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

  3. Public Benefits.

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

Questions and answers

All incoming questions regarding this specific challenge should be addressed to solutions@canada.ca.

All enquiries must be submitted in writing no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.

glossary is also available.

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