Testing Stream — Open calls for innovative prototypes

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

We are seeking pre-commercial innovative prototypes that can be tested in real life settings and address a variety of priorities within the Government of Canada.

Opening date: January 18, 2021
Closing date: February 5, 2021, 14:00 Eastern Standard Time

Let's get started

  1. Step 1: Read the eligibility requirements.
  2. Step 2: Read the call for proposal that aligns with your eligibility:
  3. Step 3: Get familiar with how we will evaluate your proposal.
  4. Step 4: Read important items to consider and tips for applying
  5. Step 5: Start your application process based on your eligibility

Calls for proposals

The Testing Stream aims to procure, test and evaluate innovative late stage pre-commercial prototypes.

The purpose of these calls for proposals (CFPs) is to create pools of pre-qualified innovations that Canada may select from to address a broad range of the Government of Canada organizations' requirements. The estimated, total combined budget under the Calls is $20M.

We are introducing a new program feature for SMEs! SMEs who complete an initial testing contract may be eligible to qualify for our innovation source list.

SMEs who qualify for our innovation source list will:

  • be eligible to sell to the Government of Canada without further competition for 3 years
  • be eligible for additional contracts (to a maximum of $8M per contract)

The maximum funding available for each contract resulting from the CFPs is:

  • Standard component $550,000
  • Military component $1,150,000

Standard component

  • Clean technology
  • Digital
  • Safety and security
  • Health

Military component

  • Digital defence
  • Cyber operations and resilience
  • Fully networked command, communications, and control
  • Countering small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS)
  • Enhanced soldier systems – Close combat
  • Training and In-service support (ISS)
  • Other defence capability enablers

Eligibility

Bidders are required to certify program eligibility as part of their proposal. Selected Bidders will be required to re-certify eligibility at any phase under the ISC program. To remain eligible for the Testing Stream, eligibility criteria must be met at all times.

Canadian Bidder:

The Bidder must meet the definition of a Canadian Bidder.

Canadian content:
80% of the financial proposal costs, must be Canadian goods or Canadian services, as defined in the Canadian Content certification.
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. (Please note: Once your company submits a proposal for an innovation to the program, the innovation is able to be sold commercially)
Previously pre-qualified innovation:
The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not have been previously awarded a contract in any of the Innovative Solutions Canada Streams, the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) or its predecessor, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), and it is not currently active in a pool of pre-qualified Innovations.
Active pool:
A proposed innovation that is currently active in a pool will be accepted only once the bid validity period for that proposal has expired or the Bidder has withdrawn their innovation from the relevant pool in collaboration with the Contracting Authority. The Bidder agrees that having pre-qualified into a pool does not guarantee pre-qualifying under the current solicitation.
Maximum funding:
The Bidder's financial proposal must not exceed the relevant component's maximum funding amounts which are $550,000.00 CAD for the standard component; and $1,150,000.00 CAD for the military component (applicable taxes, shipping, and travel and living expenses are extra, as applicable).

Eligibility specific to the small and medium enterprise call for proposals

The Bidder must be a for-profit with 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. This calculationFootnote * must take into account and include affiliated businesses, such as parent companies and subsidiaries that are either in or outside of Canada.

  • 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 *

Under the Innovative Solutions Canada program, an "affiliate" relationship exists in the following situations:

  • An affiliate is a corporation that is a subsidiary of another corporation
  • If a corporation has two subsidiary corporations, the two subsidiaries are affiliates of each other; or
  • If two corporations are controlled by the same individual or business, the two corporations are also affiliates of each other.

A subsidiary is understood to be a business which has more than 50% of its ordinary shares or voting power owned by another business or individual.

Find the eligibility questionnaire to help companies determine which call for proposals and related eligibility criteria apply to them.

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. Appendix 4 of the solicitation documents.

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: Priority area

The proposed innovation must fall within one of the four (4) Standard Component Priority Areas: Digital, Clean Technology, Safety and Security, and Health; OR within one of the six (6) Military Component Priority Areas: Arctic and Maritime Security, Command & Support, Cyber-Security, In-Service Support, Protecting the Soldier, and Training Systems.

MC5: 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 2 of the solicitation documents.

MC6: 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 under any Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Streams.

The proposed innovation or any other versions of the proposed innovation must not currently be active in a pool of pre-qualified innovations in any of the above. A proposed innovation that is currently active in a pool will be accepted only once the bid validity period for that proposal has expired or the Bidder has withdrawn their innovation from the relevant pool in collaboration with the Contracting Authority.

A Bidder can participate more than once, as long as the proposed innovations are sufficiently different. If the proposed innovation resembles an innovation that is currently active in a pool and has not been withdrawn, the following assessment will be used to determine sufficient difference to proceed.

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.

MC7: Maximum funding

The Bidder's Financial Proposal must not exceed $550,000 CAD in the standard component, or $1,150,000 CAD in the military component, not including applicable taxes, shipping costs, and travel and living expenses, where applicable. Refer to Section H – Financial Proposal.

MC8: 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.

MC9: Research and development

Research and development activities related to the development of the proposed innovation must take place in Canada.

Note: MC10 an MC11 are only for the small and medium enterprise Call for Proposals

MC10: Small business

The Bidder must be a for-profit person or entity, with 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. This calculation must take into account and include affiliated businesses, such as parent companies and subsidiaries that are either in or outside of Canada.

MC11: Bidder presence in Canada

The Bidder must meet the following minimum requirements: 50% or more of the Bidder's FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work; 50% or more of the Bidder's annual wages, salaries and fees must be paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in Canada; and 50% or more of the Bidder's senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence. These calculations must take into account and include affiliated businesses, such as parent companies and subsidiaries that are either in or outside of Canada.

Stage 1 Technical evaluation – Screening (SC) and Point rated screening (PS)

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.

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.

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
  • 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
Minimum
  • 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.

Stage 2 Technical evaluation

SC3: Deployment readiness and safety considerations

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

This is to ensure that the potential Government of Canada organization is not exposed to safety issues or risks during the conduct of the demonstration.

Pass
  • The Bidder has demonstrated that they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely deploy their proposed innovation in an operational setting at the time of proposal submission; and
  • Remaining certifications yet to be obtained for the commercialization of the proposed innovation do not pose safety concerns for the Government of Canada organizations when used in an operational setting.
Fail
  • The Bidder has not demonstrated they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to safely deploy their proposed innovation in an operational setting at the time of proposal submission; and/or
  • Remaining certifications yet to be obtained for the commercialization of the proposed innovation may pose safety concerns for the Government of Canada organizations when used in an operational setting.

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.

PS3: Management team

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have filled the key roles in the management team with individuals possessing relevant background or skill setFootnote *, who can support the successful commercialization of the proposed innovation.

Role A: Company leadership (e.g. CEO or equivalent)

Role B: Technology development (e.g. CTO or equivalent)

Role C: Commercialization strategy (e.g. Business manager or equivalent)

Role D: Financial management (e.g. CFO or equivalent)

0 points

One or more roles are not identified; or

One or more roles significantly lacks relevant background or skill set; or

One or both company leader role and technology manager role have significant and unmitigated gaps in qualifications relevant to the company's activities, which could obstruct the company's efforts to reach commercial launch.

4 points

All roles are identified and possess a background or skill set (education and/or experience) that is relevant to the company's activities or their respective fields, however gaps remain that are unmitigated and have the potential to impede commercial launch and commercial success.

8 points
Minimum

All roles are identified and possess, or are supported by, a background or skill set (education and/or experience) that is relevant to the company's activities or their respective fields, and will likely enable them to reach commercial launch.

12 points

All roles are identified and possess, or are supported by, a strong background or skill set (education and/or experience) that would serve well in commercializing the proposed innovation, is clearly relevant to their respective industry, and increases the likelihood of commercial success.

PS4: Financial capacity

The Bidder must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources and a credible financial strategy in order to execute their commercial launch plan.

In determining the credibility of a financial strategy, evaluators consider: funding sources, the amount of secured and unsecured funds, the degree of risk, and whether these risks are reasonable based on the context of the sector.

Financial resources must demonstrate ability to commercialize the proposed innovation.

0 points
  • The Bidder has not demonstrated they have sufficient funds to commercialize the proposed innovation; or
  • The Bidder has no credible plan to secure necessary funds or the costs are significantly underestimated; or
  • The financial strategy provided is inadequate, unrealistic, or incomplete.
8 points
Minimum
  • The Bidder has demonstrated they have funds in place; or
  • The Bidder has a credible financial strategy and remaining unsecured funds will not significantly impede commercializing the proposed innovation.
12 points

The Bidder has demonstrated they have sufficient secured funds and have a credible financial strategy to successfully commercialize the proposed innovation.

Stage 3 Technical evaluation – Point rated criteria (PR)

PR1: Innovation and inclusivity benefits

This criterion is intended to assess the degree to which the proposed innovation could contribute to the positive socio-economic development of the innovation ecosystem in Canada.

0 points

Economic benefits or Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) policies are not identified or are insufficient.

4 points
  • Economic benefits to the innovation ecosystem in Canada are limited, and/or;
  • The EDI policies identified have had or have the potential to have limited impact.
8 points
  • Economic benefits to the innovation ecosystem in Canada are significant, and;
  • The EDI policies identified have had a significant and desirable impact, or are likely to have a significant and desirable impact.

PR2: 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; 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.

PR3: Adoption potential – Features and benefits, target market

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; and/or
  • Target market is small in size, offers low growth and/or has limited long term potential.
4 points
  • Key features and benefits offer moderate differentiation from the competition; or
  • Target market is moderate in size, offers moderate growth and/or has adequate long term potential.
8 points
  • Key features and benefits offer either moderate or clear differentiation from the competition; and/or
  • Target market is moderate in size, offers moderate growth and has adequate long term potential.
16 points
  • Key features and benefits offer clear differentiation from the competition; and
  • Target market is large in size, promises high growth and/or has significant long term potential.

PR4: 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.

PR5: Objectives, scope, and feasibility of proposed demonstration scenario

0 points

Not feasible

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed demonstration scenario are not described, inadequate, not measurable, or not feasible (e.g. has significant unaddressed challenges in its adoption by a potential Government of Canada organization).
4 points

Low feasibility

  • The objectives and performance metrics in the proposed demonstration scenario are quantified or quantifiable, but with low feasibility; and/or
  • High Government of Canada organization 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 demonstration scenario are quantified or quantifiable, and feasible; and
  • Moderate Government of Canada organization 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 demonstration scenario are quantified or quantifiable, and feasible; and
  • Government of Canada organization resource requirements or potential adoption challenges are insignificant or unlikely to be a barrier to performing a test.

PR6: Proposed demonstration scenario risks and 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 demonstration scenario have mitigation strategies that are plausible and sufficiently described.
8 points
  • All important risks have been identified; and
  • The risks outlined in the demonstration scenario 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 demonstration scenario have mitigation strategies that are comprehensive and well described, and there is very little residual risk.

Maximum available points from all Stages: 180 points

Minimum total scoreFootnote * from all stages to pre-qualify: 108 points

Pathway to commercialization (direct Buy) – Entry criteria

Recertification (RC)

RC1: Management structure

The Bidder must either demonstrate the management team cited in the original proposal submission has remain unchanged. Conversely, if changes have been made the innovator must provide relevant documentation attesting to and certifying the change(s).

  • Innovator certifies their management structure is unchanged from the original proposal submission
    or
  • Innovator certifies management structure has changed and has provided additional information detailing the changes and new organizational structure of the company

Screening criteria (SC)

SC1: Financial capacity

The innovator must demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources and a credible financial strategy in order to complete any remaining steps to commercialization. This includes updates to financial readiness and the expectation that the innovator can provide the innovation and associated services in short order to potential clients based on available funding.

In determining the extent of financial capacity evaluators would consider: updates status on funding sources and the amount of secured and unsecured funds, reviewing the degree of risks cited in the initial application any determining they remain acceptable, and whether these risks are reasonable based on the context of the sector.

Financial resources must be readily available and demonstrate ability to commercialize the proposed innovation.

Pass
  • The Innovator has demonstrated they have funds in place; and/or
  • The innovator has a credible financial strategy and remaining unsecured funds will not significantly impede commercializing the proposed innovation.
Fail
  • The innovator has not demonstrated they have sufficient funds to commercialize the proposed innovation; or
  • The innovator has no credible plan to secure necessary funds.
SC2: Technology Readiness Level (TRL) validation

The innovator must demonstrate that the proposed innovation is ready for market commercialization, i.e. post TRL 9.

TRL 9:
Actual application of the technology in its final form and under real-life conditions, such as those encountered in operational tests and evaluations

Innovators failing this section will have a one-year period to advance their technological readiness and submit for re-evaluation.

Pass
  • The post contract report has provided evidence demonstrating that the innovation is at TRL 9 or higher at the conclusion of the testing period (Testing Stream) or
  • The Phase 2 exit evaluation has provided evidence demonstrating that the innovation is at TRL 9 or higher at the conclusion of Phase 2 (Challenge Stream)
Fail
  • The innovation is not deemed to be at a post TRL 9 at the conclusion of the testing period (Testing Stream) or
  • The innovation is not deemed to be at a post TRL 9 at the conclusion of Phase 2 (Challenge Stream)
SC3: Certifications

The innovator must demonstrate that they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to commercialize the innovation, including those considered a best practice in the respective industry, to achieve safe testing. In addition, the innovator must identify and demonstrate any certifications required for commercialization measured against daily market realities, product dependencies, and operational standards of the industry.

The innovator may be requested to submit copies of certifications as proof.

This will include medical certifications (i.e. MDEL).

Pass
  • The innovator has demonstrated that they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to commercialize their innovation.
Fail
  • The innovator has failed to demonstrate that they have obtained the certifications, licences, and approvals required to commercialize their innovation.
SC4: Intellectual Property (IP) strategy

The innovator must demonstrate that they have an updated Intellectual Property strategy suitable to commercialize relevant to the innovation. This includes pending issues identified in the original submission and an investigation as to whether they have been resolved, remain sufficient, or require further action

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
Pass
  • The innovator has demonstrated that they have implemented an Intellectual Property strategy suitable to protect the innovation.
Fail
  • The innovator has failed to demonstrate that they have implemented an Intellectual Property strategy suitable to protect the innovation.
SC5: Company size

In accordance with the provisions in the Small Business Set Aside (SBSA), innovators must meet the following criteria:

  • For profit
  • 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees
  • 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 Canada
  • 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work
  • 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence
Pass
  • The innovator is fully compliant with each individual criterion state above
Fail
  • The innovator is not fully compliant with one or more of the criteria stated above

Point rated screening criteria (PS)

PS1: Scalability

The innovator must demonstrate that they have sufficient resources and planning to support a minimum number of concurrent projects or contracts, including the provision of ongoing support. This includes assessment of product lifecycle, feasibility of delivering multiple projects at once, demonstration of any relevant manufacturing agreement, distribution agreements in principle, and available human and technology resources.

0 points
  • The innovator has not demonstrated they have sufficient funding or expertise to scale competitively in the marketplace; and/or
  • The innovator has not demonstrated a credible plan to expand into the marketplace.
2 points
Minimum
  • The Innovator has demonstrated that scalability is possible, albeit with a number of challenges.
4 points
  • The innovator has demonstrated a credible plan to scale the delivery of their business, accounting for product life cycle considerations, capability to perform concurrent operations, and the ability to meet emerging and increasing demand.
PS2: Innovation test performance

The post contract report (Testing Stream) or Phase 2 exit evaluation (Challenge Stream) issued in collaboration with the Government of Canada Organizations is designed to evaluate the performance of the innovation against the stated functionalities in the original bid submission (SC1 of the original proposal submission). Based on the report and any additional consultation with the Testing Department, it has been determined:

0 points
  • The innovation did not meet or demonstrate core technical functionality as stated in the original bid proposal
  • The innovation does not function or does not function as intended within the test environment
2 points
Minimum
  • The innovation demonstrates most of the core functionalities on par with the original proposal submission
  • The innovation functions as intended within the test environment
4 points
  • The innovation demonstrates all of core functionality on par with the original proposal submission
  • The innovation demonstrates features and technologies in excess of the functionality stated in the original proposal submission
  • The innovation functions as intended within the test environment

Priority areas

Standard component

There are four priority areas within ISC Testing Stream's standard component.

  • Digital
  • Clean technology
  • Health
  • Safety and security

Each priority area identifies a list of innovative goods and services (non-exhaustive) that could be supported under this Call for Proposals.

Digital

This priority area includes infrastructure, solutions and approaches that leverage current and emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, quantum computing and blockchain. Digital infrastructure and solutions can support organizations or one or more sectors of the marketplace or economy, such as government, education, resources, agriculture and trade. To help you determine if your innovation fits within this priority area, consult the following list of goods and services. This is not a comprehensive list.

  • Digital service delivery
  • Digital credentials and wallets
  • Data exchange solutions
  • Digital identity
  • Sandboxes and testing services
  • Educational and training approaches
  • Supply chain tracing
  • Information, Communication and Technologies (ICT)
  • Analytics and predictive analytics
  • Digital infrastructure
  • Cloud services
  • Workplace technology
  • Security of online services

Clean technology

Clean technology is a broad category that represents technologies or solutions that help to reduce environmental impacts in relation to climate change, air and/or water pollution, resource conservation, and biodiversity protection. To help you determine if your innovation fits within this priority area, consult the following list of goods and services. This is not a comprehensive list.

  • Renewable and non-emitting electricity generation, transmission and storage
  • Biofuel, biomaterial and biochemical production
  • Energy efficiency technologies
  • Advanced materials (e.g. light-weighted, composites, recycled)
  • Monitoring and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and/or other pollutants, environmental degradation activities
  • Low impact technologies (such as biodegradables, natural pesticides and cleansers as well as reduced human or environmental toxicity products)
  • Management, control and monitoring systems – buildings and infrastructure
  • Remediation and emergency solutions
  • Water and wastewater technologies
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Precision agriculture
  • Low-carbon transportation technologies

Health

Health is a broad category focusing on maintaining and improving the health of individuals or populations. Innovations that require regulatory approval must be certified from Health Canada at the time of bid submission or have had a previously-filed regulatory approval. To help you determine if your innovation fits within this priority area, consult the following list of goods and services. This is not a comprehensive list.

  • Medical, biomedical and assistive devices
  • Patient monitoring, tracking and wellness, including mental health
  • Testing and diagnostic solutions and equipment
  • Surveillance, tracking, situational awareness and critical response
  • Bio and nanotechnologies
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Food security and supply
  • Sanitization
  • Laboratory, scientific and research solutions
  • Safety, risk, compliance

Safety and security

Safety and security is a broad category focusing on domestic and international security, as well as the safety of Canadians and public infrastructure. To help you determine if your innovation fits within this priority area, consult the following list of goods and services. This is not a comprehensive list.

  • Cyber-security solutions
  • Border and transportation security – air, land, sea
  • Critical infrastructure and asset protection
  • Emergency management solutions
  • Surveillance, monitoring and intelligence, and information gathering
  • Space-related technologies and systems
  • Synthetic environments and modeling simulation, training
  • Sensor technology, algorithms and systems with applications to security, police and military users
  • Security risk management

Military component

There are seven priority areas within the military component. Within each priority area, the ISC Testing stream provides a description of the innovative goods and services that would be of benefit or interest to the Department of National Defence /Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) from a testing perspective.

For additional context on the projected research and development needs of DND/CAF, please refer to the Defence Capabilities Blueprint.

Digital defence

Digital defence is a broad category that involves innovative modern digital technologies that will augment and empower all members of the Canadian Armed Forces. The initiative is led by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and its scope spans all elements of the naval enterprise, which includes financial, business and human resource management, engineering, logistics and warfighting functions. This priority area includes, but is not limited to cognitive computing capabilities, cloud computing and mobile technologies, augmented and virtual reality systems, enhanced data analytics, cybersecurity and Digital Twin technologies. To help determine if your innovation fits within this priority area, please consult the Digital Navy Initiative and Action Plan.

Cyber operations and resilience

This priority area involves innovative concepts, tools and capabilities for cyber operations and resilience to support the protection and defence of networks, the trusted exchange of information, and enhanced support to human decision-making. The Canadian Armed Forces rely on sophisticated air, sea and vehicle portable cyber tools and capabilities for defensive and offensive applications. These capabilities must be able to rapidly identify, disrupt and investigate unknown cyber activity, assess and attribute adversary activity, and/or engage in offensive operations when necessary; assist in the determination of cyber-physical-human vulnerabilities and make recommendations; maintain and protect critical systems; counter cyber agents (i.e., bots); prevent ransomware attacks; and support the identification and attribution of malicious cyber actors. Your innovation can fit within any of the above areas. Other tasks the Department needs to perform include, but are not limited to, the ability to secure and protect online identities, and the ability to use communication devices containing classified and unclassified information.

Fully networked command, communications and control

Canada's vast land, maritime and arctic boundary also requires that its military have a communications infrastructure that can support securing the sovereignty of this massive territory. This priority is a broad category involving technologies or solutions that help with command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR). Other goods and services can include, but are not limited to communications and navigation systems and components; Earth-based systems for the operation of space launch vehicles; electro-optical, radar and sonar systems and components; space launch vehicles; and systems deployed in space and related components.

Countering small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS)

This priority area involves solutions and approaches for countering small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS) that can perform one or more key functions as far away from the device as possible: detecting, tracking, identifying, and/or neutralizing the device. The Canadian Armed Forces is concerned about their ability to deploy these devices easily and readily; to automate these tasks to the extent possible to minimize training, user input and involvement in performing these functions. Also, the CAF needs to perform these functions to either defend fixed installations or in a moving vehicle.

Enhanced soldier systems – Close combat

The Canadian soldier is at the centre of a complex and integrated system of advanced technological systems. The Canadian Armed Forces vision sees a networked dismounted soldier with vastly improved situational awareness and command execution, coupled with improved navigation and access to improved target acquisition and recognition capability. This priority area includes technological solutions and approaches for enhancing solider capabilities in the areas of energy and power, lethal and non-lethal effects, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence (C4I), sensing, survivability, protection and sustainability. Your innovation can fit within any of the above areas. Other goods and services can include, but are not limited to enhanced sniper systems; clip-on thermal scopes; wireless connectivity devices with low probability of interception and detection capabilities; female body armour; and technologies or solutions for reducing the sensor-to-shooter targeting cycle.

Training and In-service support (ISS)

This priority area covers activities that support effective use, operation and maintenance of Canada's military capabilities across all environments. Training systems prepare Canada's land, sea, air and civil security forces for operations in complex situations. In-service support maintains and modifies military equipment performance throughout its life-cycle. Other goods and services can include, but are not limited to aircraft, vehicle and vessel fabrication, structures and on-board systems and components; alternative and green energy to support military capability; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services; simulation systems and components; training and troop support.

Other Defence Capability Enablers

This priority area covers innovations that support defence capabilities across a broad scope of areas that could be of benefit or interest to the Canadian Armed Forces or the Department of National Defence in regards to its mandate, policy objectives or operations. These would be innovations that may not be captured in the other priority areas of the military category, but equally could be of benefit or interest to DND/ CAF from an operational testing perspective.

Frequently asked questions

Can Canada confirm if there is a maximum size business that can apply to Call for Proposals (CFP) EN578-21ISC1?

This Call for Proposal is targeting small businesses of 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.

What is the purpose of two Testing Stream Calls for Proposals EN578-21ISC1 and EN578-21ISC2?

Canada's intent is to allow, through two distinct Calls for Proposals, all eligible businesses to propose their innovations. The first Call for Proposals will target eligible Canadian small businesses and the second will be open to eligible Canadian businesses and entities who are large companies, non-profit, universities, etc.

Can Bidders apply to both CFPs?

No. Bidders must determine under which Call for Proposals they are eligible by referring to Article 1.3 Who Can Submit a Proposal. Bidders are only eligible to apply under one Call for Proposals.

What are the steps for submitting a proposal under the Testing Stream?

As per the solicitation document Article 3.1. Proposal Submission sub article 3.1.2, Bidders must submit their proposal using the Testing Stream Electronic Proposal Submission Form. The form can be found by clicking the "Submit your Proposal" button on the ISC website. Proposals that are submitted in an alternate format will not be accepted unless prior approval has been obtained from the Contracting Authority at: TPSGC.PASICVoletessai-APISCTestingStream.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca

Is there an option to submit to this Call for Proposals using a PDF form or to provide attachments?

There is no option to upload additional information. The innovation description should be presented in the form as requested. In exceptional circumstances only, the following sub articles will apply:

"3.1.5 Bidders who are not able to submit their proposal using the web-based system must contact the Contracting Authority at TPSGC.PASICCOVID19-PISCCOVID19.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca to arrange delivery of their proposal. This includes the submission of proposals with a security level exceeding Protected B."

AND

"3.1.6 All proposals submitted will be bound by the same terms, conditions and limitations. For all proposals submitted, any text submitted above the character limit specified in the Testing Stream Electronic Proposal Submission Form will not be evaluated."

Is there potential relief available on the 80% Canadian content requirement for prototype subcomponent materiel?

At this time the Testing Stream is not considering reducing the Canadian Content Requirement therefore Bidders must ensure innovations demonstrate 80% Canadian Content in accordance with article 1.5 Canadian Content A3050T (2018-12-06) Canadian Content Definition of the solicitation document in order to be considered for this requirement.

The SACC 2040 (2020-05-28), General Conditions - Research & Development section 2040 26 (2008-05-12) Liability clause included in the Resulting Contract states that "The Parties agree that no limitation of liability or indemnity provision applies to the Contract unless it is specifically incorporated in full text in the Articles of the Agreement". Is this clause mandatory, i.e. if the innovation gets selected through the process and a department is interested in procuring it, would we have to sign an unlimited liability clause?

The Draft Resulting Contract Clauses included in the solicitation document at Appendix 3, remains silent on liability in accordance with 2040 (2020-05-28), General Conditions - Research & Development section 2040 26 (2008-05-12) Liability below. All testing stream contracts generally do not include clauses that limit liability as they involve R&D tests for which risks are mitigated through the design and implementation of the test plan. Therefore contracts will rely on the default clause below.

"The Contractor is liable for any damage caused by the Contractor, its employees, subcontractors, or agents to Canada or any third party. Canada is liable for any damage caused by Canada, its employees or agents to the Contractor or any third party. The Parties agree that no limitation of liability or indemnity provision applies to the Contract unless it is specifically incorporated in full text in the Articles of Agreement. Damage includes any injury to persons (including injury resulting in death) or loss of or damage to property (including real property) caused as a result of or during the performance of the Contract."

Regarding the Mandatory Criteria MC5 Pre-Commercial Status of the Calls for Proposals, would Canada consider removing / relaxing the requirement that: "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."

At this point, Canada is not considering removing this requirement for this Call for Proposals.

Does Canada require a company that does safety testing on equipment to provide certification prior to the equipment being complete?

Bidders must demonstrate, at time of proposal submission that their proposed innovation is safe to test in an operational environment.

Can Bidders submit more than one proposal?

Yes. Bidders can submit more than one proposal, so long as it is for distinct innovations.

Can a university submit a proposal for this call?

In order to submit a proposal, Bidders must comply with all the requirements of the Calls for Proposals, including Article 1.3 Who Can Submit a Proposal. In general universities are eligible for Call for Proposals EN578-21ISC2, however the proposal is evaluated on areas which include management team and commercialization plan. Joint-ventures are eligible under this CFP, which could include a University working with a for-profit enterprise.

Can Canada advise as to when announcements will be made regarding the successful applicants?

All Bidders will be advised individually of the results of their evaluation in a debrief letter upon completion of the evaluations in accordance with the solicitation document Article 4.5 Debriefing.

Will a Bidder with a pre-qualified proposal that has been selected by a Government of Canada organization, and that has a verified capacity to undertake the Work as per an agreed-upon SOW, be precluded from completing the contract award process if the Bidder has no financial history by virtue of the fact that it is a new start-up company?

All prequalified Bidders who are selected by a Government of Canada organization will be required to undergo the Contract Award Process outlined in the Call for Proposals at sub articles 5.2 and 5.3. Canada reserves the right to verify the financial capability of a Bidder prior to proceeding with Contract Award, as per sub article 5.3.3 Financial Capability.

What is the Pathway to Commercialization (Direct Buy) and intent?

Pathway to Commercialization (Direct Buy) is an initiative that Innovative Solutions Canada is piloting to better support both small businesses and government organizations. Pathway to Commercialization will allow government organizations to commercially buy the innovation, within a pre-established framework, in larger quantities to meet operational requirements without having to compete for it through normal competitive vehicles. This pilot initiative will be open to contractors who have completed an initial contract resulting from this call for proposals EN578-21ISC1 and met the entry requirements of the Direct Buy pilot.

Canada's intent is to determine the feasibility of implementing this initiative on a long-term basis. This will be achieved by monitoring the process, gathering data and analyzing the benefits and disadvantages for Canada. Canada will determine if it is beneficial to proceed with a direct buy or compete the requirement separately through other methods of supply to meet operational requirements.

Can Bidders apply directly to the Pathway to Commercialization (Direct Buy) pilot?

Only Small Canadian businesses who have received and completed an initial ISC contract as a result of CFP EN578-21ISC1, and whose innovation has reached the end of the TRL scale and are ready for market may participate in the Pathway to Commercialization pilot.

Will the same terms and conditions as standard R&D apply to the Direct Buy pilot?

Direct Buy Contracts will use different terms and conditions that are commodity-specific, outside of the R&D umbrella. Various terms and conditions that may be used are listed on Buy and Sell.

Will Direct Buy contracts need to be competed separately?

Direct Buy Contracts will not be competed per se though eligible small businesses will be required to re-certify eligibility to enter the Pathway to Commercialization (Direct Buy), meet additional criteria outlined in Appendix 5 of the Call for Proposals EN578-21ISC1 and agree to the new terms and conditions of any resulting Direct Buy Contract.

What's new

Enabling the Government of Canada to buy what it tries – a Pathway to Commercialization for eligible Canadian SMEs

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) is pleased to be piloting a Pathway to Commercialization under its Testing Stream. Established under the Call for Proposals dedicated to Canadian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), this opportunity will enable eligible SMEs to receive commercial contracts based on the successful testing of their pre-commercial prototype and fulfilment of related readiness requirements. It is important to note that this flexibility will only be available to eligible Canadian SMEs, which represent over 97% of all businesses in Canada, a percentage that mirrors past participation in the program.

Important considerations:

  • Government of Canada organizations will be able to purchase successfully tested prototypes through the Pathway to Commercialization, without the requirement for additional competition for up to a period of three years.
  • The requirements for commercial contracts will reflect the operational needs of client departments, the nature of the innovation, as well as input from Public Services and Procurement Canada, the program's Contracting Authority.
  • Contracts under this initiative will each have a limit of up to $8M.
  • This feature is expected to  increase the Government of Canada's support for the growth and scale up of innovative SMEs.
  • The Pathway to Commercialization will complement the Testing Stream's existing Additional Testing component, which enables GC organizations to buy and further test additional quantities of already qualified prototypes. Unlike Pathway to Commercialization contracts, Additional Testing contracts are still considered R&D contracts, similar to the initial Testing Stream contract.
  • Additional testing opportunities are open to all program participants, SMEs and non-SMEs.
  • A Pathway to Commercialization already exists under the program's Challenge Stream as Phase 3, and reflects ISC's commitment to bringing the program into closer alignment with the highly successful US Small Business Innovation Program after which it was modelled.

How will the Pathway to Commercialization feature work?

  • Once their initial ISC testing contract is completed, eligible ISC innovators will have up to 12 months to be assessed against criteria (see point 3 below), which would determine whether they are eligible to be placed on the Pathway to Commercialization  source list of approved innovations.
  • Innovations on the source list will be available for purchase for up to three years.
  • A number of criteria will be used as part of the assessment process, including:
  • Financial capacity
  • Technology readiness
  • Certifications
  • IP strategy
  • Company size
  • Scalability
  • Innovation test performance

Please read the CFP and related FAQs for more information on the Pathway to Commercialization.

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