$500,000 Opportunity to Test and Develop Your Innovation

Have you developed an innovative product which has not yet been sold commercially? Is your product related to the environment, health, security or is an enabling technology?  If yes, you may have an opportunity to gain up to $500,000 in funding from the Government of Canada.

The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP)

The CICP is a new initiative launched as part of the Government of Canada’s 2010 Budget.  The program is part of the government’s commitment to promote economic growth, helping Canadian businesses develop and test their innovative products or services with the Canadian Government before taking them to the marketplace.

Who is Eligible?

The program is intended for businesses that have innovative goods or services that are market-ready, but have not yet had commercial sales.   By issuing a series of call for proposals, the program hopes to bridge the pre-commercialization gap by purchasing these innovations.

All proposals must be under $500,000 (excluding tax and any associated delivery costs) and must fall under the following priority areas:

  • Environment
    Wnvironmental sampling, spills and environmental emergencies, Energy conserving control systems, Waste reduction systems and low impact technologies.
  • Health
    Food supply, monitoring and tracking adverse health effects, regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices, and assisted human reproduction.
  • Safety & Security 
    Surveillance and intelligence gathering, emergency management systems, defense against chemical and biological agents and sensor technology and applications for police or military users.
  • Enabling technologies
    Nanotechnology-based consumer products, genetically modified plants, communications equipment and on-line information management tools

For a full list of the priority areas of the program visit the Buy and Sell website.

All bidders must have a registered Canadian business and certify that at least 80% of their innovation are comprised of Canadian goods or services.  The bidder must also certify that they own the intellectual property to the innovation.

What is Involved?

Contracts will be awarded through an open and fair procurement process; issuing call for proposals through the government’s electronic tendering service.

Once your product or service has been successfully chosen as a pre-qualified innovation, the Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) will match you with a relevant government department.  This department will then work with you to test your innovation, provide feedback and help develop your product or service further.  They will then provide guidance on how to do business with the government and moving the innovation into the domestic and international markets.

It is worth noting however that even if a good “fit” is found, there is no guarantee for an awarded contract.  Successful awards are dependent on the contract negotiations.

How Can You Participate?

The second call for proposal has been issued and will close on Thursday, August 18, 2011.

To participate in this call for proposal CICP recommends that innovators attend one of their upcoming events taking place across the country.  At the event you will be able to discuss, with the attending government departments, whether the program is a good fit for your product or service and find out about the overall procurement process and program.

The next event in BC is scheduled for Friday, August 12, 2011 at the Aerospace, Defense, Information and Communication Technologies Expo at Abbotsford Airport.

To order the call for proposal and participate in the program visit the Merx website.

What Types of Business Participated in the First Round?

From the first round of proposals which closed in November 2010, there are 27 pre-qualified innovations from Canadian companies, including one from Richmond, BC and another from White Rock, BC.  PWGSC is working with the relevant government departments at the moment to match these innovations to their needs.

Innovations from this round include: An LED street light system with enhanced GPS technology from a business in Nova Scotia; a radiation-detecting speed bump from Ontario; and a software tool that generates geo-registered products for surveillance and reconnaissance from airborne video.  For a full list of the 27 prequalified innovations visit the Buy and Sell website.

Summary of Benefits of CICP

The CICP will provide many benefits to potential suppliers, including:

  • Being able to connect with potential clients in federal government departments and showcase your innovations to them.
  • Entering the commercial market with a successful application of your new product or service.
  • Receiving continuous feedback on the use of your product or service in an operational setting to help develop it, before taking it to market.

However even if you are not successful in being awarded a contract from this program, you will still gain the experience of:

  • Understanding how to sell to the Government of Canada, the largest buyer of goods and services in Canada.
  • Knowing about the opportunities and methods for supplying goods and services to the government.

For More Information

For more information on providing goods or services to the Government of Canada read our ‘How to do Business with the Canadian Government’ article or contact the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise’s (OSME) at:

Email:  osme-bpme-pac@pwgsc-tpsgc.gc.ca

Tel:       1-866-602-0403 (toll free)

For more information about the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program visit the Buy and Sell website.

For information about the events which innovators can attend to find out more visit Buy and Sell’s events listings.

To view the call for proposal visit the government’s e-tendering service, Merx.

Ask the Expert – How to do Business with the Federal Government

Small Business BC is offering free one-to-one consultations with a Supply Officer from Public Works and Government Services Canada as part of the Ask the Expert series.  Free consultations will take place at the Small Business BC offices in Waterfront Station, Vancouver or via Skype on August 23rd, 2011.

These 30 minute sessions allow you to ask the specific questions about the purchasing process, where to find opportunities and how to respond to proposals.

Let us Help Promote Your Innovative Concept

Small Business BC is looking for entrepreneurs who are looking to start a business or who have been in business less than a year, to nominate themselves for the Best Concept Award at this year’s Successful You Awards.  If you have a viable business concept that describes the business, its product, the market it serves and the business’ competitive advantage – then why not nominate your business.

Nominees from last year’s awards contest received over $200,000 in media exposure.  Brian and Corin Mullins, winners of the Best Concept Award 2010/11 for their business Holy Crap, have attracted accolades from across Canada since winning the Successful You Award and now plan to duplicate their company’s prototype facility and employment plan around the world.  So what are you waiting for?