The Government of Canada is constantly seeking new innovative technologies to improve the function of government. Since 2012, the federal government’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) has provided a first-procurement program that enables Canadian businesses and entrepreneurs to test and sell their innovative pre-commercial technologies to the government. This partnership bolsters the innovative abilities of government while also supporting Canadian businesses.
As of April 1, 2016, the Build in Canada Innovation Program entered a new fiscal year and called for potential applicants to apply for the program. Although BCIP accepts program applications year-round, new fiscal years offered renewed funding for the program and provide applicants with an optimal time to apply.
Most technologies sold to the government may have the opportunity to receive up to $500,000 in revenue, however technologies that have an innovative military application may receive up to $1 million.
How Does the Build in Canada Innovation Program Work?
Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses may use BCIP to test their new, pre-revenue technologies on a large scale, thus bringing their pre-commercialized innovations closer to market readiness. The Government of Canada will test the innovation, and if it provides value to the government, they may act as a first buyer of the technology, helping businesses to overcome pre-commercialization hurdles, while creating the opportunity to have a government entity become the first buyer of the technology.
The business remains in possession of the innovation’s intellectual property (IP) and may continue the development of the technology, as well as sell it to numerous other buyers. Through BCIP, the Government of Canada helps businesses by acting as a reputable buyer who may also connect the business to new customers around the world.
Eligible Applicants of the Build in Canada Innovation Program
Across Canada, BCIP supports a variety of businesses with pre-commercialized innovations. Applicants must be able to demonstrate the innovation’s unique abilities, in addition to being either:
- A Canadian company, not-for-profit organization, or university;
- A partnership, economic cluster, or post-secondary collaboration; or
- An international entity with an eligible Canadian bidder.
Furthermore, applicants must:
- Own the product’s intellectual property (IP) rights;
- Not be generating revenue from the product at application time;
- Ensure the product contains at least 80% Canadian-made resources; and
- Be chosen by a government department as a buyer of your product.
Projects Eligible for BCIP First-Procurement and Testing
All innovations or projects being tested and sold to the Government of Canada should be in the pre-commercialization stage of product development. To ensure your project is at the right stage of its research and development, compare it to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) standards. BCIP-ready innovations will have a Technical Readiness Level (TRL) of 7-9, signifying that the technology is ready for demonstration in a realistic environment or that the technology has passed realistic testing procedures.
Projects submitted to the Build in Canada Innovation Program should fit into one of the 10 priority areas outlined by the Canadian government. These include:
Standard Component Stream (Non-Military Innovations)
- Health: Food assurance and tracking systems, monitoring or tracking of health effects, public health and research, assistive devices.
- Environment: Improving the efficiency of traditional and alternative (renewable) environmental technologies, enhancing energy conservation, monitoring/reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Enabling Technologies: Technologies that improves the productivity, sustainability, or communication of people through information and communications technology (ICT), information management, nanotechnologies, or biotechnologies.
- Safety and Security: Critical infrastructure protection, emergency management systems, surveillance, network security, communications technologies.
Military Component Stream (Innovative Security and Defense Technologies)
- Arctic and Maritime Security: Aircraft fabrication, communications and navigations systems, radar and sonar components, fire control, guidance systems, missiles, rockets, and drones.
- Command & Support: Communications and navigation equipment, earth and space-based vehicles and systems, health care, training.
- Cyber Security: Communications systems and components, navigation systems and radar/sonar components, software and other smart systems to prevent systems becoming compromised.
- In-Service Support: Aircraft and other combat vehicles/components, naval systems and components, and simulation systems.
- Protecting the Soldier: Combat vehicles and equipment, firearms and other weaponry, munitions, naval system and component creation, repair, or maintenance.
- Training Systems: Programs, modules, or software that will let operators become trained on the innovation prior to using it in-field.
How to Apply for the Build in Canada Innovation Program
If your business is interested in selling its innovative technology to the Government of Canada, the first and most valuable step includes ensuring that your company and technology is eligible. Potential BCIP participants may contact Mentor Works to assess their eligibility and to see if they would be better suited for Canadian government grants and loans.
Those who enter the Build in Canada Innovation Program will first need to enter a 5-step procurement process before their technology can be sold to the government. This includes registering as an official Government of Canada supplier and searching for selling opportunities promoted by the federal government.
Learn More About the Build in Canada Innovation Program
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- Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) Supports 8 BC Companies
- How to Get the Government to Buy & Test Your Product with BCIP
- Build in Canada Innovation Program Supports Energy Efficient Marine Tech