The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) is a competitive first-purchase program established by the Government of Canada. Its purpose is to facilitate the testing and sale of pre-market innovative technologies, ultimately reducing the commercialization gap commonly faced by technology developers.
Through the program, businesses may sell their pre-revenue technologies to a specific government department (or broader public sector organization) who can test the technology and award a contract to the company.
Although businesses may rely on a matchmaking service to find a department willing to test the technology, companies can strengthen their technology proposal by securing commitment independently. Gaining support ahead of time shows initiative, and that there is support for the technology. It can also help to accelerate review time by several weeks or longer.
Build in Canada Innovation Program Overview: Discover how to sell your technology to the Canadian government for up to $1 million.
Why BCIP Applicants Should Secure the Commitment of a Technology Tester
It’s not mandatory for technology developers to find a government department (or broader public sector organization) prior to submitting a BCIP proposal. It’s more work and requires a larger time commitment, but is recommended for a smooth and successful application process.
A few of the benefits of securing your own testing partner include:
- It strengthens your application by showing there’s already support for the technology’s testing and potential purchase.
- It accelerates application review by eliminating the need for the government’s matchmaking services.
- The ability to choose a tester/buyer who can provide the most useful feedback for future product development.
Qualified Tech Testing Partners
Testing partners do not necessarily need to be a government department in order to qualify for the program. In fact, a wide range of Canadian organizations can act as testers and purchasers of your technology. Officially, there are two types of testing organizations that innovators may work with:
- Government of Canada-Specified Testing Departments: There are several government departments who may test your technologies. Use the following linked pages to explore them further: (One | Two | Three)
- Broader Public Sector Organizations: A lesser-known fact about BCIP is that technologies may also be sold to broader public sector (BPS) organizations, such as those in the healthcare or education fields. Organizations who show the capacity to test and implement the technology can be considered for participation.
How the Build in Canada Innovation Program Works
Successful participation in the BCIP program involves the following process:
- Finding an Innovation Testing Partner: Although not necessary, it’s recommended that applicants find a public user for the technology on their own. Technology developers may also use the Government of Canada’s matchmaking services at this stage of the process.
- Statement of Work Development: Companies will work with a Technical Authority, or member of the partnering department/organization to develop technical and financial feasibility plans.
- Testing the Technology: The Statement of Work (SOW) will be carried out by the Technical Authority. Testing results will be communicated upon completion.
- Negotiations: Can take upwards of 2-3 months to complete, at which time the Contracting Authority initiates contract negotiations and a more thorough evaluation of project costs can occur.
- Contract Approval: A recommendation is made in support of contract development. This recommendation is then fulfilled by Public Works and Government Services Canada.
Intellectual Property (IP) remains in sole possession of the technology developer at all times of the project. Contracts are extended for the innovation only.
Apply for the Build in Canada Innovation Program
Applicants may submit a proposal for the Build in Canada Innovation Program at any time. Although it’s encouraged that applicants find a testing department prior to writing and submitting a proposal, all that’s required is an explanation of the technology (including possible users) and other questions outlined in the Proposal Submission Form.
Mentor Works may be able to confirm your project’s eligibility and assist with the proposal process. Contact us to learn how we can strengthen your application with technical writing services.