Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) is an initiative that seeks technology-based solutions to federal government challenges. Through the program, companies can receive grant funding to research and develop solutions that overcome these challenges, therefore helping the Canadian government to function better. The Government of Canada may even purchase your innovation for further testing and deployment.
The three-phase ISC program offers Canadian government grants for research (up to $150,000), development (up to $1 million) and, if selected, innovators may receive federal procurement contracts.
To participate in ISC, you must submit a proposal for one of the program’s current innovation challenges. To help you find the most applicable challenge for your business, this article summarizes current and upcoming areas where solutions are required. Explore each stream to evaluate whether your business can develop and commercialize in-demand next-generation technology.
Innovative Solutions Canada: Federal Innovation Challenges
Innovative Solutions Canada is currently holding an application intake for the following innovation challenges:
Plastics Challenge – Development of Next Generation Bio-Based Foam Insulation
Challenge: Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) requires novel foam insulation products (spray foam and rigid foam board) that are bio-based (predominantly derived from domestic forest residue), offer similar insulation values as petroleum-based products, and are comparable in terms of cost.
Contract Value: Phase 1 – Up to $150,000. Phase 2 – Up to $1,000,000.
Essential Outcomes: Proposed solutions must (1) result in a market-ready bio-based spray foam insulation and/or bio-based rigid foam board; (2) be predominantly bio-based (60-100% by weight or volume) and derived from Canadian domestic forest residue; (3) have similar insulation values as petroleum-based versions (within 20%); (4) have similar cost (within 20%) as currently available petroleum-based versions; (5) be non-flammable or considerably less flammable (at least twice as slow to ignite) than petroleum-based versions; (6a) For bio-based spray foam insulation, proposed solutions must be sprayed in place, similar to currently available products. (6b) For bio-based rigid foam board, proposed solutions must be extruded or shaped into rigid foam boards.
Timeline: Proposals accepted until August 27, 2019.
Automated Redaction of Video Recordings for Purposes of Access to Information Requests
Challenge: The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is looking for a solution that will permit audio and video recordings to be automatically processed to ensure that people and objects other than the requester of the audio or video files are not able to be identified.
Contract Value: Phase 1 – Up to $100,000. Phase 2 – Up to $500,000.
Essential Outcomes: Proposed solutions must (1) allow the processing of digital audio and video recordings, by redacting all instances of personal recognizable content; (2) replace the region of interest with black and white pixels to confirm the redacting cannot be undone once the video is released; (3) replace the zone of interest with silenced audio; (4) be able to blur the complete scene to remove any background private information while preserving the basic context of the scene; (5) minimize manual intervention after identifying a specific individual/object in a video feed; (6) manage a single redacting case from multiple media incorporation through all reviews and final media exports; (7) and be able to process and store information at a protected B level.
Timeline: Proposals accepted until September 30, 2019.
About the Innovative Solutions Canada R&D Program
Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) is a competitive proposal-based funding program that provides government grants to Canadian innovators. Through the program, applicants can choose an open innovation challenge and offer a technological approach to help overcome the problem. Proposals submitted from qualified applicants are called forward to Phase 1 (Proof of Concept). Selected concepts are invited to participate in Phase 2 (Prototype Development) and upon completion of the program, the department that initiated the challenge may purchase your innovation for deployment.
Research grants are awarded depending on the challenge and project phase. Consult your specific challenge for greater insight on ISC’s financial incentives.
To participate in any of the challenges listed in this blog, innovators must be for-profit, incorporated in Canada, maintain less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, perform research and development in Canada, and maintain a workforce/management group that is primarily Canadian-based.
To discuss your eligibility for Innovative Solutions Canada and explore how your company can optimize the application process, please contact Mentor Works.
Posted: October 26, 2018. Updated: August 15, 2019.