Innovative Solutions Canada: 2019 R&D Challenges

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 can 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 can 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:

Portable Package Auto Sampler

Challenge: Canada’s Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires solutions to handle and extract samples of potentially highly toxic substances safely at the border in a timely manner.

Contract Value: Phase 1 – Up to $150,000. Phase 2 – Up to $500,000.

Essential Outcomes: Proposed solutions must (1) provide devices that can be deployed to CBSA operations across Canada, (2) present negligible risk of exposure to Border Officers, (3) allow for the extraction of a sample from a package, weighing less than 1 kg and containing an unknown powder, in less than 10 minutes, (4) access and transfer the unknown sample into a sealed bottle and reseal the package, (5) ensure that parts of the device which come into contact with the unknown substances are disposable, and (6) be decontaminated easily so it can be repaired and maintained as needed.

Timeline: Proposals accepted until July 8, 2019.

Postal Small Packet and Package Inspection

Challenge: Canada’s Border Services Agency requires a radiation shielding solution that enables continuous flow and processing of small packets and packages in/out of x-ray systems without being impeded on a conveyor belt.

Contract Value: Phase 1 – Up to $150,000. Phase 2 – Up to $400,000.

Essential Outcomes: Proposed solutions must (1) enable small packets and packages to be passed in/out of x-ray systems without being impeded (i.e., stopped, slowed, or redirected) on a conveyor belt, (2) respect radiation limits stated in Health Canada Safety Code 29 and the Radiation Emitting Devices Act and Regulations (3) be certifiable in Canada to meet Canadian Standards Association requirements, and (4) ensure that exposure 0.5 m outside of the x-ray system is less than or equal to 0.5 µSv (measured under maximum operating conditions).

Timeline: Proposals accepted until July 8, 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.

Apply for Canadian Government Funding

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Written by

Jeff Shepherd holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration at the University of Guelph. He is passionate about Canadian business, economics, and politics. As Marketing Coordinator for Mentor Works, Jeff educates business leaders about proactive funding strategies.

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