Although public healthcare is one of Ontario’s most technology-driven sectors, the process of procuring advanced technologies can seem exceedingly difficult. As a member of the broader public service (BPS), public healthcare organizations care often required to issue public tenders that detail product specifications and financial terms. While this procurement process works for some BPS organizations, it can be limiting in the scope of medical technologies (medtech).
The Resources for Evaluating, Adopting and Capitalizing on Innovative Healthcare Technology (REACH) Program, offered through Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) provides government grants for healthcare organizations to develop and implement a preferred procurement process. Through the program, BPS healthcare organizations can outline a procurement model that best fits their innovation needs.
Ontario healthcare funding will be provided only towards procurement process activities, not the technology’s physical purchase.
REACH grants may cover up to 95% of project costs to a maximum $1 million. Projects may last for up to two years, at which time the BPS applicant should be ready to integrate the technology into their operations.
OCE REACH Grants for Healthcare Providers: Program Details
Procurement of innovative technologies can enhance the effectiveness of Ontario’s healthcare system by improving patient care and providing long-term value for public funds. It also helps foster a more competitive tech sector, an area where Canada is experiencing massive economic growth.
OCE’s REACH Program provides the opportunity for BPS healthcare providers to identify innovations that could support better healthcare, then design and execute a procurement process to acquire such technology. Organizations may be eligible to receive government grants worth up to 95% of project costs to a maximum $1 million. Ontario government funding will only support procurement activities, not the actual technology’s purchase.
Identify a Procurement Model for OCE REACH
Procurement methodologies may be adapted to fit the needs of a specific project, or can be aligned to one of the six documented by OCE:
- Research and Development Procurement: The process of purchasing preliminary research and development, up to the prototyping or first production phases. This excludes the purchase of any final products.
- Innovation Partnership: The process of entering into a collaborative research and development partnership with a supplier who can design an innovative solution.
- Design Contest: The process where several suppliers submit proposals/prototypes in competition for a contract.
- Competitive Dialogue: The process of meeting with several suppliers to discuss project requirements and each stage of procurement. Selected suppliers can then issue a proposal.
- Competitive Procedure with Negotiation: If similar solutions are already available in the market, BPS organizations may request proposals from multiple suppliers, then negotiate qualified offers to access the best solution.
- Innovation-Friendly Competitive Process: The process of allowing core and alternative proposal submission from potential suppliers, evaluating them, and selecting the best solution.
Picture Source: OCE’s Early Market Engagement and Procurement Models
OCE REACH Medtech Procurement Grants Eligibility
In order to receive up to 95% of procurement project costs, healthcare organizations must ensure that they:
- Are a publicly-funded Ontario healthcare provider;
- Are the lead applicant who will commit to moving the project from start to finish;
- Are committed to purchasing an innovative solution through a procurement process;
- Are profitable and in good financial standing; and
- Can enter a formal, legally-binding agreement with OCE.
Projects Eligible for OCE REACH Program Funding
The OCE REACH Program will support a range of innovation-related projects that:
- Use an innovation-based procurement process to purchase technology;
- Address a challenge identified by healthcare providers; and
- Do not exceed 24 months in length.
How to Apply for OCE REACH Medtech Procurement Grants
To apply for the OCE REACH Program, eligible healthcare providers may contact one of OCE’s Business Development Managers or Innovation Program Managers. Applications will be initiated through OCE’s online portal where healthcare providers can then submit them for review.
Proposals require detailed information about your technology requirement, procurement model, and overall impacts on Ontario’s healthcare system.
To discover if your organization is eligible to participate in the OCE REACH Program, please contact Mentor Works.
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