Government Funding

3 New Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Challenges Announced

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC), an Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada initiative, offers testing resources and potentially procurement contracts for research and development pre-commercial projects that help solve major Canadian challenges. The ISC’s Challenge Stream allows Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises SMEs to apply novel solutions towards government identified challenges through an application process. Many successful challenges have helped produce globally-adopted products and services, while also improving government operations.

As Canada progresses through the 21st century, new and unique hurdles continue to arise. To address these concerns, the ISC has announced a new influx of challenges to be solved. These novel challenges are:

  • Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting;
  • Interrogator for Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays; and
  • AI decryption service.

“The Government of Canada is looking for innovators to solve challenges. As the single largest purchaser of Canadian goods and services, the Government of Canada has a unique opportunity to support the growth of Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs.”

-Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Listed below are further details regarding the three current ISC challenges and how interested parties can begin their application process.

Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting

The Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge is a Natural Resources Canada (NRC) initiative that is looking for innovations in development processes, technologies, and cost reduction of tree seeding, packaging, and transportation. Ideally, these improvements should drastically reduce waste production in the tree planting process, such as removing associated plastics.

The successful candidates will create new processes or technologies that reduce the costs of tree seedling production, packaging, and transportation, therefore making re-forestation projects cost effective and reducing plastic waste. Funding will be provided in the form of a grant for both phases of this challenge.

Maximum Grant Value

There are two phases associated with this challenge. It is also important to note that multiple grants may result from this challenge.

Phase One:

  • Funding available from any phase one grant may amount to a maximum of $150,000 per project;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of six months; and
  • The NRC is currently estimating two grant allotments for this phase.

Phase Two:

  • Funding available from any phase one grant may amount to a maximum of $1 million;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of 24 months;
    • Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 may be considered for Phase two; and
  • The NRC is currently estimating one grant allotment for this phase.

Applicant Eligibility

Solution proposals for the NRC’s Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge will only be considered if they are submitted by a small business which meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is a for-profit organization incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially);
  • Has less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Participates in research and development activities within Canada’s borders;
  • Over 50% of annual wages, salaries, and fees are paid to employees and contractors who are located in Canada and spend their time working within Canadian borders; and
  • Over 50% of senior executives (stationed as a Vice President rank or higher) have Canada as their principal residence.

Eligibility criteria for both phases of the Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge are the same.

Evaluation Criteria

To be considered for funding through the NRC Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge, applicants must complete a Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form. The information included in the submission process must demonstrate how the solution meets the NRC’s two-part criteria. There are over 15 questions related to the two-part criteria structure which is broken into Part One: Mandatory Criteria, and Part Two: Point-Related Criteria. To learn more about the evaluation criteria, read the full list of questions on the Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge home page.

Challenge Timelines

The Natural Resources Canada Cost and Waste Reduction of Tree Planting challenge opened for applications on November 12, 2021 and has a deadline of December 21, 2021 at 2:00pm EST.

Interrogator for Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays

The Natural Research Council of Canada has opened an initiative through Innovation Solutions Canada called the Interrogator for Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays challenge. This challenge is to find a solution to detecting spectral and spatial responses of fiber Bragg grating (FBG) sensing elements. These detections will be present on distributed fiber optic sensing arrays made up of hundred of Bragg gratings on one single optical fiber.

The solution for the Natural Research Council’s challenge must achieve all of the following criteria:

  • Have the dual capability of discriminating an individual FBG reflection wavelength from other FBGs (wavelength division multiplexing – WDM) as well determining the FBG location via time-of-flight measurements (time division multiplexing-TDM);
  • Wavelength range in the telecom C-band (1528 to 1568 nm);
  • Output power: >13 dBm;
  • Laser linewidth: <10 MHz;
  • Wavelength accuracy: <± 5pm, and wavelength tuning repeatability: < ± 5 pm;
  • Laser tuning step resolution: 8 pm;
  • Output channels: at least 16;
  • Input channels (return fibers): at least 16;
  • Laser scanning rate: 1 Hz to 200 kHz;
  • Laser optical interface: FC/APC;
  • Self-calibrated wavelength with internal reference; and
  • Have ethernet or WiFi communication interfaces.

For a full-scope review of this challenge’s outcomes and considerations, please consult the Natural Research Council of Canada’s challenge homepage.

Maximum Contract Value

There are two phases associated with this challenge. It is also important to note that multiple contracts may result from this challenge.

Phase One:

  • Funding available from any phase one contract may amount to a maximum of $150,000 per project, excluding taxes, shipping costs, travel costs, and living expenses;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of six months; and
  • The Natural Research Council of Canada is currently estimating two contract allotments for this phase.

Phase Two:

  • Funding available from any phase one contract may amount to a maximum of $1 million, excluding taxes, shipping costs, travel costs, and living expenses;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of 24 months;
    • Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 may be considered for Phase two; and
  • The Natural Research Council of Canada is currently estimating one grant allotment for this phase.

Applicant Eligibility

Solution proposals for the Natural Research Council of Canada’s challenge for Interrogator for Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays will only be considered if they are submitted by a small business which meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is a for-profit organization incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially);
  • Has less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Participates in research and development activities within Canada’s borders;
  • Over 50% of annual wages, salaries, and fees are paid to employees and contractors who are located in Canada and spend their time working within Canadian borders; and
  • Over 50% of senior executives (stationed as a Vice President rank or higher) have Canada as their principal residence.

Eligibility criteria for both phases of the Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays challenge are the same.

Evaluation Criteria

To be considered for funding through the Natural Research Council of Canada’s Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays challenge, applicants must complete an application through the Government Electronic Tendering System (Buy and Sell). The information included in the submission process must demonstrate how the solution meets the Natural Research Council of Canada’s two-part criteria. There are over 15 questions related to the two-part criteria structure which is broken into Part One: Mandatory Criteria, and Part Two: Point-Related Criteria. To learn more about the evaluation criteria, read the full list of questions on the Interrogator for Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays challenge page.

Challenge Timelines

The Natural Research Council of Canada’s Fiber Bragg Grating Distributed Sensing Arrays challenge opened for applications on November 4, 2021 and has a deadline of December 16, 2021 at 2pm EST.

AI Decryption Service

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are asking for assistance in achieving an artificial intelligence (AI) solution for accessing encrypted data legally. This challenge, also being administered through ISC is called the AI Decryption Service challenge. Due to an increased use of sophisticated encryption for criminal activity, the RCMP is struggling to access obtained devices due to such encryption.

Therefore, the proposed solution for this challenge must achieve the following outcomes:

  • Accumulate and process material of any size range from common forensic file types, such as e01, ad1, dd, and ex01;
  • Generate subject-specific password word lists according to a user’s data activity, a their interests, and passwords discovered on ingested forensic images;
  • Must be able to process the web history from common web browsers, such as Chrome, Edge, and Safari;
  • Must be able to process common documents, such as Microsoft Word, Micorsoft Excel, and Adobe; and
  • Be able to export password derivatives in a text format for use in decryption software.

Maximum Contract Value

There are two phases associated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s AI Decryption Service challenge. It is also important to note that multiple contracts may result from this challenge.

Phase One:

  • Funding available from any phase one contract may amount to a maximum of $150,000 per project, excluding taxes, shipping costs, travel costs, and living expenses;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of six months; and
  • The Natural Research Council of Canada is currently estimating two contract allotments for this phase.

Phase Two:

  • Funding available from any phase one contract may amount to a maximum of $1 million, excluding taxes, shipping costs, travel costs, and living expenses;
  • Phase one projects receiving funding from this challenge may have a maximum duration of 24 months;
    • Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 may be considered for Phase two; and
  • The Natural Research Council of Canada is currently estimating one grant allotment for this phase.
  • Note: Successful applicants are eligible for only one contract per phase, per challenge.

Applicant Eligibility

Application submissions for the RCMP’s AI Decryption Service challenge will only be considered if they are submitted by a small business which meets all of the following requirements:

  • Is a for-profit organization incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially);
  • Has less than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Participates in research and development activities within Canada’s borders;
  • Over 50% of annual wages, salaries, and fees are paid to employees and contractors who are located in Canada and spend their time working within Canadian borders; and
  • Over 50% of senior executives (stationed as a Vice President rank or higher) have Canada as their principal residence.

Eligibility criteria for both phases of the AI Decryption Service challenge are the same.

Evaluation Criteria

To be considered for funding through the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s AI Decryption Service challenge, applicants must complete an application through the Government Electronic Tendering System (Buy and Sell). Application details must demonstrate how the solution meets RCMP’s two-part criteria. There are over 15 questions related to the two-part criteria structure which is broken into Part One: Mandatory Criteria, and Part Two: Point-Related Criteria. To learn more about the evaluation criteria, read the full list of questions on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s AI Decryption Service challenge.

Challenge Timelines

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s AI Decryption Service challenge opened for applications on November 4, 2021 and has a deadline of December 16, 2021 at 2pm EST.

Exploring Government Funding Opportunities

The Innovative Solutions Canada program administers many unique challenges and opportunities for Canadian businesses relevant markets. However, if your organization is looking for general information on government funding, our website offers helpful free resources to assist in your research

To read more about success stories and government funding updates, check out our news page for daily updates. Also, if you’re ready for the application stage, contact a Mentor Works representative to get started today.

Canadian Business Plans Strategy Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *