Seven Calls for Applications Available Through ISC Challenges This Fall

As a division of the Government of Canada’s Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the federal institution that leads innovative science development projects, Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) provides funding support to Canadian businesses from all industries working on specific challenge-oriented projects to improve the country’s economic growth and innovation in a variety of topic areas.

Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) is currently offering seven open funding programs, including three Canadian Space Agency (CSA) sponsored challenges, in which eligible applicants can receive up to $1.6 million in government funding support on selected focus projects.

With deadlines from mid-October to early-November, four new programs have recently been introduced as ISC funding opportunities. These challenges include support for clean technology, military advancement, autonomous vehicle innovation, and quantum internet solutions.

New Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Challenges Available This Fall

Along with three current Canadian Space Agency (CSA) sponsored ISC challenges listed below this section, there are also four new distinct ISC programs that have recently been announced which have deadlines this Fall. To see all active programs at any time and learn high level details regarding eligible projects and applicants, please visit the official Innovation Solutions Canada (ISC) page.

If your business or another business you know may be interested in applying to any active ISC funding challenges, please connect with the Mentor Works team for support in the application process.

The amount and eligibility criteria are the same for the four programs in this section, they are as follows:

Amount of Funding: The purpose of calls for proposals (CFPs) are to create pools of qualified innovative projects so that ISC may select a broad range of the Government of Canada organizations’ requirements. Each call includes a Standard Component and Military Component:

  • Standard component is up to $550,000
  • Military component is up to $1,150,000

Eligible Applicants: An eligible applicant must be aligned with the mandate of the ISC challenge where Canada procures, through a contract, that the project is focused on innovation with the purpose of testing a focus area in an operational environment.

  • All applicants must meet the definition of a Canadian Bidder, which is defined as a Canadian person or entity submitting a proposal on its own behalf and having a place of business in Canada where the person or entity conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

Here is a brief snapshot of the current ISC challenges available until mid-October to early-November:

Autonomous Systems and Robotics: Call for Prototypes

Focus: As Canada strives to meet zero-net emissions by 2050, there is a sufficient need to manufacture and supply Canadian solutions for autonomous vehicles and robotics.

This funding challenge invites eligible applicants to propose operations-ready autonomous systems and robotics that can perform cargo delivery to various parts of Canada and support remote government operations.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 14, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Greening Government: Call for Prototypes

Focus: As per Canada’s Greening Government Strategy, the country’s leader hope that all businesses will transition to net-zero carbon and climate-resilient operations to further reduce climate change impacts beyond carbon, including on waste, water, and biodiversity.

This challenge invites eligible applicants to advance projects in innovative technologies that provide or facilitate low carbon energy transitions and energy efficiency improvements that reduce the need for investment in energy infrastructure, cut fuel costs, increase competitiveness, lessen exposure to fuel price volatility and improve consumer welfare.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 14, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Military: Call for Prototypes

Focus: It is within the mandate of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to field combat-ready defence systems which can successfully accomplish a set of concurrent operations associated with a series of mandated missions in unpredictable and complex security environments.

This challenge invites eligible applicants to propose projects which will ensure that mobility options, weapons, sensors, and command systems are using appropriate technologies to assist the CAF’s personnel, soldiers, and missions.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 14, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Stabilization of Quantum Measurements

Focus: The National Research Council (NRC) is seeking a solution that will enable stable quantum links for the future quantum internet. The solution must demonstrate the synchronization of local interferometers and the stabilization of their interconnecting optical link for the real-time readout of non-local quantum states.

In this challenge, the NRC is seeking innovators who can build active feedback system(s) for quantum channel stabilization and analyzer synchronization.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until November 3, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Three Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Sponsored ISC Funding Challenges

Established in 1989, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is a federal-mandated organization with the purpose of expanding Canada’s knowledge and capabilities in scientific space exploration and discovery. The CSA aims to improve the lives of Canadians, and by extension humanity, with new discoveries, resources, and more.

To be eligible for any of the three CSA-specific ISC challenges, applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Is an incorporated Canadian for-profit company;
  • Has fewer than 500 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees;
  • Conducts R&D activities within Canada’s borders;
  • 50% or more of FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of work;
  • 50% or more of the Bidder’s annual wages, salaries, and fees must be paid to employees and contractors who spend most of their time working in Canada; and
  • 50% or more of the Bidder’s senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residence.

Similarly, the funding amount for each of the three CSA-sponsored ISC challenge programs are provided via the same two funding phases:

  • Phase one: Provides a maximum allotment of funding for successful candidates of $150,000 in the form of a six-month contract. This challenge is offering an estimated number of two contracts for phase one.
  • Phase two: Provides a maximum amount of $1 million in the form of a 24-month contract. There will only be one contract available for phase two. Please note: only successful phase one applicants will be invited to submit a proposal for phase two funding.

The following are brief snapshots of the three CSA ISC-funding challenges:

AI for Space Robotics Auto-Diagnostics and Early Failure Prediction

Focus: The AI for Space Robotics Auto-Diagnostics and Early Failure Prediction Challenge is designed to reduce the cost of managing the maintenance of space robotics. By servicing equipment based on actual wear and tear rather than scheduled service visits, CSA wants to minimize on-orbit downtime, extend equipment life, and reduce safety hazards.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 28, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Proximity Sensor System for Space Robotics

Focus: The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) is looking for a solution that will prevent collisions with proximity sensing to improve proximity sensing technologies, this challenge solution must be able to increase mass, power, volume, resolution, and range of coverage.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 14, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Visual AI for Space Robotics Obstacle Detection

Focus: The goal of this challenge is to explore the feasibility of AI-based vision systems that can monitor clearances for human ground controllers instead of requiring them to do so manually.

Timeline: This challenge is currently accepting proposals until October 28, 2022, at 2pm (ET).

“We advance the knowledge of space through science and ensure that space science and technology provide social and economic benefits for Canadians.”
-Canadian Space Agency

Learn more about this funding challenge.

Canadian Government Grants and Loans for Research and Development Projects

Eligible businesses working on innovative research and development projects provide significant opportunities for the Canadian economy in for all professional sectors. With Canadian government funding in the form of grants, loans, and tax credits providing cashflow for strong projects, successful ISC projects manage to identity and create new technologies, products, and/or systems that bring importance advancements to human life.   

In addition to Innovative Solutions Canada, another one of the top Canadian programs for research and development is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit, which provides over $3 billion in tax credits to Canadian businesses annually.

To learn more about this opportunity and opportunities like it, get in touch with our team of funding application professionals today for a free consultation.

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