Canada continues to be a world leader in innovation and research and development. However, the path from new idea to market leading commodity is a long and winding one. Trial and error is the tried and true method for incepting new products and services and then testing them for bugs, flaws, and failed concepts.
“Innovation is a promise of better things, achieved by continually striving to be better, together.”-Valerie Fox, Chief Innovation Consultant, The Pivotal Point
This pursuit of “better” is why the government of Canada re-designed the Testing Stream of their Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) program in 2017. The Testing Stream has successfully nurtured and tested new and revolutionary Canadian products and services for years and has recently began the trial stage for successful applicants of 2021.
“These investments will improve our healthcare response while helping small and medium-sized enterprises innovate, grow and contribute to the Canadian economy.”-The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
What is Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC)?
Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) provides government support and procurement contracts to help technology research, development, and commercialization. The program has two streams, the Challenge Stream, which works on a request for proposal (RFP) structure for a specific technology and a broader Testing Stream. These streams help small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) solve technology testing complications so they can produce high-demand products and services on the global stage.
What is the ISC Testing Stream?
The Testing Stream is designed to procure, test, and evaluate innovative pre-commercial prototypes. This process happens through a call for proposal (CFP) which goes out to Canadian innovators and creates a pool of qualified innovations that offer solutions to a broad range of challenges that face the Canadian government. The innovations are organized into the following components and sub-components:
- Standard Component:
- Clean Tech;
- Health; and
- Safety and Security.
- Military Component:
- Digital defence;
- Cyber operations and resilience;
- Fully networked command, communications, and control;
- Countering small Unmanned Aerial Systems (C-sUAS);
- Enhanced soldier systems – Close combat;
- Training and In-service support (ISS); and
- Other defence capability enablers.
The Testing Stream is an open-intake branch of the ISC, formerly known as the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP). The Testing Stream has currently approved over 250 innovations to be tested by federal, provincial, and municipal government organizations.
Funding amounts for SMEs provide up to $550,000 for Standard Component contracts to up to a maximum of $1.5 million for the Military Component.
To learn more about funding review the Testing Stream full program page.
Eligible Applicants of the Testing Stream fall under the following criteria:
- Are for-profit Canadian corporations;
- Businesses have under 500 full-time payroll employees; and
- Over 50% of full-time equivalent and senior executives must be located in Canada.
There are requirements for eligible activities for successful applicants in the Testing Stream call for proposal. Project submissions should be pre-commercial, innovative prototypes that can be tested in real life settings and can address a variety of priorities within the Government of Canada.
The ISC Testing Stream’s last intake closed on February 5, 2021. However, the program currently plans to launch two to three calls for proposals annually.
What Are Some of the Top ISC Testing Stream Innovations in 2021?
The following companies have all been successful applicants of the call for proposal that occurred in February of 2021 and have now been approved as eligible for testing by:
- Any federal government organization (including crown corporations); and
- Provinces, municipalities, hospitals, schools, and Indigenous organizations may also be testing partners.
If successful in the testing stage, eligible businesses will be awarded with secure government contracts. To see a list of all successful businesses from the 2021 call for proposals, please view the Canadian business funding directory.
Get A-Head SaaS Platform
Get A-Head is a mental health SaaS company based out of North York, Ontario. The company helps objectively identify mental health issues, analyze practitioner-client relationships, and measure improvements in mental health.
“We partner with psychology/psychiatry programs to increase the supply of high-quality mental healthcare practitioners, and partner with schools, employers and sports teams to make mental healthcare more affordable, effective and available to students and employees.”Get A-Head
UbanLogiq is an economic health analysis platform based out of Vancouver, Canada, which monitors and predicts the health of an economy. This program is capable of drilling down to smaller communities and demographics offering a more specialized analysis. The platform is also capable of identifying national and regional trends, as well as determining the impacts of factors such as the weather, events, infrastructure, and more on the economic health of a region.
“UrbanLogiq integrates and visualizes data to generate powerful insights for public officials.”-UrbanLoqgiq
Appfeine is a new decentralized operating system based out of Montreal, Quebec, which allows all applications to operate remotely on any device while ensuring encrypted data is secure in a separate data centre. This system aims to revolutionize the next generation of remote desktops and operating systems by securing and commoditizing all devices.
“With Appfeine, you can launch all your apps through a single platform that’s safer and faster than using apps on your device and in the cloud.”
More Government Funding Opportunities for Innovation
If your organization is interested in government funding opportunities for innovation or is currently working on projects that increase productivity, there may be funding for you. This white paper is a powerful tool designed to help SMEs navigate the government funding process.
To learn more about Canadian government funding programs, reach out to a Mentor Works representative today. To read about more government funding opportunities related to innovation and research and development, review our research and development funding directory.