Frequently Asked Questions for BCIP

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About the Program

Is this an acquisitions program or a grants and contributions program? What is the difference?

An acquisition is when the government purchases goods or services. Grants and contributions normally are used to advance general public good, general research and development, but do not benefit directly the department that is making that payment. The BCIP is an acquisitions program.

Is this program only for small and medium businesses?

No, the BCIP is open to all Canadian suppliers. This is a Research and Development acquisition process that is subject to the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), which provides that all suppliers be treated equally and fairly.

Does the BCIP show any preference towards goods or services?

No, the BCIP does not have a preference towards goods or services.

Will this program help my company achieve a certain certification?

No, obtaining certifications is outside the scope of the program. Health and safety as well as regulatory certifications should be in place prior to proposal submission.

Can a Bidder start commercialiation after submitting a proposal?

Yes, a Bidder can commercialize its innovation after the closing date of the Call for Proposals for which a proposal was submitted.

Will this program help my company become a qualified supplier to the federal government?

No. The purpose of BCIP is not to assist firms in qualifying their product for consideration under other procurements.

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Proposal submission procedure

Where can I find the online proposal submission form?

The Web link to the online proposal submission site is in the Call for Proposals Solicitation document, which is available from the Tenders minisite.

Is the BCIP Call for Proposals solicitation document free of charge from the Tenders minisite?

Yes. You may call the national InfoLine at 1-800-811-1148. The line is staffed Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 17:00 Eastern Standard/Daylight time.

Can a Bidder submit an innovation to both the standard and military component of the program?

No, The Bidder can only submit their proposed innovation in one component (Standard or Military).

Can a Bidder select more than one priority area in the proposal?

No, the Bidder can only select one priority area. It is the Bidder's responsibility to choose the priority area that is the best match for the innovation.

If a Bidder has more than one innovation that meets one or more of the BCIP priority areas in either component (Standard or Military), is the Bidder allowed to submit more than one proposal?

Yes, but only one proposal can be submitted for each innovation. If the Bidder has multiple innovations they are permitted to submit one innovation to the standard and the other to the military.

We have a complex innovation. Is it okay to put Web site references in our summaries?

No. Web site references will not be considered in the evaluation of your proposal.

Does the online submission process allow the submission of support letters from potential government test departments?

No. Support letters from a Testing Department are not required. Bidders can propose a Testing Department and provide contact information within the proposal submission form itself.

Does the BCIP Proposal Submission require a Bidder’s signature?

No. Not at the proposal submission stage. Should a proposal be identified in the Pool of Pre-Qualified Proposals, the Contracting Authority will request the Bidder to provide a signed copy of its proposal submission certifications.

Whose responsibility is it to complete the Security Requirements Check List (SRCL), Form # TBS/SCT 350-103, and when should it be completed?

PWGSC Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) will determine if a security requirement is applicable and, if so, will complete a SRCL.

I am a consultant working with a Bidder. Can I fill out the application for the Bidder, or must the Bidder register and submit?

The Bidder must be Canadian and must be submitting the proposal on its own behalf. This doesn’t preclude the Bidder from hiring a consultant to assist in the submission of the proposal or input information into the proposal submission form. Potential Testing Departments should not assist the Bidder in submitting its proposal.

Is a success-based fee allowed for consultants to help a Bidder prepare a submission to the BCIP? (e.g. 1 percent of funds approved)

No. In accordance with 2003 Standard Instructions - Goods or Services - Competitive Requirements, article 15 - Bid Costs, no payment will be made for costs incurred in the preparation and submission of a bid in response to the bid solicitation. Costs associated with preparing and submission of a bid are the sole responsibility of the Bidder.

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Eligible proposals

If my proposal is pre-qualified, is my company guaranteed a contract? If so, when can I expect it?

There is no guarantee of a contract. “Pre-qualification” means the company is eligible for a contract, conditional upon matching the innovation with a Testing Department and subsequent contract negotiations. Please refer to the Call for Proposals solicitation document for detailed information.

We have an innovative technology but do not know if the federal government will be able to perform the required testing. How can this be determined?

All Bidders may submit a proposal and efforts will be made to find a Testing Department for proposals in the Pool of Pre-Qualified Proposals. While the Call for Proposals does cover a broad range of goods and services, there may be proposed innovations for which a Testing Department match will not exist.

If the innovation has been developed in whole or in part with the assistance of Canadian federal government funding, would this preclude the innovation from qualifying for potential BCIP funding?

No.

If an innovation has begun being sold, but is failing in the market due to sufficient funds not being available for a full testing program, can we still apply for the program?

No. If an innovation is readily available in the marketplace it would not be considered pre-commercial and therefore it does not meet the criteria identified under this requirement.

What type of company can submit a proposal?

Any organization, university, private company, not-for-profit organization or individual can submit a proposal.

Can a company submit a proposal and indicate that another company will be responsible for commercialization?

Yes. It is possible to join with other companies that could assume responsibility for commercialization. This should be explicitly stated in the proposal submission.

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Canadian content

As the Mandatory Criteria state that the Bidder must be a Canadian Bidder, how can an international entity participate?

An international entity must partner with a Canadian Bidder if it wishes to participate in a proposal submission. A Canadian Bidder is defined as a Bidder having a place of business in Canada where the Bidder conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours. In addition, the proposed innovation must meet the definition of Canadian content.

We have offices in Canada but our headquarters is located outside of Canada, are we considered a Canadian Bidder?

Yes, a business is considered a Canadian Bidder if the Bidder has a place of business in Canada where the Bidder conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

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Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

When must the innovation be at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 to 9?

Innovations must be at the appropriate TRL as of the solicitation closing date.

What if the innovation moves beyond TRL 9?

The status of your proposal does not change if your innovation moves beyond TRL 9 after the solicitation close date.

Can I have had a limited number of sales for testing purposes?

Yes, as long as the innovation is still compliant with the TRL and has not been sold on the market.

Could you clarify "ready for use"?

"Ready for use" means that the innovation has achieved a level of development in which it can be used in an operational setting. Slight adjustments to address technical compatibility issues are acceptable, as is small-scale configuration to specific operational requirements.

Can the proposal include the construction of a test model of the innovation, which can then be tested by the appropriate department?

The innovation must be ready to test at the time of the proposal submission. If the innovation is still in an earlier phase where it hasn't been constructed and is not ready to be delivered to the Testing Department, then it would not qualify under this program.

Is it essential that the BCIP lead to commercialization of a product, or can the program be used to increase the TRL of the product?

It is not essential that the innovation lead to commercialization; however, this is one of the goals of the BCIP.

What if the testing fails?

In the case of an innovation failure, related feedback will be provided to the innovator.

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Confidentiality and Intellectual Property (IP)

Will my proposal remain secure and confidential?

The proposal will be viewed by the evaluating team for the sole purposes of evaluation. Sections of the proposal may also be shared to support the program’s efforts to match a pre-qualified innovation with a department or for government communications such as press releases.

Who owns the rights to Intellectual Property (IP) developed under a BCIP contract?

The Contractor retains all rights to IP under this program.

At the end of the Contract, who owns the technology?

The Government of Canada purchases the innovation and will own it at the end of the contract. The Government of Canada will not own any IP.

Software is often licensed and not purchased. Can you clarify if you will be purchasing a license to use software innovations?

The Government of Canada would purchase a license to use the software.

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Financial

Will BCIP cover commercialization expenses (e.g. marketing launch, advertising, establishing a sales base, distribution channels)?

No, the BCIP will only pay for costs associated with purchasing and testing the innovation. All costs will be in accordance with Contract Cost Principles 1031-2, found in the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual.

How is the total cost of the innovation determined?

The total cost of the innovation for testing purposes must be determined by the sum of the applicable direct and indirect costs reasonably and properly incurred in the performance of the Contract, less any applicable credits. These costs must be determined in accordance with the Contractor’s cost accounting practices as accepted by Canada and applied consistently over the duration of the project.

What is the maximum value of a contract under BCIP?

The maximum funding available for an innovation is $500,000.00 for the Standard Component and $1,000,000.00 for the Military Component (customs duties and excise taxes included, Goods and Services Tax [GST] or the Harmonized Sales Tax [HST] extra, as applicable) per proposal. This does not include the shipping costs to bring the innovation from the Bidder's Canadian address to the Testing Department.

Can we include R & D costs in the innovation cost?

Yes. Bidders are allowed to submit as part of their overhead costs an element of general research and development expenses as considered applicable by Canada, minus any tax credits. What is considered fair and reasonable will be part of the negotiation and price support that will be evaluated should your proposal be successful.

Are anticipated travel and living expenses for the company to be on site for training and support purposes covered?

Yes, travel and living costs for training and support at the testing department site during the testing period can be included in the financial proposal cost. Please refer to the Call for Proposals solicitation document for detailed information

Is there a possibility of leasing the technology to the Government of Canada?

Yes. Bidders can propose a leasing cost for the innovation.

In order to go beyond the funding limit, can a Bidder put in some of its own resources?

Yes.

Are there tax credits associated with the program?

No. The money paid under a contract cannot be associated with a tax credit. If a Bidder exceeds the financial limit by investing its own money in R & D activities, then the money it invests itself may be eligible for tax credits, as determined by the Canada Revenue Agency.

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Testing Departments

How are the Testing Departments selected?

PWGSC facilitates the matching of successful Bidders with a Testing Department. The Bidder is given an opportunity in the proposal to identify a potential Testing Department, or describe the nature of federal operations that would be best suited to host the test. While all efforts will be made to find a Testing Department, there may be pre-qualified innovations for which a Testing Department match will not exist.

Can the Testing Department perform testing outside its own region?

Yes, the testing can be performed at any location the Testing Department deems appropriate.

Can a Bidder contact potential Testing Departments?

Yes, it is recommended that the Bidder market their goods or services to potential departments as it will increase the potential for a match. However, the Bidder must develop its proposal independently.

Does the tester have to be a federal department, or can it be a "federal undertaking"? For example, could an airline or airport authority be a tester?

Testing Departments are identified in Schedule I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act. The testing could take place at a third party location if it falls within the mandate of the Testing Department.

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Evaluation procedures and basis of selection

Will I be advised of the proposal submission results?

Yes.

If a proposal was successful for a previous Call, will a Bidder be excluded from bidding on a future Call?

If a Bidder has received a contract for an innovation, then the same innovation cannot be proposed for future Calls. However, the Bidder may submit a proposal for another, different innovation.

Some of the evaluators in the program will be from the private sector. Can companies associated with an evaluator, or even an evaluators' own company, submit a proposal?

A full review of proposals will be carried out by expert evaluators from the National Research Council - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Private sector members will form the Innovation Selection Committee (ISC), which validates the review by NRC-IRAP staff. All private sector members will be required to agree to a Non-Disclosure Agreement and Conflict of Interest statements and treat all information confidentially. Should a NRC-IRAP evaluator or a member of the ISC be in a conflict of interest situation, the individual will be excused from evaluating or validating the proposal in question.

In the event that two separate companies submitted separate proposals for similar products, could both companies potentially receive a contract funding from your organization, or would only one, the best, be considered for contract?

Under the BCIP, both companies could potentially receive a contract.

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After the evaluation

Will the debriefings/feedback be provided to Bidders?

Yes. Bidders will be given their final scores. Evaluation comments will be provided.

How many companies will be chosen?

This will depend on the costs of the top-ranked proposals and funding available.

When do you expect to make the award?

The length of time it takes to match an innovation to a Testing Department and make a contract award can vary for a number of reasons, such as the complexity of the innovation/test plan, the number of possible applications or uses within government operations, or the length of time for testing departmental approvals.

Do all evaluations have to be completed before contracts can be awarded?

Yes.