Frequently Asked Questions for BCIP

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Improving the Build in Canada Innovation Program

The Build in Canada Innovation Program has introduced two significant improvements:

  1. The BCIP is now accepting proposals on a continuous basis. Canadian companies with pre-commercial innovations can now submit their proposals any time during the year, as soon as their innovation is ready to be tested; innovators will no longer have to wait for the next Call for Proposal to be released.
  2. Canadian companies who are awarded a BCIP contract will be able to sell more of their pre-qualified innovations for further testing, not only to their existing testing partner, but also to other interested federal organizations.

Continuous Intake Model

When can Innovators submit their proposals?

Innovators can submit a proposal as soon as their innovations are ready to be tested. The program is now better positioned to fit in with a business’ “go-to-market” strategy timeline.

If a proposal is not pre-qualified, how much time do innovators need to wait before re-submitting?

A proposal can be re-submitted once the bidder has received the results of their proposal evaluation, and if the innovation still meets the requirements of the program.

Will the evaluation process change?

Innovators must still meet the mandatory and screening criteria. Additionally, innovators must now achieve an overall pass mark of 96 points out of 192 points when evaluated against the point-rated criteria. Innovations that achieve this minimum pass mark will be pre-qualified and become eligible for a test department match.

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Additional Sales

How will innovators be able to sell more of their innovations?

Previously, innovators could not sell more units of their innovation beyond the quantities procured under the original BCIP contract. Now, innovators will have the opportunity to sell more and further test their innovation under the following two scenarios:

  1. If the original federal testing organization expresses an interest in obtaining more units of the innovation for further testing, and/or
  2. If other federal organizations express an interest in obtaining limited quantities of the innovation for testing.

Is there a time limit during which innovators will be allowed to sell more of their innovations under the BCIP?

Yes, additional sales will be limited to a two year period from the date of the initial BCIP contract award, and will also be limited to quantities needed for further testing in different operational environments or applications.

What should innovators do if test departments express an interest in buying more of an innovation?

If the current testing partner or another federal organization wants to buy more of an innovative good or service for further testing, innovators should direct this request to the BCIP which will provide further guidance. Although the BCIP pays for the initial testing of the innovation, additional sales will be fully funded by the interested organization with contracting performed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

Are innovations from previous BCIP Calls for Proposals eligible for additional sales?

Yes, innovations that received a contract under BCIP Calls 4 and 5 will be eligible for further testing for up to two years from the date of their initial contract. Innovators, who have commenced the Contract Award Process but that have not received an initial contract are also eligible for testing up to two years from the date of their pre-qualification.

Are innovations that pre-qualified under the BCIP pilot, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), eligible for additional sales?

No, the option of additional sales for further testing is not available for innovations that pre-qualified under the CICP pilot program.

Can an innovator start commercialization after submitting its proposal?

Yes, an innovator can start commercialization after submitting a proposal.

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General Program Questions

Eligibility

What are the mandatory criteria for eligibility to the program?

There are six mandatory criteria required to be eligible for the BCIP.

  1. Priority Area: The innovation must fall within one of the program’s 10 Priority Areas (four in the standard component; and six in the military component). More information on the 10 Priority Areas can be found here.
  2. Commercial sales: The Bidder must certify that the innovation has not been previously sold on a commercial basis in Canada or internationally.
  3. Canadian content: The Bidder must certify that a minimum of 80% of the financial proposal costs are Canadian goods or Canadian services, as defined in the Canadian Content certification.
  4. Canadian bidder: The Bidder must be Canadian and must be submitting the proposal on its own behalf. 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.
  5. Ownership: The Bidder must be the owner of the Intellectual Property (IP) for the proposed innovation, or have a licence to the IP rights from a Canadian licensor for the proposed innovation and not be infringing on any IP rights.
  6. Maximum funding: The Bidder’s Financial Proposal must not exceed $500,000.00 CAD for the Standard Component and $1,000,000.00 CAD for the Military Component, applicable taxes, shipping costs and proposed travel and living expenses extra, where applicable.

What does it mean that the innovation must be “Advance on State of the Art”?

For the purposes of BCIP, we want to know the level of advancement of the innovation compared to what is currently considered State of the Art in the marketplace.

Advance on the State of the Art means either:

  1. An invention, new technology or new process that is not currently available on the market;
  2. Significant modifications to an existing technology that render it applicable in a previously impossible or unfeasible setting or condition; or
  3. An improvement to an existing technology representing significant/ patentable progress in cost, functionality or performance.

Is this program only for small and medium businesses?

No, the BCIP is open to all Canadian suppliers.

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 if 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, and there should be clear understanding and agreement regarding the Intellectual Property (IP) strategy.

How can an international entity participate?

An international entity must partner with a Canadian Bidder to be eligible for the program. In addition, the proposed innovation must meet the Canadian Content requirements.

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

To be considered a Canadian Bidder, an organization must have a place of business in Canada where it conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.

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 or obtain certification(s)?

No, obtaining certifications is outside the scope of the program. Health and safety as well as regulatory certifications should be in place before submitting a proposal.

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 would fall outside the appropriate Technological Readiness Levels for the BCIP.

If a Bidder has previously had a successful application, will the bidder be excluded from submitting future proposals?

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.

The Technological Readiness Levels state that the innovation must be “ready for use”. Could you clarify "ready for use"?

"Ready for use" means that the innovation has achieved a level of development where it can be used in an operational setting. Small-scale customizations to specific operational requirements or slight adjustments to address technical compatibility issues are permitted, but the innovation should be ready to be tested.

My prototype is being produced in the United States using 100% Canadian IP because comparable production facilities do not exist in Canada. The intent is to develop production capabilities in Canada. Is my innovation eligible for the BCIP?

The Bidder must certify that 80% of the total proposed price consists of Canadian goods and Canadian services. This is in accordance with the Canadian Content Certification and the definition of Canadian content in the PWGSC Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual.

For more information, you may reference the PWGSC Supply Manual, 3.6 Annex: Canadian Content Policy. If the innovation does not meet these requirements at the time of bid submission it is not eligible for the BCIP. Intellectual Property does not factor in to the determination of Canadian Content.

Can we apply for more than one product for the same business or firm?

Bidders may submit one or more innovation, but must submit a separate proposal for each proposed innovation. Each proposal will be evaluated separately on its own merit.

Can a project previously funded by NRC-IRAP be considered for BCIP funding?

Yes it can. Funding previously received by other programs does not impact the level of funding provided by the BCIP. All other funding programs are separate from the BCIP.

Regarding commercialization: does this mean no money should have been received for the service or is there a threshold?

The concept of commercialization refers to mass commercialization following an official launch into the marketplace. There can be a small, limited number of sales for Research & Development purposes as per the definition of Pre-Commercial Innovation.

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Submitting a Proposal

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 Government Electronic Tendering Service.

Can a bidder submit more than one innovation at the same time or when a previous innovation is still in the evaluation process?

Yes, provided that the innovations are completely different from each other. If a business has multiple innovations they can submit a unique proposal for each innovation; only one proposal can be submitted per innovation.

Can a Bidder submit more than one proposal if the innovation meets multiple priority areas, or fits within both Components (Standard or Military)?

No, the Bidder must select only one priority area under a single Component for each innovation. An innovation that could be used for two separate purposes (i.e. a piece of military technology with separate commercial uses) cannot be submitted twice. It is the Bidder's responsibility to choose the priority area and Component that is the best match for the innovation.

In the event that two different companies submitted separate proposals for similar products, could both companies potentially receive a contract? Or, would only the best be considered?

Both companies could potentially receive a contract. Proposals are evaluated against goods and services currently available on the market, not against other innovations submitted to the BCIP.

Is it okay to put Web site references in a BCIP proposal?

No, web site references will not be reviewed in the evaluation of your proposal.

Does the BCIP proposal submission require a Bidder’s signature?

No, a signature is not required at the proposal submission stage. Should a proposal be ‘pre-qualified’, the Contracting Authority will request that the Bidder provide a signed copy of its proposal submission certifications.

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 prevent the Bidder from hiring a consultant to assist in writing the proposal or inputting information into the proposal submission form. Potential Testing Departments should not assist Bidders with proposals.

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)

Costs incurred to prepare or submit a proposal are the sole responsibility of the Bidder and will not be reimbursed. This is in accordance with Article 15, Bid Costs, of the 2003 (2015-07-03) Standard Instructions for Goods and Services, found in the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual.

What if the innovation has been sold for testing purposes before I submit a proposal?

Innovations with a limited number of sales for testing purposes are still eligible for the BCIP, as long as the innovation is still at a status of TRL 7 to 9 and has not been sold in the commercial market.

The proposal must be submitted before commercialization begins. Can commercialization start after the proposal is submitted but before the contract is received?

Yes, Bidders are free to, and encouraged to, commercialize their innovation after they have submitted their proposal.

Is there a BCIP advisor available to assist suppliers in preparing their proposal submissions, similar to the NRC-IRAP process?

NRC-IRAP provides suppliers with access to someone who assists them in maneuvering through the grants/contribution process. There is no such role for BCIP as the BCIP process is a contracting process and not a grants/contribution process. All enquiries related to this solicitation are to be sent to the PWGSC Contracting Authority at: TPSGC.BCIP-PICC.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca.

How much time does it take between the date of the submission of the project proposal and the award of the contract?

The time between the submission and the award of the contract depends on many factors. If suppliers identify a potential testing department this may assist in accelerating the matching process. In general, the anticipated timelines for the process include approximately 2 to 3 months from proposal submission to receipt of results, approximately 2 to 3 months for the matching process and Statement Of Work development, and approximately 2 to 3 months for contract negotiation. In the event a complex innovation is proposed, if there are security clearance requirements, or if the testing requires third parties (i.e. subcontractors) the process to award will likely exceed the approximate timelines mentioned above. In addition, at certain times of the year the timelines may be impacted by the volume of submissions; and PWGSC continue to assess the timelines based on the new continuous intake approach in effect for Call 006.

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Intellectual Property (IP) and Confidentiality

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 Bidder 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.

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

As long as the Bidder has ownership or rights to the IP, the innovation is still eligible for the BCIP.

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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 (not including taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable) per proposal.

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

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 is not 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.

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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Testing Departments

How are the Testing Departments selected?

Potential Testing Departments are identified in Schedule I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, and PWGSC facilitates the matching of pre-qualified Bidders with a Testing Department. The Bidder is given an opportunity in the proposal to identify a potential Testing Department, or describe the setting that would be best suited to host the test.

Can a Bidder contact potential Testing Departments?

Yes, Bidders can contact potential Testing Departments to confirm preliminary interest in testing an innovation that has already been pre-qualified or if it does become pre-qualified. It is recommended that the Bidder contact potential departments as it will increase the likelihood of a match. However, the Bidder must develop its proposal independently.

Can a proposal include support letters from potential government test departments?

Support letters from a Testing Department are not required and will not be evaluated. However, Bidders can propose a Testing Department and provide contact information within the proposal submission form. If an innovation is pre-qualified, this information will be used to look for a testing organization within the federal government.

We have an innovative technology but do not know if the federal government is an appropriate setting to test the innovation. How can this be determined?

All Bidders may submit a proposal and efforts will be made to find a Testing Department for pre-qualified innovations. While the Call for Proposals covers a broad range of goods and services, there may be proposed innovations for which a Testing Department match will not exist.

What is the incentive for a department under this program?

The BCIP is a win-win opportunity for government and for businesses. Government departments can access and test innovations that are not yet available on the market, while the BCIP pays the costs up to the maximum funding. The BCIP also handles the contracting process on behalf of the Testing Department, allowing testers to focus on the innovation.

If a Government of Canada department has two types of institutions whose characteristics are so different that they may affect the performance of an innovation, is it possible to submit the same innovation twice in a project proposal in order to assess the impact of two different environments on its performance?

Bidders can specify in their test plan that one or more units of the innovation can be tested in multiple locations or environments. Only one proposal per innovation can be submitted.

If a proposed test partner is identified in the proposal submission, does NRC-IRAP discuss the proposal with the proposed Test Partner as part of NRC IRAP’s evaluation, or do they execute their evaluation independent of proposed Test Partner input?

No, Testing Departments are not involved in the proposal evaluations.

Are provincial or municipal governments accepted as test departments?

Provincial and municipal departments may only participate in partnership with a valid Testing Department, as long as the lead remains a valid Testing Department and the partnership falls within the mandate of the Testing Department.

Can proposals offered in the Military component that are not accepted by the Defence Validation Committee be considered as a Standard Component proposal for matching with a potential test partner?

For Military Component proposals not supported through the Defence Validation Committee, BCIP will seek a Testing Department match with other government organizations using the same matching process as that used for the Standard Component proposals.

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After the Evaluations

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

Innovations that are pre-qualified are not guaranteed a contract. Following the Call for Proposals evaluation process, proposals meeting the minimum overall pass mark requirements will be “pre-qualified”. Recommendation for BCIP contract award will be determined based on the maximum budget per fiscal year for each component and the successful completion of the Contract Award Process detailed in the Call for Proposals solicitation document.

When do you expect to make the award?

The length of time needed to find a Testing Department and award a contract can vary for a number of reasons, such as the complexity of the innovation/test plan, the number of applications or uses within the federal government, or the length of time to obtain departmental approvals.

Will the debriefings/feedback be provided to Bidders?

Yes, Bidders will be given their final scores and evaluation comments will be provided.

Whose responsibility is it to confirm whether a security clearance is required to test an innovation?

The Testing Department will determine if a security requirement is applicable and, if so, will complete the necessary forms.

What if the testing fails?

Feedback will be provided to the innovator if the innovation does not perform as intended.

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