Assessment and roadmap development for the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Canadian space sector (9F060-20170324)

Tender Notice


Publishing status
Days to closing
4 weeks 1 day hence


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2017/09/22 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN)
Trade agreement
  • Canadian Free Trade Agreement (CFTA)
Tendering procedure
Procurement entity
Canadian Space Agency
End user entity
Canadian Space Agency

Contact Information

Contact name
Ibrahimy, Saad
Contact email
Contact phone
Contact address
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert  QC
J3Y 8Y9

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Title: Assessment and roadmap development for the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Canadian space sector

1. Advance Contract Award Notice (ACAN)

An ACAN is a public notice indicating to the supplier community that a department or agency intends to award a contract for goods, services or construction to a pre-identified supplier, thereby allowing other suppliers to signal their interest in bidding, by submitting a statement of capabilities. If no supplier submits a statement of capabilities that meets the requirements set out in the ACAN, on or before the closing date stated in the ACAN, the contracting officer may then proceed with the award to the pre-identified supplier.

2 Definition of the requirement

2.1 Background


As outlined in Budget 2017, there is a need to grow Canada’s advantage in Artificial Intelligence (AI). A combination of strong public support for research programs and world class expertise at Canadian universities and start-up companies has helped to propel Canada to a leadership role in AI and deep learning. Canada aims to retain and attract top academic talent, and to increase the number of post-graduate trainees and researchers studying in these fields. The $125 million Pan-Canadian AI Strategy announced in March 2017, will also promote collaboration between Canada’s main centers of expertise in Montreal, Toronto-Waterloo and Edmonton. The investment will build on existing AI advancements and create a critical mass of talent necessary for Canadian businesses to succeed in changing markets.

To support these objectives, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) aims to uncover the potential applications and impact of AI within the Canadian space sector. The information gathered will serve to define a cohesive approach and guide Canada’s future investments in space technology development.


The purpose of this assessment is to identify and evaluate the potential of AI within the Canadian space sector by identifying key areas where AI products and solutions can have the greatest impact.

Scope of the Work:

This assessment will explore the potential role AI could play in the future of the Canadian space sector. This will involve the development and prioritization of a portfolio of AI opportunity areas across the space value chain and related applied sciences.

This portfolio of opportunity areas will feed into a high-level strategic roadmap for the application of AI in the Canadian space sector.

This AI roadmap will:

  • Identify key Canadian strengths and actors, drivers of change, and technology enablers, related to AI, that could shape the future of the Canadian space sector;
  • Engage leading AI researchers and scientists in relevant domains to provide strategic guidance and support the assessment;
  • Define a set of space-related opportunity areas for the application of AI based on the significance of the problems identified, the available data, and existing AI models;
  • Generate AI-enabled value propositions/concepts that could enable or transform the space sector over the long-term;
  • Prioritize AI opportunity areas based on strategic relevance, feasibility and value created for the Canadian space sector;
  • Establish alignment between prioritized AI opportunity areas and Canadian strategic goals in the space sector;
  • Develop a detailed description of the most promising near-term AI space-related applications and outline an implementation plan.

The assessment will be supported by a series of interactive sessions with selected representatives from the CSA and other federal departments.

2.2 The tasks to be covered under this contract include:

The following tasks will be performed under the guidance and supervision of a CSA Project Authority:

a) Provide detailed information on:

•Methodology to achieve the mandate;

•Action plan outlining the timeline and associated milestones

b) Plan, structure and hold interactive sessions (minimum of 3) with participants as determined by the CSA in order to:

Educate stakeholders and align on the strategic context of AI

Introduce the team to the emergence of AI and the nature of its impact today and in the future. Collectively define the drivers of change and technology enablers, related to AI.

Generate and define AI opportunity areas for the Canadian space sector

Build a diverse set of strategic opportunities for the application of AI, based on a disciplined exploration (domain, data, customer, and problem).

Assess and prioritize identified opportunities

Refine the opportunity areas and prioritize the most impactful, viable and feasible options to invest in AI driven solutions.

*For each session, preparatory material and a summary report is required.

c) Prepare a long-term, high-level AI roadmap, as described above, and share results.

2.3 Deliverables:

a) Proposed methodology, process and action plan for the Long-term AI roadmap

Due Date: One (1) week after contract award

b) Interactive sessions (minimum of 3) with related summary reports

Due Date: Two (2) months after contract award

c) Long-Term AI Roadmap (Report and Power Point Presentation)

Due Date: Three (3) months after contract award

3. Criteria for assessment of the Statement of Capabilities (Minimum Essential Requirements)

The supplier must be a private entity with:

a) Experience in conducting educational activities and engaging with relevant industrial and academic players;

b) Experience in assessing the impact of AI in different industrial sectors, including in space-related research projects;

c) Capability to identify, assess and prioritise applications of AI and build long-term roadmaps;

d) Ability to identify best practices and provide tools to facilitate technology development and project management and implementation;

e) Expertise in state-of-the-art AI research and development conducted in Canada

f) Access to a network of world class AI researchers and scientists;

g) Capability to provide turn key products and customized AI models that will scale projects into products.

4. Justification for the Pre-Identified Supplier

In March 2017, a Technology Trend Assessment (TTA) was initiated to respond to national interests, prioritise and to position Canada and that Canadian space sector on the global market. The preliminary results of the assessment indicated that Artificial Intelligence (AI) was a key technology that offers a decision support system in automation, robotics and space exploration missions. As Canada is a key player in the aforementioned fields, the potential application of AI in the space sector can increase safety, efficiency and productivity.

To complement the TTA, the CSA requires a long–term AI roadmap to be developed outlining potential opportunity areas of where AI could be applied in the space sector. This requires that the pre-defined supplier have access to a network of world class AI researchers and scientists as well as the capability to assess the impact of AI, identify best practices and provide tools to facilitate potential technology development.

The pre-defined supplier, Element AI, has the ability to offer large organizations access to research and assistance in capturing the benefits of AI. Because of their large network of world class AI researchers, scientists, and private/academic organizations they have the capability to provide leveraging opportunities for organizations that are trying to uncover AI’s potential in their respective sectors. Element AI has a unique approach to identifying key areas where AI solutions will have maximum impact. The company takes a tailored approach to prioritizing opportunities to the organization so that it can have the ability and readiness to incorporate AI based solutions. Their strategic consulting approach combines workshops, executive sessions, interviews and comprehensive in-house expert research. More specifically, Element AI has the capability to develop strategic road map and offer ready-to-deploy applications, as well as implementation strategies to transform business solutions through AI.

This unique three phased approach: i) education, ii) idea generation and iii) strategic roadmap development, combined with their network of world class AI researchers and scientists are essential to this assessment. This approach is the most appropriate means to educate and uncover the potential of AI in the Canadian space sector.

5. Government Contracts Regulations Exception(s)

The following exception(s) to the Government Contracts Regulations is (are) invoked for this procurement under subsection 6(d) - only one person is capable of performing the work.

6. Ownership of Intellectual Property

As a strategy engagement, no technical IP will be created during this project.

7. Period of the proposed contract or delivery date

The proposed contract period is from the award date till December 22, 2017

8. Option to extend the contract period

Not applicable.

9. Cost estimate of the proposed contract

FY17/18: $50,000 (CAD)

10. Name and address of the pre-identified supplier

Element AI

4200 Boul St-Laurent #1200,

Montréal, QC

H2W 2R2

11. Suppliers' right to submit a statement of capabilities

Suppliers who consider themselves fully qualified and available to provide the goods, services or construction services described in the ACAN may submit a statement of capabilities in writing to the contact person identified in this notice on or before the closing date of this notice. The statement of capabilities must clearly demonstrate how the supplier meets the advertised requirements.

12. Closing date for a submission of a statement of capabilities

The closing date and time for accepting statements of capabilities is August 22nd, 2017.

The file number, the CSA contact name and the closing date of the ACAN must appear on the outside of the envelope in block letters or, in the case of a facsimile transmission, on the covering page.
The Crown retains the right to negotiate with suppliers on any procurement. Documents may be submitted in either official language of Canada.

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