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Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2018/02/21 14:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Letter of Interest (LOI)/Request for Information (RFI)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Walker, Samantha
Contact email

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February 20, 2018

We’ve got great news!! The Call for Proposals (CFP) has been published. Please visit the following link to view the CFP and updated challenges.

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January 30, 2018



It is anticipated that a CFP will be posted on the Buy and Sell website in January 2018.



It is anticipated that a CFP will be posted on the Buy and Sell website in February 2018.

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January 25, 2018

Change to the program eligibility.

This notice pertains to procurement contracts. For information on open challenges funded by grants please see the ISC website:

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January 15, 2018

Change to contact person’s email address.

Program website has been added for general information.

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The purpose of this notice is to inform Canadian small businesses of Public Services and Procurement Canada’s (PSPC) intention to issue a Call for Proposals (CFP) in relation to Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada’s Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC) Program, and provide advance notice of the initial challenge(s) for which Canada intends to seek proposals.

No response to this notice is required.


The ISC program is designed to support the development of early-stage, pre-commercial innovations by small businesses. This program has multiple phases that include:

Phase 1: Proof of Concept

Phase 1 is for the purchase of a proof of concept to prove the scientific and technical feasibility, and commercial potential, of a novel idea that addresses a public sector challenge. An eligible small business may receive a contract for up to $150,000 for a maximum of six months.

Phase 2: Prototype Development

Small businesses that successfully complete Phase 1 may be selected to develop a prototype for Canada based on the proof of concept developed in Phase 1. There will be a maximum of $1 million available for Phase 2 work, for up to two years.

 Phase 3: Creating a Pathway to Commercialization

The purpose of Phase 3 is to support the commercialization of research & development (R&D) performed in Phase 2. There is no additional funding provided under ISC for this phase. Phase 3 may involve follow-on procurement of technologies or services intended for use by the federal department that originally issued the challenge or additional non-ISC funding to continue the R&D from Phase 2.


Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Be for-profit
  • Incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
  • 499 or fewer Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) employees.
  • Have Research & Development activities taking place in Canada.
  • Currently pays at least 50% of its annual wages, salaries, and fees to employees and contractors who spend a majority of their time working in Canada
  • 50% or more of its FTE employees located as their ordinary place of work in Canada.
  • 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) having Canada as their principal residence.

The ISC program is based on a demand process supporting small business innovation through the public posting of challenges by federal departments and agencies. The Government expects to receive proposals supporting cutting edge technologies and services that better serve and improve the lives of Canadians. This program is moving the government towards an enhanced approach to support innovation and Canadian business.

The ISC program is a core element of the Innovation and Skills Plan announced in Budget 2017 and the government’s commitment to support the scale up of Canadian businesses resulting in better jobs and a growing middle class.

The ISC program seeks solutions to challenges that start at the earliest level of technology development. Phase 1 targets innovations at technology readiness levels (TRLs) 1 -4, while Phase 2 is meant to further advance the TRL of the innovation.

Federal departments and agencies may post challenges that use either procurement contracts or grants as financial instruments to support R&D in Phases 1 and 2. This notice pertains to procurement contracts.


Canada will have on-going requirements for Canadian small businesses to propose innovative pre-commercial solutions in response to specific challenges. Contracts will be issued for the purchase of the selected solution(s) to the challenges. The first challenges that are anticipated for which pre-commercial solutions will be sought are identified in the links below.

As additional challenges are developed, they will be posted on the Government Electronic Tendering Site (GETS), namely the Buy and Sell website (


It is anticipated that a CFP will be posted on the Buy and Sell website in February 2018. The CFP will describe the proposal submission instructions and the evaluation procedures and criteria against which proposals will be assessed.

The proposals that are assessed as meeting all mandatory criteria and achieving the minimum point-rated criteria score will be placed in an ISC Challenge Pool of Pre-qualified proposals. Each Challenge will have its own pre-qualified pool.

All proposals in the ISC Challenge Pre-Qualified Pools will be considered for funding. The proposal selection process will be detailed in the CFP. Placement into a Pool does not guarantee that a proposal will be selected for funding or that a contract will be awarded.

Proposals selected for funding from an ISC Challenge Pool of Pre-qualified proposals will be subject to contract negotiations in accordance with Government of Canada procurement procedures. A list of potential terms and conditions that may be included in any resulting contract will also be included in the CFP.


Each Bidder must certify that it owns, or has the rights to, the required background Intellectual Property required to develop the proposed solution.

The default position of Canada is to allow contractors to retain the intellectual property (IP) rights.

On an exceptional basis, the IP rights could be negotiated with the Bidders. Information on IP is available from the following source:

Implementation Guide Policy on Title to Intellectual Property Arising under Crown Procurement


Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual clause 2040 will form part of the resulting contract clauses. The SACC Manual can be accessed online at:


The issuance of this Notice of Intent does not create an obligation for Canada to issue a subsequent CFP and does not bind Canada legally or otherwise, to enter into any agreement.


All enquiries and communication with the Government regarding Canada’s requirement under this Notice of Intent must be directed in writing to the Public Services and Procurement Canada Contracting Authority as detailed below. Any clarification or information received from other Government officials will not be considered as an official response.

Samantha Walker

Supply Team Leader, Science and Software Systems Procurement Directorate (SSSPD)

Public Services and Procurement Canada

Government of Canada

For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website.

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Support for smaller businesses

If you have questions specific to this procurement, please contact the Contracting Authority (see the "Contact Information" section above).

If you need help understanding the federal procurement process or registering as a supplier, contact the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises. We have a network of offices across Canada.