Efficient Soil Sampling Techniques (EN578-170003/12)

Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2018/12/17 14:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST)


Reference number
Solicitation number
Region of opportunity
Region of delivery
Notice type
Request for Proposal (RFP)
Trade agreement
  • None
Tendering procedure
Solely Canadian content
Procurement entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada
End user entity
Public Works and Government Services Canada

Contact Information

Contact name
Secrétariat de Solutions Innovatrices Canada / Innovative Solutions Canada Secretariat
Contact email
Contact address
10 Wellington
Gatineau  QC
K1A 0S5

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December 6, 2018

Attachment 2 contains questions and answers related to the challenge.


November 29, 2018

Attachment 1 contains questions and answers related to the challenge.


This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program Call for Proposals 002 (EN578-170003/C).

Please refer to the Solicitation Documents which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

Steps to apply:

Step 1: read this challenge

Step 2: read the Call for Proposals

Step 3: propose your solution

CHALLENGE TITLE: Efficient Soil Sampling Techniques

CHALLENGE SPONSOR: Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC)



Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $150,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 6 months.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $1,000,000.00 CAD (plus tax) including shipping, travel and living expenses, as applicable, for up to 2 years. Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to contract for the total approximate funding.


No travel is anticipated for Phase 1

Kick-off meeting: Teleconference/videoconference

Progress Review Meeting: Teleconference/videoconference

Final Review Meeting: Teleconference/videoconference


The current process for soil sample collection is labour intensive, inefficient, and increases the risk of variability in the samples collected.


Homogenous soil samples are essential to ensure accurate test results. The greatest risk of compromising soil samples is at the time of collection, resulting in a lack in necessary homogeneity. The need to manually mix soil samples from different depths or different locations may also impact the quality of the sample. Further challenges in manual soil sample collection include increased requirements for labour and travel between distant field plots. Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) is seeking a solution that allows for greater homogeneity of soil samples through their efficient and consistent collection, leading to greater reliability and accuracy of test results.


Essential Outcomes

Proposed solutions must:

  • Reduce the amount of error introduced into each sample by 50%;
  • Control cross-contamination of samples;
  • Allow multiple samples to be collected and pooled together from a field or plot;
  • Have the option to collect and keep separate samples at different depths from the same location (ie. 0–15 cm, 15–30 cm, 30–45 cm, 45–60cm) with minimal labour; and
  • Geo-reference sample locations.

Additional Outcomes

Proposed solutions could ideally:

  • Create a homogenous sample that is represented of the area/location sampled so that when the test sample is analyzed there is minimal difference, between 5% and 10%, between multiple tests of the same sample; and
  • Need minimal labour - defined as 1–2 people, such as the equipment operator and potentially one helper.


There are soil samplers available now, that can be operated as a separate tractor, or attached to a general use trailer by the operator. The issue with the current technology is that it does not allow for samples to be taken at different depth. It does not ensure a thorough sampling of a field, since it is up to the tractor operator to decide when and where to take a sample, which leads to inconsistent distances, as opposed to a more organized approach. Improved soil sampling technology will help AAFC scientists, but its uses could also benefit provincial governments, and academia.


All enquiries must be submitted in writing to TPSGC.SIC-ISC.PWGSC@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

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FileAmendment numberLanguageUnique Download Event (English page)Date added
attachment_1_-_question_and_answer_1_-_en578-170003_12.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2018-11-29
piece_jointe_1-_question_et_reponse_1_-_en578-170003_12.pdfNot availableFrench- 2018-11-29
attachment_2_-_question_and_answer_2-3_-_en578-170003_12.pdfNot availableEnglish- 2018-12-06
piece_jointe_2-_question_et_reponse_2-3_-_en578-170003_12.pdfNot availableFrench- 2018-12-06