Innovative Attractants to Wood Boring Insects (EN578-170003/26)

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Tender Notice


Publishing status


Publication date
Amendment date
Date closing
2019/01/29 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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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: Innovative Attractants to Wood Boring Insects

Sponsoring Department: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Funding Mechanism: Contract


Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Contract resulting from this Challenge is $100,000.00 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 $400,000.00 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.

TRAVEL:  For Phase 1 it is anticipated that two meetings will require the successful bidder(s) to travel to the location identified below:

Kick-off meeting

Burnaby or Vancouver, British Columbia

Final Review Meeting

Burnaby or Vancouver, British Columbia

Problem Summary Statement

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking the development of a chemical compound that would attract a wide variety of wood boring insects attacking standing hardwood tree species.

Problem Statement

Each year, the CFIA conducts a number of surveys to detect plant pests, including wood boring insects. Most of those surveys target a specific pest and are delivered to maintain claims of "pest-free" status of an area and/or to delimit populations of quarantine pests with limited distributions in Canada. Other surveys aim to detect new populations of non-indigenous plant pests. One such survey, called the Invasive Alien Species Forest Trapping Survey, uses traps baited with semiochemicals (host tree kairomones and aggregation pheromones) to detect any new non-indigenous wood boring insects that could have been introduced into Canada and become established in an area.

One chemical that has been used since the inception of this survey in the late 1990s is alpha-pinene, a terpenoid commonly found in coniferous trees (gymnosperms) that is highly attractive to wood boring insects alone or in combination with ethanol. This gives us a great tool to detect new wood boring insects attacking coniferous trees. However, there currently is not a known equivalent of alpha-pinene in standing hardwood trees (angiosperms); ethanol is currently used in the survey, but ethanol is produced by stressed angiosperms and gymnosperms. Therefore, we do not have a general hardwood attractant to effectively detect wood boring insects attacking standing hardwood trees. 

The CFIA is looking for a chemical compound that would attract a wide variety of wood boring insects attacking hardwood tree species. 

Desired outcomes and Considerations

Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes

Proposed solutions must:

1. identify a chemical compound(s) attractive to wood boring insects attacking key standing hardwood species (e.g., maple, poplar and oak).

  • The chemical must be attractive to at least one species in each of the following taxa:

- Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae

- Coleoptera: Buprestidae

- Coleoptera: Cerambycidae

- Hymenoptera: Siricidae

or: The chemical must be attractive to more than one species in the same subfamily or tribe (i.e., there may be some specificity between taxa, but within a taxon there are many species attracted to the same chemical).

  • The chemical must not be too expensive to synthesize (i.e., cost prohibitive for operational implementation).
  • A suitable release device must also be developed to allow the chemical(s) to be released at the proper rates for effective trap capture. (The chemical and release device form a lure)

2. not use ethanol, as we already know that this chemical can attract plant pests attacking stressed trees. If a mix of chemicals is used, it must be ethanol-free.

Additional Outcomes


Background and Context

International solid wood packaging material (e.g., pallets, skids, boxes, crates, etc.), seasonal foliage and wooden handicrafts are significant pathways for introducing non-indigenous wood boring insects into Canada. These wooden products can contain longhorned, bark and jewel beetles which can damage our trees, forests and horticulture industries. The CFIA places traps baited with semiochemicals (e.g., host tree kairomones or aggregation pheromones) to detect new invasive wood borers. If there are one or more chemicals commonly produced by hardwood trees that are universally attractive, as alpha-pinene is to coniferous pests, such a chemical would greatly enhance our ability to rapidly detect a newly established invasive pest.

Globally, there isn’t a hardwood kairomone that is attractive to a wide range of wood boring insects (bark beetles, weevils, jewel beetles/metallic wood borers, longhorned beetles, woodwasps, etc). Discovering such a chemical would dramatically impact and become beneficial to many stakeholders, as their ability to detect and monitor hardwood pest populations would increase significantly.


All enquiries must be submitted in writing to 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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