Helpful tips for innovators
The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) competitive procurements process is open, fair and transparent. Not all submitted innovations are pre-qualified, and not all pre-qualified innovations get tested.
On this page, we provide tips to help innovators improve the likelihood of receiving a testing contract.
Tip: Read the call for proposals document carefully
The call for proposals solicitation document describes the entire process—from submitting a bid to contract award. Before you begin working on your proposal, you should read it from start to finish.
- Download the current call for proposals document and all its amendments. You will find it on the Build in Canada Innovation Program Call 007 (EN578-17BCIP/A) tender notice webpage, under Solicitation Documents
Tip: You can find a testing department before you submit a proposal
In the proposal, you will be asked to list a testing department for your innovation. You can write down the name of a department you think might be interested—but there is a better way.
By finding a testing department before you submit your proposal, you help to place your innovation into a department sooner. Why? If your innovation becomes pre-qualified, the BCIP can move to initiate the process leading to contract award quicker than if you choose to wait until after you submit your proposal.
Please note that pre-identifying a testing department does not influence the evaluation of your proposal.
Find a testing department
Some departments are an ideal fit for your innovation, while others are not. Before you begin contacting departments, learn about events associated with the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises and other ways that the BCIP can help.
- Attend networking events: Consult the event calendar and attend seminars and networking opportunities across Canada. Learn more about the BCIP and selling to government and network with departmental representatives
- Ask us to help: Contact your local Office of Small and Medium Enterprises regional offices or the National Research Council’s Concierge Service to help you find the appropriate department to get in touch with
- Browse the directory of federal public servants: Perform a departmental listing search on the Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS) to identify potential testing organizations and specific contacts
How to approach testing departments
You should reach out to departments once you understand how the BCIP works and are fairly confident that your innovation would be a match for the department. Whether you attempt to find a testing partner before or after your innovation is pre-qualified is your choice.
Only federal departments that are listed in Schedule I, Schedule I.1 or Schedule II of the Financial Administration Act are eligible to be a testing partner.
Here are some tips when reaching out to departmental representatives:
- approach them in a friendly, respectful and nonintrusive way
- when presenting your innovation, judge their interest level in testing provided it is or becomes pre-qualified under the BCIP
- direct them to information on why departments participate in the Build in Canada Innovation Program
- speak honestly about the status of your application. If you have not yet submitted an application, please say so. If, on the other hand, your innovation has been pre-qualified, do not say that you have been awarded a legal contract
Military component innovations
All pre-qualified military component innovations are automatically sent to the Defence Validation Committee. This committee has the first say in identifying potential testers within the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces. If no testers are identified, then you can consult with your BCIP representative about reaching out directly to departmental contacts.
Tip: Be detailed and responsive during the contract award process
Your innovation has been pre-qualified and a testing department has been found, congratulations! The end is in sight; however, you will still need to focus on the details to ensure a proper contract award process.
Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) is the department with the authority to award the contract. The contracting officer assigned to your innovation will request information from you that is required to complete the contract award process. Be responsive: the quicker you respond to their requests, the sooner your contract may be ready.
The contracting officer may ask you to provide:
- financial information, such as current and past financial statements (to determine your financial capability to perform the contract, if applicable)
- signed certifications, such as requirements for Canadian content, ownership and employment equity
- price breakdown, such as for labour rates and material, supply and equipment costs
- price support, such as from invoices and sales quotes
- basis and method of payment
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