Frequently asked questions about the Build in Canada Innovation Program
On this page
- Submitting a proposal
- Eligible proposals
- Confidentiality and Intellectual Property
- Evaluation procedures and basis of selection
- After the evaluation
- Testing departments
- Improvements to the program
Submitting a proposal
How do innovators submit a proposal?
Can a bidder submit more than one innovation at the same time?
Yes, as long as the innovations are completely different from each other. If a business has multiple innovations, they can submit a unique proposal for each innovation, but only one proposal can be submitted per innovation.
Can a bidder submit a new innovation when a previous innovation is still in the evaluation process?
Yes, as long as they are for different innovations. Only one proposal can be submitted per innovation.
Is it okay to put website references in a Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) proposal?
No, website references will not be reviewed in the evaluation of your proposal.
Can a proposal include support letters from potential government testing departments?
No, support letters from a testing department are not required and will not be evaluated. However, bidders can propose a testing department and provide contact information within the proposal submission form. If an innovation is pre-qualified, this information will be used to look for a testing organization within the federal government.
How can a bidder know if the Government of Canada will find a use for its innovation?
All bidders may submit a proposal, and efforts will be made to find a testing department for pre-qualified innovations. While the Call for Proposals covers a broad range of goods and services, there may be proposed innovations for which a testing department match will not exist.
Does the BCIP proposal submission require a bidder's signature?
No, a signature is not required at the proposal submission stage.
Can a consultant, who is working on behalf of the bidder, submit the application?
No, bidders must submit their applications on their own behalf. However, a consultant can help the bidder fill out the submission form.
Is a success-based fee (such as 1% of funds approved) allowed for consultants to help a bidder prepare a submission to the BCIP?
Costs incurred to prepare or submit a proposal are the sole responsibility of the bidder and will not be reimbursed. This is in accordance with Archived—Article 15 of the Standard Instructions for Goods and Services, found in the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual.
Can potential testing departments help bidders fill out or submit their applications?
No, potential testing departments should not help bidders fill out or submit their applications.
If a bidder's proposal is pre-qualified, is the bidder guaranteed a contract? If so, when can the bidder expect it?
Innovations that are pre-qualified are not guaranteed a contract. Pre-qualification means the innovation is eligible for a contract, which is conditional upon matching the innovation with a testing department, subsequent contract negotiations and the availability of funding. Refer to the latest Call for Proposals for complete information about eligibility for contract award. You will find it under Solicitation Documents on the current tender notice webpage.
If the innovation has been developed in whole or in part with the assistance of Canadian federal government funding, would the innovation still qualify for potential BCIP funding?
Yes, the innovation is still eligible for the BCIP, as long as the bidder has ownership or rights to the Intellectual Property.
Funding previously received by other programs does not impact the level of funding provided by the BCIP.
If an innovation has begun being sold, but is failing in the market due to sufficient funds not being available for a full testing program, can a company still apply for the program?
No, if an innovation is readily available in the marketplace, it would no longer be considered pre-commercial. Consult the technology readiness levels to learn more.
Can a company submit a proposal if another company will be responsible for commercialization?
Yes, it is possible to join with other companies that could assume responsibility for commercialization. This should be explicitly stated in the proposal submission and there should be clear understanding and agreement regarding the Intellectual Property strategy.
Is it possible to re-submit an innovation that was the subject of a previously failed bid?
Yes, if the innovation has not yet been commercialized and still meets all other program requirements.
Since the application states that the bidder must be Canadian, how can an international entity participate?
An international entity must partner with a Canadian bidder to be eligible for the program. In addition, the proposed innovation must meet the Canadian content requirements. Refer to the latest Call for Proposals for more information about Canadian content. You will find it under Solicitation Documents on the current tender notice webpage.
A company has offices in Canada but its headquarters are located outside of Canada. Is the company considered a Canadian bidder?
To be considered a Canadian bidder, an organization must have a place of business in Canada where it conducts activities on a permanent basis that is clearly identified by name and accessible during normal working hours.
My prototype is being produced in the United States using 100% Canadian IP because comparable production facilities do not exist in Canada. The intent is to develop production capabilities in Canada. Is my innovation eligible for the BCIP?
The bidder must certify that 80% of the total proposed price consists of Canadian goods and Canadian services. This is in accordance with the Canadian Content Certification and the definition of Canadian content in the Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual.
For more information, you may reference the PSPC Supply Manual, 3.6 Annex: Canadian Content Policy. If the innovation does not meet these requirements at the time of bid submission it is not eligible for the BCIP. Intellectual Property does not factor in to the determination of Canadian content.
Can an innovator start commercialization after submitting its proposal?
Yes, an innovator can start commercialization after submitting a proposal.
Regarding commercialization: does this mean no money should have been received for the service or is there a threshold?
The concept of commercialization refers to mass commercialization following an official launch into the marketplace. There can be a small, limited number of sales for Research & Development purposes as per the definition of Pre-Commercial Innovation.
Confidentiality and Intellectual Property
How secure and confidential does a proposal remain?
The proposal will be viewed by the evaluating team for the sole purposes of evaluation. Sections of the proposal may also be shared to support the program's efforts to match a pre-qualified innovation with a department or for government communications such as press releases.
Who owns the rights to Intellectual Property developed under a BCIP contract?
The bidder retains all rights to Intellectual Property under the BCIP.
Who owns the technology when the contract is over?
Although the Government of Canada purchases the innovation and will own it at the end of the contract, the company retains ownership of its Intellectual Property.
Software is often licensed and not purchased. Can you clarify if you will be purchasing a license to use software innovations?
The Government of Canada would purchase a license to use the software.
Will BCIP cover commercialization expenses, such as marketing launch, advertising, establishing a sales base or distribution channels?
No, the BCIP will only pay for costs associated with purchasing and testing the innovation. All costs will be in accordance with Contract Cost Principles (1031-2), found in the Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual.
How is the total cost of the innovation determined?
The total cost of the innovation for testing purposes is determined by the sum of the applicable direct and indirect costs reasonably and properly incurred in the performance of the contract, less any applicable credits. These costs must be determined in accordance with the contractor's cost accounting practices as accepted by Canada and applied consistently over the duration of the project.
Can a bidder include research and development costs in the innovation cost?
Yes, bidders can submit an element of general research and development expenses as part of their overhead costs as considered applicable by Canada, minus any tax credits. What is considered fair and reasonable will be part of the negotiation and price support that will be evaluated should the proposal be successful.
Are anticipated travel and living expenses for the company to be on site for training and support purposes covered?
Yes, travel and living costs for training and support at the testing department site during the testing period can be included in the financial proposal cost. Refer to the latest Call for Proposals for more information about costs. You will find it under Solicitation Documents on the current tender notice webpage.
If a bidder is at risk of exceeding the funding limit, can it put in some of its own resources?
Are there any tax credits associated with the program?
No, the money paid under a contract is not associated with a tax credit. If a bidder exceeds the financial limit by investing its own money in research and development activities, then the money it invests itself may be eligible for tax credits as determined by the Canada Revenue Agency.
Is BCIP going to pay for the equipment we need to do the service?
Any direct costs associated with the BCIP test should be included in the electronic Proposal Submission Form PR 8.2 (a) Financial Proposal Cost Breakdown, and contractors will be paid in accordance with the negotiated contract fee schedule. Reference Call 007 tender notice, section 3.3 - Financial Proposal.
Evaluation procedures and basis of selection
Are bidders advised of the proposal submission results?
If a bidder has previously had a successful application, can the bidder submit a future proposal?
Yes, the bidder can submit another proposal later, but it must be for a different innovation.
In the event that two different companies submitted separate proposals for similar products, could both companies potentially receive a contract, or would only the best proposal be considered for contract?
Both companies could potentially receive a contract. Proposals are evaluated against goods and services currently available on the market, not against other innovations submitted to the BCIP.
After the evaluation
Will bidders receive feedback on their submissions?
Yes, bidders will receive their final scores and evaluation comments.
When will a successful bidder be awarded a contract?
The length of time needed to find a testing department and award a contract can vary. It depends on, for example, the complexities of the innovation and test plan, the number of uses within the federal government and departmental approvals. If suppliers identify a potential testing department this may assist in accelerating the matching process.
In general, the anticipated timelines for the process include approximately 2 to 3 months from proposal submission to receipt of results, approximately 2 to 3 months for the matching process and SOW development, and approximately 2 to 3 months for contract negotiation. In the event a complex innovation is proposed, if there are security clearance requirements, or if the testing requires third parties (i.e. subcontractors) the process to award will likely exceed the approximate timelines mentioned above. In addition, at certain times of the year the timelines may be impacted by the volume of submissions; and PSPC continues to assess the timelines based on the new continuous intake approach in effect for Call 006.
What happens if, after a contract is awarded, the innovation fails testing within the department?
The testing department will provide feedback to the innovator if the innovation does not perform as intended.
How are the testing departments selected?
Potential testing departments are identified in Schedule I, I.1 and II of the Financial Administration Act, and PSPC facilitates the matching of pre-qualified bidders with a testing department. The bidder is given an opportunity in the proposal to identify a potential testing department, or describe the setting that would be best suited to host the test.
Can a bidder contact potential testing departments?
Bidders can reach out to departments once they understand how the BCIP works and are fairly confident that their innovation would be a match for the department. Whether the bidder attempts to find a testing partner before or after the innovation is pre-qualified is their 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
We have an innovative technology but do not know if the federal government is an appropriate setting to test the innovation. How can this be determined?
All bidders may submit a proposal and efforts will be made to find a testing department for pre-qualified innovations. While the Call for Proposals covers a broad range of goods and services, there may be proposed innovations for which a testing department match will not exist.
Is it possible to submit the same innovation twice in a proposal in order to assess the impact of two different testing environments on its performance?
Bidders can specify in their test plan that one or more units of the innovation can be tested in multiple locations or environments. Only one proposal per innovation can be submitted.
If a proposed test partner is identified in the proposal submission, does National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) discuss the proposal with the proposed test partner as part of NRC-IRAP's evaluation, or do they execute their evaluation independent of proposed test partner input?
Testing departments are not involved in the proposal evaluations. Reference Call 007 tender notice, section 5.2.1 – Testing Department Match.
Are provincial or municipal governments accepted as test departments?
Provincial and municipal departments may only participate in partnership with a valid testing department, as long as the lead remains the valid testing department and the partnership falls within the mandate of the valid testing department.
Can proposals offered in the military component that are not accepted by the Defence Validation Committee be considered as a standard component proposal for matching with a potential test partner?
For military component proposals not supported through the Defence Validation Committee (DVC), BCIP will seek a testing department match with other government organizations using the same matching process as that used for the standard component proposals. Reference Call 007 tender notice, section 5.2.1 – Testing Department Match.
Improvements to the program
When can innovators submit their proposals?
Innovators can submit a proposal as soon as their innovations are ready to be tested. The program is now better positioned to fit in with a business' "go-to-market" strategy timeline.
If a proposal is not pre-qualified, how much time do innovators need to wait before re-submitting?
After the bidder has received the results of the proposal evaluation advising that their innovation has not been pre-qualified, a proposal can be re-submitted if the innovation still meets the requirements of the program.
Will the evaluation process change?
Innovators must now earn 18 out of a possible 35 available points when evaluated against the point-rated criteria. Innovations that achieve this minimum pass mark will be pre-qualified and become eligible for a test department match.
How will Innovators be able to sell more of their innovations?
Previously, innovators could not sell more units of their innovation beyond the quantities procured under the original BCIP contract.
Now, innovators will have the opportunity for additional sales of their innovation under the following two scenarios:
- if the original federal testing organization expresses an interest in obtaining more units of the innovation for further testing, and/or
- if other federal organizations express an interest in obtaining specified quantities of the innovation for testing
Is there a time limit during which innovators will be allowed to sell more of their innovations under the BCIP?
Yes, additional sales will be limited to a two-year period from the date of the initial BCIP contract award, and will also be limited to quantities needed for further testing in different operational environments or applications.
What should innovators do if test departments express an interest in buying more of an innovation?
If the current testing partner or another federal organization wants to buy more of an innovative good or service for further testing, innovators should direct this request to the BCIP which will provide further guidance. Although the BCIP pays for the initial testing of the innovation, additional sales will be fully funded by the interested organization with contracting performed by Public Services and Procurement Canada.
Are innovations from previous BCIP Calls for Proposals eligible for additional sales?
Yes, innovators who received a contract under BCIP Call for Proposal 4 onwards will be eligible for further testing for up to two years from the date of their initial contract except in cases where the initial contract was received after July 31, 2015.
Are innovations that pre-qualified under the BCIP pilot, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP), eligible for additional sales?
No, the option of additional sales for further testing is not available for innovations that pre-qualified under the CICP pilot program.
Can an innovator start commercialization after submitting its proposal?
Yes, an innovator can start commercialization after submitting a proposal.
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