Departmental participation in the Build in Canada Innovation Program

Options for departments to participate in the program

The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) offers departments 2 ways to participate.

Option 1: You may pick an innovation from the list of pre-qualified innovations and test the innovation.

Option 2: You may request your own specific challenge under the new Challenge Call for Proposals pilot. During the pilot, departments may request a challenge under the following priority areas:

These priority areas are part of our military component, but any department looking for innovations in these fields can contact us at to request a challenge.

Once you’ve contacted us with a new challenge, we will evaluate your requirements. Not all requests will result in a published challenge. During our pilot phase, we will choose a limited number of requests for challenges.

Find out if your department is eligible

To qualify as a testing department, your department must be listed in one of the following schedules of the Financial Administration Act:

If your department is unlisted

Contact the Build in Canada Innovation Program to check whether your department may be eligible.

How departments benefit from participating in the program

By participating, departments can:

The program covers almost all costs

As a testing partner, your department receives the innovation and associated supplier provided testing support services for free (it is paid for by the program). All the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) asks is that you donate your time, equipment, facilities and other departmental resources as in-kind contributions to support the testing project.

What the program pays for

The program covers the following costs to a maximum of $500,000 for standard component innovations and $1 million for military component innovations:

The Public Services and Procurement Canada Acquisitions Branch covers certain other costs that are not limited by the financial conditions above. They are:

The BCIP handles the contracting process for the innovations. Testing departments do not need to engage their own procurement personnel.

What is not covered

Travel and living expenses for government personnel are not covered by the program. Government departments are expected to contribute staff time as well as use of facilities and equipment as in-kind contributions.

Testing departments keep the innovation

In most cases, the innovation remains the property of the department after testing. Any requirements for an innovation that fall outside the scope of the BCIP, such as additional purchases or license renewals, must be handled by the testing department.

Understand the contracting process

Once your department has confirmed interest, the BCIP will begin work to connect you with the suppliers of the innovation.

There are three stages in the contracting process:

Statement of work

The statement of work (SOW) is a formal document that will form part of the contract. It outlines the phases of testing, environment and finalized testing plan. The type, scale and complexity of the work determine the level of detail in the SOW.

Learn what you will find in a statement of work.

Once your department confirms interest to the BCIP in an innovation, you will be connected with the supplier to develop the testing plan. The BCIP will provide a SOW template for the testing plan.

After everyone approves of the SOW, the BCIP and Public Services and Procurement Canada's (PSPC) contracting officers will review it. They will make sure that the SOW contains all the required information as it is the basis for describing the work in the contract that is awarded to the supplier.

Innovation Transfer and Evaluation Agreement

The innovation transfer and evaluation agreement (ITEA) is a signed agreement between your department and PSPC. Some departments refer to the ITEA as a memorandum of understanding.

The ITEA is not a contract, it is an administrative document that formally designates your department's commitment to test the innovation. The ITEA also transfers the ownership, management and control of the innovation from PSPC to your department. It spells out the roles and responsibilities of PSPC and the testing department.

Coordinate the signing of the ITEA by a director general or an equivalent. As well, identify as early as possible, any security requirements so they can be accounted for when developing the SOW.

Important: More than one department can test a single innovation. Only one department serves as the lead, coordinating testing with others and retaining ownership of the innovation for the duration of testing. The lead testing department can, by its own discretion, transfer ownership of the innovation to the associate testing departments. The BCIP can approve participation by other departments before the ITEA is signed.


Other than collaboration in developing the SOW and identifying security requirements, your department is not involved in the contracting process. PSPC's contracting officer will consult with the supplier to develop the terms and conditions of the contract based on the finalized SOW.

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