Government of Canada

Government of Canada

March 14, 2011 13:30 ET

Federal Government Helps to Kickstart Canadian Entrepreneurial Businesses

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 14, 2011) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women today announced the Government of Canada has pre-qualified its first 19 innovations which it may buy and test as part of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP). The announcement was made in Edmonton.

"Across the country, there are now Canadian businesses with innovative solutions that have the opportunity to move their ideas into action, and today I am pleased to announce the first of four rounds of innovations that our Government may be purchasing," said Minister Ambrose. "This program will help to kickstart innovative business ideas by helping them move from late-stage research and development into commercialization."

This pre-qualification is a significant step of the CICP process. These are the firms whose products and services will be procured when and if a match is found in government.

The CICP is a new $40-million program that was created by the Government of Canada in response to the needs of Canadian industry in order to help businesses get their innovative products and services from the lab to the marketplace. The successful companies may see their pre-commercial products and services tested within government operations, and will be given relevant feedback from the departments participating.

DataGardens is one of the nineteen Canadian companies that have successfully pre-qualified for funding. DataGardens' innovation, Cloud Federation System, is a tool that allows virtual machines to be migrated and protected across sites.

"Canadian high-tech start-ups face some special challenges. Even when you have a great product with exceptional potential, it still can be very difficult to break through, secure initial sales, and win the confidence of the market place," said Geoff Hayward, President of DataGardens. "The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program helps to address this problem in the best way possible."

In total, 19 innovations from Canadian companies have pre-qualified for funding under the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program's first round. PWGSC is working with government departments to match innovations with the right test departments, and will be entering into negotiations with the selected companies to put contracts in place to test their innovations, should the right department be found. Their feedback will facilitate Canadian companies in moving their innovations into domestic and international markets.

The CICP procurement strategy for the first Call for Proposals included two evaluation stages: the first stage involved an independent review of proposals by the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). The second and final stage involved an Innovation Selection Committee (ISC) that validated the rankings based on the reviews of NRC-IRAP. Members of this committee, of which 70 per cent were from the private sector, were chosen based on their experience in investment and entrepreneurship; knowledge of innovation and commercialization trends; and knowledge of international business practices.

The CICP is managed by PWGSC's Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME), whose mandate is to improve accessibility to government procurement opportunities for small and medium enterprises. Launched as part of the Government of Canada's Budget 2010, the CICP is a new Government of Canada initiative to promote Canada's economic growth.

For the complete list of the successful innovations, please refer to the backgrounder.

For more information, please visit or look for upcoming Calls for Proposals on You can also contact the CICP team by email at: or you may call the toll free line at 1-800-811-1148.

PWGSC news releases are also available on our Internet site at

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Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Michelle Bakos
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    Media Relations