Government of Canada

Government of Canada

July 12, 2012 12:34 ET

Harper Government Helps to Kick-Start Canadian Entrepreneurial Businesses

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 12, 2012) - Today, Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women, announced a contract of $565,000 to MDA Systems Ltd., through the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program.

"Our Government's top priority is the economy and we understand that helping Canadian businesses expand and succeed directly benefits Canadian workers and families by creating jobs, growth and prosperity," said Minister Ambrose. "We are proud to encourage Canada's entrepreneurial spirit by kick-starting Canadian businesses to get their innovative products and services from the lab to the marketplace."

"Supporting Canada's economy is our number one priority, and today's announcement is great news for the workers at MDA Systems Ltd.," said MP Findlay. "Our Government is putting its support behind their innovation designed right here in Richmond and bringing them one step closer in moving their innovation into domestic and international markets."

MDA Systems Ltd.'s innovation, the Automated Motion Imagery Exploitation, is a software tool that generates geo-registered products for surveillance and reconnaissance from airborne video.

Launched in 2010, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program has already shown encouraging results, connecting Canadian companies with federal departments and agencies that have a need for innovative products and services. By selling to the federal government, businesses can demonstrate the value of their products and services, and potentially generate future sales to non-federal customers.

To build on the early success of this program, Economic Action Plan 2012 proposes an additional $95 million over three years, starting in 2013-14, and $40 million per year thereafter to make the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program permanent. The program will include an added military procurement component.

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

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BACKGROUNDER

Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program

Launched in 2010, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program initiative (CICP) began as a $40-million pilot program as part of the Harper Government's commitment to promote Canada's economic growth and support entrepreneurs.

Economic Action Plan 2012 allocated an additional $95 million over three years, starting in 2013-14 and $40 million per year thereafter to make the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program permanent. The program will include an added military procurement component.

As a part of the Economic Action Plan, CICP was created to bolster innovation in Canada's business sector, and was designed to help companies bridge the pre-commercialization gap for their innovative products and services by:

  • awarding contracts to entrepreneurs with pre-commercial innovations through an open, transparent, competitive and fair procurement process;
  • testing products or services and providing feedback to entrepreneurs on their performance;
  • providing innovators with the opportunity to enter the marketplace with a successful application of their new products and services; and
  • providing information on how to do business with the Government of Canada.

Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program targets innovations in four priority areas:

  • Environment;
  • Safety and security;
  • Health; and
  • Enabling Technologies.

The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program has two complementary components. The first identifies Canadian innovations to test within federal operations in order to support businesses as they move their innovations to commercialization. The second builds on current efforts by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) to improve small and medium enterprises' (SME) access to federal procurement activities, and enables companies to showcase innovative products and services to potential government users.

Proposals related to the opportunity to test innovative products and services are accepted through competitive Calls for Proposals. The first round of Calls for Proposals was successfully announced in October 2010, and the second was announced in July 2011, and the third was announced in February 2012.

Public Works and Governments Services Canada (PWGSC) continues to work with all stakeholders to ensure that SMEs receive the vital government support needed to thrive in today's evolving economy.

The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises, through its network of headquarter operations and six regional offices, assists small and medium enterprises as they navigate through the government procurement system. It is strengthening access to government business for small and medium enterprises by collaborating with industry associations and individual businesses on training, providing information, developing support tools, and recommending procurement policy changes. The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises is also working with small and medium enterprises organizations to identify and pursue opportunities that encourage the introduction of innovative products and services to the marketplace.

Since the 2010 launch of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program, the Pacific Office of Small and Media Enterprises has been very active engaging both suppliers and government end users, raising awareness about the program and encouraging participation.

First Round of Calls for Proposals

On February 4, 2011, the Innovation Selection Committee (ISC), in the final stage of evaluation of the CICP competitive procurement process, met to validate the ranking of proposals based on the independent reviews of the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). Members of the Innovation Selection Committee, 70 per cent of whom are 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.

In March 2011, 19 innovations were announced as part of the first round of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program. An additional eight innovations were subsequently announced in July for a total of 27 innovations pre-qualified in the first round and three of them were from British Columbia:

FSR Fluvial Systems Research Inc., White Rock, British Columbia

MDA Systems Ltd., Richmond, British Columbia

Virtual Marine Technology Inc., St John's Newfoundland and Victoria, British Columbia

Second Round of Calls for Proposals

On November 9, 2011, the Innovation Selection Committee, in the final stage of evaluation of the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program competitive procurement process, met to validate the ranking of proposals based on the independent reviews of the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program.

There are 36 Canadian innovators with 37 pre-qualified innovations from the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program's second round and five of them were from British Columbia:

Aurora Control Technologies Inc., North Vancouver, British Columbia

Ballard Power Systems Inc., Burnaby, British Columbia

Plurilock Security Solutions Inc., Victoria, British Columbia

Reach Technologies Inc., Victoria, British Columbia

SunCentral Inc., Richmond, British Columbia

For descriptions of the innovations please visit:
https://buyandsell.gc.ca/initiatives-and-programs/canadian-innovation-commercialization-program-cicp/pre-qualified-innovations#5

Third Round of Calls for Proposals

On February 29, 2012, the Government of Canada launched the Third Call for Proposals. The Third Call closed on April 11, 2012, and evaluations of the proposals are currently underway.

Public Works and Governments Services Canada will be 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. Perhaps marking the first sale for these innovations, these contracts will also facilitate Canadian companies in moving their innovations into domestic and international markets by having the Government of Canada as a reference sale.

Contact Information

  • Michelle Bakos
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    819-997-5421

    Media Relations
    Public Works and Government Services Canada
    819-956-2315