The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) is a procurement program created to bolster innovation in Canada’s business sector, and to help companies bridge the pre-commercialization gap for their innovative products and services.
The program provides the opportunity for innovators to:
- sell their pre-commercialized goods and services to the Government of Canada through an open, transparent, competitive and fair procurement process;
- connect with potential clients in federal government departments and showcase their innovations to them;
- get feedback on the use of their innovations in an operational setting before taking them to market; and
- enter the marketplace with a successful application of their innovations.
Whether or not innovators are successful in being awarded a contract, they will also:
- find out how to sell to the Government of Canada;
- learn more about opportunities for supplying innovative goods and services to the Government of Canada; and
- improve their understanding of how to do business with the Government of Canada.
Building on the early success of this pilot program, Economic Action Plan 2012 allocated additional funding for three years, starting in 2013. As of 2016, $40 million will be permanently dedicated to the BCIP annually. The program also now includes a military procurement component.
The BCIP has two complementary objectives. The first is to identify Canadian innovations to test within federal operations to support businesses as they move their innovations to commercialization. The second builds on improving small and medium enterprises’ (SME) access to federal procurement activities, and enables companies to showcase innovative products and services to potential government users.
The BCIP targets innovations in five key areas:
- the environment;
- safety and security;
- enabling technologies; and
- a military component.
The value of contracts under the program’s standard component will continue to be up to $500,000. Under the military component, innovations could be eligible for contracts of up to $1 million.
Proposals related to the opportunity to test innovative products and services are accepted through competitive Calls for Proposals. The initial Call for Proposals was announced in October 2010, the second in July 2011, the third in February 2012, and the fourth in November 2013. The fifth Call for Proposals was announced on June 20, 2014, and will close on September 16, 2014.
Public Works and Government 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 (OSME) assists SMEs as they navigate through the government procurement system. It is strengthening access to government business for SMEs by collaborating with industry associations and individual businesses on training, providing information, developing support tools, and recommending procurement policy changes. OSME is also working with SMEs to identify and pursue opportunities that encourage the introduction of innovative products and services to the marketplace.
PWGSC will be working with government departments to match innovations with the right test departments, and with the selected companies to put contracts in place to test their innovations, should the right department be found. 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 first client reference.
For more information about the program, please visit the BCIP web page at https://buyandsell.gc.ca/initiatives-and-programs/build-in-canada-innovation-program-bcip