Canadian small businesses invited to develop innovative solution to new challenge
OTTAWA, Aug. 6, 2019 /CNW/ - As the single largest purchaser of goods and services, the federal government is using procurement to help Canadian small businesses succeed.
Through the Innovative Solutions Canada program, government departments are inviting small businesses to come up with a new innovative product, service or solution that answers a specific challenge they face. Winning small businesses may receive up to $150,000 to refine their research and development and, if accepted into Phase 2, receive up to $1 million to develop a working prototype. The government can then act as a first customer, helping small businesses to commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good middle-class jobs across Canada.
Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, announced the launch of a new challenge led by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).
The CBSA can be required to release audio and video recordings when it receives a request under the Access to Information Act. When it releases these recordings, the CBSA also has to comply with the Privacy Act. As such, CBSA has to ensure that no individual, other than the requestor, can be identified on the footage released. This requires time-consuming editing that is currently done manually. The CBSA is seeking a solution that will allow the audio and video recordings to be edited automatically.
The solutions to be proposed would help alleviate the current manual and labour-intensive work by the CBSA in processing recordings collected at ports of entry. It would also expedite access to information requests while protecting the privacy rights of others captured in the footage.
Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government's Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year plan to make Canada a global innovation leader and prepare Canadians to succeed in tomorrow's economy.
"Our government is using its purchasing power to help small businesses innovate and become more competitive. Through Innovative Solutions Canada, we're accessing quality products, while businesses are growing and creating good middle-class jobs."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"This is a small business–friendly government that is working hard to reduce red tape and make it easier for Canadian small business owners to start up, scale up and access new markets. Innovative Solutions Canada is a fantastic program that uses government procurement to help small businesses develop and then commercialize their innovations. This is a worthy new challenge, and I can't wait to see the ideas from Canadian small businesses. When small businesses in communities across the country succeed, our economy grows and middle-class jobs are created."
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
- The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act provide Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any person (or entity) present in Canada the legal right to obtain information, in any form, that is under the control of a government institution.
- The Access to Information Act gives individuals a right to access records under the control of a federal government institution.
- Program funding comes from the 20 departments and agencies participating in Innovative Solutions Canada. Each department will set aside funding for this initiative that amounts to one percent of its 2015–16 combined procurement and internal research and development expenditures. Together, the funding from the departments and agencies represents an annual $100-million investment over the course of five years.
- In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced the consolidation of innovation programs. As part of this exercise, the Build in Canada Innovation Program, managed by Public Services and Procurement Canada, was integrated into Innovative Solutions Canada. Innovators can sign up to receive updates on the Innovative Solutions Canada program.
- There are hundreds of programs and services that offer everything from funding to expert advice to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy. Using a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.
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SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Renseignements: Dani Keenan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-1710; Mallory Clyne, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, 343-291-3553; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, firstname.lastname@example.org