Invites Canadian small businesses to develop innovative solutions to three new challenges
OTTAWA, Nov. 22, 2018 /CNW/ - Small businesses and their ability to innovate make Canada's economy run. At the same time, the federal government is Canada's largest purchaser of goods and services. How can the government use these purchases to help small businesses innovate and grow?
The answer is Innovative Solutions Canada (ISC). Through this program, government departments are inviting small businesses to come up with a new innovative product, service or solution in answer to specific challenges 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 will then act as a first customer, helping small businesses to commercialize their innovations, scale up their business and create good jobs.
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, today announced the launch of three ISC challenges from National Research Council Canada (NRC).
The NRC is challenging small businesses to:
- Develop a technology to mould composite material to better protect soldiers and law enforcement officers.
- Develop technology to improve robots' physical interaction with humans and their environment. This will help improve robotic technology for applications such as remote surgery.
- Develop a simulation tool that will help Canadian manufacturers of aerospace components produce more cost-effective composite material structures.
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 listened to Canada's industry and innovation leaders and agreed we must use our purchasing power to help small businesses innovate and be more competitive. That's exactly what we're doing through Innovative Solutions Canada. Government gets access to quality products, while businesses grow and create good middle-class jobs for Canadians."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ over 8 million hard-working Canadians. That's why our government is committed to helping small businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. Innovative Solutions Canada is a fantastic program that uses government procurement to help small businesses innovate and then commercialize their innovations. These are worthy new challenges, and I can't wait to see what our innovative Canadian small businesses come up with."
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion
- Program funding will come 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 a more than $100-million investment over the course of five years.
- Small businesses make up 98 percent of Canadian businesses and employ over 8 million hard-working Canadians.
- Innovative Solutions Canada is encouraging submissions from businesses owned and led by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and members of visible minorities by ensuring those groups are included in the program's outreach plans and activities.
- 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. With 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
For further information: Dani Keenan, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; 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, [email protected]