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Federal program targets infrastructure innovation

DCN News Services
Federal program targets infrastructure innovation

GATINEAU, QUE. — The federal government has announced a new pilot project as part of its Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) to encourage innovation in protecting infrastructure along with two other targeted populations.

Since the BCIP began in 2010, more than 240 contracts, totalling over $100 million, have been awarded under the program to help Canadian innovators bring their products to market.

The latest iteration of the program, announced in a July 14 media statement, will be run through Public Services and Procurement Canada and is called the BCIP Challenges Initiative.

The first phase of the pilot consists of challenges issued by departments and focuses on finding innovative ways to protect Canadian soldiers, civilians and infrastructure.

"This initiative provides a new way for Canadian businesses to sell their late-stage innovations to government departments," commented Steven MacKinnon, parliamentary secretary to the minister of public services and procurement, in a statement.

"This new demand-based component will help federal organizations find solutions for their operational needs by using state-of-the art technologies developed by homegrown companies."

The pilot is a departure from the program’s matching model as it will allow government departments to identify selected needs and challenges for Canadian innovators to solve, the statement says.

Industry proposals that meet a challenge’s requirements will be selected and purchased for departmental testing.

A total of 30 departments have participated in the program, and BCIP innovations have experienced an 80-per-cent commercialization rate.

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