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Government helping small businesses innovate through procurement program


Winnipeg-based small company first to reach milestone in Innovative Solutions Canada program

OTTAWAJuly 10, 2019 /CNW/ – As the single-largest purchaser of Canadian goods and services, the Government of Canada is helping small businesses innovate and bring their innovations to market thanks to Innovative Solutions Canada, a program that invites Canadian small businesses to develop innovative solutions to address government challenges.

Since the program’s launch in December 2017, a number of small Canadian companies have received funding to develop their proof of concept. Winnipeg-based CEMWorks Inc. is the first company to successfully proceed to the second phase of the program.

CEMWorks will receive up to $1 million over two years to refine its prototype for incorporating frequency-selected engineered surfaces technology into the design of connected vehicles. This technology will help manage radio interference coming from other vehicles and the surrounding area, including buildings, making connected cars safer and more reliable for Canadians.

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced that the Build in Canada Innovation Program will now be the $40-million late-stage testing stream within Innovative Solutions Canada. The testing stream looks to help Canadian companies of all sizes get their products/services to market. It involves buying pre-commercial products/services, trying them in real-life settings and providing the companies with valuable feedback.


“As the single-largest purchaser of Canadian goods and services, our government is helping small businesses in Canadagrow and innovate. Our investment in CEMWorks is the first step in fostering a strong Canadian industry with expertise in the application of this innovative technology in connected vehicles.” 
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Innovative Canadian small businesses are well positioned to help the government find creative solutions to its needs. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we created Innovative Solutions Canada to support the scale-up and growth of Canada’s entrepreneurs, resulting in good middle-class jobs. This is a true win-win for Canadian jobs, creative businesses and government.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

“I am pleased that a Winnipeg-based company is the first one to make it to this important milestone. I am proud that our government has put in place a program such as this one to allow companies like CEMWorks to scale up and grow.”
– Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Women and Gender Equality

Quick facts

  • Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying middle-class jobs.
  • 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.

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA

SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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