COVID-19: Solutions to Reducing Airborne Hazards in Ground Public Transportation

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Transport Canada (TC) are seeking retrofit solutions that reduce airborne hazards and improve air quality within the enclosed spaces encountered by bus and rail travelers in order to improve the resilience to airborne infectious diseases.  The two primary interests are protecting passengers and drivers.  Protecting passengers on long-range transportation where wearing a mask is not practical; and protecting drivers of all ground public transportation environments are of particular interest in this call.

Challenge sponsor:
National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Funding mechanism:
Grant

Opening date:
September 27, 2021

Closing date:
October 25, 2021, 14:00 Eastern Daylight Time

Prospective applicants should refer to the Innovative Solutions Canada Grant Instructions and Procedures document.

Challenge

Problem statement

The ground transportation industry has experienced a steep decline in traffic as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadians feel less safe travelling in mass transportation environments given the uncertainty surrounding the risk of contracting COVID-19 and future viruses in these spaces. The NRC and TC seeks to challenge the Canadian industry to develop solutions that can be used in existing federal, provincial, and municipal buses and trains to protect onboard occupants by mitigating the airborne viral risks while restoring confidence in transportation. 

Desired outcomes and considerations

Essential (mandatory) outcomes

The proposed solution must:

  1. Reduce the active airborne viral load exposed to passengers inside the enclosed space of a bus or train with all seats facing in the direction of travel, such as school buses and intercity railcars.
  2. Consider that an infectious individual may be at different locations inside the vehicle but without a mask worn. The intent is to replicate the worst case conditions when a passenger is not properly wearing the mask or has the mask removed for various reasons (e.g. medical condition, mask replacement, eating/drinking, freshening up, etc.). The following table show the locations at which the proposed solution will be tested as a minimum with the vehicle ventilation system operating as designed.
    Test Case Location and description of simulated infectious person Healthy person #1 Healthy Person #2

    1

    Standing at the entrance

    Seated at driver work station

    N/A

    2

    Standing in middle of aisle of vehicle

    Seated at aisle seat across from infectious person

    Seated at window seat across from infectious person

    3

    Seated in aisle seat

    Seated immediately adjacent to infectious person

    Seated directly in front of infectious person

    4

    Open lavatory door after passenger spent time in lavatory

    Seated adjacent to lavatory

    Next person to use lavatory immediately after

  3. Install and operate the prototype in two environments: bus and train.
  4. Demonstrate the risk of acquiring SAR-CoV-2 infection via the aerosol route is at the manageable risk of 1.17 × 10^-3 (Tang, et al. 2020).
  5. Be able to be certified and installed in existing buses certified under Canada's Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Government of Canada 2021a).
  6. Be able to be certified and installed in existing trains certified under Canada's Railway Safety Act (Government of Canada 2021b).
  7. Not require any changes to the existing air conditioning systems for both trains and buses.
  8. Ensure that carbon dioxide rate is below 1,000 ppm.
  9. Not produce ozone or VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
  10. Not increase electrical power consumption beyond 25 watts per person.
  11. Not increase the weight by more than 1 kg per person.

Additional outcomes

The solution should:

  1. Decrease the risk to health.
  2. Allow NRC and Transport Canada to document and record the Phase 2 demonstrations for their future use.
Note
Applicants are reminded that under Section D, Question 1b (Scope) of the Phase 1 Proposal Submission Form, proposals must describe how solutions address Additional Outcomes listed in this section. However, applicants should focus their response to Question 5 (Phase 1 Project Plan) by elaborating a project plan that addresses Additional Outcomes 1-2 in addition to Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes 1-11.

Background and context

There are different categories of buses and trains in operation in Canada that are designed and operated under different regulations. 

The types of roadway transportation included in this call are the following:

  • School Bus
  • Intracity Bus (Public Mass Transit)
  • Intercity Bus Common Carrier (Intercity Coach)

The type of rail transportation included in this call are the following:

  • Intracity Rail (Light Rail)
  • Intercity Passenger Rail Service (Heavy Rail)

NRC and TC will work with the successful proponent(s) to identify a bus and train to be used for this project.

This call does not consider vehicles weighing under 4,536 kg.  This would include vehicles used for private purposes, taxi services, shared services, and construction.  It also excludes transportation of schoolchildren in vehicles with more than two doors (e.g. large vans).  Each of the above five types are described in detail. School buses can carry up to 90 children with the use of bench-style seating capable of seating two children each.  Buses rely heavily on passive ventilation through the use of operable windows and roof vents.  Fans may be installed at the front to help promote circulation within the bus but does nothing to address the airborne viral loads.  Except for the ventilation system provided for the driver, school buses typically do not have active ventilation equipped with filtration to reduce airborne aerosols (Abulhassan and Davis 2021).  Thus, airborne viral loads with infectious persons are expected to be high as the outdoor temperatures are below comfort levels throughout the school year.  This call seeks solutions that can protect both passengers and drivers in these vehicles.

Public mass transportation organizations deploy a variety of different buses in transporting people within a city.  They may consist of single-deck, double-decker, long articulated buses, and small buses.  Passengers are allowed to stand, sit and freely move about the vehicle.  Seats can be oriented forward, backward, and sideward. Windows may or may not be operable by passengers.  This call will not expect solutions to address passenger-to-passenger disease transmission due to the complexity and variability of these buses, high volume of passengers, and short duration of passenger travel.  However, this call will request solutions that help reduce the airborne disease transmission risk between drivers and passengers.

The intercity coach buses are typically ventilated with a unit installed on top, front, and/or rear of the bus that mixes filtered outside and recirculated air and provides it throughout the bus via diffusers along the roof and sidewalls; and nozzles above the drivers and passengers. They may also be equipped with convective radiators along the floorboard when additional heating is required during cold weather operation.  Air is typically exhausted along the floorboards of the bus or along sidewall diffusers. The total airflow, consisting of both outside and recirculated air, is reported to be around 20 to 25 L/s per person with an occupancy of up to 60 people in a typical coach class bus in a 2-2 setting configuration (Global Passenger Network 2020).  This call see solutions that can reduce the risk of both passenger-to-passenger, passenger-to-driver, and driver-to-passenger airborne disease transmission.

Light rail transportation vehicles are used primarily in intracity operations to transport passengers inside a city.  It is similar in operation to public mass transportation with the notable exceptions of longer passenger compartments and the use of rail and rail stations.  Like the public mass transportation section, this call focuses on reducing the airborne disease transmission risk between drivers and passengers.

Heavy rail transportation vehicles are used to transport people and goods over long distances, typically between cities.  The seating density of coach rail cars are similar to intercity coach busses except that some seats may be facing each other. Windows are typically kept closed throughout the journey as the rail cars are equipped with active ventilation systems.  Heavy rail coach compartments are similar to aircraft except for a few key exceptions.  Passengers are generally free to move about the cabin, use the lavatory at any time, and switch seats when other seats are available.  The total air flow rate of 2.8 to 5.6 L/s per person (BSI 2016) is significantly lower than the 9.4 L/s per person air flow rate found in aircraft cabins (Hunt et al 1995).  However, total ventilation rates in heavy rail coach cars are expected to be higher than the other forms of transportation listed above.

The primary challenge is that the infectious viral load for SARS-CoV-2 to cause the COVID-19 disease and future diseases vary and may be unknown (Jayaweera, et al 2020).  New COVID-19 variants have been shown to be more contagious (Davies 2020). In past research, the average virus RNA load in oral fluid was 7 × 10^6 copies/mL, but some patients may exceed that by more than two orders of magnitude. There is a 37% probability that a 50 μm droplet prior to dehydration contains at least one virus, and this probability is reduced to 0.37% for 10 μm droplets. For example, a case study of South China Seafood Market showed that the median risk of a customer acquiring SARS-CoV-2 infection via the aerosol route after 1 hr exposure in the market with one infected shopkeeper was about 2.23 × 10^−5. With the assumption of one infected shopkeeper in the market, the 97.5% percentile infection risk by aerosol transmission was about 2.34 × 10^−4 and could be reduced to about 10^−4 with a ventilation rate of 1 ACH, for customers with 1 hr exposure in poorly ventilated markets. The risk was about 5–10 times lower than the manageable risk of 1.17 × 10^-3   (Tang, et al. 2020). This risk level will be used as the basis for assessing the proposed prototypes. 

There have been efforts in the past to quantify the disease transmission risks in transportation vehicles.  A comprehensive epidemiological study on high speed trains where masks were not used, which are designed to the same ventilation standards, show that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 disease transmission is expected to be 3.5%, 1.5%, and 0.35% for those seated next to, in the same row as, and within 3 rows of an infectious person (Hu, etal 2021).  Another epidemiological study in Intercity Coach buses found an attack rate of 48% with one infectious passenger on the bus (Shen, et al 2020).  An epidemiological study for school buses could not be located at the time this call was published.  However, the air quality in school buses has been reported to be poor even when windows or vents are open due to poor outdoor air quality caused by other vehicles (Sabin et al 2005).  This may be important as researchers look at the relationship between poor outdoor air quality and COVID-19 (Huraimel, et al. 2020).As an industry leading example, aircraft cabins are considered to be better ventilated in terms of total flow per passenger and the use of HEPA filters.  Even then the risk of disease transmission is significant due to how the air flows within the aircraft cabins.  A quantitative aerosol study in aircraft cabins demonstrated that the risk can be between 0.06% to 0.83% with a typical infectious person seated nearby; and up to 6.3% with a superspreader in the aircraft cabin (Royal, NLR 2021).   The same report estimates that 2 in 44 flights with similar transit times for heavy rail transportation result in at least one case of infectious disease transmission.  The rate is increased by a factor of 5 when a superspreader is onboard. Prior to the pandemic, one report noted a high probability (30% to 80%) of disease transmission to 20 passengers seated immediately around an infectious person releasing 5,226 quanta per hour without a mask (Chen, et al. 2012). This is comparable to past COVID-19 research that reports various viral loads from people experiencing light activity (Buonanno, Stabile and Morawska 2020; Parhizkar, et al 2021). 

One may expect that the airborne disease transmission risk is high as evidenced by available studies, a lack of forced air ventilation (i.e. in school buses), freedom to move about the cabin (heavy rail), and lower overall ventilation rate per person (all forms).  This seeks solutions that can significantly reduce the risk of airborne disease transmission in ground transportation vehicles.

References

Abulhassan, Yousif, and Gerard A. Davis. "Considerations for the transportation of school aged children amid the Coronavirus pandemic." Transportation research interdisciplinary perspectives 9 (2021): 100290.

British Standards (2016) "2016 Railway applications— Air conditioning for main line rolling stock — Comfort parameters and type tests."  BS EN 13129:2016.

Buonanno, Giorgio, Luca Stabile, and Lidia Morawska. 2020. "Estimation of airborne viral emission: quanta emission rate of SARS-CoV-2 for infection risk assessment." Environment International.

Chen, Q., J. J. McDevitt, J. K. Gupta, B. W. Jones, S. Mazumdar, S. B. Poussou, and J. D. Spengler. "Infectious disease transmission in airliner cabins." National Air Transportation Center of Excellence for Research in the Intermodal Transport Environment (RITE), Report No. RITE-ACER-CoE-2012–01 (2012).

Davies, Nicholas G., Sam Abbott, Rosanna C. Barnard, Christopher I. Jarvis, Adam J. Kucharski, James Munday, Carl AB Pearson et al. "Estimated transmissibility and severity of novel SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern 202012/01in England." MedRxiv (2021): 2020-12.

Davis, Angela C., Malia Zee, Andrew D. Clark, Tateh Wu, Stephan P. Jones, Lindsay L. Waite, Joshua J. Cummins, and Nels Andrew Olson. "Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Cough Transport in an Aircraft Cabin."  bioRxiv (2021).

Global Passenger Network (2021) "Effective air exchange in your coach".  Accessed on July 16th, 2021.

Guy Jr, Gery P., Florence C. Lee, Gregory Sunshine, Russell McCord, Mara Howard-Williams, Lyudmyla Kompaniyets, Christopher Dunphy et al. "Association of state-issued mask mandates and allowing on-premises restaurant dining with county-level COVID-19 case and death growth rates—United States, March 1–December 31, 2020." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 70, no. 10 (2021): 350.

Horstman, Ray, and Hamid Rahai. A Risk Assessment of an Airborne Disease inside the Cabin of a Passenger Airplane. No. 2021-01-0036. SAE Technical Paper, 2021.

Hu, Maogui, Hui Lin, Jinfeng Wang, Chengdong Xu, Andrew J. Tatem, Bin Meng, Xin Zhang et al. "Risk of coronavirus disease 2019 transmission in train passengers: an epidemiological and modeling study." Clinical Infectious Diseases 72, no. 4 (2021): 604-610.

Al Huraimel, Khalid, Mohamed Alhosani, Shabana Kunhabdulla, and Mohammed Hashem Stietiya. "SARS-CoV-2 in the environment: Modes of transmission, early detection and potential role of pollutions." Science of the Total Environment (2020): 140946.

Hunt, E. H. et.al (1995), "Commercial Airliner Environmental Control System: Engineering Aspects of Cabin Air Quality", in: Aerospace Medical Association Annual Meeting, California. 

Jayaweera, Mahesh, Hasini Perera, Buddhika Gunawardana, and Jagath Manatunge. "Transmission of COVID-19 virus by droplets and aerosols: A critical review on the unresolved dichotomy." Environmental research 188 (2020): 109819.

Parhizkar, Hooman, Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Charles Haas, and Richard Corsi. "A quantitative risk estimation platform for indoor aerosol transmission of COVID-19." medRxiv (2021).

Royal, NLR (2021) "CORSICA final report: Quantitative microbial risk assessment for aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in aircraft cabins based on measurement and simulations."

Shen, Ye, Changwei Li, H. Dong, Z. Wang, L. Martinez, Z. Sun, A. Handel et al. "Airborne transmission of COVID-19:epidemiologic evidence from two outbreak investigations." Preprint available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340418430_Airborne_transmission_of_COVID-19_epidemiologic_evidence_from_two_outbreak_investigations (2020).

Sabin, Lisa D., Eduardo Behrentz, Arthur M. Winer, Seong Jeong, Dennis R. Fitz, David V. Pankratz, Steven D. Colome, and Scott A. Fruin. "Characterizing the range of children's air pollutant exposure during school bus commutes." Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology 15, no. 5 (2005): 377-387.

Tang, Song, Yixin Mao, Rachael M. Jones, Qiyue Tan, John S. Ji, Na Li, and Jin Shen. 2020. "Aerosol transmission of SARS-CoV-2? Evidence, prevention and control." Environment international (144): 106039.

Government of Canada. 2021a. "Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (C.R.C., c. 1038)".  Accessed August 27th, 2021 at https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/C.R.C.,_c._1038/page-1.html.

Government of Canada. 2021b. "Railway Safety Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. 32 (4th Supp.))". Accessed August 27th, 2021 at https://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/R-4.2/.

Maximum grant value and travel

Multiple grants could result from this Challenge.

Phase 1:

  • The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 Grant resulting from this Challenge is : $150,000.00 CAD
  • The maximum duration for any Phase 1 project funded by a grant resulting from this Challenge is up to 3 months
  • Estimated number of Phase 1 grants: 2

Phase 2:

  • The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 Grant resulting from this Challenge is : $2,000,000 CAD
  • The maximum duration for any Phase 2 project funded by a grant resulting from this Challenge is up to 12 months
    • Note: Only eligible businesses that have completed Phase 1 could be considered for Phase 2.
  • Estimated number of Phase 2 grants: 1

Note: Selected companies are eligible to receive one grant per phase per challenge.  

This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to award any grant for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds. Canada reserves the right to make partial awards and to negotiate project scope changes.

Travel

Kick-off meeting

A project kick-off meeting will be conducted by video conference or teleconference.

Progress review meeting(s)

Progress review meetings will be conducted by videoconference or teleconference. 

Final review meeting

Virtual meeting- A final review meeting will be conducted virtually, via videoconference or teleconference.

Eligibility

Solution proposals can only be submitted by a small business that meets all of the following criteria:

  • for profit
  • incorporated in Canada (federally or provincially)
  • 499 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employeesFootnote *
  • research and development activities that take place in Canada
  • 50% or more of its annual wages, salaries and fees are currently paid to employees and contractors who spend the majority of their time working in CanadaFootnote *
  • 50% or more of its FTE employees have Canada as their ordinary place of workFootnote *
  • 50% or more of its senior executives (Vice President and above) have Canada as their principal residenceFootnote *

Evaluation criteria

The applicant must complete the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form with a degree of information sufficient to enable Canada's assessment of the proposal against the criteria and the Evaluation Schema. The information must demonstrate how the proposal meets the criterion.

Part 1: Mandatory Criteria

Proposals must meet all mandatory criteria identified by achieving a "Pass" in order to proceed to Part 2. Proposals that do not meet all mandatory criteria will be deemed non-responsive and given no further consideration.

Mandatory Criteria

(Applicant's proposal must address)

Question 1 a: Scope

Describe the proposed solution and demonstrate how it responds to the challenge. Include in your description the scientific and technological basis upon which the solution is proposed and clearly demonstrate how the solution meets all of the Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes section in the Challenge Notice.

Evaluation Schema (Mandatory - Pass/Fail)

Pass

The Applicant's proposed solution is clearly articulated, within the scope for the challenge and addresses all Essential (Mandatory) Outcomes (if identified) in the Challenge Notice.

Fail

The proposed solution is articulated as out of scope for the challenge.
OR
The proposal does not clearly demonstrate how the proposed solution addresses all Essential Outcomes listed in the challenge.
OR
The proposed solution is poorly described and does not permit concrete analysis.
OR
There is little to no scientific and/or technological evidence that the proposed solution is likely to meet the challenge.

Question 2: Current Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
  • Indicate the current TRL of the proposed solution. (Drop Down Menu of the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form)
  • Describe the research and development activities that have taken place to bring the proposed solution to the stated TRL.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory - Pass/Fail)

Pass: The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution is currently between TRLs 1 and 6 (inclusive), and provided justification by explaining the research and development (R&D) that has taken place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.

Fail: The Applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the current TRL is between 1 to 6 (inclusive) including:

  • There is insufficient/no evidence provided for TRL judgment.
  • The solution involves the development of basic or fundamental research.
  • The solution is demonstrated at TRL 7 or higher.
  • Insufficient/unclear/no justification explaining the R&D that took place to bring the solution to the stated TRL.
  • The explanation simply paraphrases the description of a given TRL level.
Question 3a: Innovation

Demonstrate how the proposed solution meets one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation below:

  • An inventionFootnote *, new technology or new process that is not currently available in the marketplace.
  • Significant modifications to the application of existing technologies/components/processes that are applied in a setting or condition for which current applications are not possible or feasible.
  • An improvement in functionality, cost or performance over an existing technology/process that is considered state-of-the-art or the current industry best practice.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory – Pass/Fail)

Pass:

The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution meets one or more of the ISC definitions of innovation.

Fail:

  • Applicant has not provided sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the proposed solution meets any of the ISC definitions of innovation; OR
  • Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution is an incremental improvement, "good engineering", or a technology that would go ahead in the normal course of product development (i.e. the next version or release).
Question 3b: Advance on State of the Art

Describe in detail the competitive advantages and level of advancement over existing technologies. Where appropriate, name existing technologies as well as potential substitutes or competitors.

To demonstrate this, proposals should include the following information:

  • Improvements (minor or major) over existing technologies or substitutes. Use direct comparison.
  • How the proposed innovation will create competitive advantages in existing market niches or market spaces.
Evaluation Schema (Mandatory Criteria – Pass/Fail + Points)

0 points/Fail:

  • The Applicant has not demonstrated that the proposed solution advances the state-of-the-art over existing technologies, including available competing solutions; OR
  • The proposed solution improves minimally upon the current state of the art, though not sufficiently enough to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; OR
  • The stated advancements are described in general terms but are not substantiated with specific, measurable evidence.

5 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution offers one or two minor improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions, that have potential to create competitive advantages in existing market niches.

12 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution offers three or more minor improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions, that together are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches; OR
  • The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution offers one significant improvement to existing technologies that is likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches

20 points/Pass:

  • The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution offers two or more significant improvements to existing technologies, including available competing solutions that are likely to create competitive advantages in existing market niches and could define new market spaces; OR
  • The Applicant has demonstrated that the proposed solution can be considered a new benchmark of state of the art that is clearly ahead of competitors and that is likely to define new market spaces

Part 2: Point-Rated Criteria

Proposals must meet the overall minimum pass mark of 50% to be deemed responsive. Proposals that do not achieve the minimum pass mark will be declared non-responsive and given no further consideration.

Point-Rated Criteria

(Applicant's proposal to address)

Question 1b: Scope

Demonstrate the scientific and technological basis of how the proposed solution addresses the Additional Outcomes (if identified) in the Desired Outcomes section in the Challenge Notice. If no Additional Outcomes are identified in the Challenge Notice, text entered in this section will not be considered.

If no Additional Outcomes are identified in the Challenge Notice, Applicants will receive 10 points.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the solution will address any of the Additional Outcomes. 0 points
  2. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address some (<50%) of the Additional Outcomes. 3 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address most (50% or more) of the Additional Outcomes. 6 points
  4. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the solution will address all (100%) of the Additional Outcomes. 10 points
Question 4: Phase 1 Science and Technology (S&T) Risks

Describe potential scientific and/or technological risks to the successful development of the proof of feasibility and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has considered potential risks and mitigation strategies and/or information provided contains significant gaps. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has considered some potential risks and associated mitigation strategies but there are minor gaps in risks and/or associated mitigation strategies. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has sufficiently considered the risks and defined associated mitigation strategies. 10 points
Question 5: Phase 1 Project Plan

Demonstrate a feasible Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.

  • Indicate if any milestones and activities will be completed concurrently
  • Indicate the estimated exit TRL at the completion of Phase 1. (Drop Down Menu of the Challenge Stream Electronic Submission Form)
Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate a feasible project plan for Phase 1 and/or the project plan exceeds the maximum duration indicated in the Challenge Notice. 0 points
  2. Project plan for Phase 1 is conceivably feasible but not clearly demonstrated and/or includes gaps. 10 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates a feasible project plan for Phase 1. 20 points
Question 6: Phase 1 Project Risks

Describe potential project risks to the successful development of the proof of feasibility and how they will be mitigated in Phase 1.

Applicants should address the following risks, as applicable:

  • Human Resources
  • Financial
  • Project Management
  • Intellectual Property
  • Other project-related risks

Note to Applicants: S&T risks should not be included in this section. Question 4 addresses S&T risks.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has considered potential risks and mitigation strategies and/or information provided contains significant gaps. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has considered some potential risks and associated mitigation strategies but there are minor gaps in risks and/or associated mitigation strategies. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has sufficiently considered the risks and defined associated mitigation strategies. 10 points
Question 7: Phase 1 Implementation Team

Demonstrate how the project implementation team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the project plan for Phase 1 by completing the table. A member of the implementation team can have more than one role.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the project team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 0 points
  2. Information is provided but there are minor gaps in required management and/or technological skill sets and/or experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 10 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the project team has the required management and technological skill sets and experience to deliver the Phase 1 project plan. 20 points
Question 8: Inclusivity

If your business were to receive funding from Innovative Solutions Canada, describe what actions (e.g., recruitment strategy, internships, co-op placements, etc.) might be taken in Phase 1 to support the participation of under-represented groups (e.g., women, youth, persons with disabilities, Indigenous people, visible minorities) in the research and development of the proposed solution. Each Applicant in their response to this question must focus only on describing relevant programs, policies, or initiatives that it currently has in place or would put in place to support the R&D effort in Phase 1.

Note: Do not provide any personal information of individuals employed by your company or that of your subcontractors in the response.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. No description and/or concrete examples of actions provided that would be taken to encourage greater participation of under-represented groups. 0 points
  2. A description and concrete examples of actions to encourage greater participation of under-represented groups provided.5 points
Question 9: Phase 1 Financial Proposal

Demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan by completing the table.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient information provided and/or information provided significantly lack credibility. Does not demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan. 0 points
  2. Information is provided but some costs lack credibility and/or are unclear for the Phase 1 project plan. 7.5 points
  3. Information provided contains credible elements to clearly demonstrate a realistic financial proposal for the Phase 1 project plan. 15 points
Question 10: Phase 1 Financial Controls, Tracking and Oversight

Describe the financial controls, tracking and oversight that will be used to manage the public funds throughout Phase 1. Applicants should indicate if an individual or firm will be managing the public funds and provide their credentials and/or relevant experience.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate the Applicant's ability to manage public funds in Phase 1. 0 points
  2. Information provided is vague and/or contains gaps. The Applicant has some controls, tracking and/or oversight in place to manage the public funds in Phase 1. 5 points
  3. Information provided clearly demonstrates that the Applicant has strong financial controls, tracking and oversight to manage public funds in Phase 1. 10 points
Question 11: Phase 2 Overview

Demonstrate a realistic overview for the prototype development plan if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Responses should include:

  • key tasks
  • estimated cost for materials
  • human resources
  • project risks and mitigation strategies

Note: A more detailed proposal will be requested if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the Applicant has contemplated a realistic overview for the Phase 2 prototype development. 0 points
  2. Information provided demonstrates a conceivably realistic overview for Phase 2 prototype development, however there are gaps and/or the strategy is vague. 6 points
  3. Information provided demonstrates that the Applicant has a clear and realistic overview. 12 points
Question 12: Commercialization Approach

Demonstrate a realistic overall commercialization approach/business model that can successfully take the technology/service to market, and how the technology/service will help you develop and sell other products.

Responses should include:

  • Target markets (excluding Government of Canada)
  • Non-ISC funding sources
  • Transition to a commercially-ready product or service
  • Any other indicators of commercial potential and commercial feasibility

Note: A more detailed proposal will be requested if selected to participate in Phase 2.

Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Insufficient or no information provided to demonstrate that the proposed solution has commercial potential. 0 points
  2. Some information provided to demonstrate that the proposed solution has commercial potential, however there are gaps in the commercialization approach. 6 points
  3. A realistic commercialization approach is provided that demonstrates that the proposed solution has commercial potential. 12 points
Question 13: Resulting Benefits to Canada

Describe the benefits that could result from the commercialization of the proposed solution. Applicants should consider the potential benefits using the following three categories and provide justification for each claim:

  • Innovation Benefits: Expected contribution towards the enhancement or development of new industrial or technological innovations within your firm. Responses could include: potential spillover benefits, creation of intellectual property, impact on productivity of the new technology, etc.
  • Economic Benefits: Forecasted impact on the growth of Canadian firms, clusters and supply chains, as well as its expected benefits for Canada's workforce. Responses could include: number of jobs created, number of high-paying jobs, investment in Canada's economy, etc.
  • Public Benefits: Expected contribution to the broader public to the degree that the solution is expected to generate social, environmental, health, security or other benefits to Canada. Responses could include: solution-related environmental benefits, solution-related accessibility benefits, and solution-related impact on Indigenous communities.
Evaluation Schema (Point-Rated)
  1. Innovation Benefits

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

  2. Economic Benefits

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

  3. Public Benefits.

    Benefit not identified or insufficient claim of benefit. 0 points

    Benefit has marginal increment or limited justification. 1 point

    Benefit is significant and well justified. 2 points

Questions and answers

All incoming questions regarding this specific challenge should be addressed to solutions@canada.ca.

All enquiries must be submitted in writing no later than ten calendar days before the Challenge Notice closing date. Enquiries received after that time may not be answered.

You can also consult the Frequently asked questions about the Innovative Solutions Canada Program.

glossary is also available.

The essential outcome section states that the solution should "Ensure that carbon dioxide rate is below 1,000 ppm." Does this mean that the solution should not produce carbon dioxide levels above 1000 ppm? Or does it refer to the School Bus scenario where the bus may have already high levels of carbon dioxide, and they are looking for a means of reducing the carbon dioxide down below 1000 ppm?

The intention behind this essential outcome is to ensure that the proposed solution considers the respiratory function of people within the space. We are seeking solutions that help the environment comply with ASHRAE Standard 55 (Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy) along with the essential outcomes identified in this call.

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