The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) is a new initiative, launched as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to promote Canada’s economic growth as announced in Budget 2010.

Created to bolster innovation in Canada’s business sector, the CICP helps companies bridge the pre-commercialization gap for their innovative goods and services by:

  • Awarding contracts to entrepreneurs with pre-commercial innovations through an open, transparent, competitive and fair procurement process.
  • Testing and providing feedback to these entrepreneurs on the performance of their goods or services.
  • Providing innovators with the opportunity to enter the marketplace with a successful application of their new goods and services.
  • Providing information on how to do business with the Government of Canada.

The CICP targets innovations in four priority areas:

The program includes a series of Calls for Proposals, which includes a full description of the Priority Areas and specific criteria for selection. The government also organizes and/or participates in regional events and trade shows so that Canadian businesses can showcase their innovative concepts to federal representatives.

The CICP is managed by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC), and implemented by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME)OSME advocates on behalf of small and medium enterprises in federal procurement.

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Why CICP was created

Through Budget 2010, the Government of Canada committed to supporting innovation in Canada’s business sector. The Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) addresses this commitment in the following ways.


  • Bridges the “pre-commercialization gap.” Through a variety of programs, such as the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), and the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program, the Government of Canada invests heavily in fundamental and applied research on products and technologies in Canada. This investment allows technologies to move through the early stages of research and development. Feedback acquired from industry tells us that there is a gap in support during the last stage of research and development, where a business begins to move its innovations from laboratories and demonstrations to commercialization. CICP helps fill this gap by awarding contracts for qualified innovations.
  • Supports Canadian suppliers. Many smaller Canadian companies that have developed new and innovative products and technologies struggle to find buyers due to the higher risks associated with untested products. In addition, during consultations, suppliers often say it is difficult to find a common point of entry into the federal government procurement system, particularly for innovative technologies. CICP addresses this challenge by connecting innovators and government users and by testing innovations.
  • Provides real-world evaluation of pre-commercial goods and services. The federal government can play an important role in helping businesses introduce innovations into the marketplace by providing an opportunity for companies to demonstrate the successful application of new concepts on a commercial scale. Through feedback from government end users, CICP helps companies improve their goods and services, and prepares them to move towards commercialization.
  • Improves the efficiency and effectiveness of government operations. Access to innovative goods and services could potentially increase the overall efficiency of operations, advance the safety, security and health of Canadians, improve environmental performance, and reduce costs.

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