Sponsored by the Department of Public Works, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program is designed to allow companies to present new technologies to the Government without a requirement. While the program is open to solutions for use by all of Government, there are areas that can also find defense applications. Take for example the company Inversa. They have developed a system using the Deep Backscatter Tomography (DBT) technique that scans culverts and tunnels for maintenance problems so that waste water personnel won’t have to excavate pipes. It’s basically non-destructive inspection for sewers. Now, imagine using such technology to inspect culverts for IEDs.
Innovation often comes from small companies. Unfortunately, they often lack the expertise or staff to present their capabilities to the Government. Oftentimes, they are preyed upon by those who take their money, promising to open doors and grant Government access. In most cases, such access is readily accessible without the cost of a “consultant.” Another issue is that the Government’s procurement system is requirements based. If those writing requirements don’t know a capability exists, they can’t ask for it and may continue to do things the same old way.
It’s good to see the Canadian Government cut some of the red tape so that they can see the latest in technology and open opportunities to small business. It can be a win-win situation.