MaRS Discovery District recently announced a new initiative
called Innovation Partnership: Procurement by
Co-Design. It offers start-up technology
companies an opportunity to collaborate with Ontario-based,
publicly funded healthcare service providers in the development of
technology which is specifically tailored to address pressing
health industry problems identified by the providers. MaRS is
making available a limited number of grants of up to $25,000 for
participating projects to test and evaluate a solution and up to
$25,000 to acquire a solution that passes the test.
Eligible projects must be digital, innovative and offer a clear
solution to a provider's pressing problem. It must also
be possible to design and test the projects in a clinical
environment rapidly and at a minimal cost. The cost to
procure the project must be less than $100,000.
To participate, healthcare providers must request the "Challenge Brief"
template and guidebook from MaRS, which provides an overview of how
to frame a challenge, key desired outcomes and evaluation criteria
for vendor selection.
The competition involves three phases:
Initiation – during this stage, healthcare
providers publicize "Challenge Briefs" that describe the
challenge, the desired outcome and the evaluation criteria.
Individual vendors then respond with "Innovator Briefs"
describing the proposed solution, and providers review vendor
submissions to determine a shortlist of vendors to pitch and
discuss their solutions.
Design and Prototyping – during this stage, the
healthcare provider and the selected vendor collaborate on a
solution and produce a prototype. The provider then conducts
a final evaluation.
Procurement – if the provider's decision is
favourable, then the provider has an opportunity to procure the
The deadline to submit a "Challenge Brief" to
MaRS is September 12, 2016 at 5pm. Vendors will have
until September 26th to submit responses.
MaRS has indicated that the program complies with the Broader
Public Sector procurement guidelines. Healthcare service
providers are also reminded to consult their own internal
policies and/or funding agreements as to when competitive
procurement of goods and services is required.
Prior to commencing research and development activity with
vendors through this program, healthcare service providers are
advised to consider and document:
the facility access and scope of collaboration to be provided
by the healthcare service provider;
invention ownership and rights for future use,
commercialization and revenue;
confidentiality and privacy obligations; and
risk management and mitigation.
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