Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why is ACOA using a challenge-prize approach to drive this initiative?
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is constantly seeking new ways to fuel innovation using all available tools, including exploring original ways to speed up the process. This challenge will motivate boat builders and designers in the region to design a more fuel-efficient hull for inshore fishing boats.
This funding approach opens up the problem-solving process to innovators who can bring fresh perspectives and new ideas to long-standing issues. The challenge approach shifts the emphasis from “paying for process or outputs” of traditional funding programs towards “paying for results” to solve problems.
2. Is ACOA the only department that is using the challenge-prize approach?
No. The Government of Canada has several platforms running outcomes-based funding approaches, including:
- The Impact Canada Initiative led by the Privy Council Office's Impact and Innovation Unit and designed to support the use of Grants and Contributions to achieve better outcomes, which is the platform used by ACOA for the Hull Design Efficiency Challenge; and
- Innovative Solutions Canada, a program from Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada focused on procurement and dedicated to supporting the scale-up and growth of Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs by having the federal government act as a first customer.
3. What is the advantage of the challenge-prize approach?
A challenge is an incentive-based approach that offers a reward to the first or best solution to a specific problem, based on a set of conditions. It can invite proposals in stages and provide funding along the way to develop ideas and prototypes before selecting the final prize recipient.
Challenges have been helping to solve complex problems for hundreds of years, and have led to innovations in a wide range of industries, including food, agriculture, aviation, space travel, environment, and health.
4. What is the purpose of the Hull Design Efficiency Challenge?
This challenge aims to motivate potential applicants to design a boat hull (or improve an existing hull design) so that an inshore fishing boat can accomplish the same amount of work using less fuel. This lowers costs for boat owners and fish harvesters, fuels innovation in the boatbuilding industry, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on climate change.
The Challenge will:
- cover the costs of providing computer simulations for up to 10 semi-finalists, and scale model building and testing for up to three finalists; and
- award $500,000 to the Grand Prize winner as a non-repayable contribution to continue research and development on their design, moving toward pilot and commercialization phases.
5. What can I win during the Hull Design Efficiency Challenge?
The Grand Prize winner will receive a $500,000 non-repayable contribution (subject to entering into a Contribution Agreement with ACOA) and must be willing to continue research and development on the design, moving toward pilot and commercialization phases.
An additional $240,000 will cover computer simulation costs for up to 10 semi-finalists, and scale model construction and testing for up to three finalists. Computer simulation and scale model testing will be carried out at the National Research Council’s Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre in St. John’s, NL. All finalists and semi-finalists will be entitled to keep their evaluation results and scale models for further refinement, at their own costs and discretion.
6. Can applicants with projects currently receiving funding from other government sources apply to the Challenge?
Yes, funding can be obtained from different government sources as long as it covers different project costs.
7. Can a single applicant submit multiple applications?
Yes. A single applicant can apply to the ACOA Hull Design Efficiency Challenge to develop different projects. However, only one project per applicant may be selected.
8. How do I apply?
Interested applicants can apply now on the ACOA Hull Design Efficiency Challenge web page located on the Impact Canada website. The deadline for applications is September 8, 2019.
9. Is there a screening process to ensure that submitted designs do not infringe on other patented technology?
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure submitted designs do not infringe on patented technologies.
10. Are designs submitted in the Challenge expected to achieve commercialization?
The selection committee will consider a project’s potential for future commercialization as a part of the award selection process. The Grand Prize winner will be expected to continue basic research and development on the design, moving toward pilot and commercialization phases.
11. Are applications evaluated on an ongoing basis?
- The assessment of projects will begin once the application deadline has closed.
- The initial applications will be administratively checked for completeness by ACOA when submitted, but will not be reviewed against the judging criteria prior to the application deadline.
- Applicants who are selected as semi-finalists will be required to submit more detailed proposals for the computer simulation and scale model building and testing stages.
- Applicants may contact us prior to the application deadline for clarification on terms and conditions or eligibility criteria.
12. If I have other questions, who can I contact?
If you have additional questions, please contact us.