Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program Capability Demonstration (AO)

Announcement of Opportunity

Publication date:

Publication closing date:

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) only receives applications when the selection process is open. This Announcement of Opportunity (AO) is open for applications until with 6 application and award cycles as follows or until the budget of the AO is fully awarded. Estimated total amount of the AO is $8M.

Key dates:

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO objectives
  3. Eligibility criteria
  4. Applications
  5. Evaluation
  6. Funding
  7. Funding agreements
  8. Privacy notice statement
  9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Summary of key information

  • Eligible recipients: Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada, as well as Canadian universities
  • Non-repayable contributions
  • Maximum amount per project: $4,000,000
  • Estimated total amount of the AO : $8,000,000
  • Maximum timeframe of the project: From the signing date of the agreement until , with a possibility of extension by 12 months, on a case by case basis. The signing date can be estimated with the project start date, which depends on the application and award cycle.
  • Estimated projects start date : All projects' starting date will depend on the application and award cycle under which the application is submitted.

1. Introduction

In , the Canadian Government announced Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) as part of a new National Space Strategy to 'position Canada's commercial space sector to help grow the economy and create the jobs of the future'. The Federal Budget confirmed that CSA can access up to $150M over five years starting in - for LEAP to 'help small and medium-sized enterprises develop new technologies to be used and tested in lunar orbit and on the Moon's surface.'

The strategy enables Canada and its space sector to grow the economy and create the jobs of the future by advancing science, developing and demonstrating space technologies and participating in new commercial and science mission opportunities linked to our participation in Lunar exploration while generating benefits for Canadians in space and on Earth.

In light of the above, the CSA is issuing this AO to specifically support the Canadian space community with funds for lunar delivery services to demonstrate their science and/or technology on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space, before . The AO will award non-repayable contributions of up to $4M per project, that expects to gain commercial potential or scientific return in the medium to long term (i.e. 5 to 10 years).

This AO is consistent with the terms and conditions of the CSA Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component.

Applicants are asked to read the following AO thoroughly before submitting their applications. This AO was prepared to help applicants complete the application process, and outlines key elements, including mandatory criteria for eligibility, details on eligible projects and the selection process. In the event of any discrepancies between this AO and the individual funding agreements governing a project, the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO objectives

The objective of this AO is as follows: To support the development of a proto-flight model, and its adaptation, delivery, integration, and launch as a Canadian payload (science and/or technology) with a lunar launch or lander vehicle, which will result in a first attempt for Canada to conduct a basic R&D space demonstration of science and/or technology on the Moon and beyond (lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space), by . These activities will enable selected Canadian organizations to further their basic R&D capabilities with the ultimate purpose of increasing the commercial potential of Canadian organizations, as well as increasing lunar scientific return for Canada.

3. Eligibility criteria

3.1 Eligible recipients

Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit, not-for-profit, and universities established and operating in Canada. SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) are strongly encouraged to apply or act as subcontractors to applicants.

Multiple eligible recipients can collaborate on the same project. If selected for funding, eligible recipients, collaborating on the project, will be jointly and severally (solidarily) liable in the contribution agreement.

3.2 Eligible projects

Eligible projects are science and/or technology which is/are required to be manifested with a lunar payload delivery service provider (launcher or lunar lander) for launch before , as demonstrated with a letter of intent or launch service agreement. The agreement should include the rough order of magnitude (ROM) costs and a launch schedule. Any costs associated with the letter of intent or launch service agreement are not reimbursable, if incurred prior to signing a contribution agreement with the CSA.

All development phases necessary for a project are eligible. Any logical breakdown or combination of these phases can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous phases to obtain more than the maximum contribution of the AO is not allowed.

Furthermore, if a proposal is for pursuing a standalone R&D found in another awarded contribution (past or on-going), the proposed follow-up R&D, even if funded in a new contribution agreement, is considered another phase of R&D of the same G&C project for which the program has a cumulative limit of $5M. If the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded phase does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining phases.

3.3 Links to CSA priorities

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the CSA's priority of building Canadian capabilities, meaning those projects that aim to develop new concepts, products and/or know-how. Capability building therefore encompasses all projects aimed at strengthening the Canadian space community's core capabilities with particular focus on developing its people and technologies.

3.4 Links to program objectives

To be eligible, projects supported under this AO must contribute to the achievement of CSA's Capability Demonstration objectives and contribute to the following objectives of the CSA Class G&C Program:

The CSA encourages the space community to collaborate with SMEs as well as the academic sector in the implementation of the AO by promoting projects that will include SMEs and academic participation. In terms of academic involvement, potential applicants may be interested in contacting Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization which helps companies access the talent, technologies, and strategic partnerships they need to innovate and grow, to investigate if and how academic researchers and highly skilled graduate or postdoctoral talent can be leveraged on research projects in collaboration with universities. Applicants should strive for a balanced gender representation in the group of students and amongst their supervisors, role models and mentors. If in the research discipline of the proposed project there is a gender imbalance in the student population, applicants are strongly encouraged to demonstrate that this imbalance has been taken into consideration in their plan for recruitment of students implicated in their project.

Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that increase the representation and advancement of women and underrepresented groups in space sciences and engineering as one means to foster excellence in research and training.

3.5 Basic R&D definition

Eligible projects supported under this AO must comply with the following definition for basic R&D by providing the required justification within section 5 B of the Application form:

"Any pre-commercial science and technology activities that are carried out to resolve unknowns regarding the feasibility of: i) space concepts or ii) applications in the space sector."

The following due diligence process will be applied to determine whether projects are compliant with this definition. To that end, justification to be provided in section 5 B of the Application form should:

Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

4. Applications

4.1 Required documentation

The application must include the following:

It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that the application complies with all relevant federal, provincial and territorial legislation and municipal bylaws.

Applications must be mailed to the CSA at the following address:

LEAP Capability Demonstration AO
Attention: Sid Saraf
Engineering Capacity Development
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Saint-Hubert, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions (Section 9).

4.2 Service standards

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Selected applications will be announced on the CSA website. The CSA has set the following service standards for processing times, acknowledgement of receipt, funding decisions and payment procedures.

Compliance with these service standards is a shared responsibility. Applicants must submit all required documentation in a timely fashion. Service standards may vary by AO.

5. Evaluation

5.1 Eligibility criteria

5.2 Point rated evaluation criteria

Applications will be evaluated according to the following point rated criteria:

  1. Innovation (25%)
  2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (25%)
  3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50%)

The page count limit to support each of the previous criteria is implemented in the Application Form. The definition of the criteria and scoring scale and minimum scores are specified in Appendix A.

5.3 Evaluation process

Only applications that have passed the eligibility assessment listed in Section 5.1 will be given further consideration.

Once the eligibility criteria are confirmed, an individual evaluation of the screened applications will be performed according to the criteria listed in Section 5.2. Evaluators shall be experts in the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of other Canadian government departments as well as external consultants.

A review committee will then make an overall selection based on the priorities of the Government of Canada and the CSA such as, but not limited to, geographic representation, gender representation, growth potential, commercialization opportunity, return on investment, implication of HQP and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students. Contribution agreements will be offered to the applicants in this final list to maximize the use of available funding (Section 6).

Before a final decision is made, the CSA's Program Manager responsible for this AO may seek input and advice from other organizations, including (but not limited to) federal, provincial, territorial and municipal government agencies and organizations.

6. Funding

6.1 Available funding and duration

The total funding available under this AO is currently expected to be approximately $8M, with the following maximum per project:

The maximum duration is from the signing date of the agreement until March 31, 2024, with a possibility of extension by 12 months, on a case by case basis.

The overall number of contributions awarded will depend on the availability of funds.

Each eligible recipient, whether as one entity or part of a consortium of partners, can be funded for a maximum of 1 project under this AO.

Approved proposals from for-profit organizations will be eligible for a total government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs. Thus, the maximum assistance of $4 million will be available for projects with $5.33 million of total eligible project costs.

Approved proposals from not-for-profit organizations and universities will be eligible for CSA assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs and for a total government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 100% of total eligible project costs.

To determine the amount of funding to be allocated, consideration will be given to the availability of CSA funds, the total cost of the project, and the other confirmed sources of funds provided by other stakeholders and the applicant.

Applicants must identify all sources of funding in their applications and confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. Upon completion of a project, the recipient must also disclose all sources of funding.

The CSA reserves the right to reject any proposals or to reduce the amount of the contributions at its entire discretion.

6.2 Eligible costs

Eligible costs are direct expenses that are associated with the delivery of the approved project and that are required to achieve the expected results of the project. Expenses will be covered subject to the applicant signing a funding agreement in the form of a contribution with the CSA.

Eligible costs are limited to one or a combination of the following categories (see definitions):

7. Funding agreements

7.1 Payments

The CSA and each successful applicant (the recipient) will sign a funding agreement. This is a condition for any payment made by the CSA with respect to the approved project.

Payments for contribution agreements will be made in accordance with the process and the reporting requirements described in the signed funding agreement. Upon notice of a successful application, the CSA will have no liability until a funding agreement is signed by both parties. Only eligible costs incurred after the funding agreement is signed and indicated in the agreement will be reimbursed.

7.2 Audit

The recipient of a funding agreement shall keep proper records of all documentation related to the funded project, for the duration of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, in the event of an audit. This documentation shall be available upon request.

7.3 Conflict of interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any current or former public office holder or public servant it employs complies with the provisions of the relevant Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment Code for Public Office Holders and the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

Note: Current employees of the CSA are not eligible to participate in any way in any application under this AO.

7.4 Intellectual property

All intellectual property developed by the recipient in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

7.5 Organizations in Quebec

An organization in Quebec whose operations are partially or fully funded by the province of Quebec may be subject to the Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30.

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of this Act, certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain authorization from the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes as indicated by the Act, before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada, its departments or agencies, or a federal public agency.

Consequently, any entity that is subject to the Act is responsible for obtaining such authorization before signing any funding agreement with the Government of Canada.

Quebec applicants must complete, sign and include the M-30 Supporting Documentation form with their application.

7.6 Performance measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report annually on the following topics:

7.7 Open science

The CSA wishes to promote the dissemination of findings that results from the projects it funds as quickly and to the greatest number of people as possible. Improved access to scientific results not only allows scientists to use a broader range of resources and knowledge, but also improves research collaboration and coordination, strengthens citizen engagement and supports the economy.

Thus, the CSA promotes the use of open access publication and archiving by recipients in order to facilitate the widest dissemination of findings that results from its funded projects. Thus, recipients are invited to publish, in a timely matter, their articles by using one of the following methods:

  1. Accessible online repository (institutional or disciplinary) so that the publication is freely accessible.
  2. Journal offering open access to articles.

The publication costs are eligible expenses as defined in section 6.2. It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive and that recipients are encouraged to use both.

Finally, the CSA wishes to receive, as a courtesy, a copy of the funded publications (if not freely accessible) or the hyperlink (if freely accessible) and its digital object identifier (DOI). These will be use to improve accessibility by including them in the CSA funded publications directory.

8. Privacy notice statement

The CSA manages and protects the information provided by the applicant under the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act. By submitting your personal information, you consent to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Statement, which explains how the information about the applicant will be processed.

The information is collected under the CSA Class G&C Program in Support of Awareness, Research and Learning - Research Component (ASC PPU 045) and Awareness and Learning Component (ASC PPU 040) . This information will be used for administration and application evaluation purposes. Personal information (such as name, contact information and biographical information) will be kept for 6 years and destroyed. According to the Privacy Act, any individual may, upon request,

  1. have access to his or her personal data and
  2. request correction of the incorrect information.

Applicants should also note that information relating to the Funding Agreement could be disclosed publicly in accordance with the laws, policies and directives of the Government of Canada.

For additional information regarding this statement, please contact:

Office of Access to Information and Privacy
Canadian Space Agency
Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: asc.aiprp-atip.csa@canada.ca

9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

It is the responsibility of the applicants to obtain clarification of the requirements contained herein, if necessary, before submitting an application.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants shall use the following email address asc.paelexploration-explorationleap.csa@canada.ca. Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently asked questions section of this AO. The CSA will respond to questions received 2 business weeks before each award cycle application deadline.

Deadline to submit questions for each award Cycle are as follows:

  1. at 12:00 noon (ET)
  2. at 12:00 noon (ET)
  3. at 12:00 noon (ET)
  4. at 12:00 noon (ET)
  5. at 12:00 noon (ET)
  6. at 12:00 noon (ET)

Question 1: We are considering proposing a project that would require non-Canadian expertise in order to support the key project activities that will otherwise be conducted in Canada. In order to help us scope the project work share, could you please clarify the following:

  1. Are there any rules we should apply in terms of maximum work share (e.g. as a percentage of the total project budget) that can be allocated to the non-Canadian partner?
  2. Are there any specific justifications that our proposal should contain in order to explain why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada?
  3. There are no evaluation criteria related to the presence of a non-Canadian partner. Can you confirm that the presence of a non-Canadian partner will not penalise the evaluation of the proposal, that no evaluation criteria take into account the presence of a non-Canadian partner, and that having a non-Canadian partner will not have a negative impact on the chances of success of a proposal?

Answer 1:

  1. Please see section 3.5: Basic R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada unless it is essential to the success of the project.

    The intent of this AO is to provide funding to enhance the R&D capacity of the Canadian space sector and, as such, R&D activities supported under this AO shall be undertaken in Canada. Foreign consultants are acceptable as eligible costs as long as reasonable efforts to find Canadian consultants have been demonstrated.

  2. It is up to the applicant to provide the appropriate justification as to why the work to be performed by the non-Canadian partner cannot be conducted in Canada as the justification can vary. The CSA will evaluate the justification on a case-by-case basis.

  3. As mentioned in answer 1b, it is up to the applicant to justify why the work needs to be performed outside of Canada and although there is no specific evaluation criterion related to the presence of non-Canadian partners, the following criterion evaluates the creation of highly skilled jobs in Canada: Outcomes and benefits to Canada.

Question 2: Consultant services

  1. For pricing purposes, could you please clarify what constitutes a valid 'consultant service', versus the work to be conducted by the project team and that should be costed under the category 'salaries and benefits'?
  2. Can you please also clarify if cost of consultant services may include a profit margin?

Answer 2:

  1. Consultants can not be employees on the recipient's payroll. Eligible personnel for the "salaries and benefits" category must be employees on the recipient's payroll. Please also see Eligible costs definitions.
  2. Consultant services may include a profit margin. Please refer to section 6.2.

Question 3: In the Eligible Projects section 3.2 what constitutes a standalone R&D?

Answer 3: An R&D project is considered standalone if it clearly demonstrates, and is accepted by the CSA, as having its own:

  • technological and/or scientific area;
  • area of application/defined reference mission; and
  • space/terrestrial potential of commercialization paths.

Question 4: To make an application, is a company required to be anything more than a legally registered corporation? Are there any other licenses or registrations that would be required?

Answer 4: The eligible recipients for this AO are described as the following: "Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit, not-for-profit, and universities established and operating in Canada." (see section 3.1). Each application to this AO must include a copy of the document(s) confirming the legal name of the applicant (see section 4.1 Required documentation). The document that confirms the legal name of the applicant is the Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation.

Question 5: For the purposes of this AO, what definition of Highly Qualified People (HQP) is being used? Are HQP considered to be only current masters or PhD students, or do they also include college students in a STEM-related field, or individuals who have already graduated?

Answer 5: HQP in this AO is defined as project managers, engineers, scientists, post-doc fellows, and technicians. Students are defined separately and can be current Masters, PhD, and college students in a STEM-related field.

Question 6: Regarding the above announcement of opportunity, does the SACC manual apply in this case? Specifically, does the SACC manual, Section 1, subsection 07 () on delayed bids apply for this submission?

Answer 6: The Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions (SACC) Manual does not apply as the AO generated contributions managed by the CSA and not contracts managed by Public Services and Procurement Canada. In terms of deadlines for applications, please see Section 4.1. All applications received after this date and time will be rejected.

Question 7: In order to apply to this AO, my enterprise has just registered as a sole proprietorship. Do I have to incorporate?

Answer 7: It is not required to incorporate. Eligible recipients are limited to for-profit, not-for-profit, and universities established and operating in Canada (see section 3.1). The CSA requires documents that prove the legal status of an enterprise. This could include registration documents, a Certificate of Incorporation or the Letters Patent of Incorporation. The proof of legal status of the enterprise is required with the application and before the closing date of an award cycle.

Question 8: In reference to section 6.1 – Available funding and duration

For a contribution agreement to be signed, the financial statements of the two past years as well as the most recent interim results of an enterprise have to be provided. My enterprise has just been registered. I do not have financial statements for the past two years, nor interim results. May I still apply?

Answer 8: Yes, you may still apply. In the case the enterprise has recently been registered and financial statements do not exist, they will not be required. The date of registration or incorporation will be required to prove that the enterprise has not existed long enough for financial statements to exist and to be provided.

Question 9: Is it sufficient to utilize a labor category rate (minus overhead) or is the individual's salary necessary. For example, at my company we have labor categories for RF engineer, all RF engineers are billed internally to projects at that rate. However an employee is paid a salary which may be more or less than the hourly labor category rate. Which rate is required by the CSA?

Answer 9: The individual's salary is required. The amount invoiced shall be actual gross pay for the work performed and shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing. Labour claims must be supported by suitable records such as time sheets and records, and be held for verification at time of audit. Management personnel are required to maintain appropriate records of time devoted to the project. For complete details, please see definition of salaries and benefits provided in section 6.2.

Question 10: Can the CSA comment on eligibility of suggested projects?

Answer 10: For the sake of fairness, the CSA cannot provide feedback on project eligibility during the AO's posting period. Applicants must refer to section 3 to determine if a project is eligible.

Question 11: Can we provide figures to support our proposal?

Answer 11: Yes, figures need to be included in the form along with the answers to the questions.

Question 12: Can we provide letters of interest or support letters?

Answer 12: Yes, these can be included in an Annex and referenced in the body of the answer in the application form.

Question 13: Can you clarify if only one entity can submit a proposal for this AO or a consortium of partners is also accepted?

Answer 13: A consortium of partners is also accepted. Each partner will have to provide a completed Partner Application Form and Financial Statements for the past two years and the most recent interim results (section 3.1 and 4.1). Each eligible recipient, whether as one entity or part of a consortium of partners, can be funded for a maximum of 1 project under this AO.

Question 14: Can additional technical and corporate material be added in annex?

Answer 14: Additional relevant documentation can be added in annex and referenced in the application form. Adding a bibliography is optional.

Note that only the content of the application form will be evaluated.

Question 15: With regards to the 75% maximum total government assistance, does this limit include foreign governments funding or is it limited to Canadian governments?

Answer 15: The 75% maximum total government assistance refers to Canadian governments (federal, provincial, municipal). Eligible costs have to be incurred by the recipient(s) and in-kind contributions are not accepted.

Question 16: Will the CSA be a user of the research data produced from this project?

Answer 16: CSA will not be the user of the research data produced from this project as this is an AO resulting in contributions and not a Request for Proposal (RFP) resulting in contracts.

Question 17: Is there an extension due to COVID-19?

Answer 17: Yes, the new deadline for the first cycle only is . The deadline to submit questions for the first cycle is .

Question 18:

  1. How is a subcontractor different from a contributing partner? Does a contributing partner have a contract directly with the CSA or through the Prime as a subcontract?
  2. Confirm subcontractors are treated as consultants. If so, they can use fully burdened fees?
  3. Prime contractor is allowed to apply overhead on subcontractor scope?

Answer 18:

  1. Partners are all jointly and severally (solidarily) liable in the contribution agreement and are all considered funding recipients. A subcontractor to a funding recipient does not have a legal relationship with CSA but rather the subcontractor has a legal relationship with the funding recipient through a subcontract. Only partners can participate to the minimum beneficiary contribution of 25% of total project costs. In-kind contributions, including a price reduction from a consultant, are not accepted as a contribution.

  2. Subcontractors to the funding recipient can be consultants and can charge fully burdened labor rates. The funding recipient can only claim the actual gross pay of its employees for the work performed which shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing. Please also see section 6 for Eligible Costs Definitions.

  3. The funding recipient can apply 15% overhead to the eligible costs allocated to a subcontractor. Overhead (administrative) costs are not to exceed 15% of project eligible costs.

Question 19: Could one apply for Cycle 2 (current deadline ) if one did not participate in Cycle 1?

Answer 19: Yes. The new deadline for Cycle 2 is (see Question and Answer 20).

Question 20: Will Cycle 2 be extended as Cycle 1 was extended and what is the new deadline?

Answer 20: Yes, Cycle 2 is extended to . The new deadline to submit questions for Cycle 2 is .

Question 21: Can we recover our 25% investment by selling the article developed under the LEAP program to a third party?

Answer 21: Approved proposals from for-profit organizations will be eligible for a total government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs.

Approved proposals from not-for-profit organizations and universities will be eligible for CSA assistance of up to a maximum of 75% of total eligible project costs and for a total government (federal, provincial, territorial and municipal) assistance of up to a maximum of 100% of total eligible project costs.

The project costs have to be incurred by the funding recipient before being claimed.

If, prior to the completion date of the project and for six (6) years after the completion date of the project, the funding recipient sells, leases or otherwise disposes of any property other than Intellectual Property, where the cost of the property is part of the Eligible Costs under the project to which CSA has contributed, the funding recipient shall immediately notify CSA in writing of such sale, lease or disposition and, if CSA so requires, the funding recipient shall share with CSA the proceeds of the disposition in the same ratio as that of CSA's contribution to the purchase of the property, except that CSA's share shall not exceed its contribution.

Appendix A: Point-rated evaluation criteria

Application must receive an overall minimum score of 80% as well as minimum specified thresholds to be considered for funding. Obtaining the highest score possible maximizes your chance of being selected to obtain financial support (see Section 6). The following point-rated criteria will be evaluated using 4 benchmark statements. Each benchmark statement will receive the following percentage of maximum points according to the following scale:

  1. Poor: 25%
  2. Average: 50%
  3. Good: 75%
  4. Excellent: 100%

1. Innovation (25% of overall score)

This criterion evaluates the novelty associated with the new concepts, products and/or know-how to be demonstrated. Innovation can range from sustaining innovations that improve the performance of existing products (but do not create new markets) to disruptive innovations that offer an entirely different value proposition leading to the creation of new markets. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: There is little or no innovation being applied to the demonstration of the proposed concepts, products or know-how.
  • Average: A moderate level of innovation is being applied that will lead to the demonstration of improved performance of existing concepts, products and/or know-how.
  • Good: A high level of innovation is being applied that will lead to the demonstration of leading-edge concepts, products and/or know-how.
  • Excellent: The level of innovation is transformative and will lead to the demonstration of new concepts, products and/or know-how for new markets.

2. Project feasibility, resources and risk assessment (25% of overall score)

2.1 Project clarity, completeness, feasibility and risk assessment

This criterion evaluates the completeness and effectiveness of the proposed implementation plan in directing the project to successful completion as well as the combined technical qualifications and experience of the team assembled to carry out the proposed work.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The implementation plan is poorly defined, incomplete or difficult to understand. There is a high likelihood that the objectives will not be met due to inappropriate methodology, technical team, budget, schedule, key risks or availability of resources.
  • Average: The implementation plan is somewhat defined but lacks details or clarity. Doubts remain regarding the technical methodology of the proposed work, qualifications of the technical team or the likelihood that the objectives will be met.
  • Good: The implementation plan is complete and well defined. The proposed methodology seems adequately suited for the proposed work to be carried out and the technical team has worked with closely related technologies. The expectation that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is credible.
  • Excellent: The implementation plan is complete, very well defined and coherent. The methodology described is logical and well suited for the proposed work to be carried out. The proposed team possesses all the qualifications and experience required to perform the proposed work. The likelihood that the proposed work will meet the set objectives and be completed on schedule and within budget is high.
2.2 Degree of readiness

This criterion evaluates the degree to which the science and/or technology is ready by the forecasted flight readiness review date, for capability demonstration. The only capability demonstration "phases" that are eligible are: Proto-flight development, preparation (includes instrument/payload adaptation/packaging), Delivery, Integration, Deployment (launch, landing, and execution), and Close-out. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The science and/or technology being proposed will not be ready by the forecasted flight readiness review date for capability demonstration on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space, within the schedule provided.
  • Average: The science and/or technology being proposed will be somewhat ready by the forecasted flight readiness review date, for capability demonstration on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space, within the schedule provided. There are many factors that have not been taken into account, in order to demonstrate readiness of the payload as well as the selected launch/lunar lander service provider.
  • Good: The science and/or technology being proposed will be ready by the forecasted flight readiness review date, for capability demonstration on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space, within the schedule provided. There are some factors that have not been taken into account, in order to demonstrate readiness of the payload as well as the selected launch/lunar lander service provider.
  • Excellent: The science and/or technology being proposed will be clearly ready, by the forecasted flight readiness review date, for capability demonstration on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space, within the schedule provided. All known factors have been taken into account, in order to demonstrate readiness of the payload as well as the selected launch/lunar lander service provider.

3. Outcomes and benefits to Canada (50% of overall score)

3.1 Path to commercial potential

Projects should strive to generate economic benefits or scientific return in the medium term to long term, within 5 to 10 years following project completion. This criterion evaluates the applicant's roadmap for implementing the science or technology. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: No relevant future missions have been identified for this science and/or technology. The proposal provides a poor or no post-project strategy to further develop the science for significant scientific achievement and/or technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this science and/or technology. The proposal provides an average post-project strategy with limited information on budget and schedule to further develop the science for significant scientific achievement and/or technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Good: The proposal identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this science and/or technology. The proposal provides a good post-project strategy with information on budget and schedule to further develop the science for significant scientific achievement and/or technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies relevant future space missions targeted for this science and/or technology. The proposal provides an excellent post-project strategy with clear information on budget and schedule to further develop the science for significant scientific achievement and/or technology in order to achieve commercial potential.
3.2 Market assessment

This criterion evaluates the applicant's understanding of the market needs associated with the proposed science and/or technology. It includes a thorough analysis of market demand. Incidentally, this criterion also evaluates whether the proposal addresses the existence and number of competing alternatives on the market. This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The applicant is not aware of the current market share pertaining to the science and/or technology being demonstrated and the many competitive alternatives already existing on the market. The proposal does not identify the factors that drive demand for this science and/or technology or the relevant customers and competitors. The proposal does not present a strategy for competing with the alternatives.
  • Average: The proposal somewhat identifies the factors that drive demand for the science and/or technology being demonstrated, but does not identify the relevant customers and competitors. Some competitive alternatives exist on the market but the proposal provides an incomplete plan for competing with the alternatives. The proposal does not contain any supporting market research/data. The applicant is not clearly aware of the current market share pertaining to the science and/or technology to be developed.
  • Good: The proposal identifies the factors that drive demand for the science and/or technology being demonstrated and the relevant customers and competitors, but this is supported by limited market research/data. A limited number of competitive alternatives exist on the market, and the proposal provides a detailed plan for competing with those alternatives. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the science and/or technology to be demonstrated.
  • Excellent: The proposal clearly identifies the factors that drive demand for the science and/or technology being demonstrated and the relevant customers and competitors, and is well supported by market research/data. Very few or no competitive alternatives exist on the market. The applicant is aware of the current market share pertaining to the science and/or technology to be demonstrated. The proposal provides a comprehensive plan for competing with any alternatives.
3.3 Competitive advantage

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the applicant's competitive advantage and/or overall market share. It is recognized that an improvement in the applicant's overall market share (or competitive advantage) can be achieved through creating a new market, penetrating for the first time an existing one and/or increasing one's position in an already accessed market:

  • Poor: The proposed project is unlikely to impact the applicant's competitive advantage and the impact on the revenues generated are marginal in respect to the level of effort required to develop the technology.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to improve the applicant's competitive advantage and is likely to have an impact on the applicant's growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Good: The proposed project will improve the applicant's competitive advantage and will have a credible impact on the applicant's growth in terms of revenue and size.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will substantially improve the applicant's competitive advantage and overall growth in terms of revenue and size. The proposal includes formally expressed interest of clients (Letters of Intent, MOUs, MOAs, etc.) indicative of potentially significant sales. The project will have an impact on other Canadian firms.
3.4 Benefits of a capability demonstration

This criteria evaluates the suitability of, and benefits (value) to a future mission, in performing a capability demonstration of the proposed science operations and/or technology on the lunar surface, lunar orbit, or cis-lunar space by .

This criteria seeks to answer the following questions:

  • Poor: The capability demonstration project is not necessary to the future success of the science operations and/or technology being implemented, in a future mission. The benefits of the results attained from the capability demonstration do not outweigh the costs of the project.
  • Average: The capability demonstration project is important to the future success of the science operations and/or technology being implemented, in a future mission. The benefits of the results attained from the capability demonstration are equivalent to the costs of the project.
  • Good: The capability demonstration project is essential to the future success of the science operations and/or technology being implemented, in a future mission. The benefits of the results attained from the capability demonstration outweigh the costs of the project.
  • Excellent: The capability demonstration project is critical to the future success of the science operations and/or technology being implemented, in a future mission. The benefits of the results attained from the capability demonstration far outweigh the costs of the project.
3.5 Public benefits

This criterion assesses the merit and potential of the proposed project to positively affect the Canadian public. This criterion also evaluates the degree to which this project will help retain and enhance the number of HQP as well as their knowledge and expertise through their involvement in this project and the degree to which the project encourages Canadians to develop STEM skills in order to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.

This criterion seeks answers to the following:

  • Poor: The proposed project has no impact on the Canadian public or it does not contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Average: The proposed project is likely to impact the Canadian public or is likely to contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Good: The proposed project will have an impact on the Canadian public or will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills.
  • Excellent: The proposed project will have a considerable impact on the Canadian public and will contribute to the development of HQPs and students on STEM skills. The project has the potential to have a wide scale impact at the national level as it encourages Canadians to develop STEM skills in order to prepare them for the jobs and economy of tomorrow.
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