Canada invests in tracing steel supply chain

From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

January 24, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

The Government of Canada is committed to improving the traceability of steel in the Canadian supply chain to increase firm efficiency, ensure responsible sourcing of materials, and verify domestic content requirements when needed.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that two Canadian companies will develop a proof of concept for a digital tracing system enabled by blockchain and artificial intelligence for the Canadian, and possibly North American, steel supply chain. This digital tool seeks to capture activities across the steel supply chain to provide government and industry users with better information on supply and demand, origin, and the quality of inputs and outputs.

Peer Ledger Inc., based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Mavennet Systems Inc., based in Toronto, Ontario, will each receive an investment of up to $150,000 through Innovative Solutions Canada, a program that invites Canadian small businesses to develop innovative solutions to address government challenges.

The funding will support research and development activities to build a prototype specific to the steel supply chain. If selected to continue to the program’s next stage, one of the two companies could receive up to $1 million over two years to refine its prototype.

Innovative Solutions Canada is a key component of the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create good middle-class jobs.

Quotes

“Our government is leveraging its significant purchasing power to help Canadian small businesses become more competitive. With this challenge, we’re looking for a tool to better trace the steel supply chain and provide information on product supply and demand, instant verification of origin, and quality of inputs and outputs. By turning to Canadian innovators for their best ideas, we’re accessing quality products to solve some of our most pressing challenges while helping businesses grow and create good jobs.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and employ over 8 million hard-working Canadians. That’s why our government is committed to helping small businesses start up, scale up and access new markets. Innovative Solutions Canada is a fantastic program that uses government procurement to help small businesses innovate and then commercialize their innovations. Congratulations to these businesses. I can’t wait to see the innovative solutions they come up with.”

– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade

Quick facts

  • Program funding comes from the 20 departments and agencies participating in Innovative Solutions Canada. Each department is setting aside funding for this initiative that amounts to one percent of its 2015-16 combined procurement and internal research and development expenditures. Together, the funding from the departments and agencies represents an annual $100-million investment over the course of five years.

  • Innovative Solutions Canada encourages submissions from businesses owned and led by women, Indigenous peoples, youth and other traditionally under-represented groups by ensuring those groups are included in the program’s outreach plans and activities.

  • There are hundreds of programs and services that offer everything from funding to expert advice to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. Using a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

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