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R&D for C- and X-Band Satellite Data Integration

Announcement of Opportunity

Earth Observation Applications Development Program

Publication date: October 3, 2014

Application deadline: November 10, 2014

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. AO Objectives
  3. Eligibility
  4. Notice of Intent - Stage 1
  5. Complete Applications - Stage 2
  6. Selection Process
  7. Funding
  8. Funding Agreements
  9. Privacy Notice Statement
  10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Introduction

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the German Space Administration (DLR) signed a Framework Agreement on Space Science and Technology Cooperation in September of 2013. One of the areas of cooperation identified in the Agreement is Earth Observation (EO).

To ensure Canadian Industry is enabled to develop applications that capitalize on C-band (RADARSAT) and X-band (TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X) SAR sensors and their capabilities, the CSA's Earth Observation Applications Development Program (EOADP) is issuing this Announcement of Opportunity (AO) and will award non-repayable contributions to for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada through the CSA's Class Grant and Contribution (G&C) Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology.

Please read the following AO thoroughly before submitting your application. It has been prepared to assist applicants through the application process and outlines important 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(s), the latter document(s) will take precedence.

2. AO Objectives

The main objective of this AO is to advance the capabilities and expertise in Canada's industrial sector for the use and application of EO data, particularly with regard to C-band in combination with X-band SAR data. This will maximize the interoperable and synergistic use of both satellite systems. Another objective of this AO is to encourage collaboration between the Canadian and the German EO Industry.

3. Eligibility

Only those proposals that satisfy eligibility criteria 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and that are ranked highest for the criterion in Section 3.5 will be invited to submit a full proposal.

3.1 Eligible Recipients

Contributions under this AO are aimed at for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada (this excludes academic institutions).

3.2 Eligible R&D Projects

A research and development (R&D) project is defined as 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.

This AO is soliciting R&D projects for EO application development activities that include RADARSAT and TerraSAR-X and/or TanDEM-X data. The CSA will assess applicants' response to the following requirement:

Describe the objectives and anticipated results of the project, including a description of the technological unknowns that will have to be resolved for the project to succeed. How does this go beyond routine development activities?

A project may consist of several activities to attain its objectives or results. Any logical breakdown or combination of these activities can constitute a funded project. However, breaking down a project into numerous activities or sub-activities to obtain more than the maximum contribution funding is not allowed for what is considered to be one project. Furthermore, even if the maximum funding for one project is not reached, the completion of a funded activity does not automatically guarantee funding of the remaining activities of the project.

3.3 Link to CSA Priorities

This AO aligns with three core principles of Canada's new Space Policy Framework:

  1. Positioning the private sector at the forefront of space activities;
  2. Progress through partnerships; and
  3. Excellence in key capabilities.

3.4 Link to G&C Program Objectives

The Research component of the G&C Program provides financial support for the development of science and technology relevant to the priorities of the CSA. This program supports targeted knowledge development and innovation to sustain and enhance the Canadian capacity to use space to address national needs and priorities in the future.

The overarching priority of the CSA is the utilization of SAR data.

3.5 Demonstration that Integrating RADARSAT and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Data Enhances EO Solutions

Demonstration Criterion (8 points)

Description: This section describes the proposed EO solution that integrates RADARSAT data with TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data. This criterion also evaluates if and how data integration from these two sources will enhance the new EO products, services or processes and lead to improvements over current state-of-the-art practices.

The proposal gives an excellent description of the EO solution that integrates RADARSAT data with TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data. The proposal clearly shows how the research will lead to enhanced EO products, services or processes, and improvements over current state-of-the-art practices through the integration of data from these two sources. (Rating scale: D=7 or 8 points)

The proposal gives a good description of the EO solution that integrates RADARSAT data with TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data. The proposal shows in a general way how the research will lead to enhanced EO products, services or processes, and improvements over current state-of-the-art practices through the integration of data from these two sources. (Rating scale: C=5 or 6 points)

The proposal gives an adequate description of the EO solution that integrates RADARSAT data with TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data. The proposal states, without showing how, that the research will lead to enhanced EO products, services or processes, and improvements over current state-of-the-art practices through the integration of data from these two sources. (Rating scale: B=3 or 4 points)

The proposal gives a poor description of the EO solution that integrates RADARSAT data with TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data. It is not clear that the research will lead to enhanced EO products, services or processes, and improvements over current state-of-the-art practices through the integration of data from these two sources. (Rating scale: A=1 or 2 points)

4. Notice of Intent - Stage 1

The objective of this stage is to verify the eligibility of the applicant and the project before receiving a full proposal.

The proposals evaluated in this first stage should include:

One (1) hard copy and one (1) soft copy (preferably on a USB key) of the Stage 1 proposals must be post-mailed to the CSA at the following address:

Earth Observation Applications Development Program
c/o Yann Denis
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Longueuil, Quebec J3Y 8Y9

Proposals must be received at the CSA no later than 5:00 p.m. (EST), November 10, 2014.

4.1 Service Standards – Notice of Intent

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within four (4) weeks of receiving the notice of intent. The acknowledgment will include an invitation to submit a full proposal or a letter stating that the project is not eligible.

5. Complete Applications - Stage 2

5.1 Required Documentation

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

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

Earth Observation Applications Development Program
c/o Yann Denis
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Longueuil, QC, J3Y 8Y9

Proposals must be received at the CSA no later than 5:00 p.m. (EST), February 6, 2015.

5.2 Proposal Format and Content

The proposal should be written in a clear and concise manner, preferably using 12-point letter size (except for tables and figures) in a Times New Roman font (maximum of 20 pages, excluding appendices). The proposal must include the following sections:

Project Description, including:

5.3 Contact Information

To obtain general information on the Program, please contact:

Grant & Contribution Centre of Expertise
Canadian Space Agency
6767 Route de l'Aéroport
Longueuil, Quebec J3Y 8Y9
Email: lecedessetc-thegandccoe@asc-csa.gc.ca

Questions and answers related to this AO will be posted on the CSA website in the Frequently Asked Questions of this AO (see Section 10). The CSA will answer questions received before 5:00 p.m. (EST) on January 23, 2015.

5.4 Service Standards – Complete Applications

Applicants will be notified in writing of decisions regarding their application. Applications that have been selected will be announced on the CSA website under this AO.

The CSA has set service standards related to delays in processing requests, the acknowledgement of receipt, funding decision and payment processes.

Acknowledgement: The CSA's goal is to acknowledge receipt of proposals within 2 weeks of receiving a completed application package.

Decision: The CSA's goal is to respond to the proposal within twelve (12) weeks of receiving a completed application package or closing date of the AO, and to send for signature a contribution agreement within eight (8) weeks after formal approval of the proposal.

Payment:
The CSA's goal is to issue payments within six (6) weeks of the successful fulfillment of requirements outlined in the contribution agreement.

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

6. Selection Process

Only applications that include all of the documents itemized in Section 5.1 will be evaluated.

Proposals will be evaluated against point-rated criteria, and those with the highest scores will receive funding. It is estimated that about four (4) projects will be funded under this AO.

6.1 Evaluation Process

Evaluators will assess each application based on evaluation criteria listed in Section 6.2.

Evaluators will be experts in the field relevant to the applications and may include representatives of the Canadian government and non-governmental organizations.

The determination of the amount of support will take into consideration CSA availability of funds, the total cost of the project as well as the other confirmed sources of funds invested by other stakeholders and the applicant.

6.2 Evaluation Criteria

Feasibility
Resources
Risks and Mitigation Measures
Results
Benefits to Canada

Proposals will be scored in accordance with the following:

Criteria Overall maximum points for corresponding criterion
(a*b)
Maximum points for evaluation
(a)
Weighting factors
(b)
Benchmark definition corresponding to point rating
(1 to 8 points)
A B C D
1. Feasibility 20 8 2.5 1 or 2 3 or 4 5 or 6 7 or 8
2. Resources 20 8 2.5 1 or 2 3 or 4 5 or 6 7 or 8
3. Risks and Mitigation Measures 15 8 1.875 1 or 2 3 or 4 5 or 6 7 or 8
4. Results 25 8 3.125 1 or 2 3 or 4 5 or 6 7 or 8
5. Benefits to Canada 20 8 2.5 1 or 2 3 or 4 5 or 6 7 or 8
Minimum Overall Score 60            
Total points 100            

The proposal scoring for each evaluation criterion will be determined using a range from 1 to 8 points, 8 being the highest rating:

As an example, the maximum point rating, including the weighting factor, for the "Benefits to Canada" criterion is 20 points. If a proposal receives "6" for this criterion in the evaluation process, the final score attributed to the criterion will be:

6 * 2.5 (weighting factor) = 15.0 points (score)

Point-rated evaluation criteria that are not addressed in the proposal will be given a score of zero, and the proposal will be rejected.

Feasibility

Description: This criterion assesses whether research objectives are clearly described and the effectiveness of the proposed methodology in attaining them. The technical methodology demonstrates that the work packages, their sequence and the data plan are clearly substantiated, coherent and feasible.

Data should be chosen to best demonstrate the feasibility, performance, and success of the project. The data plan should describe all of the EO data that will be used in the project, including areas of interest, dates and volume of data, any other complementary imagery or other data types, whether they have been previously acquired or need to be acquired during the project.

The proposal clearly states and describes specific research objectives that are realistic. The proposed methodology for the research activities shows a sound and methodical approach to conducting the work and achieving the objectives. An excellent data plan is included. (Rating scale: D)

The proposal states and describes specific research objectives of the study that appear to be realistic. The proposed methodology for the research activities shows a good approach to conducting the work. However, its effectiveness in achieving the technical objectives of the work is not fully substantiated. A good data plan is included. (Rating scale: C)

The proposal states and describes specific research objectives of the study that may not be realistic. The proposed methodology for the research activities shows an adequate approach to conducting the work. However, there are gaps in the methodology, and its effectiveness in achieving the technical objectives of the work is poorly substantiated. A marginal data plan is included. (Rating scale: B)

The proposal is not clear about the research objectives of the study. The proposed methodology for the research activities is not appropriate or is not adequately elaborated. The data plan is poor and lacks detail. (Rating scale: A)

Resources

Description: This criterion assesses the combined technical and management capability (qualifications, experience) of team members to effectively achieve project objectives. The proposal should include a description for each of the proposed team members stating their roles and responsibilities within the project and a Responsibility Assignment Matrix that includes the level of effort in days for each team member. Résumés should be provided in an appendix.

This criterion also evaluates the management plan for its comprehensiveness and its effectiveness in directing the project to a successful completion.

The proposed project team is highly experienced in the relevant technologies or applications. The proposal includes well-described roles and responsibilities of each team member. The proposal provides a coherent and comprehensive management plan that will be effective in delivering the project. (Rating scale: D)

The proposed project team has worked actively in the relevant technologies or applications. The proposal includes roles and responsibilities of each team member. The proposal provides a credible management plan, but its ability to effectively deliver the project may be somewhat limited. (Rating scale: C)

The proposed project team has some experience in the relevant technologies or applications. The proposal lists the team members' roles but is vague about their responsibilities. The proposal provides a marginal management plan, and its ability to effectively deliver the project is doubtful. (Rating scale: B)

The proposed project team has limited or no experience in the relevant technologies or applications. The proposal includes team members but does not describe their roles and responsibilities. The proposal provides a poor management plan, which will not be effective in delivering the project. (Rating scale: A)

Risks and Mitigation Measures

Description: This criterion assesses any critical issues that could potentially jeopardize the successful completion of the project (technical, managerial, financial). An assessment of the risks involved should be accompanied by a mitigation strategy.

The proposal clearly states the risks to the successful completion of the work within the stated timeframe and budget. The risks are assessed in terms of their impact and likelihood, and solid mitigation measures are proposed. (Rating scale: D)

The proposal states some of the risks to the successful completion of the work within the stated timeframe and budget. The risks are assessed in terms of their impact and likelihood. Mitigation measures are proposed but are weak. (Rating scale: C)

The proposal states some of the risks to the successful completion of the work within the stated timeframe and budget but does not properly assess them. Mitigation measures are inadequate or non-existent. (Rating scale: B)

The proposal does not clearly state the risks to the successful completion of the work within the stated timeframe and budget. Mitigation measures are inadequate or non-existent. (Rating scale: A)

Results

Description: This criterion assesses the proposed working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents. This criterion also evaluates the potential for sustaining a working/business relationship between the organizations beyond the proposed research.

The proposal gives an excellent description of the working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents and shows it to be mutually beneficial. There is an obvious synergy between the organizations. The proposal clearly shows how this collaboration will lead to sustaining a working/business relationship between the organizations beyond the proposed research. (Rating scale: D)

The proposal gives a good description of the working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents, and it appears to be mutually beneficial. There seems to be a synergy between the organizations. The proposal shows that the organizations have plans for future collaboration, but details are lacking. (Rating scale: C)

The proposal presents a working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents, but the respective roles are not clear or are not balanced. It is not clear if and how the collaboration will continue beyond the proposed research. (Rating scale: B)

The proposal does not include a Canadian/German partnership or any kind of collaborative work. (Rating scale: A)

Benefits to Canada

Description: This criterion evaluates the potential of increasing Canadian industrial capabilities (lead applicant) as pertains to the integration of C-band and X-band SAR satellite data. It assesses how the proposed project will contribute to enhancing Canada's world-class expertise/leadership and international competitiveness.

The proposal clearly shows how the research will contribute to the (Canadian) organization's expertise in the integration of C-band and X-band SAR satellite data. The proposal clearly shows how the proposed EO solution will enhance the organization's international competitiveness. (Rating scale: D)

The proposal implies that the research will contribute to the organization's expertise in the integration of C-band and X-band SAR satellite data. The proposal implies that the proposed EO solution will enhance the organization's international competitiveness. (Rating scale: C)

The proposal is unclear how the research will contribute to the organization's expertise in the integration of C-band and X-band SAR satellite data. The proposal is unclear on how the proposed EO solution will enhance the organization's international competitiveness. (Rating scale: B)

The proposed research will not contribute in any significant way to the organization's expertise in the integration of C-band and X-band SAR satellite data. The proposal does not address how the proposed EO solution might enhance the organization's international competitiveness. (Rating scale: A)

7. Funding

7.1 Available Funding

For the purposes of this AO, the maximum limit of the non-repayable contribution per accepted project must be $300,000 or less over 24 months. This limit applies to the entire portion of the Government's contribution for the lead applicant.

The "stacking limit" is the maximum government (federal, provincial/territorial and municipal) financial assistance for a project. An approved proposal will be eligible for total government assistance of up to 75% of total eligible project costs. The overall number of contributions awarded and their level will depend on the availability of funds.

For this AO, the same funding and stacking limits apply to not-for-profit organizations.

The CSA reserves the right not to accept any proposals or to reduce the amount of the contributions at its entire discretion.

Applicants are required to identify all sources of funding in their proposal and to confirm this information in a funding agreement if the project is selected for funding. In addition, upon completion of a project, the applicant will be required to disclose all sources of funding. Should the CSA determine that assistance from federal, provincial and municipal sources exceed the stacking limit, the CSA will recover the amount that the CSA determines to be over the stacking limit. The recovery will be calculated on a pro-rated basis according to the proportion of total government assistance contributed by the federal government. Should amounts not be disclosed at the time of the determination by the CSA, the CSA may withhold any amount that the CSA determines to be appropriate to recover any excess funding.

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 Eligible Costs

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

The eligible costs for contributions under this AO are the following:

Eligible Cost definitions are provided in Appendix A.

7.4 Data Sources

The focus of the current AO is R&D related to the use of RADARSAT imagery in combination with TerraSAR-X and/or TanDEM-X imagery.

Each proposal should provide a data plan for the imagery that is intended to be used for the proposed project. Data should be chosen to best demonstrate the feasibility, performance, and success of the project objectives. The data plan should describe all of the RADARSAT, TerraSAR-X and/or TanDEM-X data that will be used in the project, including areas of interest, dates and volume of data, any other complementary imagery or other data types, whether they have been previously acquired or need to be acquired during the project. The data plan should explain why these data are needed.

Since the focus of the current AO is related to the use of SAR imagery for R&D purposes, the CSA will provide access to a reasonable amount of RADARSAT imagery free of charge to the successful applicants. However, a large volume of archived imagery is maintained that applicants are encouraged to try to incorporate into their proposed activities, which can be viewed at ceocat.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/portal/index.html.

DLR will also provide a reasonable amount of TerraSAR-X and/or TanDEM-X imagery free of charge to the successful applicants.

Applicants will need to abide by the following end user license agreements:

RADARSAT-2 Data:

gs.mdacorporation.com/products/sensor/radarsat2/RS2_Single_User_License_agreement.pdf

TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X Data:

sss.terrasar-x.dlr.de/pdfs/TSX-TDX-user-license-v2.2.pdf

The data plan should take into consideration the potential constraints related to RADARSAT data acquisition (e.g., priority levels, scheduling conflicts). It should be noted that data orders under these R&D projects have lower acquisition priority than for Government of Canada operational needs.

Some areas in Canada are particularly susceptible to RADARSAT data acquisition conflicts. As a result, the risk associated with these areas, with respect to data availability, might increase. Projects that focus on these areas and/or planning to use time series should propose a solid mitigation strategy (alternative study sites, or data, reducing the number of sites, etc.). The following areas are particularly susceptible to RADARSAT data acquisition conflicts:

Table D-1 below is an example of the format that should be used for the RADARSAT data plan. For other satellite data, airborne or in situ data proposed in the project, a separate table should be provided.

Table D-1
RADARSAT Data Plan
Acquisition Date Study Area Beam Mode Polarization (Single Co, Single Cross, Dual, Quad) Processing Level (SLC, SGX, SGF, SSG) Table D-1 Note 1 RADARSAT Data provided by CSA RADARSAT Data available from (insert organization's name)
Number of Scenes Concurrent field data collection
Table D-1 Note 2 (Yes/No)
Archive Data New Acquisitions Archive Data (a) New Acquisitions (b) Number of scenes
(a) + (b)
                     
                     
Total     Total      

The RADARSAT and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X imagery do not need to be purchased by the applicant, and the cost should therefore not be included by the applicant in the project budget. However, the project budget should include the cost of any other complementary data (identified in the data plan) that will need to be purchased by the applicant during the project.

Only commercially available RADARSAT, TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X beam modes are eligible under this AO.

8. Funding Agreements

8.1 Payments

The CSA and the successful applicants (hereinafter referred to as the recipients) will sign a funding agreement. This represents 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. Payments will be on a quarterly basis.

8.2 Reporting

8.3 Conflict of Interest

In the funding agreement, the recipient will certify that any 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 Value and Ethics Code for the Public Sector respectively.

8.4 Intellectual Property

All Intellectual Property (IP) that arises in the course of the project shall vest in the recipient.

We strongly recommend that the participants draft a Cooperation Agreement in English or French that regulates the terms of cooperation and IP ownership between all parties.

8.5 Organizations in Quebec (applicable only to not-for-profit organizations)

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

Under Sections 3.11 and 3.12 of An Act Respecting the Ministère du Conseil exécutif, R.S.Q., Chapter M-30 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), certain entities/organizations, as defined in the meaning of the Act, such as municipal bodies, school bodies, or public agencies, must obtain an authorization from the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes du Québec (SAIC), 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.

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

8.6 Performance Measurement

The CSA will ask the recipients to report on certain elements of projects such as:

Products & Services

Collaboration

9. Privacy Notice Statement

The CSA will comply with the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act with respect to applications received under this Component. By submitting your personal information, you are consenting to its collection, use and disclosure in accordance with the following Privacy Notice Statement, which explains how the applicant's information will be managed.

Necessary measures have been taken to protect the confidentiality of the information provided by the applicant. This information is collected under the authority of the CSA Class G&C Program to Support Research, Awareness and Learning in Space Science and Technology – Research Component, and will be used for the evaluation and selection of proposals. Personal information (such as contact information and biographical information) included in the rejected proposals will be stored in a Personal Information CSA Bank for five (5) years and then destroyed (Personal Information File no. ASC PPU045). Personal information included in the successful proposals will be retained along with the proposal results for historical purposes. These data are protected under the Privacy Act. According to the Privacy Act, the data linked to one individual and included in the proposal being evaluated can be accessed by the specific concerned individual who has rights with respect to this information. This individual may, upon request, (1) be given access to his/her data and (2) have incorrect information corrected or have a notation attached.

Applicants should note that for all agreements over $25,000, information related to the funding agreement (amount, grant or contribution, name of the recipient and project location) through this Component and the purpose of the funding will be made available to the public on the CSA website.

If you need additional information on privacy matters before sending your proposal, contact Danielle Bourgie, Coordinator, Access to Information and Privacy, at the CSA.

Telephone: 450-926-4866
Email: aiprp-atip@asc-csa.gc.ca

10. 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. At any point of the process, applicants are welcome to share with the CSA their comments or suggestions regarding the AO, the program or the process. Applicants can use the generic web-based Comments and Suggestions Box available at www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/funding-programs/grants-and-contributions-snapshot.asp#comments.

For any questions related to the AO, applicants may either use the web-based Comments and Suggestion Box or the email address (lecedessetc-thegandccoe@asc-csa.gc.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 before 5:00 p.m. (EST) on January 23, 2015.

Question 1: If we include a German partner on our bid, does the success of our bid to CSA depend on the success of the partner's bid to DLR? In other words, if our partner's proposal to DLR does not get funded, does it affect whether our proposal to CSA gets funded? What is the scope of participation that CSA expects from the German partners?

Answer 1: This is a joint CSA-DLR initiative therefore project proposal evaluations will be made in collaboration with DLR.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to determine the German partner participation based on the objectives of the AO and the proposed project.

Question 2: Only one (1) application per organization would be eligible during the solicitation process of this AO. Would CSA entertain two bids from one company, one as prime and the other as subcontractor?

Answer 2: One (1) application per organization as the lead would be admissible i.e. as a direct beneficiary of the contribution (which is not the case of a subcontractor). German organizations will be eligible for support under the DLR AO which will be launched simultaneously to CSA's.

Question 3: If we submit a project proposal which includes a German partner, can the 25% applicant contribution consist of part of DLR's funding to the German partner?

Answer 3: No, DLR is a government organization and the 25% contribution from the applicant must come from a source other than government (stacking rule).

Question 4: Is it a requirement, for the Stage 1 proposal, to include a commitment from a German organisation? In other words, can a Stage 1 proposal be eligible if it does not yet include a German organisation in the proposed project team?

Answer 4: Commitment from a German organization is not mandatory at either stage. However, as mentioned in the AO document, one of the objectives of the AO is to encourage collaboration between the Canadian and the German EO Industry. The AO also aligns with three core principles of Canada's new Space Policy Framework, one of which is Progress through partnerships. In addition, the "Results" criterion (Stage 2) will assess the proposed working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents. This criterion will also evaluate the potential for sustaining a working/business relationship between the organizations beyond the proposed research. A Canadian-only project could be eligible, however, a proposal that does not include a German partner will obtain the lowest score of "A" for the Results criterion. A project in which a German partnership is proposed would receive a higher score under this criterion.

Question 5: Are there any requirements, at Stages 1 or 2, regarding Canadian Content (e.g. SACC Manual A3050T 2010-01-11)?

Answer 5: A Grant and Contribution Program is based on the Transfer Payment Policy and differs from programs and initiatives under the Contracting Policy. Under this AO, contributions are for the benefit of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada (excluding academic institutions). The Applicant organization must demonstrate that it has the ability (knowledge, expertise and capability) to execute the project and may use outside services for specific tasks only, not for the project as a whole. The CSA will exercise due diligence when evaluating proposals to ensure that the Applicant organization is doing the majority of the project work. The basis of this is that work supported by Canadian funds should be carried out by organizations that are established and operating in Canada. It would however be acceptable that a study site be outside of Canada (e.g. in Germany). Please note that a German organization that is part of a Canadian project cannot be considered as a subcontractor because it is eligible for funding under the DLR AO.

Question 6: Are there any dependencies between the proposal evaluation and selection process at CSA and similar processes at DLR? In particular, we would like to clarify the following:

  1. Will proposals be evaluated both by CSA and DLR?
  2. Is the evaluation and funding of projects by CSA dependent on any similar Request For Proposals that DLR may issue in the future?
  3. Is it expected that proposed projects shall be co-funded by CSA and DLR in order to be accepted for funding by either organisations?

Answer 6:

  1. As stated in Q&A (Question and Answer) #1, this is a joint CSA-DLR initiative therefore project proposal evaluations will be made in collaboration with DLR.
  2. As stated in Q&A #2, German organizations will be eligible for support under the DLR AO which will be launched simultaneously to CSA's. (This AO was launched by DLR on October 7).
  3. This is a joint CSA-DLR initiative therefore project proposal evaluations will be made in collaboration with DLR. Ultimately, the decision to fund a project with CSA or DLR funds rests with each space agency respectively. Despite a favorable evaluation, CSA could decide not to fund a project if, at the time the contribution is set to be awarded, the proposal's terms and conditions are no longer valid or have been modified (e.g. the German partner who had a key role in the project is not funded by DLR in the end). However, CSA could also decide to fund a project even if the German partner is not funded by DLR. In this case, the scope of the project and the amount of the contribution could be revised at CSA's discretion.

Question 7: Are there any restrictions regarding the availability of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X data sets, for example due to acquisition conflicts or commercial reasons?

Answer 7: For this AO, only commercially available RADARSAT, TerraSAR-X and TANDEM-X beam modes are eligible. A reasonable amount of data will be provided by CSA and DLR to the selected projects. The data plan should take into consideration the potential constraints related to data acquisition (e.g., priority levels, scheduling conflicts). It should be noted that RADARSAT-2 data orders under these R&D projects have lower acquisition priority than for Government of Canada operational needs. The same constraints apply to data supplied by DLR. Applicants are encouraged to try to incorporate archived imagery into their proposed activities.

Question 8: Academic institutions are specifically excluded from this Announcement of Opportunity. However, is it acceptable for an eligible organisation to use the services of an academic institution as a subcontractor? If so, are there any restrictions regarding this role as a subcontractor?

Answer 8: Some work could be subcontracted to an academic institution. However, contributions are for the benefit of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada (excluding academic institutions) and are aimed at advancing the (lead) Applicant's capabilities. The Applicant organization must demonstrate that it has the ability (knowledge, expertise and capability) to execute the project and may use outside services for specific tasks only, not for the project as a whole. The CSA will exercise due diligence when evaluating proposals to ensure that the Applicant organization is doing the majority of the project work.

Question 9: If one Canadian company takes the lead and a Canadian partner company is teaming with the lead company, what would be the maximum percentage the partner company could contribute to the project?

Answer 9: The Applicant organization (lead) must demonstrate that it has the ability (knowledge, expertise and capability) to execute the project and may use outside services for specific tasks only, not for the project as a whole. In such a case, the Applicant would be required to provide a detailed work schedule indicating distribution of the work. Also, copies of the Intellectual Property Agreements related to the project would be required. There is no maximum percentage. However, the CSA will exercise due diligence when evaluating proposals to ensure that the Applicant organization is doing the majority of the project work.

Question 10: I checked the AO document and section 4.1 is: 4.1 Service Standards – Notice of Intent which does not seem to be the correct document. Would you please provide additional details?

Answer 10: Section 4.1 refers to the service standard relative to the Acknowledgement of proposals received in Stage 1 - Notice of Intent.

Question 11a: Is a German partner mandatory?

Answer 11a: Please see the Answer #4 to Q&A #4.

Question 11b: Can a partner be a University or does it have to be industry?

Answer 11b: Please see Answer #8 to Q&A #8.

Question 11c: Is a GoC org end user mandatory?

Answer 11c: No, there is no mention in this AO of participation by a government end user.

Question 12: Can a government organization, or a department there of, be included as a partner in the proposed project?

Answer 12: As specified in Answer #5 to Q&A #5, under this AO, contributions are for the benefit of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada (excluding academic institutions). None of these contribution funds can be imparted to Government organizations, and the benefits of project results shall accrue to for-profit or not-for-profit organizations. Should a government organization be a project partner, any funds coming from the government organization shall be accounted for in the stacking limit. The contribution mechanism is primarily aimed at capacity building for industry as opposed to the procurements mechanism that would allow government to procure products and services from industry.

Question 13: The German partner is required to produce a budget estimate at Stage 1; is the Canadian partner required to produce a budget estimate, either for the CSA or for the DLR Stage 1 proposal?

Answer 13: A budget estimate is not a mandatory requirement at Stage 1 for Canadian proposals submitted under the CSA AO.

Question 14: UPDATE: RADARSAT-Portal link: http://ceocat.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca/portal/index.html?

Answer 14: This catalogue can now be found by clicking on the following link: https://neodf.nrcan.gc.ca.

Question 15: For section 3.5: "Demonstration that Integrating RADARSAT and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X Data Enhances EO Solutions" I would like to compile a set of scientific papers and list them as references (about 2 pages). Are the references considered part of the 5 pages proposal? Similarly, the Appendices?

Answer 15: No, the list of references can be placed in an appendix. The documents necessary to verify the eligibility of the applicant can also be in an appendix. However, for the "Demonstration" criterion, it is the project description (maximum of 5 pages) that will be evaluated.

Question 16: The call specifies that proposals must be post-mailed to the CSA and received by November 10, 2014 at 5pm (Stage 1) or February 6, 2015 at 5pm (Stage 2) at the latest. Would it also be acceptable to deliver a proposal at the designated address in person? If not, what is your policy regarding mail that is not received on time due to third party errors (courier or post Canada)?

Answer 16: As specified in the call, only post-mailed proposals are receivable. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that its proposal is received before the deadline.

Question 17: Will the Stage 1 response be included with Stage 2 for evaluation, or should Stage 2 response repeat some of the key information from Stage 1?

Answer 17: Stage 2 criteria are different from the one evaluated at Stage 1. Stage 2 is distinct from Stage 1 and evaluators will not re-visit material provided at Stage 1. However, It may be pertinent to include some of the information that was provided in Stage 1 in your response to Stage 2.

Question 18: Is it permissible to collaborate and/or sub-contact directly with selected German Space Agency (DLR) operational departments such as the Remote Sensing Data Centre?

Answer 18: Under this AO, contributions are for the benefit of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations established and operating in Canada. The CSA will exercise due diligence when evaluating proposals to ensure that the Applicant organization is doing the majority of the project work. The basis of this is that work supported by Canadian funds should be carried out by organizations that are established and operating in Canada. A German organization that is part of a Canadian project cannot be considered as a subcontractor. An organization, such as the one cited in the question, should verify possible funding options with DLR.

Question 19: How many Canadian applicants were invited to participate in Stage 2?

Answer 19: Ten applicants.

Question 20: Would participation by a German company or organization that wasn't applying for funding through the German Aerospace Center (DLR) satisfy requirements in the Results criterion?

Answer 20: The participation of a German company or organization, not applying for DLR funding, would be admissible as long as no CSA funds are used to pay for work done by this company. The Results criterion will be evaluated during the evaluation process based on the merit of the section of the proposal that addresses this criterion.

Question 21: Can Canadian applicant collaboration on the DLR project be considered an eligible expense for the CSA project (either as a CSA contribution or as a Canadian partner contribution), if this collaboration is directly related to work performed under the CSA proposal and if the related effort is not expensed to the DLR project?

Answer 21: Canadian/ German collaboration is an important aspect of this AO. One of the anticipated results of the initiative is: synergy & partnerships between Canadian and German space industries. The Results criterion assesses the proposed working arrangement between the Canadian and German proponents. This criterion also evaluates the potential for sustaining a working/business relationship between the organizations beyond the proposed research.

The related effort (collaborative work on a collaborative project) is therefore an eligible expense as it will form an integral part the project.

Question 22: Our company has engaged a third party for collaboration on a project. The third party will be an end user of the project and is proposed to be an active participant. They have proposed to support our efforts in the project execution by providing cash and field support. Their contribution to the field support may not be cash flowed through our company, but may be paid directly by the third party to support our efforts. Can this project contribution be counted towards the overall project funding, as long as this is paying for 'eligible costs'?

Answer 22: Yes, the third party contribution can be counted in the 25% of the Applicant's contribution to the project as long as the stacking limit rules are respected (see AO). Details of this financing and its provenance must be clearly shown in the application.

Question 23: Are the Title page and the Table of contents included in the proposal's 20 pages limit?

Answer 23: No, it's a maximum of 20 pages to cover the five (5) Evaluation Criteria and it does exclude the Title page, the Table of Contents and Appendices.

Appendix A

Eligible Costs Definitions

No costs incurred prior to signing a Contribution Agreement can be considered as eligible project costs, either as a CSA or an applicant contribution.

Acquisition or rental of equipment: Consists of equipment, including software rented, acquired or constructed exclusively for the project. In order to be eligible, such equipment must be identified in the project cost estimates, be commensurate with project scope and needs, and be approved by the CSA. All such equipment shall be charged to the project at the net price, including all costs incurred to get the equipment operational after deducting all trade discounts, rebates and similar charges. It also includes disposal costs. The PST, HST and GST must be excluded.

Consultant services: The nature of services to be acquired shall be set out in the proposal estimates. The amount eligible for a consultant shall be the actual contract amount. The CSA reserves the right to approve only a portion of the consultant fees submitted.

The applicant must demonstrate it has the proven ability (knowledge, expertise and capability) to execute the project. The applicant may use consultant services for specific tasks only, not for the project as a whole. In the event that consultant services are used, a detailed work plan must indicate the distribution of the work, and the IP Agreement must be provided. It must be clear that benefits will accrue to the applicant.

Data Acquisition: Other than RADARSAT data (which will be deducted from the Government of Canada credit) and TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X data (which will be obtained through the CSA/DLR collaboration).

Overhead: This represents expenses of doing business that are not readily identified with a particular project or activity, but are necessary for the general operation of the organization and the conduct of activities it performs.

Salaries and benefits:

a) Salaries include wages for all personnel with direct involvement in the project such as, but not limited to, engineers, scientists, technologists, researchers, project managers, students and administrative assistants. All eligible personnel must be employees on the recipient's payroll. Payment in terms of shares, stock, stock options and the like are not eligible. The amount invoiced shall be actual gross pay for the work performed and shall include no markup for profit, selling, administration or financing (PWGSC rates typically do not apply, as they contain a profit element).

The eligible payroll cost is the gross pay of the employee (normal periodic remuneration before deductions). Normal periodic remuneration rates are the regular pay rates for the period excluding premiums paid for overtime or shift work. The payroll rate does not include any reimbursement or benefit conferred in lieu of salaries or wages. When hourly rates are being charged for salaried personnel, the hourly rates shall be the periodic remuneration (annual, monthly, weekly, etc.) divided by the total paid hours in the period including holidays, vacation and paid sick leave.

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.

b) Benefits are defined as a reasonable pro-rated share of expenses associated with the direct labour cost such as the employer's portion of Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan and Employment Insurance, employee benefits such as health plan and insurance, Workers' Compensation, sick leave and vacation plus any other employer-paid payroll-related expenses. Those items which have no relationship to the project or which have been charged on an indirect basis are not eligible. The determination of the fringe benefits amount shall be in accordance with generally accepted cost accounting principles. In general, the fringe benefits rate provided in the project estimate shall be computed once during the life of the project and agreed on prior to the signing of the agreement. If retroactive adjustments are made, these must be indicated on claims for progress payments for the CSA's approval.

Travel: Expenses shall be in direct relation to the project (e.g. field work, project meetings). The proponent must indicate the number of trips and the number of days for each trip, the cost, destination and purpose of each journey, together with the basis of these costs, which must not exceed the limits of the National Joint Council Office (NJC) Travel Directive. With respect to the Treasury Board Directive, only the meal, private vehicle and incidental allowances specified in Appendices B, C and D of the Directive, and the other provisions of the Directive referring to "travellers," rather than those referring to "employees," are applicable.

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