Smart Cities Community Support Program - Application Submission Guide

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Table of Contents

1. Support to Communities

Smart cities approaches promise to reshape the lives of Canadians. By improving services and infrastructure through the use of innovation, data and connected technologies, this transformative approach to planning promises to make our communities more livable and environmentally-friendly.

While there are many advantages to adopting smart cities approaches, there are also many challenges. Communities across Canada have differing levels of understanding, resources and internal capacity to navigate the complex smart cities landscape.

Objective

The Smart Cities Community Support Program (the "Program") aims to bolster a culture of change, continuous improvement and innovation in Canadian communities and to create a platform for a pan-Canadian dialogue on the opportunities presented by smart cities approaches. This Program is designed to run in parallel with the Smart Cities Challenge and seeks to amplify and sustain its impact and objectives. It will enable all communities, especially small- and medium-sized municipalities, rural, remote, Indigenous, northern and isolated communities, to have access to the advice, information and guidance they need to build their internal capacity and improve the lives of their residents through innovation, data and connected technology.

To this end, Infrastructure Canada (INFC) is seeking applications from not-for-profit organizations interested in generating and sharing knowledge and building awareness in order to advance and support understanding of smart cities issues and approaches across the country.

The Program is administered and funded in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Smart Cities Community Support Program and the Treasury Board Policy on Transfer Payments. 

This call for applications will result in funding agreements for a period of up to two years (2018-2020). Additional calls may be issued, as required, over the course of the Program.

Role

Organizations funded through the Program will provide advisory and capacity-building services directly to communities – including small- and medium-sized municipalities, rural, remote, Indigenous, northern and isolated communities – and directly offer them the knowledge, expertise, experience and guidance they need to build internal capacity and navigate the smart cities landscape.

In support of this primary advisory function, organizations will also:

  • Help communities talk to the right people and find the right partners.
    • Harness existing networks or create new ones, including with Indigenous organizations, to reach and work with communities and stakeholders from all sectors (e.g. vendors, governments, non-governmental organizations, institutions of higher learning, consultants, etc.)
    • Facilitate connections and conduct active matchmaking between communities and stakeholders.
  • Make information about smart cities issues and approaches available and accessible to everyone.
    • Build open, easily accessible platforms that allow communities and stakeholders to create and nurture useful relationships.
    • Share knowledge, lessons learned and best practices, build awareness and promote discussions related to complex emerging smart cities issues (e.g. data management, privacy and security) and experiences in Canada and around the world.

Through these activities, organizations funded by the Program provide communities of all sizes with the support they need to strengthen their internal capacity, advance their thinking, engage residents and develop proposals. Funding recipients will exercise their national and local reach to establish strategic collaborations across sectors, to leverage resources and to harness established expertise.

2. Requirements

2.1 Who Can Apply?

To be eligible, an organization must be not-for-profit and have experience working across multiple sectors (private, public, and civil society).

An organization must also either have the following characteristics or must appropriately demonstrate in its application its plan to acquire them:

  • Have established networks and expertise at the local community level and/or with Indigenous populations;
  • Be capable of operating at a pan-Canadian level and in both official languages;
  • Have infrastructure in place to deliver on the required outputs;
  • Have a mandate that aligns with advancing smart cities approaches in Canada's communities.

Applicants may submit an application as a single entity, or as a consortium of applicants.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Smart Cities Challenge team at infc.sc-vi.infc@canada.ca with questions about eligibility and other requirements prior to the deadline.

2.2 Eligible Activities

Contributions will be provided in support of the following activities:

  • Advisory Services: Activities that share expertise and provide guidance to communities, organizations and/or citizens within and outside the context of the Smart Cities Challenge and on relevant topics (e.g. technology, data management, security, privacy, procurement, public engagement, outcomes-based project planning, etc.).
  • Active Matchmaking: Activities that actively facilitate productive connections between stakeholders and communities (e.g. through establishing, maintaining and expanding a database of stakeholders in the smart cities domain, through convening events or opportunities for connections, etc.).
  • Knowledge-Sharing: Activities that create or source content on emerging trends in smart cities issues and approaches, as well as best practices and lessons learned, and disseminate it through open and accessible events, idea camps, roundtables, webinars, conferences, workshops, and public engagement.
  • Creation of Accessible Pan-Canadian Networks: Activities that create and maintain open platforms where stakeholders and communities can engage with each other.
  • Accessing Established Networks: Activities that access targeted and highly subscribed channels of communication to provide tools to communities, which may include Indigenous communities.
  • Building Awareness: Activities that build awareness of and stimulate broad discussion on complex emerging smart cities issues (e.g. data ownership, data management, cybersecurity and privacy).

Networking, active matchmaking and knowledge-sharing activities could include conferences, colloquia, workshops, webinars, information packages, roundtables, consultations, training, matchmaking and engagement with Indigenous communities.

2.3 Available Funding

Agreements put in place for this call will be for a period of up to two years.

Infrastructure Canada (INFC) has allocated a maximum of $4.6 million in total contributions for this callout of the Smart Cities Community Support Program.

2.4 Eligible Expenses

The following expenditures are eligible for reimbursement by Canada:

  • All costs considered by INFC to be direct and necessary for the successful implementation of the Program as described in a budget and payment schedule approved by INFC.
  • Costs associated with the overhead and administration of the delivery of the Program by a funding recipient.
  • Costs incurred during a period defined within the contribution agreement.

2.5 Maximum Contribution

The maximum level of total government funding to be provided under the Program will not exceed 100% of eligible expenditures.

3. Process

3.1 Submitting an Application

There is no formal application form. Organizations are invited to send an application in MS Word, PDF or another readily accessible format by email to infc.sc-vi.infc@canada.ca. Applicants are asked to limit their applications to 5000 words.

Applicants may submit an application as a single entity or as a consortium of applicants. In either case, each named applicant must submit the following information:

  • Full legal name of the organization.
  • Name and position of the primary contact for the organization.
  • Mailing address, telephone number, email address for all correspondence.
  • Description of the organization's mandate and background, including information about relevant achievements or recognition.
  • Consortium applications: Name of lead organization and contact details for lead contact.

The applicant must clearly demonstrate in its written application that it has:

  • the ability to reach and serve communities of all kinds across Canada, in both official languages, and especially Indigenous communities, rural, northern, and isolated communities, and small- and medium-sized cities, in the provision of advisory services;
  • the organizational systems required to guide, sustain, and inform smart cities approaches to community planning;
  • the human resource capacity (i.e. staff, skills, expertise) to support smart cities planning, implementation and provision of advisory services;
  • experience delivering the activities, strategies and plans that support effective planning of smart cities approaches for communities;
  • appropriate (i.e. readily available and maintainable) tools and technology to support smart cities planning and knowledge dissemination; and
  • the ability to leverage existing networks.

The application must also include the following elements:

  • Detailed work plan outlining estimated start and end dates, key milestones and major activities, and timelines for key milestones and major activities.
  • Detailed estimate of total costs for each fiscal year for which there are revenues or expenditures. The proposed budget must be reasonable and balanced. Costs should be easy to relate to the activities in the work plan.
  • Expected results of proposed activities.
  • Consortium applications: The application must describe the responsibilities of each organization.

Applicants must also provide any additional information that INFC deems necessary to assess the eligibility of the application and to undertake risk assessment and due diligence, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Proof of not-for-profit status.
  • Organization's most recent annual report, if applicable.
  • A list of the members of the organization's Board of Directors, if applicable.
  • Financial statements from last two fiscal years (audited, if available) prepared by an independent accountant.
    • Note: A complete set of financial statements includes a balance sheet; a statement of income/profit and loss; a statement of cash flow; and notes to the statements. If statements cannot be provided, an explanation is required.
  • Any additional information concerning the organization that could be relevant to the assessment of the application.

INFC may contact applicants to seek more information or clarifications on the above criteria.

3.2 Deadline for Submission Of Applications

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Smart Cities Challenge team at infc.sc-vi.infc@canada.ca with questions about eligibility and other application requirements prior to the deadline.

The deadline for receipt of applications is July 20, 2018, 23:59 PDT.

3.3 Assessment of Applications

Applications will be assessed in two phases. The first is an eligibility check to ensure that the applicant meets the minimum eligibility requirements outlined in Section 2.1. These requirements are evaluated on a meet/does not meet basis. Applications that fail to meet the requirements will not be given further consideration.

The second phase is a criteria-based assessment. INFC will evaluate applications based on the selection criteria found in Table 1. Budget, work plan and expected results materials will also be assessed. In the case of the budget and work plan, applications will be evaluated based on an estimate of costs that is detailed, reasonable and balanced. In addition, organizations will be subjected to a risk assessment.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application assessment.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

Applicants are responsible for submitting applications containing accurate and reliable information based on professional knowledge. Inaccurate and/or false information may result in the application being disqualified from the assessment process.

The successful applicant will be responsible for delivering the required activities in accordance with a signed contribution agreement between the applicant organization and INFC.

5. Contact Information

Applicants are encouraged to contact Infrastructure Canada at infc.sc-vi.infc@canada.ca with any questions regarding the process.

For more information on the Smart Cities Challenge, visit the Infrastructure Canada - Smart Cities Challenge page (http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/cities-villes/index-eng.html)

For more information about Infrastructure Canada and its other programs, visit the Infrastructure Canada website (http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/INFC_eng; #smartcitiesCanada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransportandInfrastructureinCanada/

Table 1: Application Assessment Criteria

Requirement

Description

Weight

Application Assessment Criteria

Reach of Advisory Services

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has the ability to reach and serve communities across Canada in the provision of advisory services

25/100

  • Applicant demonstrates ability to reach and serve Indigenous, isolated, northern, and/or rural communities and to understand and serve the particular needs of each type of community
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has, or has plans to acquire, relevant and adequate human resources, tools, structures and expertise required to provide advisory services to communities with lower capacity
  • Applicant demonstrates a pan-Canadian reach (presence in all regions)
  • Applicant demonstrates ability to serve Canadians in both official languages

Networks

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has the ability to leverage existing networks

20/100

  • Applicant demonstrates it has experience accessing and working across multiple sectors (private, public, academic, not-for-profit)
  • Applicant demonstrates it has established networks at the national, regional, provincial and/or territorial levels
  • Applicant demonstrates it has established networks at the local community level
  • Applicant demonstrates established connections with Indigenous organizations and/or with Indigenous populations and communities
  • Applicant demonstrates it has established networks with rural, northern and/or isolated communities

Human Resources

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has the human resource capacity (staff with relevant knowledge, skills, expertise) to support smart cities planning and implementation and in the provision of advisory services

15/100

  • Applicant demonstrates that it has, or has plans to acquire, staff with knowledge, expertise and experience in subject matter areas relevant to the smart cities domain
  • Applicant demonstrates that its human resource capacity across a range of functional areas is or will be sufficient to deliver the required activities
  • Applicant demonstrates ability to serve Canadians in both official languages
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has expertise/skills to work with local communities and lower capacity municipal governments (urban, rural, isolated, and/or northern)
  • Applicant demonstrates expertise/skills with respect to working directly with Indigenous organizations, Indigenous populations and Indigenous communities

Governance

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has the organizational systems capacity and expertise required to guide, sustain, and inform smart cities approaches to community planning

15/100

  • Applicant provides relevant background information about its organization
  • Applicant provides details on awards, recognition, accomplishments
  • Applicant demonstrates how its organizational systems would be applied to govern, sustain and inform smart cities approaches

Plans & Processes

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has experience delivering the activities, strategies and plans that support effective planning of smart cities approaches for communities

15/100

  • Applicant demonstrates commitment to attaining goals
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has a mandate that aligns with advancing smart cities approaches in Canada's communities
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has experience in planning and delivering large-scale initiatives
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has experience in delivering required communications, promotion, and outreach activities, including knowledge development and mobilization
  • Applicant demonstrates that it has expertise/skills sets to deliver on technical elements of smart cities planning, including data issues and management

Tools & Technology

The applicant clearly demonstrates that it has the appropriate (i.e., readily available and maintainable) tools and technology to support smart cities planning and knowledge dissemination

10/100

  • Applicant demonstrates that it has appropriate tools and technology in place, or a procurement plan in place to acquire them, to support required activities (i.e. communications, web, connectivity, social media presence, etc.)
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