Innovation Pilot Program

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IPP Projects


Pilot Title

Streamlining Community Volunteer Management Processes Through Integrated Software Tools

Company Profile

InitLive is a software company based in Ottawa, Canada, founded in 2013 by Ottawa-natives and mother-daughter team Debbie and Melissa Pinard. InitLive is a world-class technology platform, offering operational excellence to nonprofit organizations and live event producers while empowering staff and volunteers with the tools they need to thrive. InitLive’s mission is to help recruit, organize, and connect staff and volunteers, who we believe are the foundation of every great event, initiative, and program.

Host Organization

Manor Park Community Council (MPCC)

Pilot Description

The COVID-19 Health Crisis has greatly impacted the broader Ottawa community with additional job losses and putting the most vulnerable people at risk. This in turn has placed a larger strain on local non-profit organizations like food banks. InitLive has been in discussions with Ottawa Community Associations about the challenges they are experiencing in coping with the increased demand on their services, and how technology could help them streamline their volunteer management processes to help them scale up. For example, volunteers organized by Manor Park Community Council are mobilized to deliver food on behalf of local food banks like Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Center (Centre de ressources communautaires Rideau-Rockcliffe), Partage Vanier Food Bank, and Kanata Food Cupboard.

Communities groups are relying on inefficient processes and tools like printed spreadsheets, and several other software solutions to try and organize their volunteers. InitLive was able to offer them a simple “all in one” volunteer management solution to streamline their operations. In addition, InitLive is offering key integrations to other software tools saving administrative time and allowing volunteer coordinators to reinvest this time back into more community-based efforts.

InitLive is exploring how key technologies food banks already use like Link2Feed, a specialized CRM to manage food inventory and delivery, can share data to ensure clients always get the food they need on time. Other tools are being assessed like how a food delivery driver’s route can be optimized and integrated into a volunteer’s schedule. This will allow for a fully streamlined system ensuring the most vulnerable in our community are always taken care of.

Media Quote

“InitLive is committed to helping our local community of Ottawa. We are proud to be able to help our local non-profit community organizations and their volunteers to meet the growing demand for their critical services since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis.” Commented Chris Courneya, CEO of InitLive.

Media Contact

Cassandra Smallman
Head of Marketing


Pilot Title:

Safe Return to Business in a COVID-19 Environment: Client Intake & Queue Management Solution

Company Profile:

Macadamian designs and develops digital health and connected medical device software solutions to improve healthcare. We are a full-service software design and development consulting firm that provides a complete range of product strategy, user experience design and research, data, and software engineering services. Ranging from big consumer brands to complex enterprise environments, our goal is to create solutions that are simple and meaningful, prioritizing the experience of the patient, the clinician, and the business needs of our clients.

Host Organization:

Chiromax of Manotick

Pilot Description and Goal:

COVID-19 requires physical distancing to prevent the spread of the disease. The goal of the pilot is to enable Chiromax to ensure patient safety while patients wait to receive healthcare services.

Using a smartphone and health clinic tablet applications, Macadamian’s InQ virtual waiting room solution will manage patient data collection to enable Chiromax to match available services with pre-scheduled patients in addition to managing walk-ins and InQ users equitably. Chiromax will be able to register patients’ availability upon arrival. Patients can wait in the safety of their vehicles or outdoors until notified via the mobile app.

Macadamian Quote

“What we know today is that social distancing is part of an effective way to keep our communities healthy and on the road to economic recovery,” said Fred Boulanger, CEO of Macadamian, “Macadamian is proud to have been selected for the City of Ottawa’s Innovation Pilot Program - Recovery Stream and is looking forward to partnering with Chiromax.”

Macadamian Communications Contact

Vani Edwardson
Vice President, Marketing
(613) 415-7161


Pilot Title:

QReserve space and density management solutions

Company Profile:

QReserve was founded in March 2014 as a spin-out from McMaster University to help promote the capabilities and capacity of university research facilities. QReserve’s powerful software platform provides solutions to the unique scheduling and space management requirements of thousands of facilities and organizations globally, with deployed applications in research facilities, office buildings, conference centres, fitness facilities, and more. Through a supplier partnership with Embedded Sense, Inc., from Mississauga, Ontario, QReserve has expanded its space management solutions to include the passive monitoring of utilization and occupancy with applications in a variety of sectors. QReserve’s potential for innovation and excellence has been recognized and boosted through awards and funding from several sources, including programs of the federal government of Canada (BCIP, IRAP), the province of Ontario (OCE) and other community programs and awards. In 2019, QReserve was recognized on Hamilton’s list of the top 40 fastest-growing companies.

Host Organization:

Ottawa Markets

Pilot Description and Goal:

In this pilot, QReserve will test the use of low-power sensors (provided by Ontario-based company Embedded Sense, Inc.) connected to QReserve’s versatile software platform to track occupancy and the usage patterns of spaces in the ByWard Market Building. The sensors anonymously detect motion and heat-based signatures that can monitor when a location is occupied and, collectively, quantify the number of individuals present within a space. This pilot will provide a valuable real-life testing environment for QReserve to deploy our software in combination with ESI sensor hardware to provide in-depth insights on space occupancy patterns in specific locations within the ByWard Market Building (e.g. entrances, washrooms). The goal of this pilot is to finalize a state-of-the-art, market-ready, highly scalable solution capable of responding to the new need, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, for density management solutions.

QReserve Quote:

“QReserve is proud to have the opportunity to deploy our space management solutions and be working with Ontario-based Embedded Sense, through the IPP Recovery Stream pilot program in Ottawa. This program provides a fantastic testing ground to trial and showcase our innovative density management solutions and elevate our competitiveness in a quickly growing market.” - Brandon Aubie, QReserve CEO

The Social Distancer

Pilot Title:

The Social Distancer – managing social distancing in the workplace

Company Profile:

The Social Distancer TM was created by leaders in technology, manufacturing, and business who came together to protect and inform their employees by ensuring that social distancing guidelines were easily understood and observed. Supplying employers with a wearable device to help their employees maintain a two metres distance from each other, allows staff to focus on their work without fear of intruding on the space of colleagues and clients.

Unlike other products in the asset management & proximity detection space that use high frequency RF signals like Bluetooth, WiFi & UWB, The Social Distancer TM uses the inherently secure and reliable RuBee protocol (IEEE 1902.1) developed by Visible Assets Inc. RuBee uses magnetic fields to communicate at exceptionally low frequencies, thus avoiding the inaccuracies associated with the high frequency signals employed by other systems. The RuBee protocol allows The Social Distancer TM to provide valuable warnings to the user regardless of its environment and ensures the near 100% accuracy and reliability required to maintain responsible social distancing.

Host Organizations:

With this pilot, the City of Ottawa will seek to support reopening efforts in the cultural sector and public markets. The device will be piloted on a rotating basis, at a number of locations, including Ottawa Markets, the Billings Estate National Historic Site, Cumberland Heritage Village Museum, and the Diefenbunker Museum.

Pilot Description and Goal:

As rates of infection and transmission of COVID-19 have begun to fall, reopening businesses & institutions closed as part of the pandemic response has become a critical part of the overall recovery plan. Though it has been well established that maintaining social distancing of at least two metres can reduce the potential spread of pathogens such as COVID-19, no effective tools exist to enforce this restriction. Social Distancer Technologies, in collaboration with Visible Assets Inc, has developed a wireless, peer-to-peer, wearable communication device that provides the user with a visual, audible & haptic warning when two units are less than two metres apart. This device will support the resumption of normal economic activities by addressing both the psychological and physical dangers present during a pandemic. By providing all parties in the workplace with a noticeable warning, awkward conversations regarding appropriate social distancing can be avoided while simultaneously ‘nudging’ users into habitual compliance over time.

The trials of The Social Distancer will run from Mid-July through December 2020.

Quote :

"The COVID-19 landscape is something new to all of us. We brought together our experts, with advisory support and research and development funding from NRC IRAP, to help our employees not only stay safe, but also be able to work freely and comfortably. With the Social Distancer, employees can go on with their workday without the need for any awkward conversations, unexpected proximity issues, or discrepancy about what exactly six feet is."

  • John Soares, cofounder and VP of Social Distancer Technologies Inc. and EVP of CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions.

Agile Work Evolutions Inc. (AWE)

Pilot Title:

Workforce Analytics for City of Ottawa

Company Profile:

Agile Work Evolutions Inc. (AWE) is an Ottawa-based startup that is retooling the future of agile workplace models—simplifying how employers can understand, track and forecast the flex work capabilities and mobility needs of their workforce.

Led by Dr. Lisa Chillingworth Watson and Meredith Thatcher, AWE has launched the world’s first Workforce Analytics services-enabled software (SeS) cloud solution. Workforce Analytics empowers employers with in-depth employee profiling, evaluations of work@home candidacy, and triple bottom line dashboard reporting (people, planet, profit) to inform their workplace transformation strategies.

Combined with Lisa and Meredith’s decades of experience in workplace strategy, business transformation, change management, and training, AWE’s innovative solutions can help advance and accelerate the City of Ottawa’s economic recovery toward long-term, sustainable growth.

Host Organization:

City of Ottawa, Innovative Client Services Department

Pilot Description and Goal:

The AWE Workforce Analytics cloud solution addresses a gap in the marketplace to assist employers with profiling the "flexibility" of its workforce and accessing triple bottom line impact information.

Our innovative software-enabled service (SeS) cloud solution would be deployed to all staff at the City of Ottawa to inform its future workforce and workplace model. Following a short survey, employees will receive a profile output. Through a user-friendly dashboard, management can access critical data including economic, environmental and employee impacts. A win-win for all!

The Workforce Analytics solution benefits the City of Ottawa's COVID-19 recovery efforts by engaging employees to better understand how they are working, how they prefer to work, and how they are enabled. It allows management to review "what if" scenarios regarding re-entry during/after COVID-19 and the impact of various workforce and workplace strategies and options in support of organizational resilience.

AWE Quote:

AWE co-founders Dr. Lisa Chillingworth Watson and Meredith Thatcher said “we are thrilled to be supporting workforce reintegration in the COVID-19 context for the City of Ottawa and its partners—and look forward to deploying our software cloud solution and workforce transformation expertise to help organizations become more mobile, agile and resilient.”

Contact person:

Dr. Lisa Chillingworth Watson
(819) 712-2646

Description of the program

The City of Ottawa’s Innovation Pilot Program (IPP), managed by Economic Development Services (EDS), is shifting its focus towards COVID-19 economic recovery efforts. This new focus, the Recovery Stream, provides companies the opportunity to test and quickly deploy their technology innovations in real-life testing environments with the City or one of its economic development partners. The program provides companies with valuable feedback on their innovations, prior to scaling and production.

Application deadline was at Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 4 pm. The Call for pilot proposals is now closed, thank you to those who applied.

The Challenge

The City of Ottawa is extending a challenge to the business community to submit proposals for technology innovations that will accelerate Ottawa’s ability to get the workforce back to work and safely resume business operations.

Take up the challenge! It is your opportunity to:

  • Help Ottawa be a leader in innovation and economic recovery in the country;
  • Give back to your community;
  • Establish your brand as part of the countrys COVID-19 response.

Areas of focus include technology innovations for public health (e.g., health applications, temperature monitoring, sanitization, cleaning protocols) and economic recovery (e.g., click and collect, virtual work, remote operations, automation, density screening/planning, digital counter). Priority sectors include health, tourism, festivals and events, restaurants, retail, construction, transportation and food supply.

In addition, the City may issue a separate call for collaboration on innovative solutions to respond to specific, urgent needs.


The IPP Recovery Stream has three objectives:

  1. To introduce City staff and participating partners to innovative technologies that will support the city’s economic recovery efforts;
  2. To continue to position Ottawa as a leader in the tech sector; and
  3. To support local innovation by providing companies with a real-life testing environment and valuable feedback on their innovative technologies.

This program is not a sales opportunity or pathway to City procurement. The pilot will not have any effect (prejudicial or beneficial) on a successful applicant’s standing as it relates to any future procurement of the piloted (or similar) products and/or services. Any eventual procurement would occur only following the normal process established by law and City policy.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the program.

  • Trial-ready: products and companies are market-ready at the time the application is submitted or can be market-ready within three months or less of approval.
  • Innovative/Proprietary: the technology is innovative and not available on the market. Applicants possess proprietary technology and IP (trade secrets or patents), where limited substitutions exist. Companies licensing another company’s technology, and distributors and resellers are eligible but not preferable.
  • Scope: pilot scope is realistic, feasible, and implementable, with no direct (or very minimal) cost to the City or participating partners.
  • Scalability: company and technology can scale, generate future sales, and local jobs.
  • Risk: pilot poses an acceptable level of risk to the City or partners. All risks have been adequately identified and assessed.

How it Works

The IPP Recovery Stream process is as follows:

Step 1: Proposal

  • A call for pilot proposals will be launched. Applicants will have two weeks to apply.
  • Applicants submit a proposal.
  • Applications triaged and shortlisted by EDS staff for adherence to eligibility criteria.

Application deadline was at Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 4 pm. The Call for pilot proposals is now closed, thank you to those who applied.

Step 2: Evaluation

  • Shortlisted applicants will be evaluated by an evaluation committee, comprised of City staff, Economic Development Partners.

Step 3: Selection & Match

  • A maximum of 5 projects will be selected to participate in the program.
  • Conditional approval provided by the evaluation committee to selected projects with final approval subject to finding a host, and acceptance of a legal agreement.

Step 4: Execution

  • Legal agreement signed by all parties.
  • Pilots executed within the agreed-upon timeline. Duration will vary based on the nature of the pilot, for up to a year.
  • The City will promote pilots for their duration.

Step 5: Evaluation & Support

  • Pilots are evaluated by the host and feedback will be shared with EDS and the program participants.
  • For successful pilots, City provides testimonials/case studies to the company and profiled on the City’s website.
  • The City provides ongoing support to entrepreneurs by promoting the projects and connecting them to the city’s economic development ecosystem, which includes mentors, investors, prospective partners, and buyers.
  • One year follow up with participants to measure success and economic impact.


Shortlisted applicants will be informed within two weeks of the end of the application period. The City’s goal is to start all approved projects (step 3) within 15 to 30 days.


The IPP Recovery Stream is not a grant program. While limited funding is available, priority will be provided to applicants prepared to scope their pilots so as not to require cash resources from the City. When funding is requested for a pilot, applicants must demonstrate how the money will be used. Funding is not to exceed $5,000.00 per pilot.

Funding can be used to cover additional costs incurred for the pilot. Examples of eligible costs include installation, 3rd party licensing fees, additional costs associated with meeting City requirements for prototypes (e.g. translation, AODA compliance, other). Funding is based on budget availability and approval.

For questions regarding the program, please contact:

Daniel Oliver
Economic Development Officer
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1