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Innovation Pilot Program

Description of the program and goals

The City of Ottawa is seeking innovative local, national and international start-ups to pilot new technologies, products or services within a City partner or department. Managed by the City’s Economic Development Services (EDS), the Innovation Pilot Program (IPP) has two objectives:

  • To introduce City and partner staff to innovative technologies, products or services that can improve either internal business processes or programs/services offered to residents.
  • To help to foster a supportive environment in Ottawa for innovative companies that are in the late stages of testing their products or the early stages of commercialization.

Value of the IPP

The IPP offers tremendous value to businesses. It provides them with the ability to test their technologies, products or services in a live environment and received valuable feedback in the late stages of testing and early stages of commercialization.

Note that participation in this pilot agreement will not have any effect (prejudicial or beneficial) on the Contractor’s standing as it relates to any future procurement of the piloted (or similar) products and/or services.

Process and timeline

Once the application is received, EDS staff will review and request additional information if necessary.

If there is no potential fit for the pilot, the company will be informed.

When there is a potential fit, EDS staff will engage other City departments and partners to find a host for the pilot. The company may be invited to present to potential pilot hosts.

EDS staff process applications as they are received. There is no set timeline as it differs from one application to another. As an indication, past applications have taken three to twelve months (from application to the start of the pilot).


It is important to note that the IPP is NOT a grant program. While limited funding is available, priority will be provided to applicants that are prepared to scope their pilots so as not to require cash resources from the City. The City will, from time to time, identify key priorities where we are seeking innovative solutions and these will also receive priority consideration. When funding is requested for a pilot, applicants must demonstrate how the money will be used.

Funding CANNOT be used for the following activities:

  • Existing business costs (e.g. staffing cost, admin)
  • Research and general development costs

Funding can be used to cover any 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.


Applications will be evaluated by the Economic Development unit, based on the following criteria:

  • Alignment with the City of Ottawa’s updated Economic Focus Areas in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and small business development
  • Alignment with the City of Ottawa’s Smart City 2.0 Strategy, in advancing City goals of connectivity, smart economy growth and innovative municipal governance.
  • Level of innovation demonstrated through the application – the product should not be readily commercially available “off the shelf;”
  • Demonstrated value for internal City business processes and/or services and programs
  • Feasibility of implementation based on costs, staff time required and departmental need.

While limited funding is available; priority will be provided to applicants that are prepared to scope their pilots so as not to require cash resources from the City. The City will, from time to time, identify key priorities where we are seeking innovative solutions and these will also receive priority consideration.

Application Form (Please note that there is a character limit of 400 words for each question.)

For questions regarding the program, information on past successful pilot applicants or to request an application form, please contact:

Jephtée Elysée
Economic Development Officer
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 1J1
Telephone: 613-580-2424 ext. 21656

Pilot projects underway

Clarity IOT Services & Technology Inc.

Clarity IOT is testing their sensors sensor management system in diverse settings. Their secured web-based platform support alerts that are dynamically configured and triggered when established thresholds have been exceeded and will be delivered in real time via SMS, email, push notifications or through the app on the mobile device.

CRC and City of Ottawa 5G Test Site

5G wireless networks will pave the way for the future. Everything from smart cities to self-driving cars and even virtual reality education. In partnership with the City of Ottawa, the CRC has built an outdoor 5G test site at City Hall to show that 5G mobile devices can communicate using millimetre waves and how to increase 5G coverage without adding transmitters.

LED Roadway Lighting

Radar Sensing Nodes to provide data counting for bikes/pedestrians, and or other applications.

Pilot Projects Completed

AirBrowz Mobile Technologies Inc.

Use of their mobile platform to advertise events/programs taking place in the Ottawa Public Library (OPL).


Advance Property eXposure is an innovative leader in developing smart “Mobile First” solutions for emergency services that allows responders to receive critical information, improving responder situational awareness and protecting citizens. “What the City of Ottawa is using is our most advanced software leveraging native smart technology capabilities. They are testing technology that will save lives” said Paul Martin, President and CEO of APX. The innovation is a game changer for responders, leveraging smart devices and wireless broadband networks to modernize Emergency Services operations.

Together with the University of Ottawa, the City of Ottawa is collaborating with APX to pilot their Building Tactical Information System™ and Plan Ahead™ products during emergency exercises that uOttawa undertook on their campus in October 2016.


CaféX created software that makes it amazingly simple for people to collaborate in ways that work best for them. CaféX believes that digital engagement should be tailored to each person's wants and needs. Customers and partners should be able to choose when, how, and where to interact with a company's services. Employees should be able to collaborate effortlessly through video, chat, and screen sharing. And the transition from an app to a live person should be as simple as tapping a button. These personalized, intelligent connections strengthen business relationships and deliver measurable results.

The City of Ottawa uses CaféX Chime Spaces, a virtual collaboration workspace product that brings the appropriate stakeholders, and relevant information into one persistent space at the right time. Each stakeholder group has its own workspace to collaborate in, share content, and discuss ideas. All communication goes through Chime Spaces so that it is transparent, accessible to everyone, and audited. The community outreach effort fosters innovation, inclusion, and consensus while crafting new legislation.

Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) Internet Performance Test Pilot Program

The City of Ottawa is partnering with the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s (CIRA) for the Internet Performance Test Pilot program – a community-based program that allows Ottawa residents and businesses to measure their internet connectivity and performance in their area. The data can be used to help benefit the user and their surrounding community members.

The test page consists of map where the user can zoom down to their street location and check average download time and speed. The user can also compare the data with other locations that are in close proximity to his or her residence or business. 

The map is located on the CIRA.

Ericsson / Rogers

Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society - a world leader in communications technology and services. Our services, software and infrastructure - especially in mobility, broadband and the cloud - are enabling the telecom industry and other sectors to do better business, increase efficiency, improve the user experience and capture new opportunities.

Rogers Communications is a leading diversified public Canadian communications and media company. We are Canada's largest provider of wireless communications services and one of Canada's leading providers of cable television, high-speed Internet and telephony services to consumers and businesses.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Ericsson and Rogers to pilot test their “Connected Water” solution that supports an early detection system for water quality testing. The pilot will leverage a combination of Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and LTE mobile broadband technologies to gather real-time data that City staff can use to better predict, prevent and respond to potential issues related to water quality.


At Gamifi, we develop simple, elegant interactions for intuitive learning. We develop, curate, and produce natural learning experiences for students. Our co-design process begins with breaking down courses into their core elements, communicating those elements using visual communication techniques, and adding a layer of gamification to engage students.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Gamifi to pilot their gamification approach to a staff mental health awareness training course that will be rolled out in the fall of 2016.

Gymtrack Inc.

Gymtrack Analytics allows gyms operators to get a real understanding of exactly how their equipment is being used, thereby helping with equipment purchasing, gym layout, and lowering maintenance costs for equipment.

The City of Ottawa is currently piloting Gymtrack Analytics in a few selected fitness clubs.

Karman Interactive

Karman is an interactive studio that builds experiences. Whether it's a beautiful interactive website or the latest mobile game you just can't put down, our team of experts will create an experience to excite your users. With a background in delivering award-winning work and an active industry presence, there's nothing we can't handle.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Karman Interactive to pilot their multi-media services as part of a 2017 Public Art Commission.


Key2Access is revolutionizing pedestrian mobility with cutting edge wireless technology to create more inclusive communities. We believe in equal access to services for all members of the community and make it our mission to assist municipalities by introducing viable solutions that are designed with the user in mind. Our hand held solutions are customized for the visually and mobility impaired but also support the needs of the elderly, parents with strollers and those with an active lifestyle such as runners or cyclists.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Key2Access to pilot their innovative mobility devices at the intersection of Bank and the Transitway.


MC2 is an activity-tracking mobile platform that powers social movements. It rewards people for tracking and verifying their bite-size activities, called micro-actions, which collectively have an impact. Further still, it mobilizes individuals, political parties, brands, governments and organizations around shared activities to accomplish goals big and small.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with MC2 to pilot their mobile platform as part of the 2017 Cleaning in the Capital campaign.

Millenium Inc.

Millenium’s operates an intercity community forum (Lacelabs) for municipalities and entrepreneurs to share experiences and lessons learned from pilots that they have undertaken. The City of Ottawa has joined the community on a pilot basis and will share lessons learned from our Innovation Pilot Program while seeking to leverage the experiences of other jurisdictions to address challenges in Ottawa.

Playground Planners

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Playground Planners to pilot their smart playground system that uses a combination of free-to-play mobile games in conjunction with a series of durable augmented reality markers affixed to specific pieces of playground equipment at Donoghue Memorial Park.


SavvyDox is the world’s most advanced cloud-based document collaboration platform, transforming document collaboration from a serial process into an intelligent interaction with documents. SavvyDox solves document collaboration issues for enterprises, government and publishers, all within an enterprise grade, private, hybrid or public cloud based secure infrastructure.

The City is collaborating with SavvyDox to pilot their collaboration platform to manage the Innovation Pilot Program’s applicant intake and review process.

Signority Inc.

Signority provides a secure, easy-to-use solution that streamlines the entire contract process. It’s our goal to help our customers eliminate the archaic print sign-scan method of document transactions and improve efficiency and productivity, while reducing costs significantly.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Signority Inc. to pilot their e-signature solution in the Economic Development and Innovation department.

Site Secure Software

Site Secure is an Ottawa based company providing asset management and security solutions. They are collaborating with the City of Ottawa to pilot their Narcotics Monitoring system with the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

Syncrodata Inc.

Syncrodata’s Trendify Live software is a dynamic dashboard that will allow clients to monitor most aspects of Twitter in real time. This includes searching by handles, hashtags, keywords, replies, retweets, favourites, profile and tweet views, and their interactions with people and companies. You can filter these results to show you what’s most important for you and your company to know at any given time.

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with Syncrodata to pilot test to social media monitoring capabilities of their Trendify Live product.


VoIPshield’s VoIPaudit 4.0 ™ is the leading application for VoIP audit compliance. VoIPaudit 4.0 ™ is easy to set up and use, and runs a diagnostic on a company’s network that provides a comprehensive report of network security, including its adherence to leading industry standards. When risks are found, VoIPaudit 4.0 ™ provides a comprehensive path to remediation, giving step by step instructions on how to make the network compliant. 

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with VoIPShield to pilot test their VoIPaudit system.

WAW Technologies Inc.

WAW Technologies develops network security products for enterprise, governments, and network and industrial security organizations. We help organizations gain full visibility over their network traffic, tackle security challenges, and make decisions using high quality data. Founded in 2014, WAW Technologies is head-quartered in Ottawa (Canada).

The City of Ottawa is collaborating with WAW Technologies to pilot their CatchWire network monitoring device in a lab environment.