About the program

What is co-design? What is the procurement by co-design process?

Co-design is an approach to solving problems that is based on the concept that solutions
should be created with and not just for users. Each user is an expert of their own experiences
and their knowledge, insight, and points of view should shape the development of products
and services of which they are the ultimate benefactor.

Can you please clarify what you mean by “provider”, “vendor”, and “solution”?

  • A provider is a healthcare delivery organization that is issuing a challenge and wants to procure a solution.
  • A vendor is an organization that is responding to a challenge and wants to supply the co-design solution or service.
  • A solution is the resulting product(s) and/or service(s) that are produced and procured as a result of the co-design process.

What were the results of the first cohort of the program?

17 teams participated in the co-design process. Three teams went on to procure the final solution. For more information see the cohort 1 journey.

Why should I use the procurement by co-design approach versus other approaches that I am familiar with like request for proposals or services?

Procurement by co-design is not an approach that is meant to replace existing traditional procurement approaches. It is meant to be used when there is no existing solution on the market that fully satisfies your needs or there are no solutions that you can feasibly procure (i.e, due to expense, complexity of integration). A benefit of this approach is that it allows you to co-design a solution with a partner vendor and your end-users which increases the ability of the solution to produce the impact that you wish to achieve. Working with end-users can also help empower them to feel more closely connected with your organization. This approach also allows for iteration and testing before a final procurement is made.

How is this program different from other innovation partnership grant programs?

This program is testing a new approach to procurement of innovation by our healthcare system. It is unique in a couple of ways: This program provides healthcare delivery organizations a new process by which they can select and partner with technology, goods and service vendors to co-design, test and procure an innovative solution. Also, the grant funding is provided to select teams for their commitment to testing this new process and helping us learn how well this co-design process facilitates the adoption of innovation into our healthcare system.

Participation requirements

Who is eligible to participate in the program and receive funding?

Any provider and vendor is eligible to participate in the program.

Only Ontario Broader Public-Sector (BPS) provider are eligible to receive the grants with the exception of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS) and must be the lead applicant and initiate the challenge. Once received, the lead applicant should share the funds between the organizations involved including partnering non-BPS providers, based on mutual agreements.

If you are not an Ontario BPS provider but wish to lead a challenge you are still encouraged to participate to learn this novel procurement approach and form new innovation partnerships as solutions developed can be of significant benefit to the organizations involved.

What if my project is already supported by my organization with some funding?

That’s great! Your project may have a better chance of success for that reason. We encourage provider organizations to leverage any internal budgets for innovation projects to help work on their challenge.

What about vendors that do not have a solution but can co-design and build a solution for our organization?

Teams can take advantage of an existing co-designed and modified to fit the provider’s exact needs and environment are encouraged since they are likely able to deliver in the timeframes we have set out for this program. However, you are also free to work with vendors can confidently build a solution from scratch in the timeframes proposed for this program.

Who is responsible for the execution of the project? What will the time commitment be like? What are the important deadlines?

Partnered providers and vendors are expected work collaboratively as part of the co-design team. Teams will be expected to work on their projects from September 28, 2018 to July 20, 2018. Teams should keep in mind that the amount of effort required to complete the project will depend on the complexity of the challenge being addressed and the proposed solution.

Can a single provider work with multiple vendors on the same challenge and form multiple teams that compete against each other? Can multiple providers and multiple vendors work on the same team?

This procurement approach was designed and curated the tools for teams made up of a single provider and a single vendor. This does not preclude teams of multiple providers and/or multiple vendors who wish to compete on the same challenge or form a team that works collaboratively on the same project. We will still provide support and guidance.

Who owns the intellectual property of the solution?

Any intellectual property considerations should be discussed amongst the project team. As the involvement of both the provider and vendor likely will help to shape the minimal viable product it Is likely that the organizations will share the intellectual property rights for any new discoveries.

As a provider, do I have to procure a solution at the end of this process?

There is no requirement for procurement at the end of this process (except if your team is awarded a procurement award by MaRS – then you are required to use that funding for procurement). Ideally, you will submit challenges that are in your future procurement pipelines, but this is not a requirement.

As a vendor, will my solution be procured at the end of this program?

There is no requirement for procurement at the end of this process (except if the project is awarded a procurement award by MaRS – then the provider is required to use that funding for procurement). This program is an experiment in novel procurement approaches, and as such, does not require the provider to procure at the end of the process. However, unlike a proof of concept or traditional pilot project, this process is structured to facilitate a procurement at the end, should the provider decide to do so. Ideally, you will respond to challenges that align with your platform, product or service development pipelines, but this is not a requirement. There are a number of potential outcomes from participation in this program and are summarized in the figure below.

Do I have to consult with the MaRS team before I submit my Challenge Brief or Vendor Brief?

We highly encourage you to consult the MaRS team before submitting your Challenge Brief or Vendor Brief so that we ensure your project meets the requirements of the program.

Submitting and responding to a challenge

As a provider, does my procurement process need to be compliant with the BPS Procurement Directive?

All procurements in Ontario must be compliant with the Directive. If you are in doubt about your approach, seek legal counsel.

As a provider, must I use the evaluation criteria provided in the challenge brief? Can I modify them in any way?

You must use all of the evaluation categories provided. You can add sub-criteria to the categories and adjust the weight of each category to suit your needs.

As a vendor, must I use the vendor brief? Can I modify it in any way?

You must use the template vendor brief as designed as this aids in ensuring a fair and transparent evaluation process.

Do I have to consult with the MaRS team before I submit my Challenge Brief or Vendor Brief?

We highly encourage you consult with MaRS before submitting your Challenge Brief or Vendor Brief so that we ensure your project meets the requirements of the program.

Program grants

What grants are available and what are they for?

A co-design grant will be awarded upon submission of a team application after Dialog Day. Selected teams will be awarded between $15,000 – $25,000 out of a total pool of $100,000. The co-design grant will be awarded to teams in recognition of their commitment to the procurement by co-design approach and program. The teams can decide how to spend the funding at their discretion.

A procurement grant will be awarded to select teams who wish to move to a procurement of the solution at Solutions Pitch day. There is a pool of $50,000 for the procurement grants. These grants must be spent on the actual procurement of the solution.

Note: It is not guaranteed that projects awarded the co-design grant in the will also receive a procurement grant.

How do we get the grant funding?

The co-design grants will be awarded based on the submission of the Team Grant application due November 10. The teams will be selected by the Innovation Partnership: Procurement by Co-Design Advisory Board. Selected teams will be announced on November 17. The funds for the grants will be released upon completion of a design review session between March 5-8 between the selected teams and Advisory Board

The procurement grants will be awarded on July 20 during the Solutions Pitch Day.

Who awards the grants?

The Innovation Partnership: Procurement by Co-Design Advisory Board, an independent third party of individuals.

Who receives the grant funding if awarded?

Grants are issued to the provider. The provider and vendors will decide together how the initial co-design grants will be spent or shared. Grants awarded at the end of the program are only eligible for procurement of the solution.

What if we do if our team does not receive one of the co-design grants?

We recommend you continue working on the projects to the end of the program, so that your team learns this novel procurement approach and to continue efforts in addressing the challenge. It is up to you and your vendor partners to decide when to end participation in the program.