Supply Chain Verifiable Digital Credentials

Solicitation number EN578-20ISC3/74

Publication date

Closing date and time 2023/09/26 14:00 EDT

Last amendment date


    *Please note that the ISC website will be available on August 15, 2023 at 10:30am EDT.*

    This Challenge Notice is issued under the Innovative Solutions Canada Program (ISC) Call for Proposals 003 (EN578-20ISC3). For general ISC information, Bidders can visit the ISC website at:

    Please refer to the Solicitation Documents (…) which contain the process for submitting a proposal.

    Steps to apply:
    Step 1: read this challenge
    Step 2: read the Call for Proposals :…
    Step 3: propose your solution here :…

    Challenge title: Supply Chain Verifiable Digital Credentials
    Challenge sponsor: Shared Services Canada (SSC) and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)

    Funding Mechanism: Contract
    Multiple contracts could result from this Challenge.

    Phase 1:
    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $150,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 1 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 6 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 1 contracts: 6

    Phase 2:
    Note: Only eligible businesses that have successfully completed Phase 1 will be invited to submit a proposal for Phase 2.

    • The maximum funding available for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is : $1,000,000.00 CAD excluding applicable taxes, shipping, travel and living expenses, as required.
    • The maximum duration for any Phase 2 contract resulting from this Challenge is up to 18 months (excluding submission of the final report).
    • Estimated number of Phase 2 contracts: 2

    This disclosure is made in good faith and does not commit Canada to award any contract for the total approximate funding. Final decisions on the number of Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards will be made by Canada on the basis of factors such as evaluation results, departmental priorities and availability of funds. Canada reserves the right to make partial awards and to negotiate project scope changes.

    Note: Selected companies are eligible to receive one contract per phase per challenge.

    No travel is anticipated in Phase 1. Project meetings will be conducted via video conferencing.

    Problem statement:

    Challenge Statement Summary
    The challenge is to provide the supply chain with verified digital credentials and digital product passports to achieve full end-to-end transparency of goods, reduce costs across the entire supply chain from production all the way to the customer. With end-to-end digital processes, Verified Digital Credentials will completely revamp the entire supply chain process and help prevent supply chain fraud, through traceability, document digitization and authenticity, greater data security and accuracy.
    Verified Digital Credential supply chain documents need to be accessible to non-experts in various industries and domains. For example, verifiable digital credentials should be ubiquitously accessible and usable by anyone in the supply chain system to:
    1) Easily manage and interface with supply chain documentation and determine if tampering has occurred during shipment; and
    2) Corroborate any claims made about the packaging or contents therein.
    Although accommodating all possible domains is unrealistic, solutions entered in this Challenge will be required to interoperate across a minimum of two different problem domains (see Background and Context section).


    Essential Outcomes
    Proposed solutions must:
    1. Digitize supply chain documents with tamper-proof verified credentials;
    2. Offer Identification, authentication, and authorization for supply chain contents;
    3. Fully support Universal Bill of lading (BoL), e-BoL;
    4. Fully support Universal Certificate of Origin (C/O), e-C/O, or Declaration of Origin (DOO), e-DOO;
    5. Fully support Universal Air Waybill (AWB), e-AWB;
    6. Operate across a minimum of two different problem domains (domains may be related or within the same industry);
    7. Host multi-tenant mobile and web platforms;
    8. Be a fully Digital Data Sharing that provides End-to End visibility on shipments contents to all stakeholders;
    9. Plug and play integration independently of the supply chain contents;
    10. Incorporate emerging and/or mature specifications for interoperability that have been funded, tested and/or championed by the United States of America Department of Homeland Security, such as: Decentralized Identifiers (Standards Development Organizations: World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) or Decentralized Identity Foundation); Verifiable Credentials (Standards Development Organization-W3C); JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data/JSON-LD (Standards Development Organization-W3C); and ISO/IEC 18013-5 based verifiable digital credentials;
    11. Demonstrate the feasibility of the specifications described above in support of creating, transmitting, and storing verifiable digital credentials using wallet or agent reference implementations. These reference implementations may include but not are limited to: Blockcerts, Hyperledger Indy Aries, etc.

    Additional outcomes
    The proposed solution should:
    1. Allow regulators and authorities to obtain high visibility through digitization of supply chain;
    2. Be available for all supply stakeholders (I.e. shippers, export / import forwarders, airline, ground handlers, consignee, customs, etc.);
    3. Allow digital input for estimated origin labor and raw materials for cargo contents;
    4. Allow digital input for ESG Criteria (Environmental, Social, and Governance);
    5. Be able to identify shipment level down to the piece level;
    6. Be fully automated with shipment progress;
    7. Maintain multiple verifiable credentials for multiple holders and individual approval process;
    8. Incorporate input from Canada's trade organizations, associations, and/or chambers of Commerce specific to certain sectors (i.e. Food and Beverage associations, manufacturing, cryptography, etc.);
    9. Include geographical designation or controlled product denomination documentation to counter counterfeiting activities;
    10. Develop methods that address scalability and transaction speed issues;
    11. Provide alerts and/or notifications of potential tampering or abuses (either organized crime or fraudulent claim i.e. environmental footprint), such that unscrupulous players or ill practices can be identified and stopped;
    12. Operate across various jurisdictions such as: multi-national (i.e. EU or other economic trading blocs); National, Regional, municipal, and other localized mini-zones (such as groups of villages, cities, (e.g. Greater Toronto Area – GTA, Greater Vancouver, etc.).

    Background & Context
    Each year, more than 7,800 tons of paper documents are processed through logistics and transport supply chain, with lack of verified digital credentials. In addition, there is poor end-to-end visibility for authorized parties to track goods from source to destination. Lack of supply chain credentials span across multiple users, companies and countries, hence a higher chance of forgeries, inefficiencies, and delays, resulting in a compounding effect on other companies, end-users, and the economy. Some jurisdictions are enhancing their import controls and require irrefutable and certified proof of certain elements of imports to support their regulatory needs. The following are examples:
    • Certified lumber or wood components of furniture that proves that it comes from sustainably managed forests and supports protection of old growth forests;
    • Exporting grains, fruits or produce with proof of origin in order to preclude Canada-wide exportations halt or suspensions if the produce is afflicted by a disease in a particular geographical area;
    • Tracing of sustainable packing materials and certification of sustainability (biodegradable or recyclability);
    • Clothing with proof of origin of manufacturing and raw materials to prevent purchase of child and slave labour products;
    • Certifying extractive industry, extraction, processing/transformation and transportation of extracted materials support certain parameters such as labour source and treatment, and environmental considerations.

    Contract duration

    The estimated contract period will be 6 month(s).

    Trade agreements

    • No trade agreements are applicable to this solicitation process

    Reason for limited tendering

    A contracting officer can use limited tendering for specific reasons outlined in the applicable trade agreements. The reason for this contract is described below:

    • Prototype Purchase

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    Contact information

    Contracting organization


    10 Wellington Street

    Gatineau, Quebec, K1A0S5
    Contracting authority
    ISC, SIC
    (111) 111-1111

    10 Wellington Street

    Gatineau, Quebec, K1A0S5
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