Challenges, open RFPs, and calls for support to help combat COVID-19

Opportunities are coming about quickly and require innovative and nimble organizations to respond and step up in helping us combat COVID-19. The below is a list of opportunities currently available from official organizations seeking responses from companies who would like to be a part of the solution. 

December 21, 2020 | This resource will be updated regularly as information becomes available on further opportunities. 

Opportunity 1: COVID-19 Collaboration Platform

Source: COVID-19 Collaboration Platform – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)


In response to Covid-19 and an unprecedented global health crisis, the Province of Ontario issued a Call to Action for suppliers, manufacturers and service providers to assist the healthcare effort.

The Covid-19 Collaboration Platform is an online portal that helps experts, agencies and companies who have a piece of the puzzle – whether it is an asset, a technology or a product – bring their solutions to market. OCE is working to match solution seekers with solution providers by leveraging Ontario’s innovation ecosystem.

Examples of solutions that they are looking to build connections around (either you need or have a solution related to):

  • Advanced materials
  • Production and cleanroom
  • AI/ Data Solutions
  • Ventilators
  • Productive gear 
  • Vaccine/medicine/virus detection/sensors
  • Sterilization/clean room
  • Quality control, certification, regulatory, labeling/marking/packaging
  • Logistics, remote healthcare, tools, services
  • 3D printing
  • Clean room and/or sterilization capability
  • Plastic and/or metal processing
  • Electronic assembly
  • General fabrication, assembly and packaging

Access the brief intake form here to get connected.

Opportunity 2: Research call to help accelerate R&D 

Source: The Pandemic Response Challenge Program – National Research Council of Canada (NRC)

Assemble a team of researchers from Canadian and international universities, government departments, colleges and highly innovative firms to help accelerate R&D to address specific COVID-19 gaps and challenges.

The Pandemic Response Challenge Program is currently structured around four main research areas:

  • Rapid detection and diagnosis
  • Therapeutics and vaccine development 
  • Digital health
  • Enabling adaptive response

Funding is available to help cover the costs of research for academic institutions, small- and medium-sized businesses, and other eligible recipients participating in the challenge teams.

Opportunity 3: Direct or indirect solutions for mitigating, managing or treating coronavirus or future pandemics

Source: Startup Health- Call for COVID-19 Innovation (Startup Health)

Goal: Provide investment to innovators from around the world working on direct or indirect solutions for mitigating, managing or treating coronavirus or future pandemics. 

StartUp Health is launching an open call for innovation as part of our Cure Disease Moonshot and putting the full support of the StartUp Health platform and network behind bringing your innovations to the world.

Apply here to schedule a meeting with the StartUp Health team.

Opportunity 4: Submit innovations to help support virtual mental health services, supply chain monitoring, or financial advice for small businesses 

Source: Call for innovative solutions to help fight the impacts of COVID-19 – Ontario Government (Ontario Government)

Call for solutions to help the Ontario Government tack these three challenges:

  1. Virtual mental health: Provide virtual mental health services and connect with isolated citizens, including people who are vulnerable or living in remote areas of Ontario.
  2. Supply chain monitoring: Ideas for how best to monitor the resilience of supply chains in the present circumstances.
  3. Financial advice: Seeking certified financial advisors and planners to offer free or low-cost seminars/webinars to small business owners to help them:
  • Better understand their balance sheets.
  • Navigate relief programs and help them with their applications.
  • Build a financial plan that will help them withstand the pandemic.

Submit your proposed solution here.

Opportunity 5: Call for products, services and manufacturers needed

Ontario Government

Products:Ventilators, masks, sanitation, swabs and testing, globes, eye protection, gowns and covers, hospital beds, reagent/consumable

Solutions/ Ideas: to help communities withstand the pandemic

Volunteers Needed: deliver food, deliver medicine, help run errands

Government of Canada

ProductsDisposable N95 masks, disposable surgical masks, nitrile gloves, vinyl gloves, gowns, bottles of hand sanitizer

ServicesGuard/security services, nursing services, food services, laundry services, accommodation maintenance services, personal services, IT support services


If you can say yes to the following, the Government of Canada wants to hear from you:

  • You manufacture in Canada and/or have ready access to necessary inputs through your supply chain.
  • You have equipment or facilities that can be rapidly re-tooled to meet medical needs, including for personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks and surgical gowns; sanitizers; wipes; ventilators; and other medical equipment and supplies.
  • You have skilled workers who are able to respond and who could be available for work in the current circumstances.

Please send a short summary of your offer to