On April 9th, 2018, the Department of National Defence (DND) launched the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. This new $1.6 billion innovation support program will transform the way DND generates solutions to complex problems. Through IDEaS, over the next 20 years DND funding will support:

• Creating clusters of defence innovators to conduct leading-edge research and development in areas critical to future defence needs. These clusters will bring together academics, industry and other partners to form collaborative innovation networks;

• Holding competitions that invite innovators to present viable solutions to specific defence and security challenges; and

• Implementing flexible new procurement mechanisms that allow Defence to develop and test ideas and the ability to follow through on the most promising ones with procurement.

The IDEaS program will present many diverse challenges throughout the year on behalf of DND and all of its security partners (e.g. Public Safety, RCMP, Canada Border Services Agency, etc), and will be open to individuals, companies of all sizes, academia, and others to solve. 

The first Call for Proposals (CFP) launched on April 9, 2018, includes 16 defence and security challenges under the Competitive Projects element of IDEaS. This year, DND will invest up to $50 million in areas that could include artificial intelligence, surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space (e.g. object detection), remotely piloted systems, data analytics, human performance, treatments for mental health and operational stress injuries, and body protection (among others).

Interested parties must submit their proposed solutions for this CFP by May 24, 2018. For full details of this official Call for Proposals, please click here.

As part of its outreach, DND, in collaboration with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), will be touring Atlantic Canada to bring awareness of the program and details to its first call of proposals. The following information sessions have been organized as follows:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

·         Fredericton, NB @ 9:00am (in partnership with Planet Hatch)

·         Moncton, NB @ 2:00pm  (in partnership with Venn Innovation)

·         St. John’s, NL @ 10:00am (in partnership with Genesis Centre)      

Thursday, April 26, 2018

·         Charlottetown, PEI - 9:30am (in partnership with Startup Zone)

·         Halifax, NS @ 9:30am and Dartmouth, NS @ 1:00pm (in partnership with Innovacorp)

Come to learn more about the program, how to access program funds and find out which stream might interest you the most. You will also get the chance to ask specific questions to program management, hear about the challenges, and ask questions about the application process. To register for any of the information sessions, please click here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sam Fotia, Senior Advisor, Advocacy & Industrial Benefits of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), by phone at (613) 954-8059 or by email at sam.fotia@canada.ca