DND launches IDEaS program to boost innovation

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“The IDEaS Program will provide unique opportunities for Canadians to put forward their best solutions on defence and security challenges, and will help put those solutions into the hands of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces. This investment will support the growth and expansion of Canada’s innovation community for the next 20 years.”
– Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan launched the new Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program on April 9, to transform the way we generate solutions to complex defence and security challenges.

Originally announced in June 2017 with the release of Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged, IDEaS will invest $1.6 billion into Canada’s innovation community over the next 20 years.

Through IDEaS, the Department of National Defence will reach out to Canada’s most innovative and creative minds, whether they are inventors, academics or scientists. These innovative thinkers will provide the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada’s safety and security communities with unique solutions to today’s challenges. IDEaS will stimulate innovation through a range of activities including competitions, networks, and sandboxes to field test concepts.

Minister Sajjan announced the first call for proposals under the IDEaS Competitive Projects element, in which sixteen defence and security challenges have been identified. Interested parties have until May 24, 2018 to submit their proposed solutions.

This call for proposals addresses challenges in domains such as surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space, artificial intelligence, remotely piloted systems, data analytics, and human performance. Proposals will undergo a rigorous evaluation process, and the first contracts are anticipated to be awarded in Fall 2018.

Innovators are encouraged to consult the IDEaS website for more information.

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