Innovation means taking action!
By Laura Grenier, Intern Project Officer, 2nd Canadian Division Public Affairs
Excercice INNOVE took place in Montreal and Saint-Jean in April. The goal of the exercise was to showcase the innovations created within the Defence Team in Quebec. More than 35 people took part in the five conferences.
The project was initiated by the Blueprint 2020 office in Ottawa out of a desire to demonstrate that innovation is made possible through action and was developed in collaboration with the Public Affairs Office of the 2 Cdn Div.
Several members of the Defence Team were represented at the event. They enthusiastically presented their initiatives to their colleagues, describing how their projects could improve their work and that of others. The innovations were both technical and procedural.
Jean-François Bernard, Coordinator, Physical Fitness, Sports and Recreation at the Montreal Garrison for the Personnel Support Program (PSP), presented the plan that he and his team created to offer activities on a regular basis to members of the Defence Team. A calendar was created to ensure ongoing programming that sports centre users can refer to as a guide. Jean-François also implemented management practices to mobilize his team toward a common mission. One of the methods chosen was to develop a postcard concept to encourage and promote recognition for good deeds within the team. For Jean-François, the key to success during innovation is to have a mobilized, committed team at his side.
Warrant Officer Stéphane Paulin-Godbout presented the innovations from his branch with a focus on the future. First, he described his vision of innovation by illustrating that just because a practice has existed for many years doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good one. He believes it is necessary to find solutions to problems on a team basis. In recent years, Information Management Officers (IMO) of the 2 Cdn Div have used the Army Collaborative Information Management Service (ACIMS). In concrete terms, last year they organized an information centre during Operation LENTUS to facilitate access to information.
Master Corporal Stevens Antonuk with Mauricio Garzon spearheaded the use of 360 technology within the Public Affairs Office of 2 Cdn Div. 360 technology makes it possible to produce virtual reality videos that immerse the user into a 360-degree environment. This project was initiated to expand the range of communication tools used by the PAO, 2 Cdn Div, to enhance recruitment efforts and improve the presence of the CAF on social media.
35 Canadian Brigade Group
Captain Frenette, assisted by Sergeant Thomassin, both work for the 35 CBG. In recent years, they worked to implement a number of innovations to facilitate operations, especially in Canada’s Arctic. They presented various tools that made communication easier for troops during their deployment in the North. For example, they created rucksacks that had solar panels attached so as to charge communication devices during deployments. They also acquired GATR inflatable satellite antenna systems, which made it possible to provide interconnection with Headquarters during a mission, while having a lightweight, compact and easy-to-deploy antenna in difficult weather conditions. All these technical innovations facilitate the operations and work of the members, while ensuring a self-sufficient energy source that is not based on fossil fuels.
Real Property Operations
Pierre Labrie and his team developed strategies to reduce energy consumption in Department of National Defence buildings and vehicles. For example, in some buildings he oversaw the installation of motion detectors to reduce the time that lights stayed on. He also began the process of purchasing an electric vehicle to allow people to travel between garrisons in a more environmentally friendly way. Soon, electrical terminals will be installed on the bases. This will allow the organization to improve its ecological footprint and to save money.
The Blueprint 2020 office is currently working on the launch of the Innovation Challenge. The Deputy Minister created a $1 million fund to finance and support innovation in the Canadian Armed Forces and within the Department of National Defence. An individual or team may submit a project to try to obtain the funds and resources needed to carry it out. The program is divided into three distinct phases, which all result in a decision on the progress of the project. Finalists who make it through the selection stages will be required to present their project to a panel, whose members will decide whether or not to grant them the resources to carry out their project. Are you up to the challenge?
For more details on the Department of National Defence’s Innovation Challenge, visit the Defence Team Innovation Challenge GCpedia page.
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