What have we learned?

As we celebrate the one-year mark of the launch of IDEaS on April 9, 2018, we can reflect on a number of insights which could prove useful to all of IDEaS’ partners as we continually seek to improve our program. We are pleased to share our “lessons learned” with you in a spirit of openness and transparency. We also encourage innovators to submit their own observations and suggestions for improvement (DND.IDEaS-IDEeS.MDN@forces.gc.ca) based on their interactions with the program.

What worked well?

  • IDEaS generated significant interest and received strong proposals from Canadian innovators.
  • Relationships were created and, in some cases, strengthened between Canadian innovators and defence and security needs.
  • IDEaS has helped make DND more ‘approachable’ and the needs of DND more relatable to innovative thinkers.
  • Recruitment and sustained participation of innovators and subject matter experts helped to create awareness and internal ‘buy-in’ regarding the importance of innovation to DND/CAF.
  • Perspectives of, and oversight by, both scientific and operational experts for each challenge proved valuable for program relevance.
  • Advance notification of the program’s future opportunities can help innovators plan ahead for the actual CFPs.
  • Administrative processes are being streamlined, simplified, and reduced.
  • Social-media outreach, face-to-face contacts, and branding have helped promote the program to the Canadian innovation community.

What could be improved?

  • Encourage greater participation by non-traditional innovators through engagement and promotion activities.
  • Streamline response times to provide quicker decisions on proposals.
  • Sustain engagement of DND/CAF partners in all stages of the challenge process.
  • Extend information-sharing outreach within DND/CAF and the Canadian innovation community regarding the program’s functions, goals, and needs.

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