Why was IDEaS created?

Accessing innovative solutions to augment defence and security capabilities – both immediately and for the future – is critical for Canada and its allies to mitigate new threats, stay ahead of potential adversaries, and meet evolving defence and security needs. The complex and constantly evolving nature of conflict and crises requires that S&T address potential threats and risks such as:

  • Space-based capabilities, cybersecurity issues,
  • Emerging diseases, pandemics,
  • New and unpredictable adversaries,
  • Unstable and failing states,
  • Terrorism and technology,
  • Globalization of S&T and pace of technological developments.

In response to this environment, IDEaS was launched as a DND program committed to augmenting DND/CAF capabilities. IDEaS is an investment in access to innovators, allowing Canada’s military to better tap into the extraordinary talent and ingenuity resident in Canada. IDEaS also regularly draws upon the capacity and personnel of Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), DND’s national network of science and technology research centres. IDEaS is housed within DND in order to simultaneously utilize the guidance of DND/CAF leadership while tapping into and supporting the growth of Canada’s innovation community. ADM (S&T) manages the IDEaS program on behalf of DND.

Key allied nations have used investments to encourage external innovators to turn their expertise to defence and security challenges. In 2014, the U.S. launched its Third Offset Strategy, committing $3.6 billion USD/year. In 2016, Australia launched its Next Generation Technologies Fund, funded at $730 million/10 years, and its Defence Innovation Hub, funded at $640 million/10 years. Also in 2016, the United Kingdom launched its Defence Innovation Initiative, financed at £800m/10 years. The creation of IDEaS provides Canada with an innovation capability that aligns in mandate with these nations.

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