National Defence launches IDEaS Program to solve Defence and Security challenges through Innovation

News release

April 9, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Problem solving, creativity and knowledge are critical to meet and mitigate evolving defence and security threats. Through innovation we will develop and maintain capabilities that address the challenges of today’s global security environment.  

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

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, DND will reach out to Canada’s most innovative and creative minds, whether they are inventors, academics in university labs, or scientists in small and major corporations. These innovative thinkers will provide the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) 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.

Today, 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 six weeks to submit their proposed solutions, which must be received by May 24, 2018. This call for proposals addresses challenges in domains such as surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space, artificial intelligence, remotely pilot systems, data analytics, and human performance. Proposals will be reviewed and undergo a rigorous evaluation process. The first contracts are anticipated to be awarded in Fall 2018.

Innovators are encouraged to consult the  IDEaS website for more information on this and subsequent calls as the IDEaS program continues to take shape.


“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

Quick facts

  • Through IDEaS, National Defence will:

    • Create networks of innovators (academia, industry, individuals, and other partners) to conduct leading-edge research and development in areas critical to future defence and security needs;
    • Hold competitions and invite innovators to present viable solutions to specific defence and security challenges; and
    • Implement new procurement mechanisms that allow Defence to develop and test concepts and to follow through on the most promising ideas.
  • IDEaS will help innovators by supporting analysis, funding research, and developing processes that facilitate access to knowledge. It will also support testing, integration, adoption, and acquisition of creative solutions for Canada’s defence and security communities.

Associated links


Byrne Furlong
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

Search for related information by keyword: MI Military | National Defence | Canada | National security and defence | general public | news releases
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: