IDEaS awards its first innovation contracts to recruit, retain, and reach 25% representation of women in the CAF by 2026


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

A key priority outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged is to improve the diversity and capacity of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). In support of this priority, the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program challenged innovators from across Canada to submit proposals in response to a series of 16 defence and security challenges, including one on finding solutions to help the recruitment and retention of women to reach 25% representation by 2026.

The bidders who best meet the requirements of the challenge and call for proposals (CFP) will receive funding of up to $200,000 for a period of six months to refine their proposed solutions and present the department with a reasonable path towards full implementation of their idea. After six months of work, the proposals will be evaluated to determine if additional funding will be provided to bring their refined idea to reality.

The selected proposals for the IDEaS first challenge under the competitive projects CFP are the following:

Organization: SkyHive Technologies Inc., British Colombia
Funding: $199,250.00 
Project description: SkyHive Technologies Inc. proposes to use matching algorithms and machine learning to break down experience and jobs into skills that will enable the CAF to achieve a significant improvement in attracting, selecting, training and retaining women in the military.

Organization: University of Ottawa, Ontario
Funding: $199,291.07
Project description: The University of Ottawa proposes to lead a research project to assess the different factors related to musculoskeletal injury (MSI), one of the most common causes of medical discharge in the CAF; notably MSI rates have shown to be higher in women.

Organization: University of Waterloo, Ontario
Funding: $199,958.89
Project description: The University of Waterloo proposes to lead a project that will draw insights from Canadian companies and organizations that have successfully overcome their sectors’ challenges in recruiting and retaining women and collect best practices that can be applied to raising CAF gender representation.

Organization: Xtract AI, British Columbia
Funding: $91,200.00
Project description:  Xtract AI proposes to use a machine learning solution to semi-automate the recruitment process that will help improve the efficiency of recruiters and increase the representation of women within the CAF.

The first IDEaS CFP was administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) on behalf of the Department of National Defence (DND). Proposals received went through a review process by a committee of experts within DND before contracts were awarded to successful bidders by PSPC. 

Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program
National Defence Science and Technology

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