Defence invests in Canada’s Innovation Community for Defence and Security Solutions 

News release

January 16, 2019 – Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Government of Canada recognizes the importance of investing in defence innovation and the future of our Canadian Armed Forces.

In support of Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, Defence Minister Harjt Sajjan today highlighted the successful conclusion of contract awards from the first call for proposals (CFP) for Competitive Projects under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program (IDEaS) program.

The IDEaS program brings innovators to the table to support defence and security. In just nine months since its launch, IDEaS has demonstrated improved access to defence and security innovation by investing $26.8 million for 160 contracts under the first CFP launched in April 2018.

Over 600 proposals to help solve some of Canada’s most difficult defence and security challenges were received from innovators across Canada, including academia, small & medium companies, large industries, non-governmental organizations and individuals.  Areas of focus included surveillance, cyber, space, artificial intelligence, remotely pilot systems, data analytics, and human performance.

These efforts will help ensure that our Canadian Armed Forces have the tools and knowledge needed to mitigate new threats, stay ahead of potential adversaries, and meet evolving defence and security needs.


“Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we are providing the women and men of our Canadian Armed Forces with the tools and equipment they need to do their jobs. The success of the IDEaS first call for proposals is a testament to the importance of investing in Canadian innovation to support the future of our Canadian Armed Forces. These new collaborations will facilitate the flow of innovative ideas and concepts to help deliver the capabilities needed for a strong and agile military. Congratulations to all contract recipients.”

– Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“Our Government is committed to providing the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces with the technology needed to carry out their important work on behalf of Canadians. These contracts not only support our brave members, they also engage Canada’s best and brightest innovative minds to address key defence and security challenges.”

–Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada Carla Qualtrough

Quick facts

  • The IDEaS program allows the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to access Canadian innovation and ingenuity to help enrich defence capabilities and inform future defence and security decisions. 

  • The IDEaS Competitive Projects’ CFP was administered by Public Services and Procurement Canada on behalf of the DND.

  • The first CFP with 16 challenges was launched on April 9, 2018 and closed June 7, 2018.

  • The first contracts were announced by the Department of National Defence in August 2018.

  • The second CFP with nine challenges was launched on October 18, 2018 and closed on Nov 27, 2018. The first contract awards from this call for proposals will be initiated in February 2019.

  • Through IDEaS, DND is:

    • Creating 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;
    • Holding competitions and inviting innovators to present viable solutions to specific defence and security challenges; and
    • Implementing new procurement mechanisms that allow DND to develop and test concepts, and to follow through on the most promising ideas.

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

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