DND launches a call to innovative thinkers for solutions to COVID-19 challenges 

News release

May 26, 2020 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to refocus existing innovation programs to support the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced today the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some of the key challenges Canada is facing.

With an initial commitment of $15M, the first three challenges focus on:

  • Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
  • Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
  • Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.

These challenges were determined by multi-departmental panels led by the National Research Council of Canada as part of the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program.

In addition to the call for innovation, these panels are engaging Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises to refine their near-to-market products to meet a COVID-19 related need. Promising solutions in the areas of PPE, sanitization, diagnostics and testing, therapeutics, and disease-tracking technology may receive funding to further their solutions of interest. This effort is a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada and sees an additional investment of up to $10M.

Innovators are encouraged to consult the IDEaS program website for more information on the challenges and how to apply to the program.  

Quotes

“These are unprecedented times. We need to leverage all great minds and innovators in our efforts to combat COVID-19. We will invest in Canadians as we look for innovative solutions to keep not only the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces, but all Canadians safe.”

Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan

Quick facts

  • Call for innovation – Challenges to Canadian innovators

    • This initiative is being led by DND’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, with collaboration from the Centre for Security Science Program.
    • The call will be open until June 23, 2020, with contracts expected to be awarded this summer.
  • COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program

    • DND has provided subject matter experts in the areas of public safety and security, medical response, and biology/chemistry for these panels.

Associated links

Contacts

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Email: mlo-blm@forces.gc.ca


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