Faster, Stronger, More Secure: Advancing 5G capabilities and concepts for defence and security

Innovation Networks

Up to $1.5M to stimulate the free flow of ideas critical for innovation.


The Challenge

In response to the rapid development and deployment of commercial 5G technologies, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are seeking to stimulate the application of advances in technologies for 5G and beyond to defence and security problems.  

What IDEaS Provides

Up to $1,500,000 (over 3 years) to develop a research micro-network to stimulate collaboration and build a network of expertise in support of Canada’s current and future defence and security needs.

What Innovators Bring

Led by a Canadian university, innovators bring a self-organized multidisciplinary group of researchers to collaborate and advance research in the 5G domain that have DND/CAF applications, specifically: Architectures for Defence and Security Operations; Assured Performance and Security; and Applications and Sensors.

Challenge

Faster, Stronger, More Secure: Advancing 5G capabilities and concepts for defence and security

In response to the rapid development and deployment of commercial 5G technologies, the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) are seeking to stimulate the application of advances in technologies for 5G and beyond to defence and security problems.  Currently, most research and development work within academia and industry focuses on commercial applications.  To leverage that work to address DND/CAF specific needs, the IDEaS program is looking to develop several research micro-nets focusing on DND/CAF applications, specifically: Architectures for Defence and Security Operations, Assured Performance and Security, and Applications and Sensors.

Formation of Innovation Networks

Recognizing that successful and sustainable research networks take time to build, this first round of calls for proposals is meant to establish the creation of small innovation networks, or micro-nets.

The benefit to Canada and DND/CAF will be the development of a critical mass of researchers, highly qualified personnel and expertise within the Canadian innovation community that supports basic and applied research. It is expected that the existing micro-nets will work together to eventually form larger and sustainable national Innovation Networks dedicated to further research on 5G technologies and beyond.

Background and context

To leverage ongoing industrial investment and advances in consumer communications technologies to enhance capabilities in the defence and security context, there are three areas where innovation is required: Architectures for Defence and Security Operations, Assured Performance and Security, and Applications and Sensors.  Proposals are being sought that exploit advances made possible by the technologies within 5G and beyond in these areas.

Architectures for Defence and Security Operations

Activities in defence and security, from logistics to mobile and deployed operations, require a high degree of situational awareness to maintain efficiency and effectiveness.  Modernized capabilities would benefit from architectures that integrate advanced communication concepts and technologies to take advantage of features such as rapid technology refresh, edge computing, software-defined networking, virtualization, and machine-to-machine connectivity.

Assured Performance and Security

Maintaining secure and resilient connectivity and information assurance with respect to confidentiality, integrity and availability, is essential for defence and security in all operating conditions.  As more capabilities take advantage of the rapid and flexible opportunities of wireless communications, technologies are required to enhance the quality of service and security of data and user information in networked operations.

Applications and Sensors 

The characteristics of 5G and beyond, such as low latency, high density and high bandwidth, open the door to new applications and use cases.   The integration of new technologies, such as novel sensors and effectors, may lead to innovations that will increase the efficiency of existing capabilities and introduce new ones. 

Expected Outcomes:

We are seeking proposals from micro-nets that aim to exploit the advances within 5G and beyond to develop, integrate and demonstrate technologies to improve current capabilities and to introduce new concepts. Example areas of research may include, but are not limited to:

  • architectures that exploit the features of 5G and beyond to improve situational awareness;
  • scalable and adaptable networks to match force requirements;
  • non-cryptographic techniques to enhance information security in public networks;
  • applications of machine-to-machine communications and Internet of Things;
  • application of artificial intelligence to enhance network performance and security; and
  • haptic, virtual or artificial reality applications for simulation, training and operational use.

Eligibility

Recognizing that successful sustainable research networks take time to build, Innovation Networks calls for proposals are to support the creation of smaller networks, called Micro-nets.

A Micro-net is a self-organized multidisciplinary team of at least three eligible organizations/institutions who carry out interdisciplinary research on one or more aspects of the S&T Challenge. Each Micro-Network will advance solutions from Solution Readiness Levels (SRLs) 1 to 6 inclusively,

Eligible organizations or institutions are:

  • Canadian universities and educational institutions chartered in Canada;
  • Incorporated for-profit organizations;
  • Incorporated not-for-profit organizations;
  • Provincial/territorial and municipal government organizations; and
  • International universities and educational institutions.

Micro-net Team Composition

Each Micro-net must be composed of a minimum of three investigators, up to a maximum of 10 investigators, from any combination of the eligible institutions and organizations. A Canadian university must be the Applicant. Individuals from the eligible institutions and organizations who are members of existing networks, associations, groups, consortia, etc. may participate.

Read and refer to the Applicant Guide for complete details on eligibility and Micro-net composition.

How to Apply

Step 1: Review the Challenge Statement.

Step 2: Read the Applicant Guide for detailed information on eligibility, evaluation, timelines, submission process, etc.

Step 3: Download and complete the Letter of Intent [PDF, 79KB] .

DND will evaluate the submitted Letters of Intent and communicate the results to each applicant.

Only Applicants who have submitted fully completed and eligible Letters of Intent may be invited to submit a Full Proposal Submission.

Step 4: Follow the submission steps outlined in Section 11: Submission Process of the Applicant Guide which includes steps to use Canada Post Corporation’s (CPC) Connect Service to submit the Letter of Intent on or before the closing date.

Contact Us

For any questions not answered by the Applicant Guide or its annexes, please contact the Innovation Networks team at: IDEaS-IN.IDEeS-RI@forces.gc.ca

Deadline

Applicants have until 2:00 PM (Eastern Time), Tuesday, December 7, 2021, to submit their Letter of Intent. See submissions steps provided in Section 11. Submission Process for information on how to submit the Letter of Intent.

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