Innovation Networks

The IDEaS Program supports the establishment of new Innovation Networks and, where appropriate, existing networks, to stimulate collaboration and the free flow of ideas critical to innovation. Academics, industry and other partners are encouraged to come together to form collaborative Innovation Networks. Areas for support of advanced research and development (R&D) will vary over time depending on Canada’s current and future defence and security Innovation Challenges.

Recognizing that successful sustainable research networks take time to build, the first Calls for Proposals will support the creation of smaller networks, or Micro-nets, that perform research on one or more aspects of an Innovation Challenge. It is envisioned that future Calls for Proposals would encourage the coalescence of successful Micro-nets (and where appropriate other networks/participants) to form larger sustainable national Innovation Networks dedicated to further research on a particular Innovation Challenge. 

By supporting Micro-nets and eventually Innovation Networks, the IDEaS Program fosters the development of a critical mass of researchers, highly qualified personnel and expertise within the Canadian innovation community and supports basic and applied research (solution readiness levels, SRLs, 1 through 6).


The objectives of these Calls for Proposals for Micro-Nets (CFPMNs) are to:

  • Encourage, enhance, sustain and support interdisciplinary research collaborations between academia, the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, and other levels of government (excluding federal government departments/agencies), to build a critical mass of expertise and knowledge applicable to the defence and security of Canada;
  • Support basic and applied research, analysis, technology development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative solutions to key Innovation Challenges for defence and security identified by DND and/or its safety and security partners; and
  • Enable researchers from varied disciplines and areas of expertise to work together to demonstrate an added value that each researcher, if funded individually, would not have been able to reach alone.

Summary of Key Information

  • Funding mechanism: Non-repayable contribution
  • Total funding available: $9,000,000
  • Maximum amount per proposal: $1,500,000
  • Duration of contribution: Up to 36 months from award
  • Eligible proposals must include multidisciplinary teams of investigators from at least three separate institutions and/or organizations, one of which must be a Canadian university
  • Contribution funds must be administered by a Canadian university

To facilitate the free-flow of ideas, Innovation Networks, one of eight elements of the IDEaS program, is supporting the creation of networks of investigators from the innovation ecosystem that perform research and development (R&D) in an area of interest to the Department of National Defence.

How it works

The first calls for proposals for Innovation Networks will fund a series of micro-networks (termed Micro-nets); self-organized multidisciplinary teams of five or more investigators from at least three different institutions or organizations. Over time, these Micro-nets are expected to evolve to generate a critical mass of experience and knowledge, toward solving specific defence and security challenges.

Current calls are open to teams of researchers who will propose R&D activities generally situated within Solution Readiness Levels 1 - 6, inclusive.

How to Apply:

  1. Read the Application Guide
  2. Become familiar with the Innovation Networks current Innovation Challenge(s)
  3. Lead Applicants interested in applying should register themselves on the Application Portal.
  4. Once registered, Lead Applicants can submit a Letter of Intent (LoI) via the Application Portal by the deadline stated in the Innovation Challenge.
  5. Successful LoI applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal via the Application Portal by the deadline stated in the Innovation Challenge

An overview of the application and evaluation process is visually depicted in Annex D of the Application Guide.

The IDEaS Program Office aims to inform Applicants the final funding decision within 90 days from the Full Proposal submission deadline.

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