An opportunity for Participants to test and demonstrate their solutions to published Sandbox Challenges in a DND/CAF provided test environment and test scenario, receiving observational feedback from DND/CAF experts and potential users.

Sandbox Opportunities

A Request for Information regarding five Challenges was closed on 24 September 2018.

Past Opportunities

An Illustrative Sandbox Example

The Challenge: Detect and assess naval corrosion

“How might we detect and assess corrosion behind surface coatings (such as paint, insulation, tiles, and seamless decking) onboard Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) platforms in order to reduce corrosion’s operational impact and improve the effectiveness of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance?”

The Sandbox: The CAF will provide the participants access to assorted corroded test panels and a RCN warship where they will be able to demonstrate the functionality and capability of their corrosion detection solutions.

The Innovators: Selected participants demonstrate their prototype solutions and receive feedback from the CAF to further develop their ideas.

  • How it works

      How it works

      For each announced Sandbox a specific description will be provided as each one will be quite different. The following generalities can be expected for each Sandbox that is conducted:

      Test Environment

      DND/CAF will provide a specific challenge and a corresponding test environment and scenario with appropriate experts and/or users in which Participants can test and/or demonstrate their mid to high level prototypes or ideas in a controlled setting. As part of the test environment, DND may provide some test equipment, targets, test subjects, role players, or other applicable components, but only when applicable to all attendees. Test equipment or supplies unique to a specific solution would be provided by that Participant.

      Test Plan and Conduct

      Within the DND/CAF posed challenge, objective, and scenario of the Sandbox, which may include mandatory test elements, Participants will design their specific test plan which DND/CAF will need to approve to ensure alignment with the intent and scenario, as well as other factors such as but not limited to safety, security, and capability of the test environment. The Participant will then conduct the approved testing and DND/CAF will provide limited observational feedback to the Participant. DND/CAF will not do the testing for the Participant.

      Support Concept

      • The Participant is responsible for providing all resources and services required for the successful conduct of their test plan unless explicitly provided by DND.
      • The Participant is responsible for all transportation, shipping, food, and lodging of all of their equipment and personnel to, during, and from the Sandbox unless explicitly provided by DND.
      • The Participant is responsible for the operation, maintenance, and repair of their solution during the Sandbox.
      • When the location and existing facilities permit, DND will usually provide appropriate gathering and preparation areas including protection from inclement weather, temporary storage of the Participant’s equipment, limited business facilities such as meeting spaces, briefing areas, communication and computer access, printing and photocopying, etc.
      • There is no responsibility by DND/CAF of the solution being tested, and specifically no DND/CAF responsibility for maintenance, loss, or damage during or as a result of the Sandbox. Participants are fully responsible for insuring their own personnel, equipment, and activities at their discretion.

      Cost Sharing

      • DND/CAF is providing the Sandbox environment at no cost to Participants; however, DND/CAF recognizes there are costs incurred for participation to conduct the required testing and demonstrations.
      • On a cost sharing basis, IDEaS will fund 50 percent of identified reasonable expenses as outlined below provided the Participant also pays 50%, up to a maximum combined 100% amount identified as the Cost Sharing Ceiling for that Sandbox. The Participant is 100% responsible for all costs above the ceiling amount, as well as all costs not covered as described below. The ceiling may be different for each Sandbox and will be published in the applicable Annex for each sandbox.
      • Eligible Costs. All costs claimed must be directly attributable to attending the Sandbox itself and are inclusive of delivered duty paid and applicable taxes. The types of claimable expenses under this cost-sharing arrangement are limited to:
        • Travel, accommodation, and living expenses. The National Joint Council Travel Directive will apply for any travel, accommodation and living expenses.
        • Shipping and transportation expenses of equipment to/from the Sandbox environment.


      • Attendance at a Sandbox, or even successful testing within the Sandbox, does not imply any intent or commitment that DND/CAF will undertake any further activity with any solution or company. It is a one-time Sandbox event only. It is completely up to the Participant what they do with the information learned during the Sandbox. 
      • DND/CAF will internally consider the observations of all Sandboxes in order to monitor any progression towards solving the specific challenges and how that may or may not influence further force development planning, considerations, and priorities internal to IDEaS and across DND/CAF. Any such follow-on decisions are independent of the IDEaS Sandbox, are internal to DND/CAF, and will not be published as part of the Sandbox process. If a Sandbox leads DND to further pursue the challenge, such decisions would be announced via the additional DND processes.

      Intellectual Property

      The Participant retains full ownership and control of the solution being tested and its intellectual property.

  • How to apply

      How to apply

      To announce a Sandbox, DND will issue a Letter Of Interest (LOI) inviting interested Innovators to apply to participate, after which the Sandbox will be conducted with the selected Participants.

      As the capacity for any one Sandbox may be limited, a fair, open, and transparent application, evaluation, and selection process will be used in the LOI process to determine which Applicants receive a confirmed invitation to attend. The full model for doing this will be included in each LOI when it is released, and its generalities are as follows:


      This will be accomplished via an on-line application form.


      As a mandatory minimum, all solutions for all Sandboxes shall have already completed the work and testing associated with Solution Readiness Level 4 (SRL 4) or higher at the time of application. This ensures that solutions are ready for the integrated testing that DND/CAF expects in a Sandbox.

      • Learn about the Solution Readiness Level (SRL) definitions.
        • The Solution Readiness Level (SRL) definitions for the purposes of IDEaS are identified below:

          • SRL 1: Identification—basic principles and/or properties are observed.
          • SRL 2: Definition—practical applications and/or concepts are formulated.
          • SRL 3: Observation and Analysis—analytical and/or laboratory research and/or experiments are undertaken.
          • SRL 4: Proof of Concept—basic integration of applications and/or concepts to demonstrate viability.
          • SRL 5: Validation—refined integration of applications and/or concepts to confirm validity.
          • SRL 6: Simulated Demonstration—near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in a simulated environment.
          • SRL 7: Real-World Demonstration—near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in an appropriate real-world environment.
          • SRL 8: Qualified Solution—end state solution is completed and refined through testing.
          • SRL 9: Proven Solution—final solution is implemented and proven successful.


      Using the results of the mandatory and rated evaluations, invitations to Qualified Applicants will be issued until a limiting factor for each Sandbox is reached. This may mean that although qualified, some Applicants may not receive an invitation to attend the Sandbox.

      Invitation and Acceptance

      Upon receiving a formal letter of invitation to participate in a specific Sandbox, recipients will then have a limited period to accept the invitation and the participatory terms and conditions it will include. Such terms and conditions will focus on the timely completion of pre-sandbox preparations including participation in planning conferences, as well as safety and security during testing, descriptions of what services DND/CAF will or will not provide and what the Participant will be responsible for, and so forth.

      Pre-Sandbox Preparation

      After accepting an invitation and before the Sandbox commences, Participants are expected to independently complete all of their necessary arrangements including the submission of their full test plan to DND for approval, transportation of all equipment and personnel to/from the Sandbox location, arrangements for lodging, and so forth. They can also expect to participate in pre-sandbox planning meetings, which may be virtual or face to face depending on locations.

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