Corrosion detection in ships (CDIS) - Sandbox

Halifax, NS | June 2020

The Corrosion Detection in Ships Sandbox call for applications is now closed.

Corrosion Detection in Ships Sandbox Postponed

Due to the COVID-19 situation, IDEaS was forced to postpone the Corrosion Detection in Ships Sandbox until later in 2020. Unfortunately, a further postponement until approximately Spring 2021 is now required, taking into account the additional challenge of finding suitable weather given the outdoor nature of certain parts of the demonstrations.

While this delay is unfortunate, it provides the opportunity for further development of the corrosion detection technology, enabling the IDEaS Sandbox to have the best technologies demonstrated at that time. To ensure that opportunity is available equally and transparently, we have decided to reissue the Call for Applications for this Sandbox. We estimate this may happen late in 2020.

To ensure fairness, all applicants, whether returning or new, will be evaluated and selected based only on the 2021 Application Form. This will ensure that all applications are up to date and evaluated by the same evaluation team.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Challenge statement and outcome

“How might we detect and assess corrosion behind surface coatings (such as paint, insulation, tiles, 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 end-state outcome of this challenge is to implement a functional solution for rapidly and easily detecting and informing the operators and engineers of all corrosion in a vessel while it is in operational use in a non-destructive manner that does not rely on human visual inspection or the removal of equipment. That information can then be used for unscheduled but required repairs, and planning for major work.

Background and context

  • Corrosion prevention, detection, and repair on RCN platforms is an essential component throughout their service life. This includes the aspects of:
    • unscheduled maintenance when a corrosion problem is discovered while the ship is operational and requires immediate repair;
    • scheduled maintenance to repair corrosion during major overhauls or other maintenance opportunities;
    • the provision of corrosion data into the broader question of a vessel’s seaworthiness and risk assessments for current operational use as well as estimates of the fatigue and overall life expectancy of that vessel; and
    • with consideration of the above, the prioritization of what maintenance on which ship is performed when in order to create an effective and efficient maintenance program in total for the RCN with the requisite operational availability.
  • While corrosion prevention and repair remain crucial aspects of this overall topic, this particular Sandbox is focusing on the corrosion detection aspect of this problem space.
  • The current approach to the corrosion detection has often been removing insulation, deck covering and interference items in order to see the steel plating and be able to perform an assessment of the required repairs. The removal of interference items can be very difficult and intrusive in itself, and is frequently not viable while the ship is operational. Consequently, the corrosion detection and repair planning is mostly done once the ship has started her major overhaul after the insulation, deck covering and interference items have been removed. Only then can the repair surveys can be completed to define work repair scope. This leads to new unplanned work that will need to be completed as work arising, which leads to significant schedule delays and cost increases.
  • Alternatively, to be effective and efficient the detection of corrosion and the consequential maintenance planning would ideally be done well in advance of such major overhauls while the ship is still operational and without the removal of surface coatings (such as paint, insulation, tiles, seamless decking, etc).
  • In summary, currently, the RCN relies mostly on:
    • Visual or limited technologies for detection of corrosion via inspection as noticed, or during scheduled inspection cycles and/or based on historical experience and trends, including corrosion by-products or thinning of steel; and
    • Experienced hull surveyors to determine if tile or seamless decking has delaminated from the steel deck;
  • These current methods are inadequate in their ability to:
    • assess steel condition under the tile or seamless decking;
    • detect corrosion in difficult to assess area such as under/behind large pieces of equipment; and
    • ability to “see” through insulation to assess steel plating.

Operational Scenarios for this Sandbox

While there are many scenarios where corrosion can appear, for the purposes of this sandbox application, evaluation, and selection process the following scenarios for detecting corrosion will be examined:

  • Detecting corrosion on the hull out of the water.  The hull is made from steel plate, is painted, has Boot Top, and antifouling. Scanning the entire hull external surface above the waterline or full hull while in dry-dock and detecting all corrosion.
  • Detecting corrosion on the hull in the water.  The hull is made from steel plate partially submerged into sea water. The hull is painted, has Boot Top, and antifouling. Scanning of the hull that is below the waterline is done while the ship is in the water. A manual solution such as a diver using a hand-held scanner is not considered applicable to this scenario, as something more advanced is required.
  • Detecting corrosion on the deck. The deck is made from steel plate and may include hatches, welds, and surface coverings such as quarry tiles and non-skid coatings. There may be assorted pipes or other items protruding through the deck, as well as assorted equipment mounted to it.
  • Detecting corrosion on/in pipes. A ship includes many pipes of assorted diameters and wall thicknesses, often in difficult to reach locations, encased in insulation, with welded flanges, rubber gaskets, and various valves made of Bronze, with both internal and external corrosion. Detectors need to be small in size, or effective from a standoff distance, or be used internally on the pipe. Disassembly of the pipes for inspection is time consuming and not desirable.
  • Detecting corrosion on/in structure. The structure is generally made of steel plate with stiffener beams welded to the plate and covered with insulation. Plates will be painted and may be horizontally or vertically mounted with welds, protrusions, and hatchways.
  • Detecting corrosion in tanks. Tanks come in many sizes for assorted fluids (fuel, water, oil, etc), are difficult to access, and may have internal baffles. Detectors need to be maneuverable in such confined spaces. Note that “tanks” will not be included at the actual Sandbox test environment.



  • Sandboxes are an opportunity for innovators to test and demonstrate their solutions to published challenges. The scenario and environment are provided by the Department of National Defence (DND)/the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), and participants will receive observational feedback from DND/CAF experts and potential users.
  • The selected Participants will be invited to demonstrate their solutions to this challenge at the CDIS Sandbox, 1-26 June 2020 in Halifax, Nova Scotia at the Centre for Ocean Ventures & Entrepreneurship (COVE) facility with the support of Develop Nova Scotia.
  • At the sandbox, DND/CAF will provide a variety of corroded in both dry and submerged scenarios for which the level of corrosion is known to DND/CAF and is to be detected by the Participant. The available scenarios and test profiles for Applicants to choose from are described in the Test Plan Template.
  • Demonstrations on a vessel. Solutions that demonstrate a sufficient level of performance in these test scenarios may be permitted to further demonstrate their solution on an actual vessel if one is available. During all demonstrations IDEaS will provide scientific subject matter experts and Royal Canadian Navy personnel to provide observational feedback to each Participant.
  • Each Participant will be given a set calendar period of two to five days, depending on their proposed test plan, and are only present at the sandbox for their period.   
  • Applicants can indicate their preferred dates to attend in Section 9 of the Application Form; however, the precise dates given to each Participant are at DND’s sole discretion and are non-negotiable. 
  • Total capacity for the sandbox is planned for two concurrent Participants per week for four weeks; however, if the proposed test plans are shorter than five days additional Participants may be invited if the Sandbox capacity permits.

Sandbox schedule for a specific participant

A detailed schedule will be developed with each selected Participant prior to the Sandbox, based on the following expectations:

  • Arrive in Halifax prior to Day 1.
  • Work days will be 8 am to 4 pm.
  • Day 1 will entail suitable in-briefs, unpacking, and calibration.
  • Demonstrations may commence on Day 1 if time permits.
  • Lunch/breaks will be provided on-site to maximize testing time.
  • Securing of all equipment will completed by 1600 each day.
  • Days 2, 3, and 4 (if used) conducted as per the DND approved Test Plan.
  • Final Day:
    • All tests will be concluded by 1200.
    • A verbal out-brief will be conducted with the Participant. Provision of test data and written information will follow at a later date.
    • A full pack up and departure of the Participant’s materiel and personnel must be completed by 1600 of that day.
  • Departure date/time after the Sandbox is at the Participant’s discretion.

Resources to be made available (DND/CAF will provide the following)

  • A variety of corroded test panels in both dry and submerged scenarios for which the level of corrosion is known to DND/CAF and is to be detected by the Participant.
  • Means for the launch, demonstration, and recovery of small submersibles if required for any in-water detection demonstrations.
  • Water tanks for pre-deployment ballasting/calibrating of small submersibles.
  • A demonstration area suitable for the test panels, some of which may be submerged adjacent to the docks at COVE.
  • If available, a RCN warship for those solutions that demonstrate successfully detect the corrosion on the test panels.
  • Materiel Handling Equipment (MHE) such as forklifts or small cranes if required.
  • Lockup facilities for each Participant’s equipment, with on-site security.
  • Office facilities including phones, computers and WIFI.
  • Data collection equipment if feasible and subject to the type of solution.
  • Limited photography/video services.
  • DND/CAF will provide Observers for each test. Participants will receive all test data, photographic and video imagery, as well as any pertinent feedback, for their solution, subject to any security classifications and approvals that may arise.
  • Lunches and coffee breaks.
  • If requested on the Application Form, additional resources may be made available at DND/CAF’s sole discretion on a case by case basis.


If your solution is ready for near-end state demonstration and testing (SRL 6 or higher) in a simulated environment, you may be eligible to attend the Corrosion Detection In Ships (CDIS) Sandbox.

  • Sandbox Criteria vs End-State Operational Requirements:  The criteria used for this Sandbox represent the limitations and desired characteristics in order to prioritize and select the accepted Participants. They do not represent final operational requirements for any current or future DND/CAF procurement program which may be quite different.
  • The Sandbox Criteria. The descriptive details and scoring schema for each criteria are provided in the text of the Application Form.
  • How Your Application is Evaluated and Scored.
    • The Sandbox criteria are a mix of mandatory and rated criteria. Rated criteria may include a minimum mandatory score as a Pass/Fail requirement.
    • Each Rated criteria is individually scored out of 100 points, and then multiplied by its percentage weight factor to determine its Weighted Score. 
    • The Application score is the summation of all Weighted Scores. A total maximum score of 100 points is possible.

Solution Categories

On the Application Form, solutions are described in Section 2 under one or more of the following three categories. A solution can be applicable to more than one category. For each selected category, the solution receives a “Category Score” consisting of the score in that category section, plus the score from all other criteria in the other sections of the Application Form that are common to all categories.

  • General Corrosion Detection (Section 2.1). Defined as being an area of continuous corrosion, or patches of corrosion in a common area.
  • Pitting Corrosion Detection (Section 2.2). Defined as being individual localized cavities of corrosion in a surface.
  • Crevice Corrosion Detection (Section 2.3). Defined as being corrosion between adjoining material, such mounting pads, the deck, and connecting bolts.

List of Criteria

This is the list of all criteria and their relative percentage weight factors, with the descriptive details and scoring schema for each provided in the Application Form:

Ref # Title Weight Factor
1 Solution Readiness Level (SRL) Pass/Fail
2 Challenge Alignment and Performance (sub-totals 70%)
2-1 General Corrosion Detection (sub-totals 23.3%) 
2-1-1 Performance Attributes
2-1-1-1 Ability to Detect General Corrosion Pass/Fail
2-1-1-2 Time to Scan 4.7%, Min Score
2-1-1-3 Probability of Detection 4.7%, Min Score
2-1-2 Applicability to the Operational Scenarios 7.00%
2-1-3 Deployability 2.30%
2-1-4 Ease of Use
2-1-4-1 Operator Training 0.60%
2-1-4-2 Processing Time 0.60%
2-1-4-3 Visual Representation of Results 1.20%
2-1-5 Additional Features not Specified 2.30%
2-2 Pitting Corrosion Detection (sub-totals 23.3%)
2-2-1 Performance Attributes
2-2-1-1 Ability to Detect Pitting Corrosion Pass/Fail
2-2-1-2 Time to Scan 3.7%, Min Score
2-2-1-3 Probability of Detection 3.7%, Min Score
2-2-1-4 Ability to Detect Smaller Pits 0.90%
2-2-1-5 Ability to Detect Single Pits 0.90%
2-2-2 Applicability to the Operational Scenarios 7.00%
2-2-3 Deployability 2.30%
2-2-4 Ease of Use
2-2-4-1 User Training 0.60%
2-2-4-2 Processing Time 0.60%
2-2-4-3 Visual Representation of Results 1.20%
2-2-5 Additional Features not Specified 2.30%
2-3 Crevice Corrosion Detection (sub-totals 23.3%)
2-3-1 Performance Attributes
2-3-1-1 Ability to Detect Crevice Corrosion Pass/Fail
2-3-1-2 Probability of Detection 5.0%, Min Score
2-3-1-3 Extent of Detection - Bolts 6.50%
2-3-1-4 Extent of Detection - Plates 4.90%
2-3-2 Deployability 2.30%
2-3-3 Ease of Use
2-3-3-1 User Training 0.60%
2-3-3-2 Processing Time 0.60%
2-3-3-3 Visual Representation of Results 1.20%
2-3-4 Additional Features not Specified 2.30%
3 Human Factors 5.00%
4 Test Plan, Hazards, and Limitations Pass/Fail
5 Growth Potential 5.00%
6 Strategic Alignment with DND/CAF 5.0%, Min Score
7 Strategic Value For Inclusion in the Sandbox 5.0%, Min Score
8 Canadian Content 10.00%
Total of all Weight Factors: 100%


Eligibility for selection to the Sandbox

  • Applications are open to individuals, academia, not for profit organizations, and industry of any size, as well as provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations.
  • Federal government departments/agencies, and federal Crown Corporations are not eligible to submit applications to this CFA.
  • Your Evaluation results must include a “Pass” on all mandatory criteria and all minimum mandatory scores must be obtained. This includes your solution must have completed SRL 5 and be ready to commence SRL 6 or higher at the time of application: “Simulated Demonstration—near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in a simulated environment.
  • There is no minimum overall score required.
  • Read the Criteria section for a full description of all criteria.

Selection process

  • To ensure a diversity of solution types, applications will be grouped as follows and ranked from highest to lowest scores within each using their applicable scores. An Application may be ranked in more than one group if their technology is applicable to more than one type.
    • Group 1. General Corrosion Detection. Defined as being an area of continuous corrosion, or patches of corrosion in a common area.
    • Group 2. Pitting Corrosion Detection. Defined as being individual localized cavities of corrosion in a surface.
    • Group 3. Crevice Corrosion Detection. Defined as being corrosion between adjoining material, such mounting pads, the deck, and connecting bolts.
    • Group 4. Detecting corrosion on the hull in the water. DND/CAF has a particular interest in solutions in the General or Pitting categories that can be used for this operational scenario (such as a detector mounted on a submersible, or other comparable technique). To enable the selection of solutions of this specific type, such solutions will be considered as an independent category, and selected based on their scores that are applicable to underwater detection.
  • If there is a tie amongst solutions once ranked in descending order within each group, Canada will first use the Canadian Content score from the application evaluation to break the tie, and then use Government of Canada and departmental priorities if still tied.
  • Depending on the number of eligible applications in each group, a balanced selection of Participants amongst all groups will be considered so that each category is represented in the sandbox; however, this may not be possible.
  • Selections by the Strategic Considerations Committee will commence with the highest scoring solutions within each group and continue downwards until a limiting factor is reached.

Companies with Multiple Applications

  • The intent is that a company gets a single demonstration period at the Sandbox, even if they submit multiple applications for different technologies. Consequently, their selection to attend the sandbox will be based on their best single application. To achieve this effect all applications a single company submits will initially be evaluated and considered for selection independently; however, once any one of those applications is selected:
    • All other applications from that company will be disregarded until such time as all other applications from all other companies have been considered;
    • The demonstration period for the company will not exceed the already established five day maximum for any single Participant, and only with time permitting and subject to DND’s approval, demonstrations of the company’s other technologies may be permitted.

Ensuring Diversity of Solution Methods

  • Regardless of the above selection process, it is expected that solutions that take a similar technical approach are likely to achieve a similar score, and by consequence that may block out alternate styles of solution and result in a Sandbox in which only one path of development is seen. 
  • As DND/CAF wants to observe multiple different approaches to the Challenge, if it becomes apparent that interesting solutions of alternate methods are being blocked because of the scoring system the selection committee may deviate from the ranked list(s) to ensure a diversity of approaches and methods to solving the challenge are present in the Sandbox.

Invitation and Acceptance

  • The selected Applicants will receive a formal letter of invitation to participate in the Sandbox and will then have five business days to accept the invitation and any supplemental terms and conditions it may include. Note that:
    • The basic terms and conditions for attending each Sandbox are specified in Section 10 of the Application Form.
    • Additional supplemental terms and conditions may be imposed as a result of the evaluation of an individual application. For example, there may be a special safety protocol imposed due to the nature of an Applicant’s solution and the desired testing/demonstration.
  • Should a selected Applicant not accept their invitation, or withdraws their acceptance, or is removed from the Sandbox, additional offers to other Applicants may be made under the same selection process at DND/CAF’s discretion and providing sufficient time is available before the Sandbox commences.

Test Plans

The IDEaS CDIS Sandbox offers participants a variety of test scenarios in order to demonstrate their CDIS capability. Test panels are manufactured to simulate different parts of a navy ship and will have induced general, pitting, and crevice corrosion which will then be covered with various materials to visually obscure the corrosion.

The Participants then get to demonstrate the ability of their solution to detect the corrosion, for the scenarios that are applicable to their solution.

Precise test scenarios are subject to change and availability at the time of the sandbox.

Test Scenarios for general and pitting corrosion detection

  • #1. Baseline Pipe. Used for system calibration. An 8” Schedule 16 Steel pipe diameter with varying wall thickness. Estimated Test Time: 120 mins
  • #2. Baseline Hull Plate – 7mm. Used for system calibration. One plate that is 3’ x 3’ with thickness of 7 mm. Estimated Test Time 120 mins.
  • #3. Baseline Hull Plate – 9mm. Used for system calibration. One plate that is 3’ x 3’ with thickness of 9 mm. Estimated Test Time 120 mins.
  • #4. Copper Pipe. Pipe made of 90/10 Copper Nickel Dimensions: 219.1mm OD, 3.84mm wall thickness with welded flanges, rubber gaskets, and various valves made of Bronze. Estimated Test Time 120 mins.
  • #5. Steel Pipe. One test pipe made of seamless steel 8” Gr. B Schedule 40 with flanges, rubber gaskets, and steel valves. Estimated Test Time 120 mins.
  • #6. Unrestricted Deck. One steel plate with a thickness of 9 mm. A hatch, welds, induced pitting and general corrosion on the plate. Quarry tiles, non-skid, or other coatings will be used to create a liftoff. Estimated Test Time 120 mins.
  • #7 Restricted Deck. One steel plate with a thickness of 9 mm. Insulation will be used to cover the plate. Estimated Test Time: 180 mins
  • #8 Hull Dry. One 8’ x 8’ steel plate with a thickness of 7 mm-9 mm. Hull paint, Boot Top, and antifouling will cover the surface. The test plate will be on dry land. Estimated Test Time 240 mins.
  • #9 Hull Wet - Simulated. One 8’ x 8’ steel plate with a thickness of 7 mm-9 mm partially submerged into sea water (Note: Only the outer surface of the steel plate will be in contact with water, the inner surface will be dry). Hull paint, Boot Top, and antifouling will cover the surface. Estimated Test Time: 240 mins
  • #10 Hull Wet – Real. A A marine vessel for a full in-water hull survey. The hull will be steel, have hull paint covering defects and corrosion. Details and availability of this scenario are subject to confirmation. Estimated Test Time: 360 mins
  • #11 Ship Structure. One 8’ x 8’ steel plate with a thickness of 7 mm-9 mm. Stiffener beams will be welded to the plate and covered with insulation. Estimated Test Time: 120 mins
  • #12 Equipment Mounts. One 6’ x 6’ steel plate with a thickness of 7mm – 9mm. An equipment mount held with four fasteners. Crevice corrosion will be induced under the plate and on fasteners. Estimated Test Time: 120 mins
  • #13 Penetration Points. One 6’ x 6’ steel plate with a thickness of 7mm -9mm. One kick pipe penetrating the plate. Estimated Test Time: 120 mins

Building your test plan

Each respondent must submit their desired test plan with their application, using the provided Test Plan Template, noting that the Test Plan will be evaluated under Section 4 of the Application Form to ensure the following is complied with as a mandatory pass/fail criteria:

  • Do not specify calendar dates on your plan, simply use Day 1, Day 2…
  • The test plan and Sandbox duration for each Participant may vary, but must be at least two days and no more than five days.
  • 0800-0830 is reserved for the Daily Briefing and is to be included each day.
  • a minimum of a ½ day initial preparation period at the start of the Sandbox is to be included for unpacking, safety briefs, etc. (morning of Day 1)
  • A one hour lunch period is to be included each day, noting that lunch is provided on-site.
  • All demonstrations are to be completed by 1530 each day to allow for daily site cleanup and departure by 1600.
  • A minimum of a ½ day pack-up period on the last day is to be included.
  • Within the above requirements, the Applicant is free to select from the available scenarios and propose their full test plan accordingly.
  • The available test scenarios for your plan are as detailed above.
  • The Test Plan will be evaluated as per Section 4 of the Application Form.
  • DND/CAF will be the sole authority for approval of the Participant’s test plans:
    • If portions of a proposed test plan are not acceptable to DND/CAF, the offer of acceptance to attend the Sandbox may impose changes to the test plan that the Participant must accept if they agree to attend the Sandbox. 
    • After a Participant is selected, additional refinement and detailed scheduling of the proposed test plan may occur to optimize use of the Sandbox for each Participant. Such changes will remain within the overall intent of the original plan.
    • Final approval of all test plans will be at the sole discretion of DND/CAF.


  • Participants are responsible for arranging all transportation, shipping, food (except lunch at the Sandbox site), and lodging of all of their equipment and personnel to, from, and during the Sandbox.
  • Participants are responsible for all maintenance, tools, parts, and technical support required for their solution during the Sandbox.
  • Participants are to complete all tasks as per Section 10 of the Application Form.
    • Tasks to be completed prior to the Sandbox (administration and planning).
    • Tasks to be completed at the Sandbox (safety and demonstrations).
    • Tasks to be completed after the sandbox (administration).
  • Refinement of these generic tasks will occur with each Participant after acceptance to attend the sandbox is confirmed.
  • Failure by the Participant to complete any task on schedule constitutes grounds for removing the Participant from attendance at the Sandbox.
  • DND will be responsible for all pre-sandbox coordination with the Participants, the provision and functioning of the Sandbox, and the post-sandbox administration. Note that much of this is conducted by the DND contractor for organizing the Sandbox events, called Parleview. Participants can expect to be contacted by Parleview after accepting an invitation.


  • DND/CAF is providing the test environment at no cost to Participants; however, DND/CAF recognizes there are costs incurred by Participants to attend the Sandbox.
  • On a cost sharing basis, IDEaS will fund 50 percent of identified eligible 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 cost ceiling for this Sandbox is $24,000 and the maximum share provided by DND/CAF to Participants is $12,000 or 50% of eligible expenses, whichever is less.
  • 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.
    • Consumables used during the demonstrations themselves, such as munitions or fuel, which must be pre-approved by DND/CAF in order to be eligible. This does not include the damage or loss of equipment.
  • Each Participant will submit a forecast of such reasonable expenses prior to the Sandbox which will be subject to approval by Canada.
  • Upon conclusion of the Sandbox, applicable processes for submitting actual expenses and payments will be administered.

Example Application of the Cost Sharing Model

  • The published cost ceiling for eligible expenses is $24,000 CAD. The Participant submits receipts for $30,000 for travel and shipping of their equipment to/from the Sandbox, and $2,000 of travel they made prior to the Sandbox to develop their prototype.
  • The $2,000 CAD for their internal sandbox preparations is not an eligible expense.
  • The $30,000 CAD for the travel and shipping to the Sandbox is eligible; however, only the amount of $24,000 CAD is claimable within the ceiling limit.
  • The IDEaS 50% share of that claimable amount and amount paid to the Participant would be $12,000 CAD. The Participant is responsible for all other costs.


Helpful defintions

  • Innovators:  The innovation community at large.
  • Applicants:  Those Innovators that actually complete and submit an Application to a specific Sandbox when it is offered.
  • Applications:  The information form(s) submitted by an Applicant for a specific Sandbox.
  • Participants:  Applicants who have been selected, received, and accepted a confirmed invitation to attend an actual Sandbox. Note that a Participant is the organization, and may send multiple personnel to a Sandbox.
  • Test Environment:  The physical or virtual environment in which demonstrations are conducted. 
    • 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.

What happens after the Sandbox?

  • After the Sandbox is concluded a written report will be provided to each Participant documenting the observations from DND/CAF on the Participant’s solution.
  • Attendance at a Sandbox, or even successful demonstrations within the Sandbox, does not imply any intent or commitment that DND/CAF will undertake any further activity with any solution or organization.  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/CAF to further pursue the challenge, such decisions would be announced via other DND/CAF processes.

Canadian content

  • Sandboxes are not exclusively restricted to made in Canada products/solutions; however, the level of Canadian content within each application will be given consideration during the evaluation process.
  • The evaluation of the Canadian Content in any solution will simply look at what proportion of the solution at the time of application consists of Canadian goods and/or services. For example, was the research and development conducted in Canada, was the prototype built in Canada, are you using materiels from Canadian suppliers, are you partnering with any Canadian companies on this solution, etc.

Intellectual property 

  • The Participant retains full ownership and control of the solution being demonstrated and its intellectual property.  See additional detail on the IDEaS FAQ page.

Security requirements

  • A formal security clearance to participate in the Sandbox may be required.  Participants will be under appropriate escort at all times while on DND property.
  • Access to the Sandbox test site may impose certain physical, communication, and electronic restrictions on Participants which will be detailed prior to the Participants arrival at the Sandbox.
  • Participants will need to provide lists and descriptions of all personnel and equipment being brought to the Sandbox for security screening purposes.  The following information will be required once a Participant is selected:
    • Copies of Passports and birth certificates; and
    • Visit Clearance Requests.
  • Participants will need to permit security verifications and background information on their personnel that attend the sandbox.
  • Security Screening criteria will depend on, in part by innovator residence and proposed sandbox venue.
  • For any Participants whose proposed solution includes controlled goods (see section below), additional security aspects may be imposed if necessary on a case by case basis.

Controlled goods

  • The Participant must identify any Controlled Goods used in its proposed solution to the Department of National Defence.  Controlled Goods are defined in the Defence Production Act and the Controlled Goods List is contained in the Schedule (section 35) of the Act.
  • If Controlled Goods are used in the proposed solution, Participants must identify and confirm that they are registered in the Controlled Goods Program with Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC), or are excluded or exempt from registration in the Controlled Goods Program with an explanation therefor.
  • For further information on the Controlled Goods Program, visit the website


  • At its expense, the Participant must obtain insurance commensurate with the complexity and magnitude of its planned demonstration; to fulfill its obligations as a Participant in the Sandbox; and to ensure compliance with any applicable law.
  • The Participant must maintain the required insurance coverage for the duration of the Sandbox.  Compliance with the insurance requirements does not release the Participant from or reduce the liability inherent in becoming a Participant at the Sandbox.
  • The Participant must forward to the CFA Authority at least two (2) weeks prior to the commencement of the Sandbox, a Certificate of Insurance evidencing the insurance coverage and confirming that the insurance policy complying with the requirements is in force. For Canadian-based Participants, coverage must be placed with an insurer licensed to carry out business in Canada, however, for Foreign-based Participants, coverage must be placed with an insurer with an A.M. Best Rating no less than “A-.” The Participant must, if requested by the CFA Authority, forward to Canada a certified true copy of all applicable insurance policies.


  • The Participant is liable for any damage caused by the Participant, its employees, subcontractors, or agents to Canada or any third party. Canada is liable for any damage caused by Canada, its employees or agents to the Participant or any third party. Canada and the Participant agree that no limitation of liability or indemnity provision applies to this CFA unless it is specifically incorporated in full text in this CFA. Damage includes any injury to persons (including injury resulting in death) or loss of or damage to property (including real property) caused as a result of or during the performance of the Sandbox. DND/CAF has no responsibility for maintenance, repair, loss, or damage to any Participant’s materiel or equipment during or as a result of the Sandbox.  Subject to Section 0, Participants are fully responsible for insuring their own personnel, equipment, and activities at their discretion.


  • Responses and consultations are to be provided in one of the two official languages of Canada (English or French).

Additional notes to applicants

  • Access to Information.  All Applicant consultations are documented and this information is subject to the Access to Information Act.  Applicants should identify any submitted information that is to be considered as either company confidential or proprietary.  DND/CAF will not reveal any designated confidential or proprietary information to public and/or third parties, except for independent consultant(s) who may participate in the CFA process.
  • Participants will be asked to fill out the IDEaS Photo and Video Release Form for Individuals and the IDEaS Photo and Video Release Form for Entities before the start of their Sandbox participation.
  • IDEaS Program Surveys.  As a condition of the program, Participants are required to respond to short surveys from IDEaS for up to two years following the completion of the Sandbox event. The results of the surveys will feed into the measurement of performance indicators through the reporting requirements of the IDEaS program.
  • Public Affairs / Communication notification.  The Government of Canada retains the right to make primary Sandbox announcements. Canada and the Participant shall consult with each other, after the Sandbox selection, about all proposed news releases or public announcements relating to the Sandbox. This is to provide all parties sufficient notice of key Sandbox communications, and, where appropriate, the time to determine a course of action (including a mutually agreed date and location), line up representatives and prepare joint material. Notwithstanding the advance notice requirement, consent shall not be unreasonably withheld by either Party if a news release or public announcement must be issued in less than 15 working days as the result of unforeseeable circumstances, including matters of public safety or where an emergency response is required.


  • All enquiries and other communications related to this CFA must be directed exclusively to the CFA Authority identified in the following Section.

CFA authority

Tom Hughes
Manager – Innovation Exploitation
Department of National Defence, Defence Research and Development Canada
Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program (IDEaS)


Who may apply

  • Applications are open to individuals, academia, not for profit organizations, and industry of any size, as well as provincial, territorial, and municipal organizations.
  • Federal government departments/agencies, and federal Crown Corporations are not eligible to submit applications to this CFA.
  • Note that for your application to be eligible for selection, your Evaluation results must include a “Pass” on all mandatory criteria and all minimum mandatory scores must be obtained. This includes your solution must have completed SRL 5 and be ready to commence SRL 6 or higher at the time of application: “Simulated Demonstration—near-end state solution is demonstrated and tested in a simulated environment.
  • Read the Criteria section for a full description of all criteria.

Obtain a Sandbox EPost Account by February 13th, 2020 by emailing us at: 


Read the Challenge information

  • Look at the description of the CDIS Challenge.
  • Review the Application Form and the Criteria
  • Review the Test Plan Template and its instructions to understand what kinds of demonstrations we are expecting.

Prepare your Application

  • Complete the Application Form, with its embedded criteria and scoring.
  • Complete the Test Plan Template.
  • Verify Your Application:
    • Complete all questions on the Application Form.
    • Include a photo of your prototype (Section 1)
    • Complete your Test Plan Template.
    • Read and accept all Terms and Conditions (Section 10)
    • Identify an appropriate Authorizing Officer (Section 11)

Submit Your Application, prior to 2 PM EST on February 19, 2020

  • All applications must be submitted through the Sandbox Epost portal.
  • You will receive a confirmation email after we download your application.
  • All Applications for the CDIS Sandbox must be submitted no later than 2 PM EST on February 19, 2020.


Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: