Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS)

Policy Direction: Strong, Secure, Engaged

Strong, Secure, Engaged recognizes that collaboration with academia and other experts strengthens the foundation of evidenced-based policy-making. To that end, it provides direction to increase annual investment in a revamped and expanded defence engagement program. The Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program answers this call. 

Building on Success

MINDS builds on the successful Defence Engagement Program (DEP), expanding the program thoughtfully, with an end result that is not just bigger, but better. Consultations have been at the heart of these renewal efforts. They started with the Defence Policy Review and have continued through ongoing dialogue with experts across the country.

The DEP effectively helped the Defence Team access external advice through its Expert Briefing Series and Targeted Engagement Grant program. These successful program elements will continue.

A New Approach to External Engagement

Expanding on the DEP, MINDS delivers a program that:

  • Responds to the need for relevant and timely advice from defence and security experts;
  • Fosters the next generation of experts and scholars; and,
  • Contributes to Canadians understanding of defence and security issues.

However, MINDS provides even greater opportunities for collaboration between the Defence Team and the defence and security expert community. There are five key pillars of MINDS: Expert Briefing Series, Targeted Engagement Grants, Collaborative Networks, Scholarships, and a Rapid Response Mechanism. Each offers a different means for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces to access relevant, timely expertise that incorporates a diversity of viewpoints and provides well-rounded advice. The program is committed to reflecting key Government of Canada priorities in the work it delivers, ensuring the incorporation of Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) and supporting Indigenous reconciliation and youth engagement.

Defence Team Collaboration

MINDS is different from, but complementary to, the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, using different approaches to tackle defence and security challenges. While IDEaS advances critical solutions to challenges relating to applied capabilities and technology, MINDS is focused on policy thinking and the generation of knowledge in the public policy realm. Together, MINDS and IDEaS drive innovation and help address defence challenges.

Strong, Secure, Engaged calls for concrete steps to enhance the Defence Team’s ability to anticipate and understand threats, challenges and opportunities. Leveraging the expertise of Canada’s defence and security expert community through MINDS is central to meeting this objective.

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