Defence procurement opportunities through PrairiesCan
The Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy helps organizations grow their business, engage in research and development, enhance skills, or export products through defence procurement opportunities.
On this page
- How the ITB Policy creates opportunities
- Opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses
- Opportunities for research and training institutions
- Taking advantage of ITB opportunities
- Other helpful links
The ITB Policy and its predecessor, the Industrial and Regional Benefit (IRB) Policy, have helped companies add value to the Canadian economy. From 2012 to 2016, IRB/ITB-related business transactions and investments added $4.6 billion to Canada’s GDP. At the same time, they created or maintained 46,000 jobs each year.
By advising and informing organizations about opportunities, PrairiesCan opened doors to:
- R&D investments
- technology transfers
- supplier and service contracts
This created many opportunities for western Canadian businesses, as well as post-secondary and research institutions. Even more opportunities are on their way. Strong Secure Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, allocated $108 billion in capital spending (on an accrual basis) for the Canadian Armed Forces over the next 20 years. Western Canada should benefit from the many opportunities tied to these investments, due to its:
- strong aerospace sector
- highly skilled workforce
- countless innovative companies
- advanced research and training institutions
When the ITB Policy applies, defence contractors are required to submit a small business plan as part of their bids. These “prime contractors” must also conduct a minimum percentage of business with Canadian SMEs. As a result, dozens of western Canadian SMEs have partnered with prime contractors to supply parts for:
- space systems
- marine vessels
- various ground and air fleets
They have also provided high-value services, such as:
- cybersecurity solutions
- maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)
SMEs promote their capabilities to contractors through:
- industry days and conferences
- meeting with PrairiesCan's ITB team
- registering on a prime contractor’s supplier portal
PrairiesCan’s SME checklist for defence procurement has tips on promoting your capabilities to defence contractors.
The Canadian aerospace and defence industry has one of the highest rates of investment in research and development (R&D) and there are continual opportunities for research partnerships between research institutions and prime contractors.
The ITB Policy encourages companies to invest in 16 key industrial capabilities (KICs). R&D will be heavily weighted to 5 emerging technology KICs, which include:
- space systems
- cyber resilience
- advanced materials
- artificial intelligence
- remotely-piloted systems and autonomous technologies
The ITB Policy also includes skills development and training, which will encourage defence and security contractors to seek partnerships with post-secondary training institutions.
Stay informed about current and upcoming procurement needs:
- Review the Department of National Defence’s (DND) procurement projects by defence capability area.
- Visit the federal procurement website.
- Find existing procurement projects with ITB obligations and the IRB/ITB contacts.
- Research the business lines of defence contractors and their suppliers.
- Learn the basics of the ITB Policy.
- Prepare a marketing plan to show how your product or service is competitive and how it could fit with a contractor's business.
- Prepare your elevator pitch – opportunities can come without notice. Tailor your pitch to how your organization can add value to a contractor’s business lines.
- Research the certifications and accreditations (e.g. ISO, Canadian Controlled Goods Program, etc.) your company or institution might need to participate in the defence industry.
- Learn about the US Government's International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and what you need to engage in a project that is subject to ITAR.
- Form partnerships with other companies to offer turnkey solutions to prime contractors.
Make yourself known:
- Reach out to your local PrairiesCan ITB team to introduce your organization, products and capabilities.
- Make sure your company website is informative and updated.
- Attend both regional and national trade shows.
- Register on the supplier portals of applicable companies.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) procurement page and how to do business with the NATO Support and Procurement Agency.
- Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program (IDEaS) and its mailing list
- Innovation Canada’s tailored list of what government can do to help your business.
- Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), to help you commercialize your innovations.
- Strategic Innovation Fund, which provides grants and loans to firms of all sizes to spur innovation in larger projects.
Contact PrairiesCan’s ITB team for more information on how to get involved in defence procurement
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