The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, announced in June 2017 in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, was officially launched today.

The program is designed to innovate to meet security challenges of today and to develop capabilities to address the problems of the global security environment.

Some of the challenges to be addressed include domains such as surveillance, cyber tools for defence, space, artificial intelligence, remotely pilot systems, data analytics, and human performance.

The Minister of National Defence, Harjit S. Sajjan in launching the program today said it, “will provide unique opportunities for Canadians to put forward their best solutions on defence and security challenges, and will help put those solutions into the hands of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces.” He went on to add that this investment will support the growth and expansion of Canada’s innovation community for the next 20 years.

Over this period, Canada will invest $1.6 billion into Canada’s innovation community for the IDEaS program.

Through the launch, the Minister issued the first call for proposals under the IDEaS Competitive Projects element, in which 16 defence and security challenges were identified. Those who are interested in submitting proposals have until May 24, 2018, to do so.

All proposals received will undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review. The first contracts are expected to be awarded in Fall 2018.

To learn more about the program, please check the IDEaS website.