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DND announces a call for solutions to COVID-19 challenges

To combat the spread of COVID-19, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced the first of a series of calls for innovations to tackle challenges Canada is confronting during the pandemic. This call is part of DND’s Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program in collaboration with the Centre for Security Science Program.

The first three challenges that will be undertaken through this program are:

  1. Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
  2. Innovative material and designs to aid in decontamination of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), operational clothing and equipment for personnel responding to events involving biological hazards; and
  3. Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.

These challenges were identified by multi-departmental panels led by the National Research Council of Canada as part of the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program. The initial commitment to cover the cost of providing solutions to these challenges is $15M.

“These are unprecedented times. We need to leverage all great minds and innovators in our efforts to combat COVID-19,” said Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan. “We will invest in Canadians as we look for innovative solutions to keep not only the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces but all Canadians safe.”

The panels are also working with small- and medium-sized enterprises in Canada to refine their near-to-market products to meet COVID-19 related needs. Potential solutions in PPE, sanitization, diagnostics and testing, therapeutics, and disease-tracking technology may receive funding to further their solutions. This is a collaborative effort among the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada with an investment of up to $10M.

The call will remain open until June 23, 2020 with contracts to be awarded over the summer. To learn more about the challenges and how to apply, check out the IDEaS program website

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