As part of Canada’s response to COVID-19, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced contribution agreements with two Canadian companies for diagnostics and testing. The contribution agreements, totalling $2 million, were awarded to:

  • Diagnostics Biochem Canada Inc. (London, ON): $1,014,000 for the development of kits for the detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that can be used separately or in combination to diagnose current or previous COVID-19 infection
  • Custom Biologics (Toronto, ON): $1,000,000 for the development and qualification of a rapid Point-of-Care diagnostic test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19

The project is a result of technology pitch sessions that were hosted by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), DND, and other government partners to seek out near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses to meet different COVID-19-related needs. 

As part of the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program, DND also announced the recent release of an additional call for proposals. With this call, DND is looking for innovators for state-of-the-art research on “moral injury” and cutting-edge prevention models and treatment strategies in support of DND/CAF personnel, healthcare workers, and First Responders at the front lines of the current pandemic. Funding for these calls was previously announced for up to $15M.

According to an article from the Clinical Psychology Review, moral injury is “…[T]he lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social impact of perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations.”

For those interested in learning more about this program, check out the IDEaS program website for more information on the challenges and how to apply.