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Innovation for Defence, Excellence and Security (IDEaS) Program

The Government of Canada recently launched the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. The program, which was included in the government’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged, will be led by the Assistant Deputy Minister (Science and Technology) and aims to support research to help solve Canada’s challenges in defence and security.

The program takes a fundamentally new approach to innovation and aims to challenge industry to come up with innovative solutions to near term operational challenges of the Canadian Armed Forces, allowing companies across Canada to bring their creativity, innovative ideas and business acumen to help solve real world problems in real time. IDEaS will provide financial support to innovators and researchers to perform research, generate knowledge or solve problems to address defence and security challenges that DND and security partners will identify. In addition, it will support research and development (R&D) networks to address such challenges; as well as support innovation from problem definition to early adoption of the solution.

Current and Future Opportunities
Since its launch in April 2018, IDEaS has been posting Challenges for the Canadian Innovation Community. The challenges are presented as various elements of IDEaS, which include Competitive Projects, Contests, Innovation Networks, Sandboxes, and Innovation Assessment & Implementation.

To find out more about the IDEaS Program, please click here.
To access the program’s Current Opportunities, please click here.
To view Future Opportunities, please click here

Innovative Solutions Canada

Innovative Solutions Canada is a new program from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada with over $100 million dedicated to supporting the scale up and growth of Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs by having the federal government act as a first customer. Twenty participating federal departments and agencies will set aside a portion of funding to support the creation of innovative solutions by Canadian small businesses.

Innovative Solutions Canada is aimed squarely at innovators. By funding proposed solutions, the program is supporting the development of early-stage, pre-commercial innovations. The program is a core element of the Innovation and Skills Plan announced in Budget 2017. The Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) is now part of Innovative Solutions Canada, to better connect these two programs and the companies that make use of them.

Program objectives

  • Fuel the development and adoption of technological innovation in Canada.
  • Grow Canadian companies through direct funding to support early stage, pre-commercial research and development, late stage prototypes, and to accelerate commercialization.
  • Encourage procurement from companies led by under-represented groups, such as women, Indigenous, youth, disabled individuals, LGBTQ+ and others.
  • Foster greater industry-research collaboration through the release of challenges for solutions that address key Government of Canada priorities.
  • Provide federal departments and agencies with opportunities to develop new capabilities to meet their research and development needs and thereby advance government priorities.


Participating federal departments and agencies will issue public challenges designed around a desired outcome rather than a known product or process specification and will be based on each department's mission and mandate. The challenge will be novel where there is currently no solution(s) in the marketplace.

For a current list of challenges, please click here.

Subscribe here to find out when challenges open.

SMTRM-II Virtual Collaborative Environment

CADSI in partnership with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have developed a virtual collaboration environment for NRC’s Security Materials Technologies Roadmap Implementation Initiative (SMTRM-II). This resource will help accelerate the development and adoption of innovative armour products and systems based on advanced materials in Canada, such as improved ballistic vests for police officers and improved armoured vehicles to protect Canadian soldiers deployed on peacekeeping operations. It enables communication and collaboration among Canadian security materials stakeholders to strengthen and align efforts and resources towards prioritized technology development and targeted R&D investments.

Are you a Canadian security materials stakeholder interested in contributing to the SMTRM-II virtual collaborative environment? You must complete the registration form to gain access. All approved registrants will receive an email within a week of registering which will include a link to access the resource.

Already registered? SIGN IN HERE

The SMTRM is part of NRC’s Security Materials Technologies research program, a joint program between NRC and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). The program is strategically designed to invigorate the defence and security industry in Canada by developing, transitioning and integrating transformational materials technologies to improve the performance of vehicle armour and personal protective equipment.