canada, webinars, defence, manufacturing

By Hayley Clift | November 19, 2018

Our "Understanding and applying to Canada's $1.6 billion IDEaS program: How you can win up to CA$200,000 in innovation contracts" webinar was last week - here's what you missed.


Eric Fournier, Director General, S&T Strategic Decision Support
Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
at the Department of National Defense (DND)


Watch the webinar

Understanding and applying to Canada's $1.6 billion IDEaS program

How you can win up to CA$200,000 in innovation contracts

  • Outlining DND and IDEaS's aims
  • Understanding the IDEaS submission and selections process
  • Introducing the current round of innovation challenges
  • Tips, tricks, and pitfalls for your IDEaS application
  • Followed by audience Q&A


Your webinar questions

1. Could you please discuss the status of the evaluations of the 5 previous calls. We have submitted but zero feedback.

As discussed during the webinar, IDEaS plans to award 161 contracts under the first Call for Proposals for Competitive Projects. We have over 100 signed to date with the remaining expected to be signed by the end of November. With regard to Innovation Networks, the program is working to finalize the review of proposals and signing contribution agreements by mid-December for the first Call for Proposals, and by the end of January for the second Call for proposals. The report for the first Call for Proposals for Sandboxes is going to be posted on the IDEaS web page soon. And our second Call for Proposals for Competitive Projects is still open until Nov 27. For all of these cases, IDEaS will post all awarded contracts and contributions on its website.


2. Would you describe your evaluation process as agile?

The IDEaS program has worked very hard to be very agile with its solicitation, proposal review and contract award process. For example, for Competitive Projects we ask innovators to fill out a proposal of approximately 5 pages that should take no more than a few hours to complete. Once received, the program undertakes a thorough, but efficient review of all proposals received, which includes our scientific and procurement experts. If selected, the proposal submitted by the innovator becomes the statement of work for the contract and the funding that had been requested becomes the awarded amount. This process has ensured that IDEaS can be timely and responsive to innovators. For example, the first four contracts under Competitive Projects were awarded within two months of their submission to the program.


3. Do you consider projects that are tangential to the main project problem?

For the Competitive Project element, the IDEaS program will consider proposals from innovators that provide a portion of the solution to a challenge that is issued. The caveat is that the proposed work should result in a tangible solution that can be of value to the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence.


4. Can you consider presenting these projects as a Project requirements document on the website?

You will then get back a Project Functional Specification document, and for those you like, you can ask for an internal architecture specification document...that way you can identify those projects that will most likely work properly...You want the templates?IDEaS is a challenged based program where we are asking innovators for solutions. As a result, we are asking those innovators to propose how they can best meet the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence. For example, with Competitive Projects, the proposals that are submitted become the statements of work that the innovator is then responsible for implementing. IDEaS is different in this regard from standard procurement in which the Crown normally sets the exact specifications of what it is looking for from a supplier.


5. When does the next round start?

Each element under the program will be utilized at various points throughout the year. It is important to sign up to our mailing list so that we can keep you informed when calls are issued. We will not burden you with information and ask only for your email. You can sign up here:


6. The IED project: I'm not sure I can detect the IED's, but I can detect the event when the terrorist places the IED in the ground in the road if your interested

We would encourage you to apply for the current call for proposals under Competitive Projects.


7. Will the participants be required to come to the organizers for meetings?

For the Competitive Projects element, there is no requirement to come to DND to meet. Other elements may require travel for meetings, such as Sandboxes where IDEaS organizes a testing environment at a specific location where all innovators will need to present themselves.


8. What about those projects that don't make the grade, but for other reasons have merit for follow up, will IDEAS follow that

If a proposed project is not successful through the application process, the IDEaS program will not pursue anything further on that project with that innovator. 


9. Are there any staff on the West Coast, or is everything run from Ottawa? Or somewhere else?

IDEaS is managed out of Ottawa but has many collaborators across the country including local Defence Research and Development Canada offices, Regional Development Agencies (e.g. Western Diversification) and organizations such as the Office for Small and Medium Enterprises in Public Services and Procurement Canada.


10. Is this the same as BCIP program or different?

The focus of the IDEaS program exclusively seeks to resolve defence and security challenges. IDEaS supports innovation activities across Solution Readiness Levels 1-9 and all innovators from academia to small and large companies are eligible to submit proposal(s). Additionally, IDEaS fosters networks, incentivizes collaboration and development expertise, and provides opportunities for innovators to interact with CAF leadership while demonstrating their solutions to obtain operational feedback. Five tools or elements have been developed to reach out to innovators (Competitive Projects, Innovation Networks, Sandboxes, Contests, and Innovation Assessment & Implementation) and one of them will operate in the same TRL level of BCIP.


11. We were pre-approved for BCIP and then the fund ran out of money.  We have a testing partner identified. will this work under IDeAs

BCIP operates separately and as a result, a new project proposal would have to be made to IDEaS based on an available challenge.


Are these programs strictly for Canadian companies?

IDEaS will favour innovation that is developed in Canada but is seeking the best solutions wherever they exist. Each Call for Proposal will describe the minimum Canadian Content desired; typically between 50-80%.


Please describe the definition of Component 1b (raised in SOW Section 2d) that is not described in IDEaS literature. Could this be “assessment and implementation”? 

Component 1b: The objective of this Component is to continue the S&T effort of Component 1a solutions for the purpose of progressing the solution to a higher SRL. Entry into this component is for successfully completed Component 1a solutions that are promising to Canada. Funds are limited to a maximum of $1,000,000 for a maximum period of 1 year.



Hayley Clift

Hayley is a Senior Account Executive at OMX. She ensures that sellers and SMEs receive the right opportunities, connect with the right buyers, and win new business.

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