Significant time, talent, and financial resources are required to perform military and defence research and development projects. Bringing innovative ideas through to working prototypes can be an intensive process, and crossing the commercialization hurdle to finding a first-buyer can be even more difficult. Fortunately, Canadian government procurement programs exist to help technology firms work through the research, development, testing, and commercialization process.
The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program is a technology procurement program that focuses on innovations with a practical application to current military and defence challenges. Technology developers may receive funding throughout the development and commercialization process by advancing through the program’s four components.
Innovators may receive up to $1.2 million in government contracts for research and development. Solutions reaching the prototype phase may also be eligible for procurement contracts.
To get started with the program, applicants should review current challenges identified by the Department of National Defence (DND). If a firm wishes to move forward with a challenge, they must apply by the program’s proposal deadline. Multiple solutions may be chosen to complete early-stage research and development, however, progression to later components in not guaranteed.
Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS): Government Contracts for R&D
The Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program is a Canadian federal procurement program focused on developing innovative solutions to the country’s military and defence challenges. The government will regularly identify new challenges and request proposals from companies with the desire and capacity to perform research and development activities.
Participants may receive up to $1.2 million for research and development. Prototypes developed to commercial readiness may be tested or sold to the government for additional contracts.
Ideal projects start with a solution readiness level (SRL) of 1-6 and, through the provision of military and defence procurement contracts, receive funding to advance the solution towards market readiness. Later components are optional, but require innovators to successfully complete the first components.
The IDEaS program is administered through the following components:
Component 1 – Standard Research and Development Projects
- Component 1a: Up to $200k in government contracts to establish the merit, innovativeness, and impact of a solution.
- Component 1b: Up to $1M in government contracts to progress the solution to a higher level of commercial readiness. (Must complete component 1a to qualify)
Components 2-4 – Late-Stage Technology Development, Testing, and Procurement
Please Note: Components 2-4 require successful participation in component 1b to qualify.
- Component 2: Up to $20M in government contracts to develop a solution to commercial readiness. This funding is not provided through IDEaS and requires an additional government funding application to access.
- Component 3: No funding awarded, but supports Department of National Defence’s demonstration and feedback.
- Component 4: Contracts awarded for the procurement, rental, or lease of solutions for further evaluation.
Applicants Eligible for Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Procurement Contracts
Fortunately, the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program does not exclude certain applicants. All types of innovators, from disruptive startups to established defence and security firms, may apply for funding. Administered by the federal government’s Department of National Defence, applicants from all provinces and territories may apply.
IDEaS Solution/Project Eligibility Requirements
To qualify for the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program, proposed solutions must:
- Have a minimum 50% Canadian content (although 80% or more is ideal);
- Maintain a current Solution Readiness Level (SRL) of 1-6 and be in the early stages of research and development at the time of proposal; and
- Relate to a current Department of National Defence challenge.
Get Started with the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security Program
Innovators interested in participating in the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security program should identify the upcoming Call for Proposals, noting specific challenges they could address. In the case where a company wants to apply for more than one challenge, a unique proposal is required for each.
There is an upcoming deadline for solution proposals on May 24, 2018. Potential applicants must develop and submit a competitive proposal by this date to be considered.
As this is the program’s first round of applications, it is unclear how long the review process may take. It’s generally accepted that programs like this could require three to four months for applications to be processed.
To discuss your business’ eligibility and receive support to optimize the government funding application process, please contact Mentor Works.
Posted: May 8, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd. Updated: May 8, 2018 by Jeff Shepherd.