DND launches a call to innovative thinkers for solutions to COVID-19 challenges
As part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to refocus existing innovation programs to support the fight against the spread of COVID-19, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced today the first of a series of calls for innovations aimed at addressing some of the key challenges Canada is facing.
With an initial commitment of $15M, the first three challenges focus on:
- Viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment;
- 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
- Data gathering solutions to support the early detection and community-based monitoring of outbreaks of contagious diseases.
These challenges were determined by multi-departmental panels led by the National Research Council of Canada as part of the COVID-19 Challenges Procurement Program.
In addition to the call for innovation, these panels are engaging Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises to refine their near-to-market products to meet a COVID-19 related need. Promising solutions in the areas of PPE, sanitization, diagnostics and testing, therapeutics, and disease-tracking technology may receive funding to further their solutions of interest. This effort is a collaboration with the National Research Council of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, and Health Canada and sees an additional investment of up to $10M.
Innovators are encouraged to consult the IDEaS program website for more information on the challenges and how to apply to the program.