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View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
The innovation piece is extremely important. One initiative that we started once we launched the defence policy was consultation with industry. Early on in the process, those consultations stated it was easier for them to do business outside Canada than inside Canada. They had less predictability of where we were going. One of the things we wanted to do was give them an opportunity to look at where the defence challenge is.
We have started a project called IDEaS and that allows us to throw down a defence challenge, so rather than a company having to figure out what the product is, we compete the idea itself. Then we pick the best idea from there, do early investment into it and then look at the next development of it. If it shows a greater fruit, then we are able to invest further and carry it on further.
This also allows us to solve our defence challenges and open up to the greater talent pool, but at the same time, it allows individual universities or companies to take part and potentially turn their own idea into a business. These are some things that are being connected into the wider innovation agenda that Minister Bains runs. It makes it far more—let's put it this way—encouraging for our defence industry and says we are better partners with them.
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