Defence and Security S&T Strategy

December 11, 2013

The Department of National Defence’s (DND) Defence and Security S&T Strategy presents a comprehensive, long-term blueprint to help ensure Canada has a science, technology and knowledge advantage in defence and security. It sets the direction for the next five years for Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) and its research program.

Science and Technology (S&T) is essential for ensuring the defence of Canada, and represents a critical element of national security. The DND, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and their safety and security partners, including Public Safety Canada, depend on S&T to deliver on their respective mandates and adapt to ever-changing demands.

Aligned with DND and CAF priorities

The S&T needs of DND, the CAF and their safety and security partners are larger than ever before. The departmental S&T investment must be aligned with and responsive to multiple demands. Such requirements are expressed in the Strategy as six principal objectives, each of which depends on S&T to overcome a diverse array of related defence and security challenges. These objectives are:

  1. Build agile and adaptable forces to carry out missions across a wide spectrum of operations;
  2. Assist and support CAF and civilian personnel before, during and after operations;
  3. Enable the acquisition, sharing and use of critical information in support of situational awarenessand decision-making;
  4. Develop and implement solutions to maximize the affordability and sustainability of DND and the CAF;
  5. Support public safety and security practitioners in their mission to protect Canadians; and
  6. Anticipate, prepare for and counter the emergence of future threats.

A purpose-built program

The S&T program will be more focused and purpose-built to respond to DND and CAF priorities and requirements.

It will leverage efforts from DRDC and others such as industry, academia, other government departments and allies to generate priority outcomes for Canada’s defence and security.

The Defence and Security S&T Strategy outlines what will be needed to implement a successful defence and security S&T program focused on key partnerships; effective approaches to knowledge access and collaboration; scientific, analytical and management excellence; improved business practices; and a dynamic workforce. 

The business model will be simpler as DRDC seeks to be at the forefront of well-managed S&T organizations.

DRDC will leverage the resources and expertise from its research centres and will converge these efforts into a single program of work.

A diversified portfolio of partners

Defence and security S&T investment in Canada is a fraction of total R&D expenditures worldwide. Accessing the expertise and resources of this dispersed innovation community is critical, not only to meet client needs, but to avoid duplication of effort, draw on best practices, and benefit from investments already undertaken. DRDC will increase its interactions with partners and allies and diversify the portfolio of partners (whether from industry, academia or other governments). DRDC’s goal is to provide the best possible advice and knowledge to DND and the CAF for generating technology and knowledge advantages for Canada’s defence and security. Accordingly, DRDC will engage members of the national and global innovation communities along a continuum marked by three principal modes of interaction.

Build: DRDC will build and maintain critical mass of capability in areas of strategic national importance.

Collaborate: Other areas of S&T lend themselves to active collaboration, characterized by reciprocal access between DRDC and partners to specialized facilities or sensitive information, joint initiatives and coordinated investment.

Access: In areas where DRDC cannot or should not be the source of supply, the required S&T will be accessed from partners.

Collaboration with key S&T partners will be pursued in a strategic fashion, focusing on areas of greatest impact and alignment with departmental and government priorities.

Robust international collaboration is vital to activities such as promoting interoperability and common standards, informing DND and Canadian industry of emerging issues and opportunities, and supporting broader diplomatic and policy goals and will contribute significantly to common defence and security objectives.

DRDC is the national leader in defence and security science and technology. As an agency of Canada’s DND, DRDC provides DND, CAF and other government departments as well as the public safety and national security communities the knowledge and technological advantage needed to defend and protect Canada’s interests at home and abroad.

For further information: Comments or questions about the Defence and Security S&T Strategy, or enquiries regarding collaborative opportunities may be forwarded to

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