DND awards $2 million to two companies developing COVID-19 solutions and products

The Department of National Defence announced today two contribution agreements with Canadian companies as part of the Government of Canada’s coordinated response to COVID-19.  The contribution agreements, totaling $2 million, focus on diagnostics and testing and are being awarded to:

  • Diagnostics Biochem Canada Inc. (London, ON): $1,014,000 for the development of kits for the detection of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 that can be used separately or in combination to diagnose current or previous COVID-19 infection
  • Custom Biologics, (Toronto, ON): $1,000,000 for the development and qualification of a rapid Point-of-Care diagnostic test for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19

The project funding resulted from technology pitch sessions that were hosted by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), in collaboration with DND and other government partners to seek out near-to-market solutions from small and medium-sized businesses to meet different COVID-19-related needs.

DND also announced the recent release of an additional call for proposals under the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. This call is looking to innovators for state-of-the-art research on “moral injury” and cutting edge prevention models and treatment strategies in support of DND/CAF personnel, healthcare workers and First Responders at the front lines of the current pandemic.  Funding for these calls was previously announced for up to $15M.

Innovators are encouraged to consult the IDEaS program website for more information on the challenges and how to apply to the program. 

Definition of Moral Injury

“…[T]he lasting psychological, biological, spiritual, behavioral, and social impact of perpetrating, failing to prevent, or bearing witness to acts that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations, that is, moral injury.” 

As quoted from Litz, Brett T., et al. “Moral Injury and Moral Repair in War Veterans: A Preliminary Model and Intervention Strategy.” Clinical Psychology Review, vol. 29, no. 8, 2009, pp. 695–706., doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2009.07.003. 

Quick facts

  • Both projects are receiving advisory services and research and development funding from NRC IRAP.

  • In addition to DND and NRC IRAP, this effort is also delivered in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Innovative Solutions Canada program and Health Canada.

  • DND provided subject matter experts in the areas of public safety and security, medical response, and biology/chemistry to participate in the pitch sessions.

Original source Government of Canada, DND

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