Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
COVID-19 Challenges (Phase 1)
For More Information
Visit the Covid-19 Challenges website.
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) in collaboration with Canada’s defence, security and public safety communities are looking for viable and effective processes and methods for safely and rapidly decontaminating enclosed work environments (e.g., buildings and modes of transportation) containing sensitive equipment.
Background and Context
Properly and rapidly sanitizing and disinfecting of spaces, surfaces and equipment that are likely to harbour pathogens within different work environments and locations (e.g., hospital rooms, patient triage areas, operation centres, Navy vessels etc.), different modes of transportation (e.g., rail, land, air and sea transport), and especially those involved in transporting patients with highly infectious diseases (e.g., land, fixed-wing and rotary wing aircraft ambulance vehicles) is critical for ensuring the health and safety of workers, patients and the public.
Presently, all surfaces must be cleaned of visible debris, medical waste, soiling, contaminants, dirt, and dust before being manually decontaminated with chemical sanitizers, which very often, also require several minutes of wet contact time to decrease antimicrobial elements on surfaces (e.g., kill bacteria, fungi and deactivate viruses). This is very labour intensive and often requires a lot of time that results in unnecessary delays in access to that work environment or vehicle. In the case of an ambulance, time spent cleaning removes a front line responder from their ability to prepare for the next medical/trauma response call, which has direct impact on the provision of care.
This challenge does not necessarily seek to eliminate the need for manual cleaning, but rather to elicit effective solutions including potentially automated approaches that will (a) meet Health Canada assurance standards; and (b) help to significantly reduce the time that is needed for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting and associated idling of that capability. The work environments are diverse - ranging from enclosed spaces in operational centres and Navy vessels with integrated air ducts and circulation systems to ambulances and airplanes. In addition the work environment surfaces and materials are varied—everything from square, flat, solid surfaces, to soft, porous surfaces and materials. For example, certain environments (e.g., air and vehicle transport ambulances) will also contain sensitive medical equipment and supplies, and in the case of a transportation vehicles (e.g. cockpits, Navigation decks) sensitive electronic and specialized equipment. Thus, it is expected that proposed solutions will need to account for the range of surfaces and materials that exist.
This CFP is open to individuals, academia, not-for-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, and provincial/territorial/municipal governments.
Applicants with joint ventures may also apply. See section 1.6 of the IDEaS Program Applicant Guide for more information.
Phase 1 – award up to $200,000
Maximum Project Value
See 'Funding Availability'.
Phase 1 is up to 6 months in duration
Please refer to the Office of Research COVID 19 web-page for directives related to research activities at the University of Guelph.
If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.
How to Apply
Applications must be submitted through Canada Post's eConnect system which is a 2-stage process with DND and can require several days. Researchers are encouraged to complete the registration process as early as possible to ensure your application can be submitted by the internal deadline. Please contact the Office of Research if you require assistance with this process.
Stage 1: Proposal Submission
The Applicant is to complete the following:
- Read the Applicant Guide and determine eligibility.
- Review the S&T Challenges and determine if they can address any of them with an innovation.
- Complete the Proposal Form and submit on or before the closing date for the CFP.