Backgrounder: Supporting and Leveraging the Expertise of Canada’s Defence and Security Academic Community
The Defence team has adopted a fundamentally new approach to defence that will allow it to anticipate and better understand potential threats to Canada and Canadian interests. This is critical to Canada’s ability to be strong, secure, and engaged in the context of a complex security environment. This new approach will allow the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to better identify, prevent or prepare for, and respond to a wide range of contingencies.
Embracing diverse perspectives of academics and other experts will foster dialogue on the complex modern defence and security environment. This will contribute to the evidence-based foundation of defence policy-making, ensuring a broader range of experiences and expertise are brought to bear in delivering on the mandate of the CAF.
In recognition of the key role that the Canadian academic community and related partners play in developing a deeper understanding of the strategic security environment, Strong, Secure, Engaged will incrementally increase the Defence team’s investment in academic outreach from $500,000 to $4.5 million per year over the next five years. This investment will significantly increase our ability to leverage external expertise, in partnership with academia and the expert community. More specifically, the Defence team will explore ways to:
- Increase the funding of grants to academics, universities, think tanks, and other organizations to conduct research and host events;
- Engage a broader network of external experts to help inform and challenge government thinking on a wide range of defence and security issues;
- Develop collaborative networks of experts and bring them together to examine important and timely defence issues; and
- Promote scholarships for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to encourage the next generation of academics to study Canadian defence issues.
As we seek to stimulate increased research on defence and security issues in Canada, we will remain mindful of the need to ensure a diverse spectrum of voices contributing to the national conversation in this field. Supporting and leveraging the expertise of Canada’s defence and security academic community will help ensure a deep understanding of, and informed dialogue about complex defence and security issues. The investments in Strong, Secure, Engaged will enhance collaboration among the Defence team, academics, and experts, better support the critical examination of defence issues, encourage a sustainable and vibrant defence academic community, and ultimately improve the CAF’s ability to better anticipate and respond to crises.