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Opportunities for your organization

The Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy helps organizations grow their business, engage in research and development, enhance skills, or export products through defence procurement opportunities.

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How the ITB Policy creates opportunities

The ITB Policy and its predecessor, the Industrial and Regional Benefit (IRB) Policy, have helped companies add value to the Canadian economy. From 2012 to 2016, IRB/ITB-related business transactions and investments added $4.6 billion to Canada’s GDP. At the same time, they created or maintained 46,000 jobs each year.

By advising and informing organizations about opportunities, WD opened doors to:

  • R&D investments
  • technology transfers
  • supplier and service contracts

This created many opportunities for western Canadian businesses, as well as post-secondary and research institutions. Even more opportunities are on their way. Strong Secure Engaged: Canada’s Defence Policy, allocated $108 billion in capital spending (on an accrual basis) for the Canadian Armed Forces over the next 20 years. Western Canada should benefit from the many opportunities tied to these investments, due to its:

  • strong aerospace sector
  • highly skilled workforce
  • countless innovative companies
  • advanced research and training institutions

Opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses

When the ITB Policy applies, defence contractors are required to submit a small business plan as part of their bids. These “prime contractors” must also conduct a minimum percentage of business with Canadian SMEs. As a result, dozens of western Canadian SMEs have partnered with prime contractors to supply parts for:

  • space systems
  • marine vessels
  • various ground and air fleets

They have also provided high-value services, such as:

  • training
  • consulting
  • cybersecurity solutions
  • maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO)

SMEs promote their capabilities to contractors through:

  • industry days and conferences
  • meeting with WD's ITB team
  • registering on a prime contractor’s supplier portal

WD’s SME checklist for defence procurement has tips on promoting your capabilities to defence contractors.

Opportunities for research and training institutions

The Canadian aerospace and defence industry has one of the highest rates of investment in research and development (R&D) and there are continual opportunities for research partnerships between research institutions and prime contractors.

The ITB Policy encourages companies to invest in 16 Key Industrial Capabilities (KICs). R&D will be heavily weighted to 5 emerging technology KICs, which include:

  • advanced materials
  • artificial intelligence
  • cyber resilience
  • remotely-piloted systems and autonomous technologies
  • space systems

The ITB Policy also includes Skills Development & Training, which will encourage defence and security contractors to seek training partnerships with post-secondary training institutions.

Taking advantage of ITB opportunities

Stay informed about current and upcoming procurement needs:

Be proactive:

  • Learn the basics of the ITB Policy.
  • Prepare a marketing plan to show how your product or service is competitive and how it could fit with a contractor's business.
  • Prepare your elevator pitch – opportunities can come without notice. Tailor your pitch to how your organization can add value to a contractor’s business lines.
  • Research the certifications and accreditations (e.g. ISO, Canadian Controlled Goods Program, etc.) your company or institution might need to participate in the defence industry.
  • Learn about the US Government's ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and what you need to engage in a project that is subject to ITAR.
  • Form partnerships with other companies to offer turnkey solutions to prime contractors.

Make yourself known:

  • Reach out to your local WD ITB team to introduce your organization, products and capabilities.
  • Make sure your company website is informative and updated.
  • Attend both regional and national trade shows.
  • Register on the supplier portals of applicable companies.

Other helpful links

Contact WD’s ITB team for more information on how to get involved in defence procurement

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