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Internal Innovation

The environment in which the Defence Forces and Department of Defence operates is increasingly complex and changing rapidly. To perform effectively, the Defence Forces and Department of Defence must be capable of adapting quickly and learning from mistakes. The organisation must become innovative by instinct.

The RTI Unit supports the development of innovation capacity within Defence by developing a culture and systems where all Defence personnel are inspired, empowered and enabled to innovate. The Unit delivers several initiatives targeted at Defence Forces and Department of Defence personnel.

Defence Sparx - Innovation mindset and skills for Defence

Defence Sparx is an innovation training programme in which participants develop creative solutions to address real challenges in the Defence Forces and Department of Defence. 

The programme is structured, immersive and hands-on. Experts guide and support participants as they work in small teams to develop an effective solution to an assigned real-world challenge faced by the organisation. Teams reach a point where they pitch the opportunity to decision-makers within Defence for further support to implement a prototype of their solution. 

Through the Defence Sparx programme participants develop important innovation skills and broadened perspective, enabling them to approach all types of problems in a better way.

Defence Sparx is for DF (incl. Res) and DoD members only.

Defence Innovate – Financial support to test your good ideas

Defence Innovate is the Defence Organisation’s Internal Innovation Challenge Funding programme. 

Personnel across the Defence Forces and Department of Defence are highly creative. They regularly identify simple innovative solutions to challenges in their work environment, which can enhance the organisations’ capability. Defence Innovate provides DF and DoD personnel with an opportunity to avail of once-off small-scale financial grants to implement and test solutions to challenges they have identified in their work environment. 

Defence Innovate enables the freedom to innovate, empowering people to make local improvements. It unlocks intrinsic motivation and creates a shared responsibility for outcomes. It contributes to enhancing the culture of innovation in the DF and DoD.

The current innovation challenge themes are open

  1. Joint operation capability - Project supports collaboration between units, services, or organisations
  2. HR, Training & Evaluation - Project supports the development and enhanced wellbeing of DF and DoD members
  3. Disruptive ideas to enhance defence capability - An open call for projects which enhance defence capability

Defence Innovate is for DF (incl. Res) and DoD members only.

If you have an idea that fits the challenge themes and simply need money to test it out, let the RTI Unit know.


Chief of Staff Innovation Awards

The Chief of Staff Innovation Awards recognise soldiers, sailors, aviators and civilian employees who develop innovative technologies or work practices that enhance Defence capability. 

The awards acknowledge innovation at all stages of development from concept to early-stage research to deployed prototypes or solutions.  This Chief of Staff’s Innovation Awards aim to support our personnel in developing their innovative ideas into tangible benefits for the Defence Forces.