Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund
Call for Proposals FY 2024-25

The Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund program is accepting applications for funding between Wednesday, November 1, 2023 and Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 12:00pm (noon) Pacific time.

Annual Priority Initiatives

The intent of the Search and Rescue New Initiatives Fund (SAR NIF) is to enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, economy, and innovation of search and rescue activities as they relate to the response and prevention objectives of search and rescue in Canada.

The annual SAR NIF budget is $7.6M. Given that projects must be completed within one (1) to three (3) years, the availability of funds for new projects will vary from year to year.

In order to be considered for funding, each proposal must meet at least one of the Annual Priority Initiatives listed below.

Priority 1

Strengthen the Governance of Search and Rescue (SAR)

Responsibility for SAR activities in Canada is spread across multiple accountability centres; therefore, a well-coordinated mechanism for maintaining coherence and ensuring the seamless delivery of SAR services is required.

Initiatives that support the development of local, regional, and national governance and collaboration mechanisms to ensure seamless delivery of SAR services.

Initiative to host the 2025 SARscene conference that serves as a multi-stakeholder forum for discussing SAR issues and provides opportunities for information sharing with the ultimate goal of strengthening the SAR network and influencing SAR policy and practices.

Priority 2

Sustaining the SAR Volunteer Community

SAR activities in Canada depend heavily on the assistance of SAR volunteers. Organizations supporting SAR, including the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA), Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CCGA) and the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) all rely on limited and often overlapping volunteer resources. The Canadian SAR system should coordinate efforts to sustain and grow this volunteer base, to stimulate interest among future volunteers and to appropriately support those who may be injured in assisting SAR operations.

Initiatives that support efforts to retain and stimulate interest in SAR volunteering.  

Priority 3

Enhancing SAR Cooperation with Indigenous Partners

SAR in Canada should strive to acknowledge and respect the unique relationship between Indigenous communities and their natural environments. SAR prevention and response activities should respond to the needs and resources of communities and integrate traditional knowledge.

Initiatives led by Indigenous communities that identify and support their needs and resources.

Priority 4

Supporting Search and Rescue in Remote Areas

Canada must be prepared to respond to increases in incidents arising from growing opportunities for inexperienced people to access further remote locations, as well as increased maritime traffic in Canada’s north.

Initiatives focused on improvement of prevention, preparation, and response in remote and northern communities.

Priority 5

Adapting to Changes in Technology that Impact Search and Rescue

Rapidly evolving technology has the potential to impact the number of SAR incidents as well as the ability to respond. Canada’s SAR system needs to understand these impacts to drive coherent change.

Initiatives that identify and demonstrate new technologies that can improve, or address new technologies that may hinder, the efficiency and effectiveness of SAR prevention and response.

Priority 6

Improving Search and Rescue Prevention Efforts

Changes in attitudes, perceptions, media consumption and culture have the potential to reduce the effectiveness of SAR prevention programs over time. Coordinated effort in updating prevention programs is essential to reducing the number of SAR incidents.

Initiatives that seek to modernize the content and/or expand the delivery of SAR education taking into account changes in demographics, attitudes, perceptions, culture, and/or media consumption.

Priority 7

Supporting Decisions through Improved Data Sharing and Technology

Current information management practices do not support horizontal SAR efforts or performance measurement, monitoring or reporting on SAR activities. Improvement is needed in data collection, analysis and information sharing within Canada’s SAR community.

Initiatives that seek to establish or advance data collection, sharing, and analysis tools and processes.

Priority 8

International Search and Rescue

Canada is a signatory to multiple international agreements regarding SAR. Active participation and leadership in the governance bodies overseeing implementation of existing agreements and pursuit of new agreements where needed are important to ensuring the global availability of SAR services for Canadians.

Initiatives that seek to strengthen international agreements, improve cooperation, and ensure interoperability within Canada’s search and rescue areas of responsibility where Canada’s SAR system relies on others for support.

Note – project funding is only available for eligible Canadian organizations and travel is only eligible within Canada.

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