Mr. Eric Fournier

Director General Innovation, Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS)

Department of National Defence, Canada

Mr. Fournier is presently the Director General Innovation for the Assistant Deputy Minister (Science & Technology).  He is a Scientific Advisor to the Department of National Defence and to the Canadian Armed Forces. His role is to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces/Department of National Defence (CAF/DND) have access to the most cutting-edge solutions for their challenges from Canadian Innovators.

Eric began his career with Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) as a Defence Scientist in the Flight Mechanics Group of the Precision Weapons Section at the Valcartier laboratory in August 1992. He spent most of his scientific career in that establishment, where he held a number of positions in the Weapons field of study.

In 2014, Mr. Fournier took up the position of Defence R&D Counsellor at CDLS (London) where he was responsible for liaison in defence Science and Technology between Canada and the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Upon returning to Canada in July 2017, he was appointed DG Innovation, and also selected to develop and lead the implementation of the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) initiative.

Dr. Erik Blasch

Program officer

United States Air Force Research Laboratory

ERIK BLASCH is a program officer at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) – Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). Previously, he was a Principal Scientist at AFRL in Rome, NY (2012-16); Exchange Scientist to Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) at Valcartier, Quebec (2010-12); and Information Fusion Evaluation Tech Lead at AFRL in Dayton, OH (2000-09). Dr. Blasch has served multiple academic roles as an Adjunct Associate teaching and research engineering Processor in signal processing and information fusion at 12 universities as well as serving 28 years as a USAF officer (mostly reserve status).

Dr. Blasch was a founder member of the International Society of Information Fusion (ISIF) (, 2007 President, and Board of Governors (BoG) member (2000-10). He served on the IEEE Aerospace and Electronics Systems Society (AESS) BoG (2011-16), distinguished lecturer (2012-20), and co-chair of 7 conferences. He has focused on information fusion, target tracking, pattern recognition, and robotics research compiling 850 scientific papers, 32 patents, and 33 team-robotics wins. His coauthored books include High-Level Information Fusion Management and Systems Design, (Artech House, 2012), Advances and Applications of DSmT for Information Fusion (American Research Press, 2015), Context-Enhanced information Fusion (Springer, 2016), Multispectral Image Fusion and Colorization (SPIE, 2018), Handbook of Dynamic Data Driven Applications Systems (Springer, 2018), and Deep Learning for Radar and Communications Automatic Target Recognition (Artech, 2020).

Dr. Blasch received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992 and M.S. degrees in Mechanical (’94), Health Science(’95), and Industrial Engineering (human factors)(’95) from Georgia Tech and attended the Univ. of Wisconsin for a MD/PhD in Neuroscience/ME until being called to military service in 1996 to the United States Air Force. He completed an MBA(’98), MSEE(’98), MSEcon(’99), and PhD(’99) in Electrical Engineering from Wright State University and is a graduate of Air War College(’08). He is the recipient of the Military Sensing Symposium (MSS) Mignogna Leadership in Data Fusion Award, IEEE AESS Mimno Best Paper Award, IEEE Russ Bio-Engineering Award, and AIAA Information Systems award. He is an Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical and Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), and Fellow of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).