Feb. 18, 2022

UCalgary 1 of 5 institutions to lead federal Cyber Security Innovation Network as part of National Cybersecurity Consortium

Network will advance cybersecurity research, commercialization and talent in Canada

The University of Calgary is one of five founding institutions in the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC), which will lead the federal government’s new Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN).

In a statement issued today, François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry, announced that the NCC will receive up to $80 million over four years toward a total that will exceed $160 million, including significant cash and in-kind contributions from supporting organizations. UCalgary will seek project-based funding from the NCC in the coming months.

“Cybersecurity is of critical importance to Canada and we are innovating rapidly to keep pace with the growing demands and necessities of our increasingly online lives,” says Dr. Ken Barker, PhD, UCalgary NCC program lead and professor in the Faculty of Science.

With expertise in cryptography, computer science, and the legal, ethical and social issues of cybersecurity, UCalgary is uniquely positioned to help lead this collaborative program.  

Led by the NCC, CSIN will be a collaborative national network that will enhance research and development, increase commercialization, and develop skilled cybersecurity talent across Canada. CSIN will fund high-impact projects to be delivered by collaborations between post-secondary institutions, industry, and public sector and not-for-profit organizations from across Canada.

The NCC will focus on five themes of activity: network security, software security, human-centric cybersecurity, privacy, and critical infrastructure protection. Examples of potential projects include improving methods for ensuring data privacy, creation of advanced training environments, and developing more robust protections for critical infrastructure including utilities, energy systems, health care and banks.

“Academic-industry collaboration is key to advancing Canada’s cybersecurity ecosystem,” says Dr. Ed McCauley, president of the University of Calgary. “By co-ordinating transdisciplinary expertise across the country and forming strategic partnerships, we can accelerate cybersecurity research and development and help secure Canada’s digital future.”

“As a founding member of the NCC, we have the opportunity to demonstrate UCalgary’s leadership in fundamental and applied cybersecurity, while also attracting partnerships, funding, and new talent to our institution,” says Dr. William Ghali, vice-president (research). “This is a chance to help shape and strengthen cybersecurity in Canada, and ensure it is a competitive advantage for our country.”

UCalgary’s role as founding partner in the NCC will benefit from the critical mass of talent in the Institute for Security, Privacy and Information Assurance (ISPIA). ISPIA is a comprehensive research centre drawing on specialized expertise from across the university in areas of computer science, engineering, mathematics, business, law, law enforcement, military studies and health. 

More information about the NCC is available on their website.