Consortium gets $80 million to oversee Canadian Cybersecurity Innovation Network

Ottawa is investing up to C$80 million over four years in a group called National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) to supervise the young Cybersecurity Innovation Network (CSIN) aims to stimulate academic research, application and hardware developers in this country, as well as to train more cybersecurity workers.

The money will help CSIN improve cybersecurity research and development, increase commercialization and develop skilled IT talent, the government said this morning.

“This funding will help foster a strong national cybersecurity ecosystem in Canada and position the country as a global leader in cybersecurity,” the government said in a statement.

“By encouraging partnerships between academia and industry, the network will help address the shortage of cybersecurity specialists. And by leveraging Canada’s highly skilled workforce, world-class universities, and growing cybersecurity industry, CSNI will support Canada’s leadership in cybersecurity.

The National Cybersecurity Consortium is a federally incorporated non-profit organization founded in 2020 by five Canadian universities (Concordia University, Ryerson University, University of Calgary, University of New Brunswick and University of Waterloo). Its goal is to work with the public and private sectors to lead world-class cybersecurity innovation and talent development.

Hopefully, according to the NCC, cutting-edge intellectual property will be generated by Canadian cybersecurity researchers, leading to commercialized products and services.

Organizations wishing to work with the CSNI can contact the NCC directly.

The network will be required to match 1:1 of the federal contribution, for an additional $80 million over four years, which will be provided as a combination of cash and/or in-kind contributions. Matching contributions will need to come from a combination of non-federal partners (eg, private sector, provincial/territorial/municipal governments and others, such as not-for-profit organizations and Canadian post-secondary institutions).

“Demands on the digital economy continue to grow rapidly and cybersecurity is a growing concern for Canadians and Canadian businesses,” said Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, in a press release. “That’s why supporting and investing in a strong, secure and resilient Canadian cyber ecosystem is essential. Through this investment, the Cybersecurity Innovation Network will not only help drive prosperity, security and innovation in Canada, but will also help build a nation of cybersecurity pioneers.

“We believe that under the leadership of the NCC, the CSNI will become a major force in advancing cybersecurity innovation in Canada,” the consortium’s leadership team said in a statement. “As a national network, the CSIN is poised to significantly advance cybersecurity across all sectors and in all regions of Canada. The CSIN opens a new chapter of collaborative innovation in cybersecurity in Canada, and we look forward to working closely with all stakeholders as we build the CSIN over the coming months.

The government press release says that, according to Statistics Canada, Canada’s cybersecurity industry contributed more than $2.3 billion in GDP and 22,500 jobs to the Canadian economy in 2018.

Canadian companies said they spent $7 billion in 2019 to prevent, detect and recover from cybersecurity incidents, the government added.

About Donald J. Beadle

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