French multinational tech company Thales Group has announced plans to establish a hub in Fredericton, with financing from federal and provincial government agencies to build the facility and hire local talent.
The Fredericton hub is expected to hire over 110 workers upon completion. It would represent Thales’ second National Digital Excellence Centre (NDEC) globally, which helps businesses test and develop digital transformation projects. The new centre would also include the company’s North American cybersecurity operations..
The NDEC in Fredericton would also build on Thales’ existing presence in Atlantic Canada, as it opened an office in Halifax in 2018.
“Thales will not only create value for its partners and customers, but also grow its Atlantic workforce.”
According to Thales, the Fredericton NDEC will be a place for small businesses, academia, and the regional ecosystem at large to collaborate, and develop cyber skills as well as partnerships. It is being established in partnership with economic development agency Ignite and the University of New Brunswick (UNB)’s digital technology hub, The McKenna Institute.
The federal government, through Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is supporting the new centre through two separate contributions: $1.8 million to develop cybersecurity and digital resilience programs for businesses at the UNB, and $1.2 million to support Ignite in the design and establishment of the NDEC Fredericton facility.
Opportunities NB, which is New Brunswick’s economic development agency, is giving Thales a payroll rebate of up to $5.5 million over five years to support the company’s hiring goals.
Thales designs and develops electrical systems and equipment for the aerospace, defence, transportation, and security industries. Headquartered in France, Thales has over 77,000 employees across five continents. It built its first NDEC in Wales.
Thales has delivered projects in cities throughout Canada, including Ottawa’s O-Train Confederation Line, as well as Toronto’s Finch LRT.
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The Fredericton hub would build on Thales’ existing network of tech facilities in Canada. In 2017, the company launched an AI centre in Montréal, which was built in collaboration with Mila, the Vector Institute, and IVADO.
“Thales will not only create value for its partners and customers, but also grow its Atlantic workforce,” said Pierre-Yves Jolivet, vice president of cyber defence solutions at Thales. According to Jolivet, Thales aims to increase opportunities for STEM education through “numerous student opportunities and a new cyber range to support access and development of advanced cybersecurity capabilities.”
Featured image courtesy Thales.