University of New Brunswick, NRC create cybersecurity innovation hub

Ali Ghorbani

The University of New Brunswick (UNB) and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) have partnered to open a new cybersecurity innovation hub in Fredericton.

“The primary goal of the CNCCC in Fredericton is to strengthen Canada’s leadership in cybersecurity research, innovation, and talent development.”

The Cybersecurity-NRC Cybersecurity Collaboration Consortium (CNCCC) will conduct cybersecurity research for critical infrastructure with a focus on IoT, security, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, and natural language processing. The NRC said this research will be used to help protect Canadians from cybercrime, allow Canada to respond to evolving cyber threats, and defend critical government and private sector systems.

“The primary goal of the [CNCCC] in Fredericton is to strengthen Canada’s leadership in cybersecurity research, innovation, and talent development, as outlined in the National Cyber Security Strategy,” said Ali Ghorbani, director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC).

The NRC said the new hub will exist to make discoveries and advances in cybersecurity including publications, patents, and the commercialization of new technology, as well as provide training opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

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UNB opened the CIC in 2017, in collaboration with IBM. The institute is dedicated to research, training, and industry collaboration in cybersecurity, and the new collaboration consortium will fall under the existing CIC. The institute focuses on multidisciplinary training, research and development, and entrepreneurship support, and looks to harness research in the social sciences, business, computer science, engineering, law, and science.

The Cyber Security Strategy, unveiled a year ago by the federal government, is rooted in three key themes: collaborating with partners to respond to cybercrime, supporting cybersecurity research, innovation, and talent, and working in coordination with provinces to advance cybersecurity. Budget 2018 earmarked $507 million over five years for this strategy. The NRC said the new innovation hub at UNB will contribute to this government cybersecurity mandate.

The NRC said as part of its new partnership, the council is looking to partner with other regional ecosystems, universities, polytechnic institutions, and colleges, to open similar collaboration centres across the country.

“This collaboration centre brings together leading researchers to form a joint team and make significant advances in cybersecurity for Canadians,” Iain Stewart, president of the NRC. “We are proud to partner with the University of New Brunswick’s Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and look forward to the success of this exciting collaboration.”

Image courtesy Joy Cummings, UNB Photo

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast