Government Announces Cyber Security Innovation Network Program

In recent years, cyber security has been a focal point for many countries due to rapid advancements in cyber threats coupled with the increased reliance on digital infrastructure globally. In Canada, it is estimated that cybercrime costs the nation $3 billion a year.

The Government of Canada has established numerous initiatives in order to protect the digital privacy of Canadians as well as the digital infrastructure supporting the economy. Notably, the government has announced an investment of up to $80 million over four years (2021-2025) in the Cyber Security Innovation Network program.

The three main objectives of the program are as follows:

  • to support research and development in cybersecurity;
  • to accelerate the commercialization of cyber security products and services; and
  • to increase the nation’s cyber security talent and strengthen its cyber security workforce.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) is proposing a four-year agreement for a selected applicant to form the Cyber Security Innovation Network. The successful applicant will then achieve these objectives through a national network consisting of at least three centres of expertise in cyber security. Support through academic-industry collaboration will be the vital in order for the objectives to be met by the agreed upon timeframes.

Research and development into cyber security not only protects businesses and the economy as a whole against cyber threats, but it also fosters economic growth. The government aims for Canada to be at the forefront of selling the skills and innovations relating to cyber security to the rest of the world. It is expected that the growing field will be well-staged to create jobs for Canadians and give the country a competitive advantage economically.

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