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Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity opens at the University of New Brunswick

Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity opens at the University of New Brunswick

The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity, an innovative hub for research, training and industry collaboration, opened at the University of New Brunswick on January 16th 2017 with more than $4.5 million in funding and the establishment of a research partnership with a global technology firm.

Officials with the federal and provincial governments joined representatives from the university and IBM at a news conference in Fredericton to celebrate the creation of the Institute, which will train highly skilled cybersecurity professionals and provide leading-edge research into one of the most pressing issues facing society today.

Aiming to transform its economic landscape toward a knowledge-based economy, New Brunswick is strategically focusing on innovation in cybersecurity. The worldwide cybersecurity market is large and growing, with market sizing estimates ranging from $75 billion in 2015 (US) to $170 billion by 2020 (US). The size of the market is a response to the rising global cost of cyberattacks, which is expected to grow to $2.1 trillion by 2020 (US). As a result, there is intense interest in the development of new-generation cybersecurity solutions.

Matt DeCourcey, Member of Parliament for Fredericton on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, announced a Government of Canada investment of $2,270,000 through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund and through the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant announced a provincial contribution of nearly $2 million while UNB President Eddy Campbell announced that the university is providing more than $330,000 in funding.

Dr. Ali Ghorbani, Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick and Dean of the Faculty of Computer Science at the university, serves as director of the Institute.

IBM is the Institute’s first research and development partner, helping to fund highly skilled resources in the field of cybersecurity and other in-kind contributions such as technical and management resources to provide project oversight and mentorship for students.

This partnership builds on IBM’s long-standing history of investments and partnerships across the province. In 2011, IBM acquired Q1 Labs, whose QRadar Security Intelligence Platform was developed in partnership with the University of New Brunswick. The acquisition served as a catalyst for IBM to form its security division, which is now a $2 billion business employing over 8,000 researchers, developers and security experts across 133 countries worldwide. IBM maintains a research and development and customer support centre in Fredericton, which provides support for more than 5,000 customers around the globe.

Since 2000, UNB has played an important role in the success of cybersecurity research and innovation in New Brunswick. Today, UNB’s Faculty of Computer Science has by far the largest network security research group in the nation and is poised to seize the opportunity to lead this effort through the newly established Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity.

The Institute, housed at existing facilities at UNB’s Fredericton campus, is a comprehensive multidisciplinary training, research and development and entrepreneurial unit that will operate in close collaboration with researchers in the social sciences, business, computer science, engineering, law, and science, as well as other national and international research centres.

The University of New Brunswick


PSD spoke to Sandy Bird, IBM Fellow and CTO of IBM Security about The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and IBM’s partnership:
“IBM has a long history of working with UNB on collaborative research projects. Over the last couple of years IBM was doing cyber-security research projects with UNB and at the same time expanding IBM’s footprint in New Brunswick around cyber-security. This is where a lot of our security intelligence platform is built. Because of that we are starting to get a large chunk of security experts in the area but we are also seeing a need to fill the skills gap in terms of hiring, not just in New Brunswick but across the globe. There is a great quote that ‘there will be 1.5 million unfilled resources in cyber security by 2020.’ You can’t fill that in a day, you need to build that over time. By building this institute we are able to not only do great collaborative research but also build very specific curricular programs to further the skill set that comes out of the university. The institute will have a broader reach as well. It has partnered with things like Cyber NB and others that have educational components to help build that skill set.”
The institute was a collaborative effort between government, the University of New Brunswick, and IBM. IBM is proud to have been the first partner from the industry side to collaborate with the Institute and Bird expects that the institute will have more industry partners joining as it moves along. 

From Government of Canada