New funding advances Canadian leadership in cybersecurity, Waterloo CPI part of consortium

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute at the University of Waterloo is among a select few organizations involved in CSIN — Canada’s new Cyber Security Innovation Network.

CPI is part of the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC), the recent recipient of an $80-million federal grant to develop the new initiative. CPI is one of five founding members of the NCC, which works with both the public and private sectors to lead world-class cybersecurity innovation and talent development. Building on the success of the NCC, CSIN will support further research and development, increase commercialization opportunities, and develop skilled cybersecurity talent across Canada.

CPI’s executive director, N. Asokan, is a Cheriton Chair and Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science. The University of Waterloo has more than 50 professors whose research is related to cybersecurity and privacy, many of them in the Cheriton School of Computer Science.

photo of Professor N. Asokan

Asokan said the network will help advance their mission of leading interdisciplinary research to improve information security and privacy.

“I am looking forward to all of us at the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute in continuing our work with our NCC partners, across all sectors and in all regions of Canada, to advance Canadian-led cybersecurity and privacy solutions and to put NCC in the position to continue to play this important role beyond the funding period,” Asokan said.

In a statement released by CPI on the funding announcement, Asokan expressed gratitude to the many people involved —

Prior Executive Director of CPI, Florian Kerschbaum, did the heavy lifting, leading UWaterloo’s contributions to the proposal up until the submission.

Our VPRI Charmaine Dean and several others from the Office of Research (OR) were instrumental in this initiative: Bernie Duncker co-ordinated OR’s contributions towards this proposal and helped in numerous ways from obtaining support letters, organizing resources from OR, and contributing to the proposal writing itself; Colin Russell’s role in leading business development for NCC has been substantial; Bernie Duncker and David Tweddell took care of financial matters. Charmaine serves on the NCC board, which played a pivotal role in both setting up NCC as well as in reviewing the draft proposal and providing advice and feedback to NCC’s Directors.

An internal advisory group, consisting of Bernie Duncker, Sanjeev Gill, Ian Goldberg, Michele Mosca, Bill Munson, Mei Nagappan, Beth Palmer, and Colin Russell, met with the CPI team fortnightly to provide assistance and guidance for proposal preparation.

Several members of CPI and WatSPEED contributed shovel-ready project proposals and helped define the themes for the various networks within NCC. Mei Nagappan, who leads the Software Security network within NCC, shaped the scope of that network.

Read more about the recent funding announcement in the feature article in Waterloo News.

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