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Cyber Security Innovation Network Program: Tackling the Essential Need for Digital Protection

Due to an accelerated shift to online commerce services and businesses having to adapt to working from home, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a crucial need for improved cyber security. Cyber-attacks have increased all around the globe, not stopping to omit Canada out of its orbit by any means, and Canadian businesses haven’t been able to keep up with the growing demand to enhance their cyber security systems. This is why the Canadian government has devoted resources to refining cyber security innovation and skills development through the five-year National Cyber Security Action Plan (2019-2024).

“Strong cyber security expertise and innovations are key to protecting Canada’s data and intellectual property and to maintaining the competitiveness of Canada’s businesses. The commitment to safeguard Canadians’ digital privacy and security will help maintain Canada’s role as a world leader in cyber security, creating well-paying jobs and economic growth.”
– François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

As part of the plan, the Government of Canada recently launched the Cyber Security Innovation Network program with an investment of $80 million over four years to support cyber security projects focusing on research, development, commercialization, and skills development for stronger software systems that will protect Canadians online.

Funding Snapshot: Cyber Security Innovation Network Program

The Cyber Security Innovation Network Program is administered through a national network composed of experts on cyber security including post-secondary institutions, private sector businesses, not-for-profits, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, and other relevant Canadian institutions focused on enhancing cyber security measures.

Amount of Funding

  • The network will provide a 1:1 cost-matching of the federal contribution to be provided in the form of a combination of cash and/or in-kind contributions.
  • The matching contributions will be expected to come from a combination of non-federal government partners (e.g., private sector, provincial/territorial/municipal governments, and others, such as not-for-profit organizations and Canadian post-secondary institutions).

Applicant Eligibility

To be eligible for the Cyber Security Innovation Network Program, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria in their application proposal:

  • Be comprised as a network to be led by three or more Canadian centres of expertise on cyber security affiliated with post-secondary institutions;
    – A centre is defined as an organization affiliated with a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution that supports the growth of the cyber security innovation ecosystem.
  • Be federally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization under the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act (not required to be incorporated at the time of application);
  • Be representative of the diversity of Canada’s cyber security ecosystem. The following categories of partners are expected to be represented in the network proposal (but are not limited to):
    – centres of expertise on cyber security affiliated with post-secondary institutions (other than the centres coming forward as applicants);
    – private sector (including both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger enterprises);
    – Canadian post-secondary institutions (e.g., research centres, universities, colleges, polytechnics);
    – not-for-profit organizations (e.g., industry associations, incubators and accelerators, skills development organizations, etc.); and,
    – provincial/territorial/municipal governments.
  • Include commitments from a combination of partners to match the funds requested of the Cyber Security Innovation Network program at a 1:1 ratio;
  • Be pan-Canadian. This is defined as including centres of expertise on cyber security affiliated with post-secondary institutions, and partners from across Canada’s regions (Western/Northern Canada, Central Canada – with representation from both Ontario and Quebec – and Atlantic Canada); and,
  • Demonstrate a national vision for the network to advance cyber security research and development, commercialization, and skills and talent development activities that reflect areas of cyber security needs and specialization across Canada.

Program Deadline

  • The intake deadline to apply for the Cyber Security Innovation Network Program is July 25, 2021.
  • No further intakes have been announced.
  • When applying to the Cyber Security Innovation Network program, proposed applicants must be represented by a lead applicant.

If you are interested in applying for the Cyber Security Innovation Network Program, and have secured a 1:1 partnership, please contact the Mentor Works team to assess your fit.

Canadian Funding Supporting Businesses During COVID-19

Although the case numbers in Ontario continue to decrease from the drastic increases during the third wave, and lockdown restrictions are soon to be lifted, many Canadian businesses remain on the lookout for funding support to mitigate the lasting blows of COVID-19.

Stay up to date with all news and program updates on our COVID-19 Government Funding for Canadian Businesses page so that you don’t miss any eligibility or deadline information.

Find COVID-19 Funding Support Programs from the Canadian Provincial and Federal Governments

One Comment

  1. Hi! Cybersecurity is important because it protects all categories of data from theft and damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property, data, and governmental and industry information systems.

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