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Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP)

In response to the need identified by Canada’s research and education community for national coordination and alignment of cybersecurity efforts, the Government of Canada funds CANARIE to invest in initiatives that will strengthen the whole sector with richer threat and vulnerability data, improved processes, and broadened expertise. These initiatives are delivered to eligible organizations through the provincial and territorial partners in Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN).


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funded initiatives

Learn about the cybersecurity initiatives that are available at no cost to participating organizations


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Cybersecurity is a team sport.

From its goals and objectives to its guiding principles for prioritizing initiatives and delivering them to individual organizations, each aspect of this program has been guided and defined through extensive consultations and contributions from cybersecurity experts and leaders from across Canada’s research and education community.

Shaped by the community…

To collaboratively develop an approach to enhancing cybersecurity capabilities (tools, people, processes) across the sector, a working group was formed, consisting of institutional Chief Information Officers (CIOs), Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), representatives from Canada’s NREN, and leaders from our partner organizations, including CUCCIO and CanSSOC.

As a result of this community engagement, a strategic approach emerged to guide how Canada’s R&E sector would be engaged to collaborate on cybersecurity:

  1. Develop alignment to a common framework
  2. Identify gaps and establish priorities for investment
  3. Coordinate cybersecurity initiatives across the sector
  4. Collaboratively develop a national approach for securing the higher-ed/DRI ecosystem

They also defined the program’s strategic objectives for advancing Canada’s cybersecurity capabilities:

ENGAGE higher education and digital research infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem partners in developing a national approach to cybersecurity
ENHANCE capabilities by funding deployment of technologies and support for talent development in a co-ordinated fashion across the ecosystem
EVOLVE the Canadian cybersecurity ecosystem through support for technology and service innovation


This approach was then validated with the broader community through a series of consultations to ensure that the diverse perspectives of stakeholders from across the R&E sector were captured.

Governed by the community…

Community engagement and input drive all elements of this program – most importantly, its governance.

The Cybersecurity Advisory Committee (CAC) and its standing committees represent Canada’s research and education institutions and supporting organizations, and advocate for the priorities, realities, and challenges of the sector. The standing committees advise and inform the CAC, which recommends priority initiatives for funding to CANARIE.

Cybersecurity Advisory Committee

  • Guidance on advancing national cybersecurity collaborations
  • Advice on overall CANARIE program strategy, evolution, and intended outcomes

CAC Standing Committees

  1. Trust and Identity Committee – Guidance on the evolution of sector-wide identity management services, including Canadian Access Federation
  2. Cybersecurity Technical Committee – Guidance and recommendations on specific cybersecurity technical aspects that have an impact on initiatives
  3. Cybersecurity Initiatives Deployment Committee – Input and information on organizational operations to support effective program design, execution, and adoption

For the community.

The Working Group’s output led to the definition of the overall goals. We are committed to achieving on these goals to drive continual investments that will deliver on the sector’s cybersecurity needs.

  • Align Canada’s research and education community to a coordinated and collaborative national approach
  • Increase cybersecurity capacity and capabilities across the research and education community
  • Measure the impact of initiatives to streamline selection and funding of new initiatives
participate in the cip

The collaboration of our partners has been integral to realizing the vision of this program: