OTTAWA–General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada today announced the opening of the Cyber Reference Lab, a dedicated space on the Carleton University campus that aims to foster collaborative cyber research and innovation between government, researchers and industry.

Within the lab, undergrad and doctoral students are exploring ways to use AI and machine learning to reduce the cognitive load on those at the front lines of cyber security and accelerate their decision-making capabilities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how Canadians study, live, work, access information and connect with each other – and that has made digital technology more important than ever,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The partnership between Carleton University and General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada for the Cyber Reference Lab, and the work the students will do there, will help protect Canadians from cyber threats and ensure they can safely enjoy the benefits of the digital world.”

The Cyber Reference Lab has been outfitted with enterprise servers, security appliances, hardware firewalls, routers, switches, and workstations that are used to simulate networks and design, develop, and test new cyber capabilities. Students learn everything from low-level operating system functionality to high-level security protocols.

“As one of Canada’s leading engineering companies in national security and cyber defence, we are pleased to partner with Carleton University to create opportunities for learning and development, while helping to position Canada as a global leader in cyber defence,” said David Ibbetson, general manager and vice-president, General Dynamics Mission Systems–International.

Engineers from General Dynamics will work with students in a mentoring capacity, providing expertise and access to additional technical experts, and in selecting and supporting research topics to align with the emerging needs of our customers. As projects progress and problems are identified, new spin off projects are initiated.

“Each year the number and severity of cyberattacks grow, affecting all aspects of society, said Rafik Goubran, Carleton vice-president (Research and International). “By creating an environment to test network virtualization under harsh conditions via simulations such as network load, wireless interference, power disruptions, etc. we will enhance network security, reliability and scalability.”

Looking to the future, the Cyber Reference Lab will welcome opportunities for additional industry partners – along with small and medium size enterprises – and the Canadian government to contribute guidance and expertise.

General Dynamics’ collaboration with Carleton University to foster cyber research and innovation will also contribute to objectives under the Government of Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, particularly in respect of the Key Industrial Capability of Cyber Resilience.

Carleton University is a dynamic, research-intensive institution that engages in partnerships to address the world’s most pressing issues. The university’s corporate collaborations bring together world-class companies, researchers and a new generation of talent with our 32,000 students to deliver innovations and results that are driving a more prosperous, sustainable future.

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