Published: April 21, 2023
Thales today announced that it will develop a new National Digital Excellence Centre in the Cyber Centre at Fredericton’s Knowledge Park in Canada to strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities in industrial systems. It is the second digital hub of the Group in addition to the NDEC based in Ebbw Vale in Wales.
National Digital Excellence Centres are research and development facilities that enable small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises to test and develop digital transformation projects alongside large corporations. They are places of innovation to develop major technological breakthroughs.
The NDEC is being established in partnership with the University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute and local economic development agency Ignite, with support from Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) and from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
The project will include the National Digital Excellence Centre Canada (NDEC Canada), as well as Thales’ Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) for North America. It will be a hub of digital excellence, development and education, connecting New Brunswick to technology centres everywhere, stimulating growth in Atlantic Canada’s technology sector, and boosting economic benefits in the region.
The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is supporting NDEC Canada through two projects. A contribution of over $1.8 million will help the University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute develop new cybersecurity and digital resilience programs to benefit and strengthen the region’s small- and medium-sized businesses and educational programming. As well, a contribution of more than $1.2 million will support Ignite in the design and establishment of the NDEC Canada facility, which will be a place for small business, academia, and the regional ecosystem at large to collaborate and develop cyber skills and partnerships.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to establish Atlantic Canada as a leader in cybersecurity innovation and talent development. By supporting and encouraging the collaboration of organizations like UNB’s McKenna’s Institute and Ignite with global partners like Thales Group, we are leveraging Canada’s highly skilled workforce and growing the cybersecurity industry for years to come.” The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA
“Through this initiative, Thales will not only create value for its partners and customers, but also grow its Atlantic workforce; increase opportunities for learning and innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through numerous student opportunities and introduce a new cyber range to support access and development of advanced cybersecurity capabilities. Thales’ successful experience in driving these public-private synergy projects is leading the Group to replicate these innovation-driven initiatives to accelerate business transformation and strengthen the security of their facilities.” Pierre-Yves Jolivet, Vice-President, Cyber Defence Solutions at Thales
Thales Canada is a steadfast supporter of Canada’s Industrial & Technological Benefit Policy and will continue to make strategic investments to achieve its current and future obligations incurred from Canadian defence procurements.
“New Brunswick is an ideal place for Thales to invest and grow in Canada, where we are among the Top 100 corporate R&D investors. I want to thank ACOA, ONB as well UNB’s McKenna Institute and Ignite, for their partnership and commitment to our vision for the National Digital Excellence Centre. Together, we will collaborate across a talent-rich innovation value chain – educational institutions, academia, start-ups, small- and medium-sized businesses, industry and governments – to develop the cyber technologies, capabilities and resilience Canada needs to build a future we can all trust.” Chris Pogue, CEO, Thales Canada
ONB is investing up to $5.5 million in the form of a payroll rebate over five years to support Thales’ continental expansion of its UK-based NDEC in Canada and establishing its North American Cyber Security Operations Centre. It is estimated that the facility will contribute up to $63 million in direct provincial GDP over a five-year period.
“As Canada’s only bilingual province, New Brunswick is purposefully looking to strengthen our economic and cultural ties with France. Thales’ decision to expand its UK-based National Digital Excellence Centre into New Brunswick is a testament to the strength of our existing cybersecurity ecosystem, as well as the strength of our working relationship with France and the United Kingdom, and represents another value-added opportunity to help us build on our talent pipeline. This investment further solidifies New Brunswick’s reputation as national leader in cybersecurity.” The Honourable Arlene Dunn, Minister responsible for ONB
In all, this initiative represents innovation infrastructure that will meaningfully contribute to helping Atlantic, Canadian, and North American cities and critical infrastructures become safer and smarter. Whether it’s by securing markets, protecting data and privacy, or keeping people safe on critical missions, Canadians stand to better benefit from a connected world, while staying a step ahead of digital threats.
National Digital Exploitation Centres, digital hubs to increase Thales’ OT expertise
The National Digital Exploitation Centres (NDEC) are digital hubs gathering expertise from academics, SMEs and larger groups in the cybersecurity area. With a world first in Ebbw Vale in Wales, co-developed by the Welsh Government and the University of South Wales, Thales already has experience with these initiatives based on synergies and shared learning and innovation.
In Wales, the centre exists as a cornerstone of Thales’ cyber capabilities within the UK and aims to support the Welsh Government’s programme of digital investment and transformation. It does this by providing support, training and project space to large organisations, SMEs and individuals, research and development opportunities, and by helping to win work-share within Wales.
Read more about NDEC in Ebbw Wale: The National Digital Exploitation Centre | Thales Group