Durham College’s Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation receives over $2.788 million in grants

Funds will be used to support vital cybersecurity research for local enterprises  

Oshawa, ON – Durham College’s (DC) Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ORSIE) is pleased to announce that small – and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area will have enhanced access to support from its Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation, thanks to two separate grants, totalling more than $2.788 million.

Grant one: College and Community Innovation Grant

The first is a $2-million College and Community Innovation Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). Provided over the course of five years, the funds will play an integral role in the Centre’s ability to scale up its applied research activities to meet and address the demand for its services from SMEs.

“We are incredibly grateful to be receiving this grant,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “Given the growth SMEs are experiencing within the economic heart of Ontario, we know there is an urgent need to improve these businesses’ cybersecurity capabilities. However, the current capacity of the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation could not meet this demand. Thanks to the additional funding we will now be able to provide dedicated faculty research time and resources to address the cybersecurity skills gap by training students and transferring knowledge to our immediate partners and the broader community.”

With the help of expert researchers, student talent and technology partnerships, the Centre will help SMEs develop and integrate cyber defense technologies and increase their cybersecurity awareness by undertaking applied research that falls under two themes –developing cybersecurity products and services with cybersecurity companies, and reducing the risks of cyberthreats to companies with critical infrastructure and operations. This will ultimately increase consumer confidence in the digital economy, promote international standardization, and better position Canada’s SMEs to compete globally.

Grant two: College Industry Innovation Fund Grant

The second is a College Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) grant for a total of $788,509. Awarded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation, these funds will be used to enhance the research capacity of DC’s Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation by bolstering its infrastructure.

“Given increasing cybersecurity demands from small- to medium-sized business (SMEs), combined with an accelerated digital transformation, and the number of people now working remotely, it’s more important than ever for SMEs to protect their information systems,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, dean, ORSIE. “This generous CIIF grant will play an integral role in helping the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation meet our clients’ needs.”

Thanks to the Centre’s enhancements, including purchasing new technology and software, adding technical personnel and building capacity for more equipment to effectively manage the increased power and security firewall demands, faculty and student researchers will be able to develop cybersecurity products and services and reduce the risks of cyberthreats to companies with critical infrastructure and operations.

Established in 2020, the Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation was launched as part of a plan to increase cybersecurity applied research capacity at DC. To learn more visit www.durhamcollege.ca/CentreforCybersecurityInnovation.


About Durham College

With campuses in Oshawa and Whitby, Durham College (DC) offers over 11,000 full-time students access to more than 140 post-secondary programs, including four honours bachelor degree and nine apprenticeship programs.

DC enables students to develop career-ready skills for the ever-changing job market by offering an exceptional college education. With a focus on experiential learning, led by experienced faculty, through field placements, applied research, co-ops and other hands-on opportunities, DC grads are known for having the skills and knowledge employers need.

At the Oshawa campus, the Centre for Collaborative Education brings together local, Indigenous and global communities, featuring the Durham College Spa, Global Classroom and interprofessional simulation and anatomy labs. The campus is also home to several of the college’s applied research centres, including the AI Hub, Centre for Cybersecurity Innovation and Mixed Reality Capture Studio. Additionally, the flexible, fully automated, and industrial-grade Integrated Manufacturing Centre serves as a model of the new standards in education in advanced manufacturing, mechatronics and engineering.

At DC’s Whitby campus, construction has begun on the new Skills Training Centre. Designed to shine a spotlight on skilled trades training, innovation and education, this building will expand the college’s capacity to provide students with hands-on training, access to simulators and other forms of instruction in shop labs for carpentry, HVAC, welding, elevating devices, crane operation, automotive, millwright and plumbing, among others.

The campus also features the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food, which includes the award-winning Bistro ’67, a full-service, teaching-inspired restaurant, and Pantry, a retail store featuring food grown and prepared by students in the college’s horticulture, culinary and cook apprenticeship programs.