Cyber Security Innovation Network


The funding recipient was announced on February 17, 2022. More information on the announcement can be found here: Government of Canada announces next phase to strengthen Cyber Security Innovation Network

Program overview

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) seeks to fund a national cyber security network to support the growth of a comprehensive and collaborative Canadian cyber security innovation ecosystem.

The Cyber Security Innovation Network is envisioned as a pan-Canadian network to support the growth of Canada's cyber security ecosystem through industry-academia collaboration. The network will seek to enhance research and development, increase commercialization, and further support the development of skilled cyber security talent across Canada.

The Cyber Security Innovation Network will be led by Canadian centres of expertise on cyber security affiliated with post-secondary institutions, with a minimum of three participating centres of expertise, in collaboration with private sector and other partners.


  • The network will support research and development in cyber security by encouraging collaboration between Canada's post-secondary institutions, the private sector and other partners in order to accelerate the development of innovative cyber security products and/or services;
  • The network will seek to accelerate the commercialization of cyber security products, services and/or processes; and,
  • The network will seek to diversify, deepen and expand Canada's cyber security pipeline of talent, including the recruitment and retention of faculty, trainers, and instructors, and by providing more resources to curriculum development, training, reskilling and upskilling of the cyber security workforce through initiatives designed and delivered in collaboration with industry partners.

Available funds

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is seeking to enter into a four-year, non-repayable contribution agreement with a selected applicant who will form the Cyber Security Innovation Network. The value of the contribution agreement will be up to $80 million over four years (2021-22 to 2024-25).

The network will be required to provide a 1:1 cost-matching of the federal contribution, for an additional $80 million over four years, 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).


To become eligible under the Cyber Security Innovation Network program, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria in their 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 (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.

After you apply

Communications of results

Applicants will receive acknowledgement of the submission of their application within 48 business hours.

Applications that are incomplete or considered by ISED to not meet the minimum eligibility criteria of the program will not proceed to assessment. Completed applications will not be reviewed prior to the close of the application period.

Program officials will notify applicants of the status of their application in summer 2021.

Applicants moving forward to the assessment phase may be contacted to participate in a virtual meeting to discuss their applications and/or provide additional clarifications, as needed by program officials to complete the assessment.

Applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process and final decision in fall 2021.

Assessment and selection process

The selected applicant will be chosen through a transparent, merit-based process whereby the above set of eligibility criteria, expected benefits to Canada and due diligence criteria will be used to assess whether the applicant can meet the objectives and expected outcomes of the contribution program.

ISED will form an advisory group to support the assessment and selection process. The advisory group will consist of subject-matter experts from across the Government of Canada, who will provide relevant expertise and knowledge to assessing the merit, potential and feasibility of an application. The assessment process may involve virtual meeting(s) with ISED and the advisory group to discuss proposal(s) with applicant(s).

In addition to assessing proposal(s), the advisory group may be called upon to provide advice on potential areas of collaboration projects, over and above what is provided in an application.

Anticipated timelines

Text version
  • Program launch, application period opens (May 6, 2021)
  • Application period (May-July 2021)
  • Deadline for applications and close of the application period (July 25, 2021)
  • Assessment and selection period (August-November 2021)
  • Selection of the lead recipient (November-December 2021)

Contact us


The Cyber Security Innovation Network program team can be reached at:


ISED Citizen Services Centre
Telephone (toll-free in Canada): 1-800-328-6189
Telephone (international): 613-954-5031
TTY (for hearing impaired): 1-866-694-8389
Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Mailing address

Cyber Security Innovation Network
C.D. Howe Building
235 Queen Street, 9th floor, East Tower
Ottawa, ON K1A 0H5