General Dynamics launches lab for cyber research and innovation

General Dynamics Mission Systems–Canada announced today the opening of a Cyber Reference Lab at the Carleton University campus in Ottawa. This initiative will further collaborative cyber research and innovation between government, researchers and industry.

Undergrad and doctoral students will be using the lab to explore ways to use AI and machine learning to reduce the cognitive load of 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 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.”

According to a news release, the Cyber Reference Lab is 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.

General Dynamics will provide engineers to 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 customers. 

“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.”

As the Cyber Reference Lab continues to develop, there will be opportunities for industry partners, 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.

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