New York boosts cybersecurity

A new joint venture between Ontario and Israel to fund research and the commercialization of innovative technology will focus on cybersecurity in the financial services sector initially.

The province and Israel have each committed to investing $5 million over five years to fund a new program that aims to bring together the private sector and academic researchers to develop innovative technology to solve key issues for large, multinational firms. The $10-million joint investment will be matched by participating firms, bringing the program’s total funding to $20 million.

To start, the initiative will focus on cybersecurity in the financial services sector. The Toronto Financial Services Alliance and the Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc. (OCE), the latter of which is a government-funded organization that seeks to help commercialize technology, say they have identified Toronto-based financial services institutions that will participate in the first slate of projects. The details of these efforts will be announced as the projects are launched.

“Israel’s leadership in the cybersecurity field makes it a natural partner for Ontario in seeking to deliver state-of-the-art technology. This bilateral collaboration is an excellent opportunity to leverage expertise, resources and supply chains in creating better cybersecurity solutions for the financial services sector,” says Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of the OCE, in a statement.

The OCE and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA), that country’s primary government agency for supporting research and development (R&D) and innovation, are launching the program, which is called the Ontario–Israel Research Network Program-MAGNET (OIRNP-MAGNET). The program aims to target challenges that multinational companies in key sectors face by connecting these large firms with researchers and small technology firms to try and develop innovative solutions to these issues.

“These bilateral R&D projects will reinforce the innovation output and economic value of both Israeli and Canadian [small- and medium-sized enterprises],” adds, Avi Hasson, chairman of the IIA, in a statement. “The opportunity to both work closely and enjoy the economic fruits of collaboration with large Canadian financial services institutions will play an instrumental role in helping these companies to increase their competitiveness and accelerate commercial success in global markets.”

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