CANARIE Network to Support University, Industry Collaboration in Developing 21st Century Public Safety Solutions

Partnerinq with University of Regina and SRnet to Lead Initiative for Interoperable Public Safety Broadband Applications

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced a partnership to support the development of a robust digital toolkit and set of processes that will improve the capabilities of first responders and the public safety sector.


Together with SRnet, the Saskatchewan provincial research and education network, and the University of Regina’s Canadian Centre for Public Safety and First Responders (CCPSFR), CANARIE will create a focal point of collaboration among the academic research, advanced networking, technology industry, and first responder communities to create a critical mass of leading-edge research and technology, as well as specialized education and training, to address the needs and challenges facing the police and public-safety sector in Canada.

Major advances in broadband mobile communications, smartphones, social media, cloud computing, and data analytics offer the potential to enhance situational awareness, information sharing and co-ordination among public safety agencies in day-to-day operations and crisis events. Realizing the transformative potential of these technologies requires a united effort in terms of governance, policies, and digital technologies in order to proactively shape the 21st century public-safety endeavour. The potential for integrated voice, video, and data communications produced by public safety and the general public will also create a big data problem that will pose a significant challenge in developing solutions for managing and using vast amounts of unstructured information in real-time.

The CCPSFR is creating a national centre to facilitate development and testing of new technologies, and validate operating procedures in anticipation of the expected availability of spectrum in the 700 Mhz band which Industry Canada has allocated for a national broadband public safety network.

CANARIE and SRnet will provide the underlying high-speed optical network connectivity to enable broad collaboration and a powerful network test bed to support the efforts of the CCPSFR initiative.

These initiatives will address a long standing issue regarding interoperability in public safety communications and enhance the ability to effectively co-ordinate first responder activities at the local, provincial and national levels.


“CANARIE has a history of supporting initiatives that leverage the network to drive innovative approaches to public safety,” says Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “Our support of two platforms that model and monitor disaster response and intelligent transportation systems are leading examples of the application of high speed networking, advanced sensors and intelligent software algorithms to create sophisticated digital infrastructure that enables researchers to address complex problems of importance to all Canadians. Furthermore, our DAIR program provides the opportunity for the SME community to participate in this initiative by developing new cloud computing solutions for the first responder sector. This partnership extends CANARIE’s participation in advancing research and deploying real-world tools to improve the capabilities of our first responders and public safety sectors.”

“Providing advanced high speed optical networking and the ability to connect researchers, educators and innovators… regionally, nationally and around the world is what makes SRnet a vital part of Saskatchewan’s innovation infrastructure,” says Colin Campbell, President of Saskatchewan Research Network Inc. “Our collaboration with the University of Regina’s Canadian Centre for Public Safety and First Responders (CCPSFR) and CANARIE, as well as the many researchers, developers, representatives of industry and first responder organizations this initiative will engage, gives us the exciting challenge of growing our skill sets and adapting to both innovative new digital technologies and to burgeoning new relationships in Public Safety research, development and application across Canada.”

“It is increasingly important that first responders have the most up-to-date technologies at their disposal in order to perform their work as effectively as possible,” says Dr. Vianne Timmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina. “For that reason, I am pleased that by partnering with CANARIE and SRnet, the University of Regina’s Canadian Centre for Public Safety and First Responders (CCPSFR) will play an important leadership role by exploring new technological opportunities, providing relevant training and support for first responders, and enhancing public safety in the years to come.”

For more information, please contact:

Kathryn Anthonisen
Vice President, External Relations
(613) 943-5374

Colin Campbell
Saskatchewan Research Network (SRnet) (306) 790-7589

Steve Palmer
Executive Director
Canadian Centre for Public Safety & First Responders
University of Regina
(306) 535-8365


CANARIE designs, delivers, and drives the adoption of digital infrastructure for Canada’s research and education communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a
vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra-high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, form Canada’s advanced network alliance. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.

About SRnet:

The Saskatchewan Research Network Inc. (SRnet) is a not-for-profit research and education network. SRnet provides dedicated high speed network access to institutions and companies across Saskatchewan that use it for their research and education activities.

Connecting Saskatchewan to the World! SRnet is the only Research and Education (R&E) network in Saskatchewan, and the only Saskatchewan access to advanced national and international R&E networks (world­ wide). This makes SRnet unique and different from other networks in the province. Yes, advanced networking is

about speed, but it is also about being constructed with the capacity to handle huge data peaks that are typical of R&E networks. It is also about having a very high level of security. The fact that the Canadian Space Agency, the International Space Station and the European Space Agency use our network attests to the level of security we provide to our members.

As a member of Canada’s advanced network alliance SRnet provides Saskatchewan organisations access through points-of-presence (POPs) located at the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, to the national CANARIE backbone research network. The CANARIE backbone network links all twelve of Canada’s optical regional advanced networks, connecting research institutions, universities, scientific instruments, educational facilities, teaching and research hospitals, and private research facilities across Canada, and in over 100 other countries around the world.

Our goal at SRnet is to reduce the risk and the cost of acquiring ultra-fast broadband communications for researchers and educators, and to provide low cost robust advanced infrastructure as an incentive to encourage discovery and innovation. SRnet is an integral piece of Saskatchewan’s innovation infrastructure.

About the University of Regina:

The University of Regina, a mid-sized comprehensive university created in 1974, can trace its origins back to the establishment of Regina College in 1911. The University of Regina has more than 13,000 students, and specialty areas include Petroleum Systems Engineering, the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, journalism, police studies and education. A co-operative work program has been in place since 1969.