nren program canarie

Canada’s National Research and Education Network

The National Research and Education Network (NREN) is an essential collective of infrastructure, tools, and people that bolsters Canadian leadership in research, education, and innovation.

Together with our thirteen provincial and territorial partners, we form Canada’s NREN. We connect Canada’s researchers, educators, and innovators to each other and to data, technology, and colleagues around the world.

Canada’s NREN connects to a global web of more than 100 NRENs around the world. Working together, we form the Global Research and Education Network, dedicated to the unique needs of research facilities and higher education institutions. In Canada, the NREN also connects teaching hospitals, libraries, museums, innovation centres, federal research labs, and in some provinces, K-12 schools.

Discover Canada’s NREN:

Canada’s NREN Partners

Our provincial and territorial NREN partners connect directly to institutions and serve the research, education, and innovation sectors in their regions. The CANARIE Network connects our NREN partners to each other and to the Global Research and Education Network. We collaborate with our NREN partners on a number of national initiatives that support Canada’s research and education community.

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Connect to Canada’s NREN

Check to see if you’re connected to the NREN and see how to connect.

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Global Research and Education Network (GREN)

Canada’s NREN connects to a global “network of networks” – more than 100 other NRENs throughout the world.

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Why NRENs?

Did you know that publicly funded, academic research, and education networks were the foundation for the internet?

Today, research and education networks continue to impact our world. These networks are helping researchers solve some of society’s greatest challenges, bridging the digital divide, and unlocking opportunities for online education and training.

National research and education networks (NRENs) are not part of the commercial internet. They are much more. NRENs provide ultra high-speed information networks and services dedicated to the unique needs of universities, colleges, and research institutes. In some countries, this includes K-12 schools, hospitals, libraries, museums, and other national facilities.

While commercial ISPs fiercely compete, NRENs are publicly funded not-for-profit organizations that thrive on collaboration. This collaborative spirit is at the heart of the global NREN community, empowering research and education across the globe.

The exceptional value of NRENs and the GREN


NRENs operate nationally but connect globally. 100+ NRENs work together as a global “network of networks”, to provide seamless connectivity and tailor-made services for their education and research communities at an unrivalled scale.

Connecting to your NREN gives you access to the world, to scientific instruments, computational resources, and cloud services, all at ultra high-speed – and it means you are part of the global research and education network (GREN).

Our unprecedented scale, scope, and reach mean that we can resolve and troubleshoot our end-to-end services, globally, maximizing expertise and strengthening the collaborative approach of the GREN.


NRENs move massive amounts of data across the globe, safely, reliably, quickly. This is essential for world-class research.

On a technical level, NRENs are engineered to support bursts of intense use – a key feature that sets these networks apart from commercial networks. So, when a research project suddenly needs to transport large amounts of data across the globe, there is capacity to do so on demand.


NRENs and their global partners share information, develop best practices through collaboration, and create efficiencies that serve the unique and demanding needs of the research and education sector. Case in point: the global Wi-Fi roaming service for research and education: eduroam.


NRENs occupy a unique trusted position between governments, educational & research institutions, and the private sector. Many NRENs are recognized as pools of independent experts within their countries and are frequently called upon to provide guidance on the development of national and international policies on education, research, innovation, and IT.


NRENs are drivers of innovation. We develop national and international test beds and pilot services, many of which result in new services that facilitate collaboration, in next-generation networks, cybersecurity, trust, and identity management.


NRENs works together on a national and international scale to drive progress worldwide. The power of this community lies not only in the data networks but in our people, who come together with technology peers, researchers, and educators to explore ideas, share knowledge, and develop projects for the greater good.

This collaborative spirit is at the heart of NRENs, and of the collective GREN.

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In Canada, the NREN…

  • Connects over 750 Canadian universities, colleges, cégeps, research hospitals, government research labs, school boards, business incubators and accelerators
  • Connects Canadian researchers and students to each other and to global research instruments, high-performance computing centres, and datasets…making distance irrelevant
  • Leverages over $1B in global investments in global research and education networks (GREN).

Who operates Canada’s NREN?

The NREN is governed and managed by members of the NREN Governance Committee (president of CANARIE and the leaders of the provincial and territorial networks).

Who pays for the NREN?

Through our funding from the Government of Canada, we invest in the NREN through the NREN Funding Program. The NREN is also funded by provincial and territorial governments and by organizations that connect to provincial or territorial networks.

Program News

April 09, 2024

CANARIE invests over $1.65M in the National Research and Education Network to boost network capacity and reliability for Canadian researchers and students

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October 28, 2021

Canada’s National Research and Education Network Bolsters Security

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November 30, 2020

Announcing a New, National Program to Fund Cybersecurity Initiatives Across Canada’s Research and Education Sector

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