Researchers at the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute (CPI) at the University of Waterloo have received funding from the National Cybersecurity Consortium (NCC) under the Cyber Security Innovation Network (CSIN) program. This funding marks a significant milestone for CPI,  Waterloo and the NCC — reinforcing a commitment to advance Canada's cybersecurity ecosystem.

Twenty eligible projects were awarded a combined total of $11.2 million across three categories: commercialization, research and development and training.

Among these, six projects had direct involvement or collaboration with  Waterloo, collectively amounting to $3.3 million, representing approximately 30 per cent of the total awards. Notably, four out of the six projects fell under the research and development category, securing 44 per cent of the funds designated for research and development proposals.

Members of CPI will collaborate with industry partners Mastercard, BlackBerry, eSentire, Acronis, Ericsson, RMDS Innovation, Arcfield, Continental, Sera4 and Palitronica Inc.

Academic partners Concordia University, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, University of New Brunswick and École Polytechnique de Montréal will also team up with CPI researchers on various initiatives.

The NCC is a not-for-profit organization created in 2020 through the collaborative initiative of five Canadian university cybersecurity centres at Concordia University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Calgary, University of New Brunswick and the University of Waterloo.

In February 2022, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) pledged financial support to the NCC through the CSIN program. This investment, spanning four years, is a cornerstone for enhancing Canada's cybersecurity landscape and fostering cooperation between industry and academia.

The NCC envisions the growth of Canada's cybersecurity ecosystem by focusing on research and development, commercialization and training. With an ambitious mission to establish a pan-Canadian network that collaborates with the private and public sectors, they aim to lead in world-class cybersecurity innovation, nurture talent development and stimulate cybersecurity-related economic activities in Canada.

Dr. N. Asokan, executive director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, emphasizes the significance of this funding for the accomplishments of CPI members in the field.

"Receiving these grants from the NCC is a testament to the calibre of CPI members and the pioneering work they are undertaking in cybersecurity and privacy,” Asokan says. “It signifies that we have world-class faculty dedicated to cutting-edge research and training, reinforcing our commitment to an interdisciplinary approach to securing our increasingly digital future."

Safeguarding Canada's cybersecurity landscape is crucial in an era of digital innovation and global interconnectivity, and the NCC's support for Waterloo and members of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute is a significant step towards achieving the shared vision of a robust and resilient cybersecurity ecosystem.

This funding allows the University's CPI and its partners to not only continue ground-breaking research but also further solidify its position as a global leader in cybersecurity and privacy innovation.

Highlighted projects and categories with CPI recipients and collaborators include:


PASCAL (Platform-Agnostic Scalable Cyber Assured Logistics) – $1,000,000


  • Palitronica Inc.

CPI Collaborator:

Sebastian Fischmeister

  • Sebastian Fischmeister, professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Waterloo

Research and Development

Designing a Scalable and Performant Confidential Backup System – $370,036

CPI Recipients:

Samer Al-Kiswany

Ali José Mashtizadeh

  • Samer Al-Kiswany, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
  • Ali José Mashtizadeh, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

Building Cyber Resilient and Secure 5G Network Through Automation and AI – $1,000,000


  • Concordia University

CPI Collaborator:

Raouf Boutaba

  • Raouf Boutaba, professor and director, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

Next-Generation User Fingerprinting for Fraud Detection and Prediction – $288,099

CPI Recipients:

Urs Hengartner

Diogo Barradas

  • Urs Hengartner, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
  • Diogo Barradas, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

Transfer Fuzzing for Devices without Firmware – $270,470

CPI Recipients:

Mei Nagappan

Meng Xu

  • Mei Nagappan, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo
  • Meng Xu, professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo


CMD-CT: Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Cybersecurity Training – $402,691

CPI Recipients:

Anindya Sen

  • Members from the Faculties of Art and Mathematics led by Anindya Sen, professor, Department of Economics, University of Waterloo

The complete list of funding recipients and collaborators is available on the NCC 2023 Funded Projects page.