An open, multidisciplinary structure

Right from the start, the Institute is bringing together all available resources from the Université de Montréal campus. The true strength of IMC2, however, lies in its collaboration-driven vision: “By creating an open structure that aims to gather the full spectrum of academic actors motivated by ambitious, innovative multidisciplinary projects, IMC2 is staking out a position as a key convergence enabler for cybersecurity in this country,” says Frédéric Cuppens, the IMC2’s Director, a cybersecurity expert and Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal.

From its creation, IMC2 can count on $3MM annually in research funds and current discussions with many partners will lead to the development of national and international initiatives.

The Institute’s Board of Directors has appointed three deputy directors: Nora Boulahia Cuppens, Full Professor in the Polytechnique Montréal Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering, will oversee research; Benoit Dupont, Professor at the Université de Montréal School of Criminology and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, will co-ordinate public policy; and Alina Maria Dulipovici, Associate Professor in the HEC Montréal Department of Information Technologies, will head the education pillar. Executive Director responsibilities have been entrusted to Marc Gervais, renowned for solid management experience in the aerospace sector in North America and Europe.

Polytechnique Montréal has more than 160 professors, students and postdoctoral fellows working in cybersecurity and cyber resilience issues in various fields including maritime transport, finance, and aerospace. The institution also offers a range of learning opportunities in cybersecurity, from the undergraduate to the master’s level, as well as six specialized certificate programs. Polytechnique is also home to the student-led initiative PolyCyber, and provides support for the cybersecurity stream of Propolys, an entrepreneurship incubator.

Université de Montréal, meanwhile, has for several years been piloting targeted initiatives in cybersecurity at its School of Criminology and Cyberjustice Laboratory, as well as drawing on the strengths of world-renowned researchers in its Department of Computer Science and Operations Research, recognized for their expertise in quantum cybersecurity and applications of artificial intelligence to the field of cybersecurity.

HEC Montréal specialists, for their part, are tackling cybersecurity issues using management-related expertise, in areas including digital transformation, business analysis, risk management, governance, crisis management, organizational culture and ethics. With a focus on helping businesses achieve success, they provide innovative, effective solutions adapted to companies’ needs. HEC Montréal also offers courses in cybersecurity and related sub-fields, allowing undergraduate and post-graduate students to acquire robust applied training in management.

Concrete actions

The launch of IMC2 is being backed by concrete actions to benefit members of the partner universities. From now on, students at each institution can earn credits for cybersecurity courses taken at one or both of the others. They can also receive support for their entrepreneurial projects through the Propolys cybersecurity stream.

IMC2 will also act to create links between academia and external players specialized in cybersecurity and cyber resilience, relying on an inclusive approach that is open to partnerships to complement the work already being done by its longtime partners such as the NPO Cybereco and the IN-SEC-M cluster, two vital players in the Québec and Canadian cybersecurity ecosystem.

By leveraging existing resources in research and talent development, growing an entrepreneurial culture in cybersecurity, reaching out to citizens via education and awareness initiatives, and providing our decision-makers with evidence-based data, IMC2 pledges to become a worldwide academic benchmark in cybersecurity and cyber resilience. The rapid growth of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, post-quantum and 5G underscores the value of creating a university institute founded on openness and collaboration. IMC2’s multidisciplinary, inter-sector approach will also make sustainability a guiding principle for all projects, ensuring that the solutions developed become part of an eco-responsible, virtuous cyber future.

An inaugural event to be hosted soon by Polytechnique Montréal will provide an opportunity for Canadian cybersecurity stakeholders to gather and learn more details about the Institute.

Originally published on the news site of Polytechnique Montréal