Canadian government sets model for government – NREN funding

In what could be described as a model for African governments to emulate, the government of Canada recently announced an investment of $137M to CANARIE, the operator of the high speed National Research and Education Network of Canada for the organisation’s 2020 – 2024 operations.

In a Press Statement, CANARIE said the funding will enable the organization to continue to deliver strategic investments in infrastructure and services for Canada’s research and innovation communities.

In addition, the statement said the Government of Canada has provided an additional $8M to CANARIE to advance northern connectivity and cybersecurity initiatives in the last year of its current mandate.

It said CANARIE’s activities in its next mandate will focus on network evolution and initiatives that ensure Canada’s researchers and entrepreneurs realize the benefits of cloud technology, big data, and global research collaborations and that the Government of Canada will continue to entrust CANARIE with providing security tools and developing the capacity of skilled teams to strengthen cybersecurity in Canada’s research and education community.

Canadian Minister of Science and Sport Honourable Kirsty Duncan said: “Canada produces some of the world’s best science and research. This investment in CANARIE, along with their enhanced mandate for cybersecurity, is just one of the many ways our government is working hard to return science and research to their rightful place. We are providing researchers with the digital tools and security they need to conduct the world-leading research that helps all Canadians.”

And Jim Ghadbane, President and CEO of CANARIE said: “This is an exciting new chapter for CANARIE. Over the course of our 26 year history we have evolved to meet the changing needs of Canadians, and we look forward to the next stage of our evolution. Going forward, we will continue to learn from and build on the successful collaborations of our current mandate to deliver world-class infrastructure and services to the Canadians that are pushing the boundaries of discovery and innovation.”

The development could be a benchmark for African governments many of which have NRENs that are constantly seeking funding to support their initiatives.

Funding for NRENs in Africa remains a major challenge for most NRENs, especially those that are not directly supported by their governments. As a result, NRENs struggle to get connected to their RENs or to order the needed bandwidth quantity for their member institutions.

The story is slightly different for NRENs that are operating as government entities as they are able to get funding through government subvention even though not usually to the expected or needed amounts.

This story is adapted from the CANAIRE website. Read original article.

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