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HomeInnovationGoogle Canada commits $1.3M to bolster Quebec's cybersecurity ecosystem, launch cybersecurity education...

Google Canada commits $1.3M to bolster Quebec’s cybersecurity ecosystem, launch cybersecurity education certificate

MONTREAL, Canada – Google Canada announced new support for Quebec’s cybersecurity ecosystem. Google.org will provide a $1.3 million grant to the Multidisciplinary Institute for Cybersecurity and Cyber Resilience ( IMC2 ) to support research that addresses the rising global cyber risks.

IMC2 is a partnership between Polytechnique Montréal, initiator of the project, the University of Montreal and HEC Montréal. The company will also launch the Google Cybersecurity Certificate in French, an online course from Grow with Google, preparing learners for entry-level jobs in cybersecurity in less than six months. Google Canada will work with non-profit partners CyberQuebec, Hackfest, Cybereco, Canada Learning Code, and ComIT to provide scholarships to at-need communities and those in their networks to access the certificate for free.

Google.org supports IMC2 in their efforts to tackle the rising global cyber risks

Cybersecurity concerns have never been more pressing. Organizations of all sizes are grappling with sophisticated threats. In 2023 alone, 60 percent of Quebec small and medium-sized enterprises were targeted by cyber attacks, and in 2022, cyber attacks in Canada increased by 20 percent. To help address these concerns and deepen Quebec’s research and knowledge in cybersecurity, Google.org is donating a $1.3 million grant to IMC2.

“The grant from Google.org empowers IMC2 to drive cybersecurity initiatives which are essential for our vision of a cyber-resilient society,” says Marc Gervais, executive director, IMC2. “The project focuses on four critical areas: fostering a cyber-aware and cyber-responsible society, implementing a secure platform for our researchers to share and leverage cybersecurity data, addressing the alignment between cyber initiatives and the creation of an environmentally friendly future, and driving economic growth and employment opportunities in Québec and Canada by supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in cybersecurity ventures.”

IMC2 is a vital part of the cybersecurity ecosystem, uniting expertise, resources, and networks to drive research and innovation, while cultivating the next generation of experts. They take an interconnected approach to research, education, public policy, and innovation, all while supporting local entrepreneurship. Google.org is proud to support IMC2’s multidisciplinary vision that fosters knowledge sharing and collaboration, making them a unique leader in cybersecurity and cyber resilience.

“Cybersecurity concerns impact everyone, from families to local businesses. At Google, we want to be part of the solution, working alongside government, academics, industry, and civil society to combat threats and drive up the baseline level of security across the ecosystem,” says Robert Shield, Google Montreal co-site lead. “We are grateful for the opportunity to work with such strong local and national partners to help to create a safer, more secure online ecosystem for Quebec, Canada and the world.”

Helping fill the cybersecurity skills gap

The demand for cybersecurity professionals in Quebec is at an all-time high. Sixty-five percent of small and medium-sized enterprises say their company does not have the qualified staff to implement a cybersecurity solution or monitor attacks. To help bridge this critical gap, the Google Cybersecurity Certificate, from Grow with Google, will prepare francophone learners for entry-level jobs in cybersecurity in less than six months with no prior experience required.

As part of the Google Career Certificates program, the certificate goes beyond training, connecting graduates to an employer consortium of companies like Bell, Shopify, Publicis Groupe, and Unilever, that consider graduates for relevant open roles. In Canada, over 19,000 people have graduated from the Google Career Certificate program. Over 75% of graduates report positive career outcomes (like a new job, promotion or raise) within six months. To help bridge the opportunity gap, Google is also partnering with non-profit partners, CyberQuebec, Hackfest,Cybereco, Canada Learning Code, and ComIT to provide scholarships to those in their networks to access the certificate at no cost.

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