University of Ottawa to advance 5G security research with $3M Department of National Defence grant

University of Ottawa to advance 5G security research with $3M Department of National Defence grant

The University of Ottawa received $3 million in funding for two research projects from the Innovation for Defence Excellence and Security (IDEaS) program. The goal of the IDEaS program, developed by the Department of National Defence (DND), is to spur economic growth and defense solutions through research.

Faculty of Engineering’s Burak Kantarci received two of the eight nationwide funding agreements. The common use case for both projects is connected and autonomous vehicles.

The research will take place at the Smart Connected Vehicles Innovation Centre, at uOttawa’s satellite campus in Kanata North. In addition to research outcomes, these two projects will also contribute to training around 40 graduate students.

In partnership with BlackBerry and thinkRF, the first project aims to improve the gathering and integration of cybersecurity intelligence signals from different sources. This research will involve RF spectrum sensing technology for 5G-enabled critical infrastructures and emphasize the connected/autonomous vehicle market.

Professor Burak Kantarci is spearheading the project, backed by a team of co-investigators comprising Professors Melike Erol-Kantarci, Paula Branco, Claude D’Amours and Roland Bouffanais.

“With individuals increasingly relying on 5G connectivity in many areas of their lives, including transportation, it is only a matter of time before malicious hackers target the radio airwaves that will one day enable connected vehicles to communicate with each other and smart city infrastructure,” said Charles Eagan, chief technology officer at BlackBerry. “The IDEaS funding seeks to reduce this risk by building novel and innovative ways of fusing and combining vehicle and infrastructure real-time cybersecurity defenses to limit the threat landscape.”

In the second project, Wesley Clover and Telus collaborate with Professor Burak to develop an AI-driven resource management system. This project involves leveraging the advantages of multi-level 5G edge computing from the device level (far edge) up to fog computing and multi-access edge through to a centralized public/private cloud. This system will support the DND’s dynamic resource management needs, the university says.

“The advanced 5G research, development, and deployment strengths of this partnership will provide DND with an intelligent new platform for managing edge-through-to-Cloud computing resources securely, dynamically, in real time,” stated Terry Matthews, chair of Wesley Clover International.

According to the university, the research results will help build trust in 5G by mitigating potential security issues. These projects provide security for current markets and enable new market entries. The demand for such services spans multiple segments, including signal intelligence, critical infrastructure and national defense.

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