Information and Communications Technologies

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Canada: Research that works

You’ve got ideas to change the world. We’ve got the research infrastructure, expertise and educational programs to help you do it – and we’re willing to invest in you to help make innovation a reality.

Beyond a land of possibilities – a place where research becomes reality

When you pursue your academic goals in Canada, you become a valued member of a scientific community that is internationally recognized for excellence and enjoys a long-standing tradition of delivering on discovery.

Whether you continue in research, apply your work in the private sector, stay in Canada, follow further opportunities abroad or return to your roots to give something back – Canada can be a proactive partner in realizing your goals.

Through scholarships, awards and fellowships to initiatives like our Networks of Centres of Excellence that promote international collaboration and industry partnerships, Canada brings the best and brightest minds together to find groundbreaking solutions for lasting impact. Canada is the global knowledge partner of choice.

Explore the possibilities

Discover the wealth of programs offered at Canada’s colleges and universities nationwide and see which industry partnerships are active right now. Many links are provided in this document to guide your search. 

Step up to make your contribution and join the thousands of international students and researchers who choose Canada as a springboard to success!

Did you know?

You may work to gain valuable experience or help finance your stay while you study in Canada.

As an international student who has graduated from a  post-secondary program in Canada, there are permanent immigration options available to you.

For further information:

Fast Facts

  • The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) invested almost $162 million in information and communications technologies (ICT) in 2009-10.
  • The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) invests more than $64 million each year.
  • Industry provides more than 46% of all ICT university research funding, spurring the growth of research parks in and around many university campuses.
  • The Greater Toronto Area is the third-largest ICT cluster in North America.
  • Canada has the highest percentage of college and university ICT graduates among the countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Canada is a leader in ICT research

Canada is a leader in wireless and satellite technology for connecting remote areas and in digital media. Home to CANARIE, the second-largest and fastest digital network in the world, we are also internationally recognized for our competitive position in mobile media, new generation networks, and connected vehicles.

Across the country, there are well-established ICT clusters including:

Wireless technology: Over 400 firms connecting the world

Canadian wireless companies are leading the world in WiFi, WiMAX and mesh networks, ultra-wideband and radio frequency identification, as well as software-defined radio. Technology stars like Research In Motion (RIM) and Sierra Wireless are global leaders in their market segments.

Connected vehicles technology is the focus at Canada’s Centre for Automotive Materials and Manufacturing, Wavefront Technology Solutions, Auto21 (a Centre of Excellence) and the University of Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research (WatCAR). QNX, a subsidiary of RIM, is already working with automakers worldwide to implement these new technologies.

Digital media: From film to fantasy and more

Canada has over 75 training institutes and 60 universities offering studies in game design and development. With over 450 gaming development and related companies, we are internationally recognized for expertise in animation and special effects, video and computer games, education and training products, and corporate applications. Success stories include Softimage, XYZ RGB and Kutoka Interactive among others. 

We rank third in the world in developing video games and are poised to maintain this position, with companies such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Funcom all expanding or investing in Canada.

Software and computer services: Ahead in the Cloud

Canada ranks second in the world for the number of global software companies operating in the country, currently around 3,000. Many foreign leaders in health information technologies (IT) conduct research and development here, including Agfa, Microsoft, Philips, GE, IBM, Canon and Cerner.
Canada is also a prime location for cloud computing due to our geographical characteristics, low-density population, IT expertise, quality construction standards, legislative framework and low-cost green energy.

Microsoft Canada: A success story

In 2007, Microsoft opened a new centre in Vancouver, now the most ethnically diverse of its 10 development centres worldwide. Many of the 200-plus employees emigrated from Asia, South America and Europe, and more than 15 languages are spoken in the office every working day.

“Canadian laws are more favourable because they allow immigrants to work if they are offered a high-paying job. Microsoft has created a lot of jobs in Canada for that reason,” – Bill Gates, New York Times, July 24, 2009.

Networks of Centres of Excellence bring partners together

These world-renowned centres enable researchers to collaborate with international institutions and industry partners on specific R&D challenges.

  • The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, is linking leading digital media centres with industry, government and academia, to accelerate commercialization activities and advance multiple industries.
  • The Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) network, based at the The University of British Columbia, is mentoring the next generation of digital media innovators while exploring the use of digital media in a variety of settings including health care, education and environmental sustainability.
  • The MiQro Innovation Collaborative Centre (C2MI) in Bromont, Quebec, is an international pioneer in packaging the next generation of microchips, and is helping to produce prototypes for market needs in fields such as IT, automotive manufacturing and aerospace.

Canadian Universities ranked in the Top 100 in the world!

For computer science in the Shanghai (ARWU) 2010 world rankings:

  • McGill University
  • The University of British Columbia
  • Université de Montréal
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo

Universities recognized for their computer science & information systems programs by the Quacquarelli Symonds 2011 world rankings:

  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • The University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Waterloo

People like you are making a difference

Prof. James Won-Ki Hong
Professor and Head of Division,
IT Convergence Engineering,
POSTECH, Pohang, Korea

Product of a world-class system

Professor Hong came to Canada as a high school student in 1975, going on to obtain post-secondary degrees at the University of Western Ontario (BA in computer science, 1987) and the

University of Waterloo (PhD in communications in distributed systems, 1991) before returning to Korea to work in his field in 1995.

“I am grateful to the Canadian system for the good, comfortable life and excellent education I received. It gave me confidence in everything I do and ample opportunities to become a free thinker.”

Canada Excellence Research Chairs program attracts top international scholars

The Canada Excellence Research Chairs (CERC) program awards 10 million dollars over seven years to support the world’s leading scholars in four strategic areas:

  • environmental sciences and technology
  • health and related life sciences
  • information and communications technologies
  • natural resources and energy

Canada Excellence Research Chairs pursuing ICT work in Canada

These leading international scholars are benefiting from CERC funding:

Dr. Robert W. Boyd – Quantum nonlinear optics
Dr. Robert Boyd uses nanotechnology to develop new materials for various cutting-edge applications in science and engineering. His breakthroughs in optics could have important implications for research across a number of disciplines. He works closely with the SUNlab project, a leader in solar energy research at the University of Ottawa.

Dr. David Cory – Quantum information processing 
Dr. David Cory is developing tools called quantum sensors that are needed to navigate, control and exploit the quantum world. His work is applied at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, one of the best in the world, led by Raymond Laflamme.

Dr. Younès Messaddeq – Photonic innovations for information and communications
Dr. Younès Messaddeq is developing new fibre lasers for conventional and aesthetic dentistry and special fibre sensors based on infrared materials – an area of considerable interest to the environmental and petroleum industries.
This work at the Université Laval, Québec City, will also lead to new technology for monitoring nutrients in agriculture.

Dr. Bertrand Reulet – Quantum signal processing 
Dr. Bertrand Reulet’s experiments at the Université de Sherbrooke will shed new light on how quantum processors could be read out by current computers, through exploring the mechanisms at the origin of electronic noise – nanostructures that are the building blocks of future quantum processors.

The power of positive change

Yaniv Rivlin, Sauvé Scholar, McGill University,
Montreal, 2009-10

“As a recipient of the Sauvé fellowship, I enjoyed full access to McGill’s vast resources and benefited from invaluable connections that enabled me to successfully launch Comtribute – a company offering free interactive tools to help non-profit organizations raise funds and develop new sources of revenue.

“I met former leaders such as U.S. President Bill Clinton, Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean and Prime Minister Paul Martin – encounters that highlighted to me the critical position of government in making sustainable, positive change in societies. This inspired me to apply for the Harvard Kennedy School, where I am currently pursuing my a master’s degree in public policy as an E. David Fischman scholar.”

52 Research Chairs
actively conduct information and communications technology research at colleges and universities across Canada.

ICT research in action

The Ubisoft Campus – accreditation for cool jobs

The Université de Sherbrooke, CÉGEP de Matane and the international video gaming company Ubisoft launched the Ubisoft Campus in Montreal in 2005. At this unique school, students earn accreditation in video game development – mastering the skills sought by high-tech businesses in the booming global gaming industry, which includes game design, modelling and 3D animation.

Smaller, cheaper and faster fibre-optic telecommunications

Dr. Andrew Knights and Dr. Paul Jessop in the Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University broke new ground in 2010 when their team integrated all the photonic devices required for tunable waveguide detection on a single silicon device. The device could operate at wavelengths from 1,510 to 1,600 nanometres – a range suited for applications in fibre-optic telecommunications.

Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning and Spatial View Inc.  

Sheridan College collaborated with Toronto-based Spatial View to create a mobile device 3D game to promote Ontario tourist destinations during the 2010 Olympics. The interactive real-time application lets players assemble puzzles featuring Ontario’s most popular tourist attractions on BlackBerry smartphones.

Photodiode in silicon: Faster, smaller and more affordable data communications

The world’s fastest high-speed, fully integrated optical receiver in silicon has been designed and tested by Tony Kao, a master’s student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Toronto, with support from Broadcom Corporation. Kao’s group recently proved their device at a data rate of 5 gigabytes per second (Gb/s), a significant improvement over the 3 Gb/s rate record.

Single-molecule transistors: A breakthrough for molecular electronics

Canada is solidifying a leadership role in the highly competitive global market for nanotechnology products (expected to be worth $1 trillion by 2015), through a collaborative initiative between the University of Alberta and the National Research Council Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT). NINT researchers recently tested a new concept for a single-molecule transistor, an important breakthrough for molecular electronics.

New product potential based on advanced nano-scale technology

Dr. Manoj Sachdev, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo and President and Chief Technical Officer of CertiChip Inc., and his team have developed a model that predicts the critical charge of a storage cell, allowing circuit-level assessment of soft error susceptibility. This model has enabled CertiChip to develop new techniques to dramatically improve circuit robustness.

Now that’s research that works!

A select list of Canadian government-sponsored scholarships, awards and fellowships

$323.5 MILLION in grants and fellowships awarded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada in 2008-09

For undergraduate studies

Emerging Leaders in Americas Program
An exchange program for college, undergraduate and graduate students from the Americas.

For graduate and post-graduate studies

Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship
Seventy Banting fellowships awarded annually in the social sciences and humanities, health research, and natural sciences and engineering.

Canada-Mexico Awards – Graduate and Post-Doctoral Programs
Specific to Mexican graduate students who wish to study for a semester or conduct a year of post-doctoral research at a Canadian university.

Canada-U.S. Fulbright Awards
For graduate and post-doctoral students, professors, professionals and teachers from the two countries who wish to explore a wide range of contemporary issues.

Industrial Postgraduate Scholarships
Financial support for highly qualified science and engineering graduates to gain research experience in industry while undertaking advanced studies in Canada.

Post-doctoral Research Fellowships

One-year fellowships for students from various countries to conduct research in Canada.
Trudeau Scholarship

Provide national or international doctoral students in the social sciences and humanities with up to $180,000 over four years.

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship
Assist both Canadian and international students to pay for their studies in Canada.

For professionals

Faculty Research Program
Funds international researchers to study Canadian and/or common bilateral issues.

Human Frontier Science Program Fellowships
Canada participates in this international program, which provides opportunities for research, training and fellowships.

International Research Linkages
An awards program aimed at creating links between Canadian and international research teams.

Professional Development Awards
Available to citizens of developing countries who have a master’s, doctoral or post-doctoral degree and/or career experience and who wish to come to Canada to expand their knowledge.

Research Associates Program
The National Research Council Canada hires associate researchers with doctoral degrees or who are working toward their master’s or doctoral degree.

Visiting Fellows in Canadian Government Laboratories
Funds emerging scientists and academics to work at Canadian research institutions and laboratories.

Do you have what it takes to earn an award or a scholarship? There’s no time like the present to find out. Consult the above links.

Information and communications technologies research bodies

Promotes the research and implementation of advanced networks and applications in high-speed broadband.

Communications Research Centre (CRC)
Collaborates with master’s and doctoral students, as well as post-doctoral fellows, on ICT research.

National Research Council Canada (NRC)
NRC institutes in the ICT field develop information systems and IT hardware, find new ways to use technology in health care and support innovation that will benefit society.

Funding Programs

Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
Supports more than 7,000 projects across Canada, leading to breakthroughs in areas such as ICT.

Going Global Innovation (GGI)
Promotes Canada’s innovation efforts by supporting Canadian researchers to solidify partnerships with international key players for science-based research and development projects that have commercial potential.

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
Supports some 30,000 national and international post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows and 12,000 professors every year.

Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Promotes and supports post-secondary based research and training in the humanities and social sciences to enhance our understanding of modern social, cultural, technological, environmental, economic and wellness issues

Explore the Possibilities

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