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Google Canada commits $1.3 million to bolster Quebec’s cybersecurity ecosystem and launches cybersecurity education certificate

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% of Quebec small and medium-sized enterprises were targeted by cyber attacks, and in 2022, cyber attacks in Canada increased by 20%. 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 & 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.

Ms. Isabelle Péan, President and CEO of the Fondation et Alumni de Polytechnique Montréal, expressed her gratitude to Google.org for its donation: “This visionary act by Google.org is of particular importance because it is the first substantial donation of the year which is part of our major philanthropic campaign. This exceptional contribution gives us momentum and allows us to reaffirm the commitment of the Polytechnique community to the future and progress, and its ambition to contribute to society. The vision and generosity of Google.org, which supports the objectives of IMC2 , more broadly enables Polytechnique Montréal to promote crucial initiatives for tomorrow’s society.”

Mr. François Bertrand, Vice-President of Research and Innovation at Polytechnique Montréal, joined Ms. Péan to highlight the essential role of philanthropy in the scientific community: “Google is one of those great companies, relentlessly supporting research and creativity. Thanks to them, we can offer even more resources to our professors and researchers, allowing them to explore new avenues conducive to the emergence of innovations.”

“Top cybersecurity infrastructures have never been as vital as they are today. With a team of experts that make web browsing safer for users around the world, Google Montréal is an absolute gem that fuels the entire ecosystem,” said Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International. “This latest commitment will foster innovation and support local talent to develop their skills (en français!) in this critical field. Thank you for your support and for making Greater Montréal shine around the world!”

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