Calgary facility aims to further security development

Joining forces with the University of Calgary (U of C) and JAWZ Inc., Toronto-headquartered Telus Advanced Communications recently made a $225,000 commitment to the eSecurity Innovation Centre to be located in Calgary.

According to JAWZ, the eSecurity Innovation Centre, to be located in Calgary’s University Research Park, is designed to act as a facility that will bring together skilled security professionals and the latest technology to develop and deploy security solutions.

Brian Bouckaert, Telus’s director for strategic client relationships, said the company will work collaboratively with JAWZ and the University of Calgary in all phases of the project.

“Telus, in order to remain at the crest of new technology and global expertise in security solutions, remains committed to building a safe and secure Internet environment for Canadian businesses that conduct electronic commerce in our borderless world,” Bouckaert said. “Our role as a founding member of the eSecurity Innovation Centre shows our long-term commitment to economic development and the creation of advanced education, research and development opportunities throughout Alberta.”

Robert Kubbernus, chairman and CEO of JAWZ, said JAWZ is stepping up to the plate to start a collaborated effort.

“If it weren’t for telcos, we wouldn’t have a security problem, “Kubbernus said. “Telus understands that. They know they have to be engaged. Telus knows that they have to step out of the organization to get some real meaningful research done.”

Kubbernus explained that because IT security is a fairly new concern, nobody has developed an infrastructure for higher education training and delivery of information.

“Every time we come up with a new patch, somebody finds a new hole in the system,” Kubbernus said. “It may sound like an insurmountable problem. The challenge can be enormous. There is huge risk, but there is also huge opportunity.”

Dr. Tom Keenan of the U of C approached JAWZ with the idea for the centre.

Kubbernus explained, “(Keenan) sat down with us and said at some point (he would) like to develop, with a partner, an eSecurity innovation centre where we can bring the best of corporate Canada and the university together for the development of e-security tools, product development and strategies and to be able to collaborate worldwide with other universities. No one has ever taken an entire department and turned it toward e-security.”

Because of this vision, Bouckaert said Telus can call upon “world-class research minds for security expertise unlike any other in the world.”

He continued, “The Centre supports a larger Telus objective, namely its broadband deployment of next generation networks, and accompanying IP technologies and services throughout Alberta and across Canada.”

As a result, Bouckaert added, Telus customers will receive the benefit of IP application services and, when combined with real-world security solutions, enhanced value to Telus’s IP offerings.

Construction of the Centre is already underway, and JAWZ and Telus expect it to be up and running as of January 2001.

“(Information technology) moves so fast,” Kubbernus said. “We learned a long time ago that you have to have partners. We can’t stay isolated in our development and we can’t be isolated in our thinking.”

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