By Nathan Rudyk
Good things happen to good countries. Great things happen to countries that seek greatness. And seeking greatness is exactly what CENGN is doing over the next two weeks as its team travels across Canada in search of technologies and talent that could create Canada's next BlackBerry, Mitel or Nortel.
CENGN is the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks. It's an industry-led consortium of corporate, academic and research members including Alcatel-Lucent, Allstream, BTI Systems, Cisco, EWA Canada, EXFO, Invest Ottawa, JDSU, Juniper Networks, Mistral Ventures, Rogers and Telus. Together, CENGN’s heavy hitters are responsible for 90% of Canada’s annual telecom R&D spend.
Announced in November with $11.7 million over five years in funding from the Government of Canada’s Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program, CENGN has a panel of communication industry experts ready to discover and unlock the potential of Canadian Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) companies. CENGN accelerates innovation into profitable enterprise and consumer products with unprecedented access to global markets.
“Next generation networks is a $5 trillion market, and presents megatrend opportunities for countries and companies that can move quickly,” said CENGN’s President and CEO Ritch Dusome in our press release. “Recognizing Canada’s telecom strengths, that’s why Multinational Enterprise (MNE) leaders from around the world have come together to back CENGN commercialization projects with the combined power of 199,000 people, $11 billion of R&D and $84 billion of revenue.”
With stops in Edmonton and Vancouver this week, Montreal Feb. 5, Toronto Feb. 6 and Ottawa Feb. 10, the roadshow presents the CENGN value proposition to prospective Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and researchers that have products and services in game-changing technologies such as Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). These address the growing demand for exploding Internet content on multiple platforms, and also underpin cloud-based applications, security and the Internet of Things (IoT).
As well as promising SME and institutional technologies that could be commercialized in a 3 to 15-month period, CENGN is on the hunt for top-gun research talent to staff its Ottawa multi-vendor test and verification lab: “We are always on the lookout for the best talent,” according to Dusome, who was the catalyst behind the hiring of more than 2,000 engineers in his last position as Director of Product Management for CISCO Systems in Ottawa. His 28-year career also included stops at Bell Canada and TD Bank.
“We need people who want to plant Canadian tech on the global map in a big way,” he said. “I’ve spent most of my career working in Canada but was mostly focused on global mandates. It’s exciting to think about CENGN’s pure-play focus on accelerating technology that could create the next made-in-Canada telecom superstar.”
Each project selected from prospective SME submissions receives commercialization acceleration support equivalent to $50,000 – $100,000, with target completion times of 3-15 months. CENGN’s comprehensive multi-vendor testing and validation facilities are unique in the world, which cuts costs and speeds time to market. A list of CENGN benefits for SMEs with promising technologies includes:
- Dedicated engineering team and experts in communications including SDN and NFV
- Physical and virtual multi-vendor commercialization, test, certification, and validation platform (open stack and enterprise stack)
- Dedicated high-speed fibre networks
- Additional services for validating advanced products, applications, and services including: performance, certification, verification and conformance testing
- Business, legal, marketing and mentorship support
The format of each CENGN city visit features an overview of the project selection process followed by a panel session with CENGN MNE member companies to discuss their technology areas of interest. There will also be plenty of networking time for SME companies and researchers present their technologies to CENGN MNEs. CENGN’s team is also visiting colleges and universities in each roadshow city to drum up interest in assisting CENGN projects and/or joining its Ottawa lab.
You can track market2world's PR results for CENGN here.
(Nathan Rudyk is President and CEO with market2world communications inc., the public relations and marketing agency for global innovators.)