Czech cybersecurity industry and academia experts made their way to Ontario from April 17th to April 19th, with CzechInvest and the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Toronto preparing an intensive two and half-day program for the delegates.
The experts visited academic institutions such as the University of Guelph, York University or the University of Waterloo and North America's largest urban innovation hub, the MaRS Discovery District, to discuss the development of new talent, deeper cooperation between academia and industry, and opportunities for international collaboration. The delegates then attended the Czech Cybersecurity Forum, which provided an opportunity for Canadian partners to meet and network with the delegation. Attendees of the forum learned about the Canadian cybersecurity ecosystem from Deborah Clark-Foster of the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, as well as the Czech side from Cyber Attaché Berta Jarosova in Washington D.C.
„The diverse attendance of Canadian companies, academia and government officials provided fruitful discussions and opportunities for further cooperation, all while enjoying some Czech beer. The overlap in research topics between Czech and Canadian partners, especially the universities, is extensive, making cybersecurity an ideal area for continued collaboration,“ said Karolína Konicarová from CzechInvest’s Toronto office.
The forum featured two-panel discussions with Czech and Canadian experts. The first panel, consisting of Pavel Zemcik (Dean of Faculty of IT, Brno University of Technology), Vaclav Stupka (Assistant Professor, Masaryk University) and Marcus Santosa (Professor of Computer Science, Toronto Metropolitan University), focused on the impact of AI on cybersecurity and how to build cyber capacity, with discussions around deepfakes and the need for cybersecurity to be at the centre of new technologies such as IoT and sensors to prevent easy targets for terrorist attacks. The second panel with David Rihak (CEO, Peig), David Cermak (CTO, Prozeta) and Kristen Csenkey (Fellow with North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network & Canadian Global Affairs Institute) discussed post-quantum technologies, access to them, and the importance of having an open discussion with the general public to understand the fast-paced ecosystem.