Lab Canada

Critical infrastructures the focus of new $3M program

Ottawa, ON – March 1, 2004 – NSERC and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC) have launched a $3-million joint program to fund research in the area of critical infrastructure interdependencies.

Under the program, scientists and engineers in the academic, industrial and government sectors will work together to understand the connections between the country’s major energy, communications, finance, health care, food, water and transportations systems, and what happens when a system fails. Each is complex, but their interdependencies, which can leave them vulnerable to cascading collapses, are even less well understood.

“Our key underlying infrastructures in this country are becoming increasingly complex and interconnected,” says Janet Walden, NSERC’s VP, research partnerships program. “It is important that we understand the links between our critical infrastructures and their vulnerabilities so that we can minimize the risks to Canadian society in the event of failure.”

Funding for projects under the new Joint Infrastructure Interdependencies Research Program will be available for a maximum of three years.