21 April 2023, FREDERICTON (GNB) – Thales Group, with support from the provincial and federal governments, is establishing its National Digital Excellence Centre (NDEC) in Fredericton. The centre will eventually employ more than 110 highly skilled workers.
The first of its kind in Canada, the centre represents a multi-stakeholder research and talent development hub.
Headquartered in France with more than 77,000 employees on five continents, Thales is a global technology company specializing in three sectors: defence and security, aeronautics and space, and digital identity and security. The company especially focuses its research and development on areas such as quantum technologies, Far Edge computing, 6G and cybersecurity.
Opportunities NB is investing up to $5.5 million in the form of a payroll rebate over five years to support the development of the centre, which will also include the company’s North American Cyber Security Operations Centre. Opportunities NB estimates the facility will contribute up to $63 million in direct provincial GDP over a five-year period.
“As Canada’s only bilingual province, New Brunswick is purposefully looking to strengthen our economic and cultural ties with France,” said Arlene Dunn, minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Thales’ decision to expand its UK-based National Digital Excellence Centre into New Brunswick is a testament to the strength of our existing cybersecurity ecosystem, as well as the strength of our working relationship with France and the United Kingdom, and represents another value-added opportunity to help us build on our talent pipeline. This investment further solidifies New Brunswick’s reputation as national leader in cybersecurity.”
The federal government, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is supporting NDEC Canada through two projects. A contribution of over $1.8 million will help the University of New Brunswick’s McKenna Institute develop new cybersecurity and digital resilience programs to benefit and strengthen the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and educational programming. As well, a contribution of more than $1.2 million will support Ignite in the design and establishment of the NDEC Canada facility, which will be a place for small business, academia, and the region at large to collaborate and develop skills and partnerships.
“Today’s announcement reinforces the federal government’s commitment to establish Canada as a leader in cybersecurity innovation and talent development,” said Ginette Petitpas Taylor, federal minister of Official Languages and minister responsible for ACOA. “By supporting and encouraging the collaboration of organizations like UNB’s McKenna’s Institute and Ignite with global partners like Thales Group, we are leveraging Canada’s highly skilled workforce and growing the cybersecurity industry. This is about stimulating this region’s strong cyber ecosystem and building a strong economic future for everyone.”
The company intends to start hiring shortly. Information on job opportunities will be available on the company’s website.
“New Brunswick is an ideal place for Thales to invest and grow in Canada, where we are among the Top 100 corporate R&D investors. I want to thank ACOA and Opportunities NB as well UNB’s McKenna Institute and Ignite, for their partnership and commitment to our vision for the National Digital Excellence Centre,” said Chris Pogue, CEO of Thales Canada. “Together, we will collaborate across a talent-rich innovation value chain – educational institutions, academia, start-ups, small- and medium-sized businesses, industry, and governments – to develop the cyber technologies, capabilities and resilience Canada needs to build a future we can all trust.”
Opportunities NB is a Crown corporation and the lead economic development agency for the province. It seeks to attract and support opportunities to stimulate economic growth and create jobs by providing support services for businesses.
Michel LeBlanc, communications, Opportunities NB, email@example.com.
Sharon Stanford-Rutter, communications, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kevin Payan, communications, Thales Group, email@example.com.
Cover photo from left to right: Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton; Johan Schitterer, Consul General of France for the Atlantic provinces; The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA; Chris Pogue, President, Thales Canada; The Honourable Arlene Dunn, Minister responsible for Opportunities NB; The Honourable Trevor Holder, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour; Dr. Paul Mazerolle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New Brunswick.