The University of Northern British Columbia and TeejLab Inc. are creating a new Centre of Excellence in Data Privacy, Security and Integrity that will provide thought leadership, best practices, research support and training.
The centre, which will begin as a virtual community, is a unique opportunity for TeejLab and UNBC to promote their mutual interest in close industry-academia collaboration while fostering economic opportunities in British Columbia and Western Canada.
“Data protection and safe-keeping presents complex global challenges that continue to evolve as technology changes,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks. “This Centre of Excellence combines the world-class expertise of UNBC researchers along with TeejLab’s cutting-edge applied knowledge.”
The TeejLab-UNBC Centre of Excellence team will consist of award-winning computer scientists, innovators, Ph.D. and Master’s degree students advised by software industry veterans, and faculty members from premier institutes and universities in the United States and Canada. TeejLab will continue to have strong research collaborations with academic institutes through internship and co-op programs.
“As data-driven intelligence continues to evolve, industries will find new ways to turn data into knowledge that will improve our lives,” says TeejLab founder and UNBC graduate Dr. Baljeet Malhotra. “I strongly believe that the TeejLab-UNBC Centre of Excellence will provide an important platform for creating state-of-the-art solutions that help our customers and partners in building world-class innovations without sacrificing the integrity, security and privacy of their data.”
The new centre will build on the relationship between UNBC and TeejLab that was established earlier this year through the creation of the Research in Technology Fellowship. The Fellowship, a first of its kind at UNBC, combines a $10,000 financial award with the opportunity for a student to work on a research project with TeejLab scientists. Malhotra, who earned a Master of Science degree from UNBC, created the Fellowship to inspire the next generation of computer scientists.
At the centre, researchers at TeejLab and UNBC will have the opportunity to work together and solve data privacy and security challenges while conducting applied research in the areas of natural language processing, data mining and machine learning. Building commercial solutions that allow enterprises to create various data-driven software and services in a more secure and compliant way will be a primary goal.
“This new Centre of Excellence is a wonderful example of a collaboration between the University and a research-based software company founded by a UNBC graduate,” says UNBC Vice-President Research and Graduate Programs Dr. Geoffrey Payne. “It will facilitate innovation, lead to the discovery of new approaches for data security and create job opportunities.”
Initial steps toward building the centre will include creating a virtual community that will provide a platform to build technologies and disseminate knowledge through research articles and blogs. This will help the centre accelerate the process of innovating technologies that have enterprise-grade support and engage open source communities for faster adoption and industry standardization.