Canada’s National Research and Education Network

Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN)

The National Research and Education Network (NREN) is an essential collective of infrastructure, tools, and people that bolsters Canadian leadership in research, education and innovation. CANARIE and its twelve provincial and territorial partners form Canada’s NREN. We connect Canada’s researchers, educators and innovators to each other and to data, technology and colleagues around the world.

The partners in Canada’s NREN are working collaboratively to strengthen the security of this critical infrastructure. An unprecedented pan-Canadian effort is underway to coordinate network threat monitoring. This initiative involves the creation of a team of NREN Security Analysts, together with the deployment of common monitoring equipment (a Security Information Event Management platform, or SIEM) on NREN partner infrastructures. The analysts will develop incident response and mitigation strategies based on their monitoring of data collected by the SIEM. This national initiative will advance the security posture of the NREN, and lays the foundation for future collaborative security projects.

In Alberta, +725,000 students, educators, researchers and innovators connect to Canada’s NREN and the world through Cybera.

How to Connect to Canada’s National Research and Education Network

If you are a member of Cybera, you’re already connected to the NREN. If you’d like to connect, contact us at

Alberta Case Study

Scientists at the University of Calgary have created a project to collect and categorize massive amounts of Aurora Borealis data. This cross-Canada data collection project relies on the high-speed network of Cybera and the NREN.


NREN Partners

Twelve provincial, territorial and federal partners form Canada’s NREN.  More information on each partner, along with a link to his or her website, may be found below.

ACORN-NL | Atlantic Canada Organization of Research Networks, Newfoundland and Labrador

ACORN-NL is dedicated to the implementation and formalization of a regional advanced network in Newfoundland and Labrador that will link post-secondary institutions, their major research centres and the K-12 system.

ACORN-NS | Atlantic Canada Organization of Research Networks, Nova Scotia

ACORN-NS’s objectives are to refine, implement and maintain a resilient, secure, advanced research and education network architecture; reliably operate Nova Scotia’s advanced research and education network including the CANARIE GigaPoP; promote the value and innovation created by the advanced research and education network; and maintain a sustainable model for ACORN-NS.

Aurora College

Aurora College provides advanced-network services for the Northwest Territories.

BCNET | Shared IT services for higher education and research in British Columbia

BCNET is a not-for-profit, shared information technology services organization that represents the interests of our members––colleges, universities and research institutes in British Columbia. We continuously engage with our members to explore, evaluate and develop solutions that meet their unique needs. Our aim is to build value through collaboration, drive down costs, maximize efficiencies and further the mission of our members.


CANARIE is the federal partner in Canada’s National Research and Education Network, providing interprovincial and international connectivity. Beyond the network, CANARIE funds and promotes reusable research software tools and national research data management initiatives to accelerate discovery, provides identity management services to the academic community, and offers advanced networking and cloud resources to boost commercialization in Canada’s technology sector. 


Cybera is a not-for-profit technology-neutral organization responsible for driving Alberta’s economic growth through the use of digital technology. Its core role is to oversee the development and operations of Alberta’s cyberinfrastructure — the advanced system of networks and computers that keeps government, educational institutions, not-for-profits, and business incubators at the forefront of technological change.


MRnet is Manitoba’s Regional Advanced Research and Education Network. MRnet provides a very-high-speed, fibre optic network linking its research and education members to the world’s R&E networks. The MRnet network supports research, education and advanced application development among Manitoba’s research, education and industry organizations.

NB PEI Educational Computer Network (ECN)

The New Brunswick – Prince Edward Island Educational Computer Network (ECN) provides a sustainable, economical, and reliable high-speed network platform to educational and research organizations throughout the region. It connects them to research and innovation networks across Canada and around the world. The ECN is a model of collaboration and shared services across this geographically, economically, and linguistically diverse region.


ORION is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering Ontario researchers, educators and innovators. The organization’s community includes more than two million users at over one hundred universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions, as well as the majority of Ontario’s school boards. ORION enables ground-breaking discoveries and cutting-edge education through its network, and provides vital digital tools and expert support.

RISQ | Quebec Scientific Information Network

As a not-for-profit organization, the Quebec Scientific Information Network (RISQ) is a private telecommunications network that has served the education sector in Quebec since 1989. RISQ’s network covers approximately 6,000 km and reaches about 750 000 students, teachers and staff. It provides members with shared resources and services, and also acts as an information, coordination and expertise forum.

SRnet | Saskatchewan Research Network

SRnet (Saskatchewan Research Network Inc.) is a not-for-profit research and education network, the Saskatchewan member of Canada’s advanced network alliance. SRnet provides dedicated high speed network (10 Gbps, 1 Gbps, 100 Mbps) access to institutions and companies across Saskatchewan that use it for their research and education activities.

Yukon College

Yukon College provides a vital link between students and researchers in the Yukon and national and international education and research networks. The Yukon Research Centre at Yukon College facilitates education opportunities for communities, encourages collaboration with First Nations, and expands opportunities for northern innovation. Yukon College also enables Yukoners to share their diverse cultural and environmental research with the world.

Want to know more about Canada’s NREN?

View the background presentation about the NREN.