Cybera Projects Receive Over $2 Million in Research Funding

CANARIE'€™s NEP Program Second-Round Recipients Announced

Cybera'€™s newest pilot projects, the Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Modeling and Data Assimilation Platform (CESWP) and Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing (GeoCENS), are among the recipients of CANARIE'€™s second-round of Network-Enabled Platform Program (NEP) funding.

The NEP Program is CANARIE'€™s, Canada'€™s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, flagship program that funds the development of tools and software that help researchers, in a wide range disciplines, to fully exploit and share the massive amount of data and research that flow along the CANARIE Network.

'€œCybera'€™s NEP projects are excellent representations of the leading edge cyberinfrastructure research that Cybera is helping to foster,'€ says Jill Kowalchuk, Vice-President, Project and Partnership Development, for Cybera. '€œThe tools and expertise developed through the GeoCENS and CESWP projects can be deployed to solve other challenges and for the benefit of future projects requiring advanced file sharing and collaboration capabilities.'€

'€œFrom CESWP'€™s space weather simulations to the real-time exchange of environmental data with GeoCENS, CANARIE'€™s NEP projects are poised to enable incredible advancement and discovery across many scientific disciplines. CANARIE is proud to play a role in these kinds of advanced research efforts that keep Canada at the forefront of innovation,'€ said CANARIE President Guy Bujold. 

The GeoCENS project, which was awarded $1.1 million in NEP funding, will develop an interactive web-based portal for scientific analysis and social networking among the biogeoscience research community. Biogeoscientists use ground-based sensors to collect data and to monitor changes in environments, including climate, water, and biological species. Instead of deploying numerous sensors of their own, these scientists will soon spend more time researching the data shared within the portal. The portal will allow them to remotely contribute research data into a combined system with an innovative two and three-dimensional graphic interface. The data will be accessible in historical and real-time, and users will be able to remotely study and control it from specific geographical areas. This project will help us determine how our social and economic activities impact the Earth'€™s ecosystem. Other project partners include: the Biogeosciences Institute, University of Calgary; the California Biodiversity Centre, University of California, Berkeley; the Centre for Hydrology, University of Saskatchewan; the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati; the United State'€™s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON); and the Open Geospatial Consortium.

The CESWP project, which was awarded $933,000 in NEP funding, will simplify researcher access to space weather simulation tools using cloud computing technologies. Space weather occurs in the environment between the sun and the Earth. It has an impact on communication, power, and other distribution systems in Canada and around the world. Scientists are studying ways to forecast space weather events in an effort to avoid interruptions to these vital systems. CESWP'€™s versatile approach to a cloud computing service responds to the space science community'€™s need to increase computational capacity while reducing operational complexity and costs. The CESWP is the second stage of the Canadian Space Science Data Portal, a first round NEP project that is nearing completion. Other project partners include: the Academic Information and Communications Technology department, University of Alberta; the Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo; the Department of Physics, University of Alberta; and the Grid Research Centre, University of Calgary.

In total, CANARIE awarded nine projects with a combined $10.5 million in funding through the second round of its NEP Program. To- date the NEP Program has awarded a total of $25.5 million in funding to 19 IT research projects across Canada. In 2008, Cybera received funding from the first round of CANARIE'€™s NEP Program for its Canadian Space Science Data Portal and GeoChronos projects.

'€œThe support Cybera'€™s projects have received from CANARIE will continue to help cyberinfrastructure research and product development excel in Alberta,'€ said Kowalchuk.


Media Contact
Amanda Debenham
Communications Officer'۬, Cybera Inc or 780-492-9940

Cheryl Rosebush'۬
Communications Manager'€¨, CANARIE Inc.'€¨ or 613-943-5374


About Cybera,

For the last 15 years, Cybera has supported Alberta'€™s system of research and development '€“ also known as cyberinfrastructure '€“ by planning and implementing advanced networks and computational facilities. Cybera works with the Government of Alberta, Cybera'€™s member organizations, other public and private Alberta organizations and interprovincial and federal partners to ensure Alberta'€™s competitiveness in advanced technologies. Expanded in 2007 from the existing Netera Alliance organization, Cybera manages CyberaNet, a high performance network that connects Alberta to CANARIE, Canada'€™s national research network. Cybera acts as the prime contractor for the management of WestGrid, a consortium that provides advanced computing for research to participating universities in Western Canada. Cybera also works with public and private partners to create pilot projects of new technologies that have potential benefits for Alberta and Canada.


CANARIE Inc. is Canada'€™s Advanced Research and Innovation Network. Established in 1993, CANARIE manages an ultra high-speed network, hundreds of times faster than the internet, which facilitates leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. More than 39,000 researchers at nearly 200 Canadian universities and colleges use the CANARIE Network, as well as researchers at institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories throughout the country. The CANARIE Network enables researchers to share and analyze massive amounts of data, which can lead to ground-breaking scientific discoveries. CANARIE'€™s network, programs, and strategic partnerships with 12 regional networks in Canada, and 100 international networks in more than 80 countries, stimulate research that delivers economic, social, and cultural benefits to Canadians. CANARIE is a non-profit corporation supported by membership fees, with major funding of its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.