High-throughput and Secure Networks Challenge program


This program will develop innovative technologies that will help deliver affordable, high speed and secure broadband services to rural and remote communities.


We invite researchers at Canadian and international universities, colleges and highly innovative firms with expertise in developing advanced electronics and photonics technologies to express their interest in collaborating with NRC researchers on this program.

Current areas of focus

The program is currently refining and vetting its scope and specific objectives with stakeholders with the aim of developing advanced electronics and photonics technologies to tackle the following three challenges:

  • Increasing the transmission capacity of optical communication in core networks to enable more affordable and farther reaching deployment of broadband services
  • Enhancing security of transmission channels through quantum secure and advanced cryptographic technologies
  • Developing a suite of last mile/first mile and space optical communication technologies for the delivery of broadband and internet of things (IoT) services to rural and remote locations, including optical satellite communications and passive 5G over optical fibre technologies

The program expects to be active in core underlying platform technologies including advanced materials (2D materials, III‑V, hybrid), photonic integrated circuits (lasers, modulators, detectors and circuits), quantum devices and cryptography, metrology, and digital technologies.


Workshops with industry and academia to help scope research activities and define project plans include the following:

  • January 11, 2019: workshop in Waterloo, Ontario, hosted by the NRC
  • January 17, 2019: workshop in Ottawa, Ontario, hosted by the NRC
  • January 30, 2019: workshop in Bromont, Québec, hosted by the NRC
  • Week of February 18, 2019: fact finding and engagement visits in Western and Northern Canada

Contribution funding

The program will contribute to collaborative research and development activities by academic institutions and small to medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in support of the program's objectives.

The program may provide contributions to early investments by collaborators in equipment needed for research in fundamental areas. Areas of early interest include the following:

  • Deposition and characterization equipment for next generation photonics materials development
  • Characterization and testing of electronic and photonic devices

The program will make further investments in research by academic and SME collaborators over the course of the 7‑year program lifespan.

Next steps and contact

The program will continue to work with stakeholders to refine the specific areas of focus and more information will be made available as this work progresses.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact: NRC.HTSN-RHDS.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca


Electronics and photonics, optical communication, quantum technologies, internet of things.

Contact us

Thomas Ducellier
Program Director, High‑throughput and Secure Networks Challenge Program
Telephone: 613-990-8069
Email: NRC.HTSN-RHDS.CNRC@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca