The Government of Canada announced it is making significant investments to establish Canada as a global leader in cybersecurity and automotive software for connected and autonomous vehicles.
To meet that goal, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry Limited, to develop safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.
“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun, and if we want to see Canadians take the lead, we need to have their backs,” said Prime Minister Trudeau. “That is why our government is investing $40 million in BlackBerry QNX to design and develop a new software platform for the cars of today and tomorrow. This investment will create 800 good, middle class jobs for Canadians, make our cars safer and more secure, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation.”
Along with the 800 jobs to be created over the next ten years, and maintain nearly 300 more, this investment is made to also also provide new skills development and learning opportunities to help train Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow and keep Canada competitive in today’s global economy.
In 2017, Canada’s automotive industry produced 2.2 million vehicles, contributed over $18 billion in GDP, and directly and indirectly employed over 500,000 people.
“We are betting on innovation driving our success at home and abroad,” added Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Our government is proud to invest in BlackBerry QNX’s exciting project and to position Canada as a global leader in automotive innovation. That’s how our investments today are creating new middle class jobs of tomorrow.”
With this funding, BlackBerry QNX will develop new automated control systems, upgrade and secure communications in vehicles, and improve vehicle safety and security by expanding its advanced driver-assistance system. BlackBerry QNX will also develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.
“BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks,” said John Chen, executive chairman and CEO, BlackBerry. “Thanks to the Canadian government’s commitment we’re now in an even stronger position to deliver on the demand for BlackBerry’s safe and secure QNX software.”
BlackBerry’s QNX technology is now embedded in more than 120 million vehicles on the road today. It is used not only by the major Tier 1s, by major OEMs including Audi, BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, KIA, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Volkswagen.
Along with the Government of Canada’s investment, BlackBerry will invest $310.5 million in the project, as well as commit $5 million to cybersecurity to collaborate with government, post-secondary institutions, and private sector firms.
The Government of Canada’s $40 million investment is made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging research and development that will accelerate technology transfer and the commercialization of innovative products, processes and services, and will facilitate the growth of innovative firms.