From the President & CEO: Cybera community update and look ahead

With so much going on within Cybera and our wider community, I wanted to pause to review what we’ve accomplished in the latter quarter of 2023, and what we have planned for the year ahead.

This past fall saw many big wins for Cybera and our community: the announcement that the Australian National Research and Education Network (AARNET) will partner with Alberta on a regional Security Operations Centre (rSOC), the fantastic reception to the soft launch of the SkillUp labour market intelligence platform, and of course, our largest (and most popular) Cyber Summit to date.

Global partnership on regional Security Operations Centre

We will be sharing more details of what’s been happening with the rSOC in the coming weeks with our post-secondary CIOs / CISOs, but at a high-level, our goal is to start a pilot with our Global Research and Education Network partner later this year. (There are many details to work out with our local and international partners, particularly given the novelty of this initiative!)

Putting Alberta’s labour market data to work

Those of you who attended the 2023 Cyber Summit may recall seeing a demo of our SkillUp platform. For the past five years, our team of developers and data scientists have been building a labour market platform that provides up-to-date info on the most sought-after jobs (and skills) by employers, and helps Albertans catalogue their existing skills and experience, and discover jobs they could perform well in. We have now opened up public access to our pilot platform for a limited time, and are inviting folks to check it out (and provide feedback)!

Growing the network

On the network side, we had two big upgrades in the latter half of 2023. In July, Cybera expanded its SuperNet connectivity in Calgary from 50 Gbps to 70 Gbps. In the process, we laid the groundwork to enable faster capacity increases going forward.

This past September, we also upgraded our Edmonton core router. This equipment will allow members in the Edmonton region to connect to upstream services at speeds of up to 400 Gbps. This should ensure we can meet the network service demands of our members for the near and far future!

In the months ahead, we will continue to be very busy. We have plans for further upgrades to our wider infrastructure and services (including the Virtual Firewall Service), to help us serve more members of our core community.

Stepping away from Callysto: our digital learning platform for K-12 schools

After seven incredible years, Cybera and the Pacific Institute for Mathematical Sciences are stepping away from our joint role as maintainers of the Callysto project. To date, our team has helped tens of thousands of Canadian teachers and students to incorporate data science into their everyday curricula. I am so proud of what this group has accomplished!

Updating Cybera’s membership model

Finally, we are in the process of re-evaluating Cybera’s membership model. When we last adjusted our model, in 2013, Cybera operated a handful of services. Today, we support or facilitate 20+ services and programs. To manage this growth long-term, and continue to deliver vital new programs for our community, we need to ensure our membership model fairly represents the sectors we serve. We will therefore be engaging our community in the coming months to discuss the value they see in our services, and what an updated member model should look like.

Our goal is to unveil a new membership structure for the 2025-26 fiscal year. We will also be asking the community what actions we should prioritize in Cybera’s next three-year roadmap, which will roll out in early 2025.

So all in all, this will be a busy year! If you have more questions, or want to be more involved in our upcoming initiatives, please contact our team at