The Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) is a federally-funded program, to strengthen Canada’s ability to anticipate, prevent, mitigate, prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters, serious accidents, crime and terrorism through the convergence of science and technology (S&T) with policy, operations and intelligence. On behalf of the Government of Canada, the CSSP is led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science (DRDC CSS), in partnership with response and emergency management organizations, non-governmental agencies, industry, academia as well as provincial and municipal governments.
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The new program, which has been allocated $43.5 million dollars annually, builds on the successes, lessons learned and best practices of DRDC CSS’s three former programs:
- The Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives Research and Technology Initiative, which focused on chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) counter-terrorism;
- The Public Security Technical Program, which expanded S&T efforts beyond CBRNE into other areas like critical infrastructure protection, cyber-security, surveillance, intelligence, interdiction, border security, emergency management systems and interoperability; and
- The Canadian Police Research Centre, which focused on harnessing S&T for the benefit of police and other first responders across Canada.
The integration of these efforts under one comprehensive program allows investments to be distributed more effectively across the different domains. It also enables DRDC to streamline administrative processes and enhance alignment with Government of Canada priorities.
A Collaborative Model
Through projects, studies, exercises, workshops and other activities, the CSSP creates opportunities, for experts to work with various partners from different public safety and national security fields to support the development of knowledge, tools, processes and strategies that are essential for safeguarding Canada, its people, institutions, and infrastructure. This collaborative model ensures that the best minds from government, industry, academia and international organizations work on the most pressing safety and security issues facing Canadians.
Making Investments to Achieve Strategic Objectives
CSSP funding will support projects and activities that respond to Canadian public safety and security priorities and address capability gaps. These gaps are identified through risk and vulnerability assessments, consultation with communities of practice, as well as with central agencies, and policy, operational and intelligence entities.
Ultimately, investments must contribute to achieving the program’s primary goal of ensuring that Canadians and their institutions have a greater resilience to global and domestic public safety and security threats. These efforts are guided by a set of long-term goals: a secure and efficient flow of people, goods, and services across Canadian borders and ports of entry; a connected and multi-jurisdictional security, intelligence and national emergency management system; and public confidence that hazards are being identified, assessed and addressed in a way that respects Canadian values.
The CSSP is executed through three separate investment categories which provide funding for nine types of S&T projects.
- An annual competitive Call for Proposals requests submissions for innovative project proposals that address identified public safety and security capability gaps.
- Targeted Investments allow DRDC CSS to directly fund projects and activities that tackle critical gaps not being adequately addressed through the Call for Proposals or other means.
- Community Development supports the activities of communities of practice. These communities are groups of experts from different organizations who work together to discuss risks and vulnerabilities, identify capability gaps, and develop proposals to address these challenges.
- Studies use evidence-based examinations or analyses to address known public safety and security issues, and define problems and/or solutions.
- Research and Development projects involve applied research that will generate new knowledge or awareness while addressing user-defined capability gaps.
- Technology Demonstrations advance the maturity of technologies, applications or capabilities by embedding S&T in an operational context. This allows DRDC and its partners to work directly with the operational community.
- Workshops provide a forum for stakeholders to share their knowledge and experience, as well as identify and develop solutions to public safety and security challenges.
- Advice and Guidance projects allow stakeholders to provide evidence-based analysis in the support of policy development, planning and decision-making.
- Technology Acquisition projects are concerned with the strategic acquisition of technologies to enhance specific capabilities.
- S&T Transition projects integrate technology within existing systems of people, tools, and processes, or capabilities, to facilitate transition from the lab into the hands of the emergency responder community.
- Operational Support through S&T projects enable Canada’s emergency managers, responders and security authorities through the timely access to scientific and technological expertise to support planning, operations and exercises.
- Operational Support through Testing and Evaluation projects assist police, fire, emergency medical services and other stakeholders by assessing the performance of technologies and processes in simulated or operational settings. This type of project will be managed primarily through the Emergency Responder Test and Evaluation Establishment.
Emergency Responder Test and Evaluation Establishment
Part of the program funding has also been allocated within this investment, to stand-up the DRDC Emergency Responder Test and Evaluation Establishment (ERTEE) in Regina.
ERTEE will primarily be responsible for delivering the testing and evaluation component of the CSSP, focusing on supporting the emergency responder community across Canada, but also addressing the needs of the broader public safety and security community. ERTEE will work with users, universities and industry partners to put in place collaborative projects to test and evaluate potential technologies. This includes assessing the effectiveness and potential limits of the technologies, as well as looking at associated standards, processes and methodologies.
Department of National Defence, Canada