CRC's Research Priorities

Grand Challenge R&D

Grand Challenge R&D is characterized by project outputs and outcomes that, cumulatively, result in a technology demonstration of a strategic capability, or an innovative proof-of-concept that fundamentally impacts Canada's direction in spectrum management and use.

Grand Challenge R&D is also strengthened by strategic collaborations. CRC will be seeking such partnerships as its three Grand Challenges mature.

Direct client support R&D

CRC's direct client support R&D assists in resolving critical wireless communications issues of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada's Spectrum and Telecommunications Sector (STS), and issues faced by other government clients that depend strategically on spectrum for their operational issues. CRC researchers collaborate with STS colleagues and clients from the federal family to first identify issues. These may be policy-based, regulatory, standards-based or operational. CRC then turns to solving the problem. A technical fix, for example, could solve an operational issue, while in-depth research results could be needed to make an informed decision on a policy or regulatory issue.

Wireless technology foresight

CRC's wireless technology foresighting function provides insight to government, to ensure awareness of ongoing and emerging trends and issues. Foresighting collects information from a variety of sources, both internal and external. External sources include scientific and technical sources, as well as market sources, both domestic and international. Internally, the team draws from results generated through current CRC research projects, and from the expertise of scientific staff. As CRC grows its foresighting function, collaborators will become invaluable sources of input.

Big Data Analytics Centre

On May 8, 2017, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, officially opened the Big Data Analytics Centre (BDAC) at the Communications Research Centre (CRC).

Using big data analytics, cloud computing, crowdsourced information, data fusion and state-of-the-art visualization, the Centre enables researchers to work with big data in ways that were previously not possible to support sustainable spectrum management. The research at the Centre uses a network of smart sensors to collect vast amounts of real-time data on Canada's wireless spectrum to help the Government understand how it is used and to make better use of this scarce resource.

The Big Data Analytics Centre offers over 250 square metres of space including a collaboration area for government science, an interactive learning area with multimedia kiosks, a demonstration area for interactive demos and displaying research, and an immersive area for research, presentations and live demonstrations.

The first visualization laboratory of its kind within the Government, the Centre is available for use by other government departments and for collaboration with industry and academia. Other science-based departments and agencies are invited to use the Centre for their R&D needs and to apply these cutting-edge capabilities for technology demonstrations, and facilitating collaboration on complex R&D challenges.

"To power their smartphones, tablets, TVs and radios, Canadians rely on the judicious use of wireless spectrum. We can't make more wireless spectrum, but we can make better use of it. To do that, we need to understand exactly how it's being used and where. We need to know, in real time, where there are unused radio waves that could be put to work. Big data is the key to understanding that. It gives us the power to turn data into useful insights that allow us to predict where the surplus capacity will be at any given time. The research being conducted at the Big Data Analytics Centre has the potential to transform not only the telecommunications sector but all sectors of the economy."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Entrance to Big Data Analytics Centre

Some demonstrations at the Centre

The immersive area includes a 3-metre by 7-metre curved screen, powered by five high definition rear projectors

Interactive learning area with multi-media kiosks

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