Securetech 2015 – an overview

Nov 19, 2015

Securetech 2015, the public safety, emergency management and security trade show and conference organized by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), is moving to Ottawa’s EY Centre, home to the Association’s highly successful annual CANSEC defence trade show. 

As noted on CADSI’s website, Securetech’s move will provide greater opportunities to exhibit a larger number of security specialty areas, including armored vehicles, unmanned aerial vehicles, ground and underwater systems, search and rescue equipment, innovative solutions for emergency response teams, and new personal protective equipment.

For this 5th annual Securetech event, CADSI will feature 100 Canadian and international exhibits representing more than 35 submarkets, and a themed conference focusing on cyber security, counter-terrorism, emergency management and personal protective equipment. CADSI says the show will highlight companies across Canada that deliver security-related goods and services to government, communities, the private sector, and security agencies to help protect Canada’s critical infrastructure, corporate assets, public institutions and private property from vulnerabilities and threats. 

“We’ve put together a tightly-focused exhibition, showcasing the latest technologies and innovations from companies across Canada and around the world,” says CADSI President Christyn Cianfarani. “The four themes — cyber securitycounter-terrorismemergency management, and personal protective equipment — are what buyers and industry want to see on the trade show floor, and hear from world experts on the conference stage, because that is where the business opportunities are, for buyers and sellers alike.”

The 2015 conference program is designed to attract decision-makers and influencers from government and security agencies, foreign embassies, and private-sector organizations, as well as academics and researchers in policy, science and technology, and research. 

Securetech evolved from the CANSEC defence trade show. For more than a decade, security was part of the annual CANSEC event, which showcased Canadian companies in both the defence and security sectors. The combined event made sense in the early days of the trade show since CANSEC was growing in size and importance, giving security companies exposure to an increasingly wide range of buyers and decision-makers in the public and private sectors. Moreover, many defence companies also have a strong presence in the security sector since defence products, such as surveillance equipment, armoured vehicles and personal protective equipment, are also used by first responders.

In 2011, CADSI was encouraged to spin the security component of that event into its own showcase, with a concurrent conference program focusing on issues of importance to the public safety, emergency management and security fields. And exhibitors responded. CADSI welcomed 98 exhibitors to the inaugural Securetech event, and that number grew steadily. This year, CADSI hopes to welcome more than 2,500 registrants. 

Also, CADSI has announced that military attachés and ambassadors from 25 countries will be participating at Securetech 2015. These include Chile, France, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mexico, New-Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

The 2014 Securetech show was the first to include representatives of the Canadian textile industry. For years, CADSI had organized a soldier systems trade show in collaboration with the Canadian Textile Industry Association (CTIA) and the Canadian Textile Technology Group. The show focused on the personal protection needs of the Canadian soldier. 

It had become clear, however, that the personal protection needs of the soldier and the first responder were similar, so CADSI rolled that component into Securetech. That strengthened both the Securetech show and CADSI’s relationship with an industrial sector that plays a large role in safety and security in Canada.

CADSI President Cianfarani stressed the importance of the textile component of Securetech in her press remarks announcing Securetch 2015: “As the industry association representing the textile value chain in Canada, CTIA’s participation will ensure the involvement of a wide range of textile suppliers, as well as firms providing high value-added textile products to their clients in Canada whether they are Canadian soldiers on deployment in Operation IMPACT in Iraq or first responders working the streets to keep our neighbourhoods safe.”

Indeed, partnerships are a key element in ensuring a relevant and focused conference program. CADSI has developed strong relationships not only with CTIA, but also with the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ontario Association of Emergency Managers, the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group and Unmanned Systems Canada, which represents the rapidly growing sector of unmanned aerial, land and maritime vehicles used for both military and public safety operations.

In fact, the use of unmanned vehicles in public safety and security is a one of several topics at Securetech’s Emergency Management conference track. Attendees will hear from Ontario Provincial Police Constable Marc Sharpe, who in 2009 had the distinction of operating the first unmanned aerial system (UAS) – the remote-controlled Draganflyer – by a North American police force. Constable Sharpe, based in Kenora, showed that the unmanned system was an effective and relatively inexpensive way to take aerial photos of crime scenes and car accidents. The use of aerial robots for surveillance is now quite common with police forces. 

The Emergency Management track will also feature an armchair discussion about emergency operations centres from a municipal perspective. Presenters from the City of Ottawa and the Regional Municipality of York will discuss the challenges faced by municipal emergency operations centres trying to promote a clear and common understanding during emergencies.

The session will also include a presentation from CAE’s Pierre Gagnon. CAE has recently used its considerable simulation and training expertise to develop a multi-purpose training centre in Brunei that includes a multi-agency emergency management training centre – an industry solution that could serve as a model for inter-agency training and interoperability in Canada and elsewhere.

The Cyber Security Conference track, which will address cyber threats, vulnerabilities and challenges in Canada and around the world, features a presentation from Dave Tyson, current president of ASIS International and the Chief Security Officer for S.C. Johnson & Sons. Mr. Tyson has nearly 30 years’ experience in all facets of enterprise security. Before joining S.C. Johnson & Sons, he led security programs for Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the largest power utilities in the United States. He also previously directed global security operations for eBay, and served as the chief security officer for Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Mr. Tyson will talk about cyber resilience in a global cyber ecosystem and the implications for Canadian organizations. 

A follow-up panel, which will include presenters from CGI CanadaIBMErnst & Young LLP and Raytheon Cyber Products, will allow delegates to learn about the business value of cyber security and the effect of a cyber attack and data breach on a company’s brand and reputation.

Ray Boisvert, a security and cyber intelligence expert, will be a featured presenter during the counter-terrorism conference track. Mr. Boisvert spent more than 28 years with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, from which he retired in 2012 as assistant director for intelligence. At CSIS, he led the principal counter-terrorism sector during an era of tumultuous international security challenges that involved Canadian security interests in such places as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, West Africa and Europe. He was responsible for developing a refocused set of broad-based knowledge-acquisition tools, intelligence assessments and dissemination programs.

A highlight of the Personal Protective Equipment conference track will be the presentation by Phil Waters, from the Science and Technology branch of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mr. Waters will tell delegates about the DHS EMERGE program for wearable technology for first responders. 

The EMERGE program aims to reinvigorate U.S. federal government research and development by engaging the entrepreneurial world. The program encourages innovative companies to work with DHS to address the unique needs of the security community and whose wearable technology could be adapted for first responders. This includes technologies such as body-worn electronic, advanced sensors, protective equipment and materials, and embedded voice and data communications systems. 

Innovation is a concept that resonates well with CADSI. Securetech 2015 will feature an Innovation Stage at the centre of the trade show floor. The Association noted that nearly half of the 2,500 registrants last year said they were investing in research and development, Securetech will allow companies and research organizations present their innovative solutions. Presenters will include Defence Research and Development Canada, the Canadian Safety and Security Program, and the National Research Council, who will showcase their commercialization-ready innovations.

Noticeably absent so far from the Securetech program is any representation from the federal government since the announcement of the 2015 trade show and conference coincided with the August call for a federal election. Last year’s event included keynote addresses from the Minister of National Defence and the Minister of Public Safety. However, the election precluded senior government officials from committing to Securetech 2015. 

© FrontLine Security 2015