Interview article

An interview with Christyn Cianfarani

CADSI president discusses Securetech changes
BRIAN BERUBE  |  Nov 19, 2015

Q: What new and interesting things can we expect at this year’s conference/showcase?
The Securetech 2015 conference program has been shaped over a year of discussions with our security advisory committee, and is focused on the top four priorities of the security community: cyber security, counter-terrorism, emergency management, and personal protective equipment. These areas were selected, in part, because they represent viable commercial opportunities between $500 million and $1 billion in Canada alone.

Securetech was created as the one show in Canada where security professionals can see the latest in goods, services, technologies, tactics, tools and trends across the security spectrum. This year, the show will feature Canadian and international exhibitors from more than 30 sub-markets on a 50,000 square foot trade show floor. No event in Canada brings together such a diverse community to share trends and cross-discipline challenges. We think it is a great place to engage with leading experts and gather insights to help the industry position its products in emerging markets.

Q: Is CADSI’s focus on these four sectors an indication of closer working relationships with like-minded organizations in these specific areas?
Over the last three years, CADSI has been working hard to establish closer collaborations with a vast array of associations that identify as a part of the security community. For obvious reasons, we can’t have expertise in all areas resident within CADSI so, working with specialized parts of the industry is a way to ensure that we have the appropriate depth while doing what we do best, which is developing a common national narrative. Partners and stakeholders include the Canadian Interoperability Technology Interest Group, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, the Canadian Textile Industry AssociationUnmanned Systems Canada, and the Ontario Association of the Emergency Managers. Our partnership with government also continues to grow, through the National Research Council CanadaDefence Research and Development Canada and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

​Christyn Cianfarani accepted the position of President of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) in September 2014, and is looking at ways increase business opportunities for CADSI’s growing security sector.

Q: What comments have you received from the 2014 event?
There are many great comments on our after action report cards, here are a few:
David Hale, who is the General Manager at Streit Manufacturing Inc. (an Armored Vehicles Manufacturer) was very pleased with the event last year. He told us that “Securetech 2014 was an exciting event for Streit Manufacturing. Key foreign dignitaries, customers, government officials under the same roof at the same time made this a dynamic event. New opportunities were discovered, new contacts were made resulted in a very successful show. Streit Manufacturing will be back next year.” 

The President of Logistik Unicorp, Louis Bibeau, commented about the “great exposure at all levels with excellent synergy between soldiers systems and Securetech, users and industry.”

William F. Hesse, who handles Military/Civil Defense Business Development at Scott Safety, said “Both the quantity and quality of this year’s trade show traffic has greatly exceeded previous years and has greatly surpassed our expectations. Scott Safety looks forward to next year’s show.”

Q: How has the event grown over the years, and Why is it moving from downtown Ottawa to the EY Centre?
We have seen slow and steady growth in delegates since 2011. It’s important to note, though, that our focus is not on quantity but rather on quality of delegates. We make sure the right delegates attend. For example, 93% of delegates have influence on final purchasing decisions for security-related products, 17% are executives or CEOs, and 31% plan to invest $10 million annually on security-related products.

CADSI moved Securetech 2015 to the EY Center because of our long-term partnership with the venue due to CANSEC, and to accommodate increasing demand for different exhibit needs. The change in venue will also allow for much larger exhibits such as heavy equipment displays.

Q: Last year’s event featured a soldier systems pillar in collaboration with CTIA. Has that relationship and pillar evolved and expanded for this year’s show? 
Yes, we have continued to deepen our relationship with the CTIA. We recently announced an enhanced collaboration with CTIA specific to Securetech 2015 that will see soldier systems amalgamated into personal protective equipment (PPE), clothing and footwear. This segment can now showcase the entire breadth of PPE at Securetech 2015. Members of the textile, clothing and footwear industries will have an increased number of business opportunities. 

Q: Why are the Emergency Responders’ Stage and the Science & Technology sessions not being featured this year? 
They are being incorporated into this year’s show in new and different ways. Last year, we received great feedback about our Innovation Stage, so we decided to expand on that concept. Our Innovation Zone is the place where scientists and experts from Defence Research and Development Canada and the National Research Council will display their commercialization-ready innovations and are looking to engage with industry. The Zone will also include information about long-term research and development projects from 2025 to 2045. 

Emergency management deserved its own conference track focussing on emergency operations centres. This will allow for an interesting discussion about the requirements for enhancing interoperability and situational awareness for first responders in emergencies and crises, particularly at the municipal level. Another session will be on the use of unmanned systems by first responders. Other presentations will be on wearable technologies for first responders, as well as body-worn electronics, advanced sensors, integrated voice and data communications application, visualization technologies, and body armour and protection.

Q: Has the size of the B2B/B2G meeting area increased this year now that the event is at the EY Centre?
We saw an increase from 11 to 110 registered B2B/B2G meetings between 2013 and 2014. With unexpected growth like that, it is hard to predict what we’ll see this year. 

Being at the EY Centre and using the CANSEC formula, the show could accommodate up to 800 scheduled B2B/B2G meetings over two days. Beyond that, we are creating ad hoc meeting areas on the trade show floor. The top request from members is to create more opportunity for networking.

Lastly, meal events are always an important means by which to network. We are pleased that RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson will be the keynote speaker at the November 25th lunch.

Q: Are you expecting an increase in the number of international delegations at Securetech?
In 2014, we had 11 embassies and several U.S. government agencies present. We are expecting 25 foreign embassies this year, including Chile, France, Georgia, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, New-Zealand, Peru, Qatar, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Despite the fact that Securetech takes place over American Thanksgiving holiday, interest in the program is high enough that we will have the U.S. Department of Homeland Security attending to present on their EMERGE program (

Q: Does the growth of the Securetech event reflect a growth in CADSI membership among Canadian security companies? 
In Canada, most defence companies also self-identify as security companies in some way so it is hard to provide segmented numbers. We estimate that about 40% of our members are involved in security.

Q: Securetech now features a new website. Can you tell us about CADSI’s objectives in redeveloping the event website?
You may have noticed that we have worked on refreshing CADSI’s main website, as well as the Securetech website. It had been a while since the look and feel of these websites had been updated. Given that our industry is technology-intensive, we wanted to reflect the creativity and innovation prevalent in our sectors. 

© FrontLine Security 2015