Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

BCIT and Siemens collaborate on smart grid cyber security

Steve Rogerson
July 27, 2016
The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Siemens are to collaborate on smart grid cyber security and microgrid research opportunities.
BCIT has entered a long-term collaborative relationship with Siemens Canada and has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that focuses on research and commercialisation opportunities on smart grid cyber security and microgrids, identifying and pursuing application of new technologies in these growing markets.
Recent shifts in the energy landscape in Canada, including the advancement of technologies and connectivity of electrical networks, have opened utilities to the possibility of attacks, compromising the integrity, reliability and security of these networks. Cyber security is a critical and mandatory issue for grid operators today. As the grid becomes more digital, it also becomes more vulnerable to cyber attacks.
Per the MoU, Siemens and BCIT’s Centre for Applied Research & Innovation (Cari) Smart group will enable knowledge sharing and training to address gaps in Canada’s critical public utilities infrastructure.
Siemens and BCIT will also focus on the emerging area of smart microgrids, specifically the development of technologies and components for cost-effective and environmentally responsible electrification in Canada and around the world. How microgrids can address the topics of energy reliability, sustainability, resiliency or economy will also be explored.

“With energy being one of the world’s most challenging problems, Siemens and BCIT have been collaborating and leading innovation in this field for many years,” said BCIT president Kathy Kinloch, pictured with Siemens Canada’s senior vice president Faisal Kazi. “Our partnership has been very productive and, with the signing of this MoU, I am excited to continue working together to develop the effective operation and security for microgrids through solution based research.”
BCIT and Siemens have an existing and long-standing relationship as partners in previous smart grid projects including BCIT’s Smart Grid Laboratory Project, as well as the BCIT Energy Oasis Microgrid Project, the first campus-wide microgrid project in Canada.
“Our energy systems are becoming increasingly complex with rapidly changing technology,” said Kazi. “The challenges and opportunities presented by smart grids, distributed energy resources and solutions such as microgrids underline the importance of the focus topics being pursued under this MoU. We look forward to further collaboration with BCIT, utilising our strong relationship and combined expertise to explore opportunities towards the future of energy in Canada.”
Michael Weinhold, global chief technology officer for Siemens, added: “Globally, Siemens is at the forefront of cyber security and microgrids with a number of impressive solutions implemented and installed around the world. The microgrid jointly developed by Siemens and BCIT is a strong reference not only for Canada but around the world.”