The 12 Facts of ORION in 2019

2019 is almost at its end and here at ORION, we’re using this time to reflect. Over the past year, there have been so many events, announcements, and moments that we look back on fondly. We thought we’d share some of these with you, with a bit of holiday flair. So, let’s count down the 12 facts of ORION from 2019.


There is one provincial research and education network for Ontario: ORION. We are proud to help facilitate and promote research and innovation across our province. We’ve been here since 2001 and will continue to serve well into the future.


We had two days of valuable and insightful sessions back in May at our Advance Ontario conference. With fabulous speakers, great presentations, and exciting contests, this conference was an excellent chance for our community to connect with each other.

Read the Advance Ontario wrap-up here >


Three ORION Community Training workshops have taken place in 2019. The Certified Ethical Hacker, Communication Skills for IT and Security, and Certified Chief Information Security Officer workshops were all great successes, bringing improved cybersecurity skills to the research and education sector. We’re busily preparing to announce our new workshops for 2020 – stay tuned!
Community Training
Read more about ORION Community Training and see our 2020 preview here >


We released four reports in a series on data governance for smart cities in partnership with Compute Ontario. These reports looked at the issues and opportunities of data use in smart city deployments across Ontario and how we can best govern to maximize public good.

Download all four reports here >


5G is on its way and ORION has connected testbeds for 5G technologies through ENCQOR, the first Canadian pre-commercial corridor of 5G digital infrastructure.

Read about ORION’s involvement with 5G here >


Six months ago, we launched the highly anticipated Ontario Cybersecurity Higher Education Consortium (ON-CHEC). We’ve worked to provide cybersecurity guidance, programs, and frameworks to meet members’ needs to better protect staff, students, and data.
More information on ON-CHEC here >


Seven tenths of our network have been upgraded in the last year, bringing the core network speed up to 200 Gbps, an increase of up to five hundred per cent. These upgrades will strengthen ORION’s digital infrastructure to support more equitable access for research and education across the province.
Read more about our network upgrades here >


Speaking of speed, an eight-terabit genome file can be transferred in about eighty seconds on our upgraded network in some locations. Compare that with hours over a commercially available high-speed service. The speed of the ORION network increases the speed of research, enabling the development of life-saving technologies.

Check out some other interesting facts and figures about ORION here >


Our ninth issue of ORION’s Belt, our blog series on innovation news, was released earlier this year. Written by one of our network operators, it’s a good way to stay on top of what’s happening in Ontario’s digital tech scene.
ORION's Belt
Read issues of ORION’s Belt here >


We had ten cybersecurity professionals attend our Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO) workshop this December. The shortage of cybersecurity leadership talent is real and those who attended will guide our sector through a minefield of threats.


This year, we had eleven recipients of ORION’s 2019 Leadership Award across the three categories: Kindergarten to Grade 12, Higher Education, and Innovation. The recipients were recognized for their contributions to Ontario’s research, education, and innovation communities.

Read about the award winners here >


And finally, ORION is here for this community twelve months of the year, facilitating research and innovation for Ontario. We continue, recommitting to our mandate in 2020 and for the many years to come.

We want to thank you for another wonderful year, and we can’t wait to see how we can work together to achieve even more in the new year.

Alfonso Licata

President and CEO