4 min

The “FIC North America”, a new event at the heart of North American ecosystems

First edition on 1 and 2 November 2022 in Montreal, at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal.

To further promote international cooperation, spread innovation at the global level, and consolidate links between Europe, Canada, and the United States in the field of digital trust and security, a North American FIC will be organised each year in Montreal—a deeply multicultural and open city, North American in its culture and European in its history. Its first edition will be held in November 2022.

Vincent Riou - 23 February 2022
Vincent Riou

Vincent Riou began his career at the French General Directorate of Armaments, where he held various positions in the field of electronic warfare. He then took over the management of the Steria Group's defence and security activities, before managing the development of CEIS, co-organiser of the International Cybersecurity Forum (FIC). He is now a partner of Avisa Partners, one of the leading French firms in economic intelligence and operational cybersecurity, since the merger with CEIS. He is in charge of the international development of the FIC.

He holds an engineering degree from the École Nationale Supérieure de Techniques Avancées Bretagne (ENSTA Bretagne) and a master's degree in business administration from the Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE). He is also an auditor of the 47th national session "Armament and Defence Economics" of the National Defence Institute of Higher Education (IHEDN, Paris).

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Since the creation of the FIC in 2007 by General Marc Watin-Augouard, the event has been working to bring together all the players and stakeholders involved in digital transformation within our companies, government agencies, administrations, institutions, and international organisations, with this twofold conviction: cybercrime will be the crime of the 21st century and cybersecurity, the indispensable backbone of our digital societies. With its cross-cutting and decompartmentalised approach to the issues, its ecosystem dimension, and the diversity of its audience and the topics addressed, the FIC has gradually become a reference in Europe, and a unique model. Everyone—from the young hacker to the decision-maker, from the vulnerability researcher to the investigator, from the PhD student to the manager, from the parliamentarian to the military personnel, from the regulator to the operator, from the consultant to the client, from the buyer to the supplier, and from the investor to the innovator—contributes to the event and its richness thanks to reflections, debates, encounters, sharing, creation, and joint projects. Because we are convinced that cybersecurity is fundamentally positive and must remain at the service of human progress.

Global issue, local response

Cybersecurity is unique in that it is a societal challenge, a political issue, and a technological question that concerns all citizens and has an impact on international relations—from asymmetric conflict to organised crime. The responses to these international and global challenges can only be collective on the one hand, and local on the other. Public awareness, training, talent shortage, inclusivity, operational urgency for incident detection and response, threat intelligence sharing, judicial investigations, regulations to protect critical operators, legislation on personal data, etc.: the problems encountered and the challenges to be met are common to everyone. As a particularity reflecting Canada’s identity and culture, cybersecurity policies and actors are decentralised and deconcentrated since they rely on numerous institutions at different levels of government that complement each other. Like everywhere, cybersecurity has become a major strategic and political priority, both at the Canadian federal level and at the provincial level in Quebec. This first edition of the “FIC North America” will be an additional tool in the service of this governmental strategy, promoted in Quebec by the new minister in charge of the domain, Éric Caire.

Cooperation between all stakeholders at the provincial, federal, and international levels will accelerate the structuring of the cybersecurity ecosystem and strengthen the links between Europe, Canada, and the United States. The unfailing support of the Quebec, Canadian, French, and European authorities has been an extraordinary driving force for the launch of this North American version of the FIC. Far from being a simple duplication of the European event, the Montreal FIC will therefore be Quebec and Canadian in its design, North American in essence, and international in its scope.

The FIC is thus crossing the Atlantic to settle in Montreal, at the Palais des Congrès de Montréal. The first edition of this “FIC North America” will take place on 1-2 November 2022, and then every autumn, echoing the European edition in the spring. The two events will be closely linked to create lasting bridges between the two continents and two ecosystems. Bridges that will promote the exportability of cybersecurity solutions and the establishment of the various players in the field on both sides of the Atlantic—the two main global markets. Bridges that will enable users and investors to discover the most innovative products and services. Bridges between all the players involved in the fight against cybercrime, between decision-makers in public policies related to digital trust, and between researchers and players in innovation clusters.

The choice of Montreal quickly became obvious. The city is one of the best served in the North-East of the American continent. It offers the ideal conditions for innovative and large-scale events: a convention centre located 15 minutes away from the airport, a variety of hotel options within walking distance, the fantastic experience of our local partners in organising events of international scope, and an extremely dynamic Canadian cybersecurity ecosystem. It is less than two hours from Ottawa, Toronto, New York, Boston, and Washington and has many direct flights to major European cities.

In synergy with the European edition, the “FIC North America” edition includes the three dimensions that form the DNA of the FIC: summit, symposium, and trade show. The whole forms a coherent whole, in a unity of time and place. Innovative tools based on the experience of the best world events will be put in place to facilitate one-to-one meetings and commercial exchanges.

The Avisa Partners team—which is opening its offices in Montreal—and all its Quebec and Canadian partners are organising this new event with the aim of bringing the best of both worlds. Dear friends and followers of the FIC, let’s meet in Montreal!

General (2S) Marc Watin-Augouard, founder of the FIC

Vincent Riou & Clément Rossi – International FIC team, Avisa Partners

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