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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced an investment of $40 million in BlackBerry QNX, a business unit of BlackBerry, to develop safe and secure software systems for the next generation of connected and autonomous vehicles.

The company will create more than 800 new middle-class jobs in Canada over the next 10 years and maintain nearly 300 more. They will also provide new skills development and learning opportunities to help train Canadians for the jobs of tomorrow and keep Canada competitive in today’s global economy.

With this funding, BlackBerry QNX will develop new automated control systems, upgrade and secure communications in vehicles, and improve vehicle safety and security by expanding its advanced driver-assistance system. BlackBerry QNX will also develop and use concept cars as labs for technology and software development.

“The race for a top spot in the new economy has already begun, and if we want to see Canadians take the lead, we need to have their backs. That is why our government is investing $40 million in BlackBerry QNX to design and develop a new software platform for the cars of today and tomorrow. This investment will create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians, make our cars safer and more secure, and further position Canada as a global hub for innovation,” said Trudeau.

“We are betting on innovation driving our success at home and abroad. Our government is proud to invest in BlackBerry QNX’s exciting project and to position Canada as a global leader in automotive innovation. That’s how our investments today are creating new middle class jobs of tomorrow,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

“BlackBerry is trusted by automakers and Tier 1s around the world to protect hardware, software, applications, and end-to-end systems from cyberattacks. Thanks to the Canadian government’s commitment we’re now in an even stronger position to deliver on the demand for BlackBerry’s safe and secure QNX software. Together we will spur innovation, create great jobs, educate the workforce of tomorrow, and solidify Canada as a world leader in automotive technology,” said John Chen, Executive Chairman and CEO, BlackBerry.

BlackBerry will invest $310.5 million in the project, as well as commit $5 million to cybersecurity to collaborate with government, post-secondary institutions, and private sector firms.

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