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NSERC Strategic Research Network for Smart Applications on Virtual Infrastructures


Future Internet applications (known as “apps”) will provide fixed and mobile users with services that are highly responsive, media-rich, and aware of context and location. Future apps will allow communities to systematically collect and analyze data for use in discovery, in contexts such as health and wellness, education, and community sustainable practices. Future smart management applications will also enable smart infrastructures that promote sustainable resource usage in transportation, public transit, energy, manufacturing, computing and communications.

The NSERC Strategic Research Network for Smart Applications on Virtual Infrastructures (SAVI) investigates the development of an extended computing cloud that encompasses remote data centres and a “smart network edge” that support services platforms where entrepreneurs can readily launch new businesses in an open applications marketplace. SAVI investigates the role of virtualization to develop enabling software and networking technologies for emerging Future Internet protocols, network-based cloud computing services, and large-scale applications.

Network Structure

The SAVI research team includes leading researchers from nine Canadian universities bringing together expertise in networking, cloud computing, services and applications. An understanding of the research priorities in application platforms involves not only technology but also business considerations, and so SAVI has established partnerships for consultation and collaboration with the computing, networking and applications industries.

SAVI is funded by NSERC at a level of $5 million over five years. SAVI partners contribute an additional $3.5 million over the same period. SAVI industrial partners include IBM Canada, TELUS, MTS Allstream, Ericsson Canada, Cisco, Juniper, Seawell Networks, Wesley Clover, INSA, Ciena, Nitido, Dragonware and Belair Networks. SAVI has also established partnerships with SciNet, ORION and CANARIE. SAVI partners participate on the board of directors, an industry advisory board and a research program committee.

Research Objectives

The SAVI research plan focusses on future application platforms and addresses key challenges to network and service providers. The key research objectives are:

  • extension of cloud computing to include infrastructure in a service provider smart network edge;
  • application enablement leveraging very-high bandwidth access and services in the smart network edge and the extended cloud;
  • control and management systems spanning the extended computing cloud to enable experimentation with application platforms and Future Internet alternatives; and
  • adaptive, energy-proportional integrated wireless/optical access that leverages the smart edge.


  • SAVI research will lead to innovative products across the value chain in application platforms including computing and communications equipment and systems, and novel services and applications.
  • SAVI control and management systems will provide the agility to deploy and redeploy infrastructure, thus accelerating the time-to-market for new services and applications.
  • SAVI research advances not only the information and communications technologies sector, but also stimulates innovation and economic advances in other sectors through the enablement of applications that leverage SAVI application platforms.
  • SAVI has established the Canadian industry partnerships to expedite knowledge and technology transfer to global corporations as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups.
  • SAVI prepares graduates with technology expertise and business awareness by supplementing the research program with a multidisciplinary training program that involves 25 postdoctoral and research graduate fellow students per year, and 25 graduate student industry internships per year.


Alberto Leon-Garcia
Scientific Director
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