Home Projects and Initiatives Certification of Safety Critical Software-Intensive Systems
Certification of safety-critical software-intensive systems

This is a five-year project with a Canadian $21 million budget, contributed to equally by the Ontario Research Fund for Research Excellence, the universities of McMaster, Waterloo and York, and seven industrial companies.  The project started in earnest in late 2009, led by Principal Investigator Tom Maibaum.


  1. To create methods and tools that will revolutionize the process of certifying critical software applications through product-focused certification standards.
  2. To create methods and tools that will facilitate the development of critical software applications that comply with these new certification standards.
  3. To build a certification laboratory with the facilities and staff capable of certifying critical software applications.
  4. To establish adequate experimental facilities to test and demonstrate the effectiveness of proposed metrics, tools and methods.
  5. To build and maintain a repository of software certification knowledge and certified software components (libraries) in specific domains.
  6. To promote the use of these methods, tools and experimental facilities by establishing professional education programmes and engaging in technology transfer and commercialization activities.

Key application domains

  • Medical devices
  • Nuclear power
  • Health information systems
  • Financial information systems
The domains only represent a fraction of possible critical, software-intensive systems.  They are chosen as being important in Ontario's economy, and providing a range of regulatory and unit-cost environments.

Research goals

  1. Use existing software engineering knowledge to develop appropriate product-focused standards and audit points for critical software in the application domains.
  2. Develop cost-effective certification processes based on these standards.
  3. Produce cost-effective, yet rigorous methods, based on existing practice, for developing software applications that satisfy these standards.
  4. Develop improved tools for the development and certification of critical software.
  5. Compile a Software Knowledge Repository.

Annual Reports

are available



Private sector

  • BiosignTechnologies Inc
  • Legacy Systems International Inc (LSI)
  • Ontario Power Generation Inc (OPG)
  • Atomic Energy Canada Ltd (AECL)
  • Systemware Innovation Corp (SWI)
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • QNX Software Systems International Corp
  • Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT)




Last Updated on Monday, 09 May 2011 20:16