Monday, June 17, 2024

Cyber Innovation Center awarded $129M in federal funding to advance Louisiana a leading U.S. cyber hub

by BIZ Magazine

The Cyber Innovation Center (CIC), a catalyst for the development and expansion of a knowledge-based workforce, today announced a total of $129 million in federal funding to continue industry-leading innovation through CYBER.ORG and STRIKEWERX, its leading subsidiary organizations driving innovation in the region.

This further positions CIC and the surrounding region as a leading U.S. cybersecurity hub. CYBER.ORG received $34 million from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and STRIKEWERX received $95.6 million in funding through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) with Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Both organizations were awarded five-year grants.

The CIC promotes research, education and technological innovation and this federal funding further advances the development of a sustainable workforce that supports the growing needs of government agencies, private industry and academic institutions across the country. Additionally, this investment enables the CIC to continue to drive impact in Louisiana as the nation’s leading cybersecurity hub and make its mark in Washington, D.C.

“The Cyber Innovation Center is honored by the federal government’s investment in our groundbreaking work,” said Kevin Nolten, Vice President of the Cyber Innovation Center. “This funding reflects the commitment that Louisiana and the greater Bossier City region has in advancing research, education, and technological innovation. We look forward to continuing these groundbreaking efforts alongside our advocates on Capitol Hill, federal partners, key industry stakeholders and the local community.”

CYBER.ORG Funding from CISA

CYBER.ORG’s $34 million in funding from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) through the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) grant will help address the nation’s shortage of over 570,000 cybersecurity professionals through expanded nationwide access to K-12 cybersecurity education, continued improvement of cybersecurity literacy, and encouraging students to explore cybersecurity career opportunities. This new funding will also enable CYBER.ORG to support the Biden administration’s National Cybersecurity Workforce and Education Strategy through its commitment of reaching 50,000 educators over the next five years.

CYBER.ORG has partnered with CISA since 2012 to empower educators to teach cybersecurity confidently through curricular resources and professional development, resulting in students with the skills and passion needed to succeed in the cybersecurity workforce. Currently, CYBER.ORG has over 30,000 teachers across all 50 states and four U.S. territories enrolled in its content platform, reaching millions of students nationwide.

“Thanks to our funding and long-time partnership with CISA, CYBER.ORG is more dedicated than ever to improving access to cybersecurity education,” said Laurie Salvail, Director of CYBER.ORG. “We are committed to developing the next-generation cybersecurity workforce and are excited to continue our critical work alongside other innovative partners at the Cyber Innovation Center.”

STRIKEWERX Funding from Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC)

STRIKEWERX was awarded $95.6 million in funding through a Partnership Intermediary Agreement (PIA) with AFGSC enables the organization to serve as the Command’s persistent technology transfer, technology transition, and innovation resource. With collaboration space in the heart of the Ark-La-Tex and proximity to Barksdale Air Force Base, STRIKEWERX is an innovation arm of the AFGSC Office of the Chief Scientist.

Entering its seventh year of operations, AFGSC has realized a five-fold return on its investment with nearly a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar impact. This impact will continue to grow, and see new developments such new Design Sprints to quickly prototype solutions, challenge events to provide market research for latest technology, and event expansion of the STRIKEWERX Innovation Hub to include an Innovation Lab for Airmen to turn their ideas into physical prototypes.

“The continuation of our PIA to 2033 proves it is successfully fielding innovation for the command,” said Jeff Beene, Director of the Partnership Intermediary Agreement. “From data-driven decision tools and expanded software automation to advanced learning technologies and augmented reality advances that improve training, new capabilities for the AFGSC warfighter now exist. This impact would not be possible without the AFGSC Chief Scientist Office and our congressional delegation, who understand the importance of new technology to the strategic mission of AFGSC and our national security.” “From the STRIKEWERX Innovation Hub opening amidst the COVID pandemic to the new expansion of our Innovation Lab, the CIC has proven its investment in the local, state, and national defense community to positively affect national security,” said Russ Mathers, Director of STRIKEWERX. “Our current Counter Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Swarm Defeat Challenge is a great example of how we are seeking industry, small businesses, inventors, and academia throughout our region, state, and country to impact the command. This new agreement will allow us to accomplish more efforts like this.”

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