Monday, June 24, 2024

Spohn: Growth continues for Cyber Innovation Center

by BIZ Magazine

For the past 14 years, Cyber Innovation Center (CIC) has been the anchor for continued cybersecurity growth in the National Cyber Research Park (NCRP) right here in our region. As the anchor, the CIC in partnership with Louisiana Tech University creates a knowledge-based workforce by promoting research, education, and technological innovation and fostering collaborative and strategic alliances between governmental agencies, private industry, and academic institutions. 

The CIC and NCRP have been blessed in these 14 years with tremendous success and growth. This growth has allowed us to expand our leadership team.  

I’m proud to announce that Kevin Nolten has been promoted to Vice President of our organization. Kevin previously served as director of CYBER.ORG’s programmatic outreach efforts and partnerships for the past seven years.  

With Kevin’s move from CYBER.ORG, Callie Dean will be stepping up to take his place. Callie will continue making cybersecurity education available to K12 teachers and students locally and across the country. Callie joins Col. (Ret) Jeff Beene, Col. (Ret) Russ Mathers, and Dr. Chuck Gardner as a business unit lead within the CIC. 

Kevin and Callie’s new roles are the latest on this 14-year journey to change our corner of the state by growing the economy and diversifying the workforce of northwest Louisiana. 

Kevin Nolten

In a report by economist Dr. Loren Scott, he called the NCRP an “economic gem.” 

Dr. Scott’s report states that the NCRP has contributed more than 2,100 jobs with employee earnings of $122.9 million. Regionally, the NCRP has annually generated $154.5 million in new business sales, $148.2 million in new household earnings, and $6.7 million in new revenues for regional government. 

It is a journey that has required a long-term investment by CIC and NCRP partners, city and parish officials, the State of Louisiana, and our Congressional Delegation. It is not lost on me that we just celebrated the 8th anniversary of our tenant, General Dynamics Integrated Technology Center, announcing its decision to locate in Bossier City, beating out over 130 other potential sites across the country.  

That monumental turning point in the NCRP required a lot of demanding work by those same people listed above. Yet, we still have more work to do in our ongoing mission to enrich the lives of those in northwest Louisiana.  

Additionally, the Louisiana Tech Research Institute (LTRI) will become the newest NCRP tenant when it opens later this year. LTRI will be focused on advancing basic knowledge to applied research to technology commercialization in cyber and nuclear modernization —all with the end goal of growing and attracting a knowledge-based workforce.  The second and third tier effects benefits will mean improvement of the quality of life, education and infrastructure to name but a few.   

As you can see, growth is a regular way of life at the CIC and NCRP; and our return to the economy of northwest Louisiana proves this growth is something to be celebrated. 

Craig Spohn, Executive Director of the Cyber Innovation Center 

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