RICHMOND, Va. – When Gov. Ralph Northam signed the 2018-20 Virginia state budget, $25 million was allocated for the Commonwealth Cyber initative led by Virginia Tech.
According to officials, the funded initiative will leverage public institutions of higher education to build an ecosystem of cyber-related research, education, and engagement to position Virginia as a world leader in cybersecurity at the confluence with data analytics, machine learning, and autonomous systems.
“Given the ever-growing cyberthreat, Virginia’s innovative technology sector, and strong research institutions in higher education, it makes perfect sense for the commonwealth to seed a significant cyber research and workforce initiative,” said Del. Chris Jones (R-Suffolk), chair of the House Appropriations Committee.
The initiative will included a network of multiple universities and a “hub” to be located in Northern Virginia.
Virginia Tech says that the state has asked Virginia Tech to lead this initiative because of its widely recognized strengths in science and engineering, existing expertise in cybersecurity research and education, and its significant research presence in Northern Virginia.
The work that the program at Tech will be doing will also be helping the University expand its Hume Center for National Security and Technology, which includes 80 faculty members and works with more than 400 students per year. The Hume Center has more than $120 million in capital since 2012.
“We are pleased to have the opportunity to anchor the Commonwealth Cyber Initiative with this support from the state, along with the collaboration with the Virginia Research Investment Committee and our partner institutions of higher education in Virginia,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands.