With the opening of the $100-million Georgia Cyber Center on July 10, Augusta will become home to a one-of-a-kind facility designed to improve Georgia’s and the nation’s cybersecurity through research, workforce development and entrepreneurship. At the center of this cyber development, Augusta University will become a leading destination for cybersecurity education and research.
“As one of four research universities in the University System of Georgia, Augusta University is already an innovation center for education and health care,” said Brooks A. Keel, president of Augusta University. “Now, with the opening of the Georgia Cyber Center, we are a critical partner in Georgia’s commitment to increasing cybersecurity in the state, nation and world.”
The Georgia Cyber Center will become the new home of Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences, increasing educational, training, research and internship opportunities for its students and faculty.
“The Georgia Cyber Center is a unique space where academia meets industry partners, state and federal government, and the military,” said Joanne Sexton, the founding dean of the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. “Our students will have an unprecedented access to a state-of-the-art structure that will allow them to engage in professional collaboration with public, nonprofit and private sectors. This collaborative space will also help us to define a new model of cybersecurity education and training for the next generation of cyber warriors.”
Computer science, IT and cyber students will engage in hands-on lab activities and will have internship opportunities without the need to travel or relocate. They will take classes taught by faculty from Augusta University, the U.S. Army Cyber School, Cyber Protection Brigade and NSA Georgia.
“We will have an opportunity to assist the Georgia Bureau of Investigation by conducting an in-depth analysis of devices used in criminal activity,” Sexton said. “Our faculty will also benefit by collaborating with Augusta Technical College faculty in partnering in curriculum and scholarship grants.”
All upper-division courses for the school’s computer science, information technology and cyber programs will be taught at the new facility.
The facility will also be the new home of the Augusta University Cyber Institute, which promotes interdisciplinary models of cybersecurity research and education
“In its new space, the Cyber Institute will expand its work in building partnerships to impact K-12, academia, the health care industry, all levels of government and the business community,” said Sexton, who is also the director of the Cyber Institute.
The Georgia Cyber Center will have a cyber range, which can simulate cyberattacks on entire networks to train cyber professionals. It will also have an incubator and accelerator to foster innovation and entrepreneurship.
This multimillion-dollar investment comes as the Augusta area gets ready to welcome the U.S. Army Cyber Command, set to complete its move from the Washington D.C. area to Fort Gordon in the next few years. Cyber and IT-related positions already account for 6 percent of the area’s total workforce, according to a recent cyber workforce study by the Cyber Institute and the Augusta University Master of Public Administration program. Those positions grew by 16 percent from 2016 and 2017 in our area.
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