UTSA cyber security expert addresses GUIRR national research roundtable

Ravi Sandhu

Ravi Sandhu

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(Feb. 24, 2011)--UTSA faculty and staff members lent their expertise last week to an elite group of government, academic and industry professionals at the winter meeting of the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR), an elite sub-group of the National Academies, the nation's advisers in science, engineering and medicine. The meeting was Feb. 8-9 at the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

GUIRR meets three times each year to improve the climate for U.S. researchers in science and technology by addressing critical national policies and making recommendations to facilitate national and international research collaboration. In 2010, UTSA suggested the GUIRR winter meeting topic, the intersection of cyber security and intellectual property, then co-authored a meeting proposal with GUIRR member Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).

The resulting meeting, "Cybersecurity in the Coming Decade: Using Security to Support the Value of Intellectual Property," included experts from the White House, FBI, Google, IBM, Northrop Grumman and University of California, Berkeley as well as other academic institutions and industry organizations.

Ravi Sandhu, a world-renowned expert in cyber security and executive director of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security and Lutcher Brown Endowed Chair in Cyber Security, discussed "the game of cyber security." He discussed why San Antonio is a major U.S. cyber city and addressed the realities that network attackers, defenders and technology developers face on a daily basis. Sandhu called for policies to balance productivity and security and an increasing focus on cyber security research and education to meet the nation's future technology needs.

James Casey, director of the UTSA Office of Contracts and Industrial Agreements, also presented at the meeting. Casey is an active participant in GUIRR, serves as co-chair of its International Research Collaborations project (known as the GUIRR I-Group) and was instrumental in encouraging UTSA and SwRI to apply for GUIRR membership. In his I-Group update, Casey provided testimonials from researchers who attended the July 2010 GUIRR I-Group workshop, which addressed the challenges of conducting international research projects and offered solutions to facilitate those partnerships.

GUIRR provides a platform for leaders in science and technology from academia, government and business to discuss and take action on national and international scientific matters. This includes such topics as university-industry partnerships, scientific training in academia, the relationship between academia, government and business, and the effects of globalization on U.S. research.

Through roundtable meetings and projects, GUIRR government, university and industry partners provide guidance and suggest possible solutions to streamline policies and procedures unique to the government-university-industry interface. This counsel, often documented in advisory reports, is distributed to key national leaders including President Obama.

"GUIRR is an extremely valuable forum for UTSA and Southwest Research Institute, especially now, as UTSA works to achieve Tier One research status," said Robert Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "Our membership in GUIRR gives us the opportunity to make meaningful contributions to national research policy. This is exactly where we want to be."