Office of the President

UTSA as a hub for cybersecurity innovation

April 12, 2018
UTSA as a hub for cybersecurity innovation

Many of us have experienced the inconvenience of having our email or social media accounts hacked, or even our identities stolen. On a personal level, these situations can create serious havoc in our everyday lives. When they happen on the national or world stage, they can have devastating results.

Cyber attacks are becoming all too commonplace in our world, threatening the very fabric of the digitally interconnected nature of our modern society.

I view cybersecurity as one of society’s grand challenges – and it’s one we’re tackling head-on at UTSA. Our cybersecurity programs are already considered to be the top in the country, producing graduates who fulfill this escalating workforce need. San Antonio is home to the largest concentration of cybersecurity experts outside of Washington D.C., many of whom are Roadrunner faculty, staff and alumni.

The time is right to take UTSA’s cybersecurity leadership to the next level.

UTSA is positioned to answer the national call for greater collaboration across industries by bringing together the brightest minds from academia, government and the private sector to engage in research and uncover transdisciplinary solutions. This type of partnership (often referred to as GUI, or Government-University-Industry) has proven to be the best collaborative model for research and development. 

A vision of this scale requires infrastructure, which was the impetus for launching UTSA’s National Security Collaboration Center (NSCC) initiative. The NSCC will serve as a catalyst for national security research, education and workforce development in our state and nation. Discussions with various stakeholders are happening now to identify the optimal location for the NSCC to best support this goal.

Included in the NSCC will be federally sponsored research centers—expanding our ability to conduct applied and sensitive research—as well as an Innovation Factory focused on rapid product development. NSCC partners will work closely with UTSA research units such as the Open Cloud Institute and the Cyber Center for Security & Analytics, utilizing state-of-the-art research laboratories, collaboration spaces, a high-performance computing center and a massive Open Cloud platform. Not only will our partners have access to this world-class research infrastructure, they will also benefit from the expertise of our faculty.

My thanks go to Interim Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise Bernard Arulanandam for leading this effort, and to the entire NSCC initiative committee for their hard work. I have no doubt that this project will transform UTSA - a giant leap along our path toward national recognition as a research-intensive university and a multicultural discovery enterprise.